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what is the least you can do in a grand tour ?

specialgueststarspecialgueststar Posts: 3,371
edited June 2015 in Pro race
With the red lantern nearly 6 hours (!) back behind Contador - which is certainly much more than in recent years

I was wondering what is the absolute least you need to do to finish a GT ie last on every stage - but by how much .. Obviously this is dependent on the cut off times per stage but how does this translate into effort. If a rider had the sole intent of just surviving to the end how 'easy' would this be?

Also what is the record time for the last rider on GC at the end of a tour in the modern era?

Posts

  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,785
    Pity you said 'modern era'. The last rider in the 1903 TdF lost nearly 20 hours.....on the first stage! Everyone from 24th place lost more than 6 hours!
  • takethehighroadtakethehighroad Posts: 6,082
    This. Marco Coledan waiting to cross the finish line to retain the Maglia Nera

    1

    https://twitter.com/SteBertolotti/statu ... 2488425472
  • JayKostaJayKosta Posts: 635
    ...
    Obviously this is dependent on the cut off times per stage but how does this translate into effort. If a rider had the sole intent of just surviving to the end how 'easy' would this be?
    ...

    Since several pro riders DO miss the cut-off, I don't think completing a 3 week GT could ever be called 'easy'.
    Probably the 'weakest' Pro rider is at least as strong as most amateur national champions.

    Anyway you look at it, a GT is a long brutal ordeal. And most of the riders know they don't have (much) chance of winning anything - they are only there to suffer and support their team's leader.

    Jay Kosta
    Endwell NY USA
  • k-dogk-dog Posts: 1,652
    I rode the first stage of the Tour last year - took me about 8 hours, group ahead of me with some useful riders was about 90 minutes earlier.

    Every rider of Le Tour did it in less then 5 - and that was a flat stage.

    Although we think of someone like Cavendish being a poor climber on your average club run he would leave everyone for dead. It's all relative and you've got to be pretty special to even finish the race.

    Just making the time limit every day is still a quick ride. Doing it for 3/52 is amazing.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • thegibdogthegibdog Posts: 2,106
    I don't think 6 hours is that much over the course of 3 weeks. And generally those just intent on surviving aren't doing it to take it easy, they're doing it because they're at the limit of their ability. Kimmage had some good accounts of fighting to simply stay in the race.
  • RonBRonB Posts: 3,984
    This. Marco Coledan waiting to cross the finish line to retain the Maglia Nera

    1

    https://twitter.com/SteBertolotti/statu ... 2488425472

    Hope it was worth it! He got stung for a 500CHF fine for that.
  • imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
    k-dog wrote:
    I rode the first stage of the Tour last year - took me about 8 hours, group ahead of me with some useful riders was about 90 minutes earlier.

    Every rider of Le Tour did it in less then 5 - and that was a flat stage.

    Although we think of someone like Cavendish being a poor climber on your average club run he would leave everyone for dead. It's all relative and you've got to be pretty special to even finish the race.

    Just making the time limit every day is still a quick ride. Doing it for 3/52 is amazing.

    I've done stage three of last years TdF a few times now Cambridge to London (ending up a hundred yards from my office and a nice shower) and the speed that the peloton goes on a short flat boring day is staggering and that was a slow day; to manage that for 3 weeks is awesome.

    It really changed my view of pro-cycling - I have not yet been brave enough to try a full mountain stage as I am not sure there are enough hours of sunlight :-) Anyone around a tour route find a GPX route and give a short flat stage a go - you know that the pro.s are inhuman on the mountains but it is fun to see how special they are on the flat as well
  • imatfaal wrote:
    k-dog wrote:
    I rode the first stage of the Tour last year - took me about 8 hours, group ahead of me with some useful riders was about 90 minutes earlier.

    Every rider of Le Tour did it in less then 5 - and that was a flat stage.

    Although we think of someone like Cavendish being a poor climber on your average club run he would leave everyone for dead. It's all relative and you've got to be pretty special to even finish the race.

    Just making the time limit every day is still a quick ride. Doing it for 3/52 is amazing.

    I've done stage three of last years TdF a few times now Cambridge to London (ending up a hundred yards from my office and a nice shower) and the speed that the peloton goes on a short flat boring day is staggering and that was a slow day; to manage that for 3 weeks is awesome.

    It really changed my view of pro-cycling - I have not yet been brave enough to try a full mountain stage as I am not sure there are enough hours of sunlight :-) Anyone around a tour route find a GPX route and give a short flat stage a go - you know that the pro.s are inhuman on the mountains but it is fun to see how special they are on the flat as well

    a lot of that is down to the efficiency of the peloton though - it's not a third cat race with a few diesels - many teams have many riders who will do the work - to compare like with like you would be better doing a 20-30 man chaingang
  • jimmythecuckoojimmythecuckoo Posts: 4,598
    I thought you were meaning least distance... that would have been Boardman in St Briec or Matt White (I think) who fell off on his way to the prologue whilst in Cofidis colours.

    :)
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 11,070
    roughly 8-10 hours or so I think

    10-20% at 4 hours a stage

    going to vary a bit
    "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
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,319
    Bearing in mind that a proper Red Lanterne/Maglia Nera campaign is probably going to involve a fair amount of cycling alone, it's unlikely that the least amount of effort is actually to be found in a GT slowest rider.

    To truly, effectively, coast through a GT you'd need to:
    a) Never work on the front
    b) Never ride alone off the back
    c) Never fetch and carry
    d) Never find yourself in a small group, where work had to be shared
    e) Never get in the break or attempt to get in the break
    f) Never have to close a wheel

    So basically, it's what all the Grupetto are trying to do, when they're not being ordered to do a, c and e.

    The other answer to your question is "dunno, find a Cofidis rider and ask".
    “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!
  • BelgianBeerGeekBelgianBeerGeek Posts: 5,226
    I would think that targeting the Lanterne Rouge would be a very risky strategy, if not impossible. The riders are there as a team, so shirking at the back would be very difficult, as No tA Doctor said.
    If you were trying to just squeeze in every day, a simple mechanical or bad day on the bike if you had a cold could DQ you. And then the team would probably sack you.
    So the guys at the back are probably, within their own limitations, working just as hard as the others.
    Ecrasez l’infame
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