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rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 49,274 Lives Here
edited February 2018 in Pro race
Welcome to the forum.

Every year the forum gets a lot of people who are new to cycling and have seen the Tour de France who want to know more.

This is the thread to ask your questions without fear or shame. Any question on the Tour or cycling, however basic, will be welcomed here, and answered in as nice a way as possible :). (similarly, any mocking answers will be swiftly dealt with - you've got the rest of pro-race for that).

Questions as basic as "Why yellow?" or confusion like "you can win the Tour de France but not win a stage?!?!?" are all welcome.

Similarly, if there are any tactics you've seen on TV that you don't understand, here is the place to ask what was going on.


Also - sky have put together a few basic guides to the different facets of the Tour de France, here.

The Guardian's interactive guide to the Tour de France can be found here

Ask away.
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  • c_nicholsc_nichols Posts: 27
    I have a question which has been confusing me in the pro-race section. Although I suspect its more forum related than actual cycling.

    I was lurking in the mist during the Giro and quite often various people (naming no names!!) would refer to sprinting stages as "chipper".

    Would someone explain this to me prior to the TdF?
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 49,274 Lives Here
    Chipper on here is a bit of an in-joke.

    A "chipper" is essentially a race that is not particularly prestigious or worthwhile - usually of low quality.

    For example, compared to the big races on the continent like the Tour de France or the Tour of Flanders, your local halfords 1hr crit is a bit of a 'chipper'.

    It has become a joke on here for the more jaded to refer to boring stages of big races as 'chippers' - and more generally there was a discussion of how to rank races in terms of prestige from a fan's perspective, with the lowest prestige races being considered 'chippers'.
  • c_nicholsc_nichols Posts: 27
    Chipper on here is a bit of an in-joke.

    A "chipper" is essentially a race that is not particularly prestigious or worthwhile - usually of low quality.

    For example, compared to the big races on the continent like the Tour de France or the Tour of Flanders, your local halfords 1hr crit is a bit of a 'chipper'.

    It has become a joke on here for the more jaded to refer to boring stages of big races as 'chippers' - and more generally there was a discussion of how to rank races in terms of prestige from a fan's perspective, with the lowest prestige races being considered 'chippers'.

    Cheers Rick, well explained and I don't feel stupid either.

    Perfect combination!! :D
  • Cheers Rick

    Im back in the saddle after 25 years abscence ....
    Thanks for the links .... opened in new tabs immediately.

    I'll feel safe asking my n00b questions here, if needs be :)
    Seany

    The n00b with the Secteur!
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 2,735
    You also need to understand that some on here think that any stage that finishes in a bunch sprint is chipper, but think that a group wheel sucking all the way up a mountain and only racing in the last 2 kms is mega exciting! :D
  • jmcc500jmcc500 Posts: 33
    Not sure if this is the right place to post...

    After years of watching the TdF on TV, all the way back to Big Mig's days, I have made a last minute decision to head over to Liege in my camper to watch the prologue and Stage 1 for real! As its last minute, I'm a bit lost as to what I need to do, other than get there.

    Can I simply head to Liege, watch the prologue, grab some supper and then head along the route to find somewhere to kip overnight on the roadside? Would I be able to stop anywhere near the TT route on Friday night?

    How does one decide where to stop to view the race?

    Are there geographic features that add interest?

    Is there any English or Spanish language race radio, or is it only French?

    Thanks in advance for any advice :-)
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 9,790
    jmcc500 - you'd probably do better asking that on one of the "spectating at the TdF" threads - maybe this one:

    viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=12859561
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • CrozzaCrozza Posts: 991
    Does the lanterne rouge win a prize, or just "prestige"? and do riders actively try and be the LR whilst just making the cut-off?
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 49,274 Lives Here
    Crozza wrote:
    Does the lanterne rouge win a prize, or just "prestige"? and do riders actively try and be the LR whilst just making the cut-off?


    I believe there is some cash prize.

    More importantly though, you often are more likely to be invited to the post-tour criteriums as a novelty guest and can usually command more money for an appearance. Take a look at the lantern rouge thread - they get a lot more attention than a lowly domesiqute half way up the GC table.

