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Tour of Britain: Rate the race?

morstarmorstar Posts: 2,818
edited September 2013 in Pro race
I know it's not over yet but I have really enjoyed the race the last couple of years. It seems to be maturing really well and the parcours gets better every year.
I always think back to when the 'big crowds' were 90% school kids and not really fans of the sport. Contrast that with the crowds on Haytor. Fantastic to see.
A lot of hard work combined with a cycling boom in the UK have made this into a decent race. We know the limitations of a UK par ours but this race has captured what I recognise about UK cycling.
I suppose having thrown in a 10 mile TT because of its UK heritage, the London stage should actually be a really short twisty crit rather than the longer loop they use.
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  • The routes through Cumbria & Wales etc with the conditions and the way riders have been racing has really made it a great race this year IMO
  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 2,422
    its now a great little race. there's not many races that attract the sort of crowds we've seen the last couple of years. it's once again done a great job of showcasing the countryside of scotland, wales and the north and south west of england
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • Paul 8vPaul 8v Posts: 5,458
    I'm off to the smoke tomorrow to watch the last stage, quite an enjoyable tour. It's never going to have the thrill of the big mountains like the European tours but it's great to see riders of the calibre of Quintana , Dan Martin, Wiggins etc riding it.

    Seems to be getting bigger and better each year and as above there are more and more supporters
  • It's never going to have the thrill of the big mountains like the European tours

    I think it makes up for that just because of where it is (Home soil) and the areas it passes through that many will ride themselves or live nearby
  • bucklesbuckles Posts: 694
    Too short. Nearest stage too far away from my house. Apart from that, good to watch, but would prefer course design that causes more of a selection and is more likely to result in a solo win
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  • What I've managed to watch has been good. Still can't get used to watching a peloton on the TV with UK road signs though, it somehow seems weird.
    Correlation is not causation.
  • Too short

    Agree with that. Doing it over two weeks would be better

    Still can't get used to watching a peloton on the TV with UK road signs though

    :| :roll:
  • Gazzetta67Gazzetta67 Posts: 2,006
    Think it's been ok. tho the TT basically killed the race and people more or less protecting their GC position...ala Indurain's tours Zzzzzzz, nothing was going to change.

    PS. maybe a bit of a silly question..Why is it the 10th anniversary of the TOB when i watched Kelly,Millar,McLoughlin etc ride the TOB in the 80's ??? 8)
  • ravey1981ravey1981 Posts: 1,111
    Gazzetta67 wrote:
    Think it's been ok. tho the TT basically killed the race and people more or less protecting their GC position...ala Indurain's tours Zzzzzzz, nothing was going to change.

    PS. maybe a bit of a silly question..Why is it the 10th anniversary of the TOB when i watched Kelly,Millar,McLoughlin etc ride the TOB in the 80's ??? 8)

    History of the tour of Britain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_of_Britain
  • Gazzetta67 wrote:
    Think it's been ok. tho the TT basically killed the race and people more or less protecting their GC position...ala Indurain's tours Zzzzzzz, nothing was going to change.

    This.
    The worst edition for several years, if not longer.
    The ITT basically killed the GC competition and even the entertain Madrazo
    hasn't been challenged for the KoM.
    None of the usual animation of recent years.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • ProssPross Posts: 22,145
    buckles wrote:
    Too short. Nearest stage too far away from my house. Apart from that, good to watch, but would prefer course design that causes more of a selection and is more likely to result in a solo win

    Nearest stage too far from your house? Assuming your profile location is correct it had a start town within an hours drive!

    For me no-one has really tested Wiggins for the GC since he won the TT, he only had a 30 odd second advantage and I know he looks in good form but no team seemed to try. It's been a decent route and the Stage 2, 4 and 6 finishes were pretty good but not enough racing so a 5 out of 10 for me. Not as good as last year.
  • sniper68sniper68 Posts: 2,894
    I'm enjoying it but unless I'm mistaken we still use miles in the UK not Kilometres :roll:

    Bit annoyed as I was in the Lake District 7-14th and was off work until 18th but had to come home on the 14th as the wife was working :|
  • Alan AAlan A Posts: 1,398
    ibbo68 wrote:
    I'm enjoying it but unless I'm mistaken we still use miles in the UK not Kilometres :roll:

    http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/

    Rule 24
  • mike6mike6 Posts: 1,199
    edited September 2013
    Excellent race. More Pro Tour teams riding. Lots of breakaways, awful conditions, the climbers underestimating the little British climbs. Big crowds, awesome crowds today, Saturday. ITV4 just said 250k spectators on Haytor yesterday. This can only help the race get bigger in both Pro Team involvement and number of days the race is allocated.

    Shame some on here are so negative and expect Alpine climbs in Britain, the organisers are doing there best to come up with a well balanced route, given the time constraints.

