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So the verdict on the 2009 TDF route is??

Jellylegs1968Jellylegs1968 Posts: 73
edited July 2009 in Pro race
Now its done, what did we think?

Did Prudhomme's experiment work?

From my point of view:

- Long stage 1 TT and TTT mortally wounded GC.

- Middle week was dull dull dull

- Ventoux was too late and the time gaps already too big to make the GC interesting.

Posts

  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,784
    I've left more interesting things in the toilet.

    Complete failure.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • Harry HillHarry Hill Posts: 114
    It's easy after watching the last week of racing to say "it was an exciting tour", but when I think about it, that middle week was extremely tedious . . . .
    .. who said that, internet forum people ?
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    Middle week was livened up a bit by Blue Chip Bob / Cuddly Bob throwing a strop at Big George not being handed the lifetime achievement award yellow jersey on a platter, and the Cav / Hushovd feud that (kind of) resulted from above incident.
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • bipedalbipedal Posts: 466
    Some good new climbs but overall a flawed experiment
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    Bit mixed - great last week salvaged it. Hard to tell if the UK interest in Cav and Wiggo made it seem a bit more interesting than it really was.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • Bit mixed - great last week salvaged it. Hard to tell if the UK interest in Cav and Wiggo made it seem a bit more interesting than it really was.
    good call... i think i would have been disappointed overall had it not been for the uk interest. i thought the middle week was boring- ventoux was as always a spectacle but only marginally decisive for the GC... shame....

    not enough summit finishes IMO
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,553
    Bit mixed - great last week salvaged it. Hard to tell if the UK interest in Cav and Wiggo made it seem a bit more interesting than it really was.

    Very good analysis.

    Personally I'd like to see the final stage to always be a TT. Just a personal POV.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • moray_gubmoray_gub Posts: 3,328
    In excitement terms the Pyrenees was a disaster i dont think the race really recovered after that. The Ventoux was neutralised by defensive GC riding. So in summary i think the route was a failure though the commentators on Eurosport and ITV seem to think otherwise for some reason.
    Gasping - but somehow still alive !
  • The Team TT has always been an abhomination IMO.

    The Ventoux stage at the end didn't work. Pyrenees totally emasculated. Only one really fascinating stage, to Grand Bornand, which at least showed you can still have serious racing before the last 5 ks. The small time gaps were more a result of dull racing than a close fight.

    Personally I don't mind some quiet stages, the riders need to take some 'piano' time after all, but the feel of this course was just wrong. And the return of Bruyneel's Myrmidons cast a shadow over the whole thing (as they will for the near future I fear).

    Apart from that it was great!
  • mz__jomz__jo Posts: 398
    The whole thing was messed up by the ttt which put Astana on top of the classification (read that LA on top of gc) without any decisive road racing. After that the game plan of the Scleck brothers to attack in the Alps and Astana happy to neutralise everything to keep LA up front meant that nothing interesting could happen until week 3. I would go with boring as an assessment. I didn't even bother to see them out of Limoges the 14th, I was elsewhere riding my bike!
  • moray_gubmoray_gub Posts: 3,328
    The Team TT has always been an abhomination IMO.

    The Ventoux stage at the end didn't work. Pyrenees totally emasculated. Only one really fascinating stage, to Grand Bornand, which at least showed you can still have serious racing before the last 5 ks. The small time gaps were more a result of dull racing than a close fight.

    Personally I don't mind some quiet stages, the riders need to take some 'piano' time after all, but the feel of this course was just wrong. And the return of Bruyneel's Myrmidons cast a shadow over the whole thing (as they will for the near future I fear).

    Apart from that it was great!

    Yea i agree i hate the TTT hope its not in the race next year, mind you it did give us synchronised diving by BBox
    Gasping - but somehow still alive !
  • mmitchell88mmitchell88 Posts: 340
    The small time gaps were more a result of dull racing than a close fight.
    After such defensive riding this year, is there a strong argument for the return of time bonuses?
    Making a cup of coffee is like making love to a beautiful woman. It's got to be hot. You've got to take your time. You've got to stir... gently and firmly. You've got to grind your beans until they squeak.
    And then you put in the milk.
  • I have only started watching cycling in the last 3years but i think it was the best route with the best riders and the TTT was a great inclusion
  • GotteGotte Posts: 494
    I really enjoyed it, but then again, I always enjoy it. I do think the outstanding British interest livened it up. Especially as it got my wife into it. She really enjoyed watching it with me, which has never happened before. So in that respect, best tour ever.
  • xover_runnerxover_runner Posts: 228
    TTT effectively sealed the fate of too many potential GC contenders on the 4th day. Should go back to the limited time losses, the TTT is a great spectacle and should be in but not be so influential.
  • paulcuthbertpaulcuthbert Posts: 1,016
    Personally, I think most of you are all cynically minded anyway- so of course it's not going to be a good route to you. Nothing seems positive to you in this place. Anyway...