    Once a rider was actually fighting for the place of the laterne rouge. His directeur sportive (his boss) was angry with him and wouldn't give the rider the prize money after he'd won it. The argument got to the point where the rider was sacked.
  • CrozzaCrozza Posts: 991
    With the jerseys, do the organisers have yellow/green/polka jerseys printed in the style of each team, or do the teams do that?
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 23,538
    edited June 2012
    Crozza wrote:
    With the jerseys, do the organisers have yellow/green/polka jerseys printed in the style of each team, or do the teams do that?
    They got a load of different sizes of each but all with a blank white space on the front which they print the teams logos on. They'll do a quick and easy one for the presentation, then deliver a box load of better ones later that day.
    At the Tour of Poland someone screwed up
    MarcelKittel_2630321.jpg
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • alan_aalan_a Posts: 1,357
    Crozza wrote:
    Does the lanterne rouge win a prize, or just "prestige"? and do riders actively try and be the LR whilst just making the cut-off?


    I believe there is some cash prize.

    More importantly though, you often are more likely to be invited to the post-tour criteriums as a novelty guest and can usually command more money for an appearance. Take a look at the lantern rouge thread - they get a lot more attention than a lowly domesiqute half way up the GC table.

    Once a rider was actually fighting for the place of the laterne rouge. His directeur sportive (his boss) was angry with him and wouldn't give the rider the prize money after he'd won it. The argument got to the point where the rider was sacked.

    There is no official cash prize for Lanterne Rouge.

    Most evening's in their highlight's show French TV will have a fantastically tongue in cheek interview with the LR and showing clips of "key" moments when they lost important seconds on the 2nd last placed rider. They particularly love it when 2 riders are battling for the lamp with a small time difference. As such the LR becomes a big celebrity in France during July.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 49,274 Lives Here
    I stand corrected.
  • CrozzaCrozza Posts: 991
    Is there always a prologue?

    what's the idea behind them? hardly seems worth it they are so short! Is it a sort of ceremonial "parade"?
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 49,274 Lives Here
    Crozza wrote:
    Is there always a prologue?

    what's the idea behind them? hardly seems worth it they are so short! Is it a sort of ceremonial "parade"?

    Not always. The 2008 TdF had no prologue for example.

    You're right, it is largely ceremonial. You get a good look at every rider on his own. It also serves to separate the riders out on GC enough to calm the racing down a bit, but not so much that it has a significant impact on the general classification (usually...).
  • alan_aalan_a Posts: 1,357
    edited June 2012
    No there is not always a prologue, for example last year's TdF did not have one, however most years there is a prologue.

    The idea of a prologue is to create time differences between the riders. Most years the stages in the first week of grand tours are littered with sprinters stages. Most sprint stages end with the peleton finishing in one big group and all getting the same time as the winner, whether they finish 170th or 2nd. There needs to be a time gap of 1 second between the rear wheel of 1 rider and the front wheel of the next rider in order that the slower rider gets a slower time.

    Last year without a prologue time gaps were created by having stage 2 as a Team Time Trial.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 23,538
    Crozza wrote:
    Is there always a prologue?

    what's the idea behind them? hardly seems worth it they are so short! Is it a sort of ceremonial "parade"?
    They don't always have them. They didn't have one last year
    As to why, the parade aspect is as good a reason as any. Also the crowd see more and stay longer which is good for the host town which has paid a lot of money (millions) to host the first stage.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • CrozzaCrozza Posts: 991
    RichN95 wrote:
    which has paid a lot of money (millions) to host the first stage.

    apart from this first stage, do towns/regions generally have to pay to secure the appearance of the tour?

    btw, please take the below as applying to every response to my inane questions, so I don't need to post it every time:

    Thanks!
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 2,735
    I would expect so - either the town or the region would pay as it's good PR.
    In the Tour of Britain, Somerset County Council decided it couldn't justify the fees this year, hence no Somerset stage finish this year.
    In skiing, resorts pay to host races, and have fines imposed if races have to be cancelled.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 49,274 Lives Here
    Crozza wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:
    which has paid a lot of money (millions) to host the first stage.

    apart from this first stage, do towns/regions generally have to pay to secure the appearance of the tour?

    btw, please take the below as applying to every response to my inane questions, so I don't need to post it every time:

    Thanks!