    Here is a thought. If a specialist climber had attacked on Haytor and gained 45 second lead on GT would people on here still be complaining "That mountain top finish killed the race"?
  • Paul 8vPaul 8v Posts: 5,458
    Alan A wrote:
    ibbo68 wrote:
    I'm enjoying it but unless I'm mistaken we still use miles in the UK not Kilometres :roll:

    http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/

    Rule 24
    Haha, I was going to post this before I saw your comment!
  • meagainmeagain Posts: 2,774
    Pretty good I reckon. Taking up a whole day of a 7 day race with a short TT seems a bit of a waste, quite apart from the disproportionate impact it is likely to have had on the overall result(s).

    But anything that is a positive for cycling in the widest sense in the UK is "a good thing".
    d.j.
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,902
    I think the apparent problem with the TT being too important is exaggerated somewhat by the presence of Wiggins. Take him away and things are much closer.
    The problem isn't the TT itself, I feel, but the fact that Wiggins is in a class of is own in this race. Only Dowsett, who was ill, had any real TT pedigree - Stannard was a comfortable second. If someone like Boom, Chavanel, Costa, Hushovd or Kwiatkowski (riders who have ridden the race recently or have teams here) were here things might be different.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 14,015
    edited September 2013
    mike6 wrote:
    Excellent race. More Pro Tour teams riding. Lots of breakaways, awful conditions, the climbers underestimating the little British climbs. Big crowds, awesome crowds today, Saturday. ITV4 just said 250k spectators on Haytor yesterday. This can only help the race get bigger in both Pro Team involvement and number of days the race is allocated.

    Shame some on here are so negative and expect Alpine climbs in Britain, the organisers are doing there best to come up with a well balanced route, given the time constraints.

    Here is a thought. If a specialist climber had attacked on Haytor and gained 45 second lead on GT would people on here still be complaining "That mountain top finish killed the race"?


    Who said the negativity had anything to do with the climbs?

    Just about the best stage ever, in the event, was last year's stage along the Dorset coast.
    Brilliant action using hardly a categorized climb , only the constant undulations. Great to see Ivan Basso and Samu Sanchez making a real effort, not just stretching their legs, training for the worlds.

    The negativity comes from the GC being predictably sewn up on stage 3.

    As for a specialist climber managing to take 45 seconds on Haytor, how often do you see them manage that on an big Alpine climbs?
    That's not a thought, it's a dream.

    I don't get this idea that everybody has to think it's great. Different horses prefer different courses.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 2,508
    I think a 10 day race would be perfect, maybe starting with a prologue or an evening crit.

    It must be a tough race to ride - the weather in the north feels like it's been terrible over the last few years, the road surfaces aren't good, and the hills are tougher than they generally expect.
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 2,508
    mike6 wrote:
    Excellent race. More Pro Tour teams riding. Lots of breakaways, awful conditions, the climbers underestimating the little British climbs. Big crowds, awesome crowds today, Saturday. ITV4 just said 250k spectators on Haytor yesterday. This can only help the race get bigger in both Pro Team involvement and number of days the race is allocated.

    Shame some on here are so negative and expect Alpine climbs in Britain, the organisers are doing there best to come up with a well balanced route, given the time constraints.

    Here is a thought. If a specialist climber had attacked on Haytor and gained 45 second lead on GT would people on here still be complaining "That mountain top finish killed the race"?


    Who said the negativity had anything to do with the climbs?

    Just about the best stage ever, in the event, was last year's stage along the Dorset coast.
    Brilliant action using hardly a categorized climb , only the constant undulations. Great to see Ivan Basso and Samu Sanchez making a real effort, not just stretching their legs, training for the worlds.

    The negativity comes from the GC being predictably sewn up on stage 3.

    As for a specialist climber managing to take 45 seconds on Haytor, how often do you see them manage that on an big Alpine climbs?
    That's not a thought, it's a dream.

    I don't get this idea that everybody has to think it's great. Different horses prefer different courses.

    Sadly that was the devon coast, not the Dorset one last year! :lol:
  • 6/10

    GC has been very dull.
    individual stages have had some good action.
    weather made it dramatic at times.
    nice stage winners.

    for the future I still hold out hopes of one day seeing them visit the Isle of Man if the race was to expand.
  • Last year was a great edition - attacking riding!/echelons!/lots of different GC leaders! This year - good parcours but no surprises - Wiggins too strong in the TT even though it was just a 10 mile-er. Good to see Quintana and Martin giving it a go and the hill top finish was a success. Talk for next year's edition is of further enhancements to the men's race and a women's race.
  • sniper68sniper68 Posts: 2,894
    Alan A wrote:
    ibbo68 wrote:
    I'm enjoying it but unless I'm mistaken we still use miles in the UK not Kilometres :roll:

    http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/

    Rule 24
    Stupid rule. When in Rome......
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    There were a lot of people on haytor yesterday but certainly not 250k!!!