    I thought it was a good Tour. The only exception being the lack of summit finishes. They hurt more, and it's great to watch! Ventoux was spectacular though...
  • verylonglegsverylonglegs Posts: 3,678
    I'm not against change but the first problem I encountered was the fact that I actually like to go and see the tour live for few days and on previous occasions I've always stayed in a town in or near the pryenees or alps and been able to see 3 stages with 2 of them being summit finishes but as soon as I saw this years route it was ummm...well...uh-huh? just wasn't possible.

    Moving on from that purely selfish issue to the racing itself and for me it hasn't worked. The ventoux being held back till the penultimate stage was obviously an attempt to create a nail baiting showdown but it never materialised at all so all the negative dull days it created beforehand wasn't worth the sacrifice. I'd love to know how many riders didnt try anything on days when they felt good before the ventoux stage in order to save themselves only to find come ventoux they were too knackered to do anything anyway.
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,957
    tactical racing will be the future given the increasing closeness of the contenders. I think we are going to have too get used to that...

    I think too much is made of the route which I think was not the disaster some claim..

    the TTT killed more of the race than any lack of early mountain top finishes.

    The ventoux is hyped not just in this years tour but generally.. it has not produced IMO the greatest mountain top finishes in the tours I have seen.

    As a tour it was far from the greatest but conversely it was very much not the worst I have ever seen... by any stretch of the imagination


    I would describe it as memorable....
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,957
    DaveyL wrote:
    Middle week was livened up a bit by Blue Chip Bob / Cuddly Bob throwing a strop at Big George not being handed the lifetime achievement award yellow jersey on a platter, and the Cav / Hushovd feud that (kind of) resulted from above incident.

    I think we are going to be talking about that stage for sometime....
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • petejukpetejuk Posts: 235
    I agree with most: tedious route on the whole. TTT was pants and always has been, downhill finishes took all the sting out of the Pyrenees and Alps alike and the flat stages sometimes lacked sufficient drama.
    That said, for me it was the riders that made it: the sheer team work of Columbia, the Astana politics, the Green Jersey battle and the fighting spirit of Bradley Wiggins. Not to mention the phenomenal descending by Cancellara and the inability of a least one Rabobank rider per stage to upright.
    If they could work in a good route, leave out the TTT and milk the mountain stages for all they're worth, we would have no issues.
  • CumulonimbusCumulonimbus Posts: 1,730
    I think the team time trial has come in for a bit of unfair criticism. If you look at the time gaps this created to the other leading contenders then you have

    Garmin 18 seconds
    Saxo Bank 40 seconds
    Liquigas 58 seconds

    Riders from these teams filled the top 9 places. Ok, so the 10th and 11th placed riders may have finished higher up without the TTT but they were 14 minutes behind Contador and 9 minutes behind the podium.* If there had been, say, a 40ish km TT that they normally have then Contador would IMO have finished ahead of A Schleck by more than 40 seconds. Armstrong and Kloden benefitted from the TTT but then they would probably have done well in a normal TT anyway. A mountain time trial would have been more interesting - maybe they could have made one of the Pyreneean stages into this. Then again they could just go down the road of having no TT between the prologue and the one near the end.

    The two Pyreneean stages post-Andorra were very disappointing. However, i think one of the problems was that Contador was simply the best at both TTing and climbing. These are the main ways to get time so if someone is best at both then there is no real battle for GC.

    Mont Ventoux may appear to have failed but the TT being on the last day would have been a failure too as Contador would have gone in with a big lead over Schleck with us all expecting him to extend it.

    *It did unfairly hit some other contenders though, esp Evans, although how good his form was is open to question.
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,686
    The green jersey battle was more exciting than the yellow jersey until the final week.

    So what would you all change next year then?

    Personally I'd like to see a whole series of short, sharp cat 4 hills (Normandy will do the trick) put at the end of a long stage, close together to prevent time being made up on the flats, so the climbers will get separated from the rouleurs. This might encourage the likes of S. Sanchez, Cunego etc to really have a go at the mountain specialists before the race hits the Pyrenees. Hopefully - and this is where the plan gets cunning - riders such as Contador, the Schlecks and Wiggins will realise that they can't leave the yellow jersey on the shoulders of dangerous riders like that, and they'll be forced to fight as soon as the race hits the mountains. Stick in another stage like this between the two mountain ranges to make their job even more urgent.

    Either that or Contador and Schleck will stick with Sanchez and Cunego no problem and the whole plan will just fall flat on it's face. But anyway, it has to be better than a TTT.

    EDIT: I've had a couple of drinks and might regret this post in the morning.
  • petejukpetejuk Posts: 235
    Just ensuring Armstrong doesn't win could make for good racing next year. As long as the teams work together to prevent his controlling of the race which has made it all pitifully boring in bygone years.
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