    They certainly do.

    Some even pay for the Tour to pass through.

    Some places don't have to pay very much mind (like Paris, or the rare places in the Pyrenees that can tolerate the Tour circus).
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    Crozza wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:
    which has paid a lot of money (millions) to host the first stage.
    apart from this first stage, do towns/regions generally have to pay to secure the appearance of the tour?
    They certainly do.
    Some even pay for the Tour to pass through.
    Some places don't have to pay very much mind (like Paris, or the rare places in the Pyrenees that can tolerate the Tour circus).
    I can't offhand provide details (pity no one so far can - although I'm sure I've at least once seen published figures), but ASO don't expect the same 'contribution' from every town. The other year there was a stage finish in a town with only 1002 inhabitants and their village council certainly couldn't pay the same as a large city like Bordeaux.

    Also I think a full monetary contribution isn't always negotiated - rather it might be that a local community gets a 'discount' for the likes of re-surfacing a descent in its area or (in more recent times) improving its Internet connections.
  • takethehighroadtakethehighroad Posts: 5,545
    I know in Tim Moore's book he cycled the route of the Tour de France while all the resurfacing was going on, and on the ocassions he strayed from the route he said he could really tell the difference
    My Men 2020 - Mark Cavendish, Ben Swift, Fernando Gaviria, Alejandro Valverde, Edvald Boassen Hagen, Zdenek Stybar, Vincenzo Nibali, Geraint Thomas.
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    A lovely thread, Rick, thanks.


    Just catching up, but in response to the Lanterne Rouge presentation query, the Belgian TV channel, Sporza, do present a small red lantern to the winner on the Champs Elysee. There's no podium however,and it's usually just outside the team bus.

    Re: resurfacing the road. My sister-in-law tells me that they stopped last year in a small village to watch the tour, which was merely passing through, it was in the first hour of racing, and there was nothing spectacular expected. But the mayor and all the inhabitants were beside themselves with pride and she tells me that the atmosphere was similar to the Olympic torch passing through our towns and villages just now.

    But they had only resurfaced what the cameras could see- turn a corner, and the suface hadn't been touched.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    If I miss a stage, where can I watch highlights without the page being smattered with who won it? cheers!
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 15,015
    coriordan wrote:
    If I miss a stage, where can I watch highlights without the page being smattered with who won it? cheers!

    Highlights are on ITV4 at 7pm

    If you don't want to know who won, stay off the internet.

    #likelylads
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • mrwaggymrwaggy Posts: 3
    My question is about the cut off limit for the finishing time.
    If too many riders will be eliminated on a stage, the organisers can amend the time limit to prevent this.
    Are the rules for this 'set in stone' or is it down to the organisers discretion for any given stage?
  • takethehighroadtakethehighroad Posts: 5,545
    It's not a case of amending the time, it's about the number of riders who finish together outside the limit.

    So, if a big bunch finishes together outside the limit (above a certain percentage of the bunch) they can be kept in.

    Any stragglers that finish alone after them will be eliminated
    My Men 2020 - Mark Cavendish, Ben Swift, Fernando Gaviria, Alejandro Valverde, Edvald Boassen Hagen, Zdenek Stybar, Vincenzo Nibali, Geraint Thomas.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 23,538
    mrwaggy wrote:
    My question is about the cut off limit for the finishing time.
    If too many riders will be eliminated on a stage, the organisers can amend the time limit to prevent this.
    Are the rules for this 'set in stone' or is it down to the organisers discretion for any given stage?

    These are the actual rules:

    From the UCI rule book:
    ruleuci.png

    From the Tour de France rule book:
    ruleaso.png
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • essjaydeeessjaydee Posts: 917
    Bit of an obscure question but, what happens to the signed yellow jerseys :?:

    Saw the yellow jersey holder signing some yesterday, and again today.
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    essjaydee wrote:
    Bit of an obscure question but, what happens to the signed yellow jerseys :?:

    Saw the yellow jersey holder signing some yesterday, and again today.

    Given to sponsors / VIPs.
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