    Quite excellent ... Ticked all my boxes. With sky and an in form wiggins in the field it's not going to be that much of a race and the weather early on was rubbish but that aside they've done a good job. Most of the people I chatted to have no connection with cycling but just enjoy the spectacle and it was good to have the primary school challenge up the last k was a great idea

    I think they said they are hoping to go up to cat 2 next year and also have a women's TOB
  • fair to middling
    nice to see the domestic scene getting stuck in there
    - but too much variation - tour podiums and crit racers - needs more WT/ pro conti teams
  • mike6mike6 Posts: 1,199
    mike6 wrote:
    Excellent race. More Pro Tour teams riding. Lots of breakaways, awful conditions, the climbers underestimating the little British climbs. Big crowds, awesome crowds today, Saturday. ITV4 just said 250k spectators on Haytor yesterday. This can only help the race get bigger in both Pro Team involvement and number of days the race is allocated.

    Shame some on here are so negative and expect Alpine climbs in Britain, the organisers are doing there best to come up with a well balanced route, given the time constraints.

    Here is a thought. If a specialist climber had attacked on Haytor and gained 45 second lead on GT would people on here still be complaining "That mountain top finish killed the race"?


    Who said the negativity had anything to do with the climbs?

    Just about the best stage ever, in the event, was last year's stage along the Dorset coast.
    Brilliant action using hardly a categorized climb , only the constant undulations. Great to see Ivan Basso and Samu Sanchez making a real effort, not just stretching their legs, training for the worlds.

    The negativity comes from the GC being predictably sewn up on stage 3.

    As for a specialist climber managing to take 45 seconds on Haytor, how often do you see them manage that on an big Alpine climbs?
    That's not a thought, it's a dream.

    I don't get this idea that everybody has to think it's great. Different horses prefer different courses.

    I didnt say the negativity had anything to do with the climbs.

    You said the ITT killed the race. I said what if a specialist climber took 45 seconds on the GC on Haytor. Would you say that climb "Killed the race"?
  • The race has been great. Okay, so the TT has skewed things a bit but really the bloke who won it and with it the GC is probably the strongest rider in the strongest team and he has a road palmares that nobody on this race can argue with. He did win nearly everything on the road last year (that he entered) including the tour! I think people have short memories of where British cycling (on the road and still pre-Bejing on the track) and this race were in 2003. It has been good value thanks to Wiggo taking it very seriously and both Quintana and Martin giving it a go plus the youngsters and both seasoned pros and the domestic teams trying go shine. No. We cannot retreat into cycling geekery and pick fault. The organisers have learned as they go on a tight budget. The race is getting better and bigger each year. I'm enjoying it and hope for more improvements and increasingly better riders, teams and racing. The 2012 Tour de France winner is taking it seriously and winning it ahead of two other winners at World Tour Level in Martin and the polka dotted Columbian. Look at the increasing media profile of the race and the crowds at the roadside! Sure it isn't the Tour or Giro or Monument but it is coming along nicely thank you very much indeed.

    I remember Chris Day of this Parish saying in 2004 that the ToB needed to embrace its spot on the calendar and be a sort of week long Belgian one day race - short, hard, wet and nasty. Getting there Chris, definitely getting there!
  • bockersbockers Posts: 146
    The last time I enjoyed a home tour this much was when Joey McLoughlin won it. Great to watch it swing past my front door too, although the number of motorbike outriders had me thinking I was watching MotoGP :D

    Also is the podium girl Carol Vordermans daughter? A very striking woman who has an air or confidence and authority that is a welcome change. Although the whole idea of podium girls is questionable still :?
  • thefogthefog Posts: 197
    I've really enjoyed it and hope the organisers really ramp up the profile next year - there is actually less pro tour teams involved this year than last [Vacansoleil, Euskatel, Orica GE, Garmin, Sky and Cannondale] as opposed to this years 5 [Sky, Cannondale, Garmin, Movistar, Omega] but given Vacansoleil and Euskatel's troubles it was understandable they didn't come back.

    However, some new pro-conti teams involvement is good - great to see IAM and MTN. Probably against the normal, but I believe they need to reduce the number of UCI continental teams [on the whole, they just aren't competing] and perhaps even drop the GB U23 team [which I believe is a requirement of the HC status the tour of Britain are aiming at].

    I know they also want to increase the event to 10 days, which means they are going to need to change the schedule and start earlier in September, ensuring no conflict with the worlds. The only way I can see it becoming a major success is with a big name sponsor on board - "British Airways Tour of Britain" or the "Virgin Tour of Britain" to raise the prize money. Given the crowd numbers and increased interest in the sport now, I think a major sponsor is very likely.
  • I can't remember any of the other 1 week races this year being any better...
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