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TdF: Why don't they compete on the last stage?

Old 07-28-19, 05:51 PM
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Arthur Peabody
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TdF: Why don't they compete on the last stage?

What happens if the leader collapses?
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Old 07-28-19, 05:54 PM
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Because it's a flat stage, and riding at 32+ mph on your own or in a small group is hard to do.

If the leader collapses? Like crashes? Early on, everyone will probably go neutral (as they're probably half drunk on champagne and needing a pee break anyway). Last 10k? That's a tough one. Not sure it's ever happened.
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Old 07-28-19, 09:16 PM
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because it's impossible for a GC contender to make up that kind of time even with his entire team backing him on a flat stage. Peloton with the yellow would never allow it and 150 riders vs a team of 8 is no contest. The other riders would just laugh in the slipstream of the team trying to pull that off.

If something horrible happened to the yellow jersey in stage 21, then who is in 2nd would win the race for the same reason but I don't know a single rider who would want to win it that way. As Rubiksoval said, entire race would neutralize immediately on Stage 21 if that happened.

Years ago, there was a rider who clinched the green jersey but wrecked horribly racing for the stage win in Paris and they literally picked his body off the ground, flung him across his bike, and pushed him across the finish line to take the green jersey. (3km rule now in place because of that incident).
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Old 07-28-19, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
because it's impossible for a GC contender to make up that kind of time even with his entire team backing him on a flat stage.
What if 1 second separates them?

Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
Peloton with the yellow would never allow it and 150 riders vs a team of 8 is no contest.
By peloton you mean everybody else? Is teaming up legal?


Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
If something horrible happened to the yellow jersey in stage 21, then who is in 2nd would win the race for the same reason but I don't know a single rider who would want to win it that way.
I hadn't imputed a desire on anyone. Bad things happen occasionally no matter everyone's good intentions.


Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
Years ago, there was a rider who clinched the green jersey but wrecked horribly racing for the stage win in Paris and they literally picked his body off the ground, flung him across his bike, and pushed him across the finish line to take the green jersey.
In an early Olympics marathon, a runner got confused, ran the wrong direction, some spectators helped him, which resulted in disqualification.



Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
(3km rule now in place because of that incident).
What's the 3km rule? What's the green jersey?
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Old 07-28-19, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Arthur P*****y View Post



What's the 3km rule? What's the green jersey?
The green jersey is the one they award to the rider who does the most wheelies in the last 3 kms. of each stage.
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Old 07-29-19, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Arthur P*****y View Post
What if 1 second separates them?
Ah. A boundary case. Tough question. I assume the two GC riders would be both be wrestling to stay up there with the sprinters in the end then, because even a split in the finishing field could separate them.

Better to try to understand the middle of the bell curve with all its norms and traditions before you venture into the extremes that are challenging for even those who understand rules and their interpretations.

Originally Posted by Arthur P*****y View Post
By peloton you mean everybody else? Is teaming up legal?
Yes. And yes. But yes.

Originally Posted by Arthur P*****y View Post
I hadn't imputed a desire on anyone. Bad things happen occasionally no matter everyone's good intentions.
I don't think he said you were imputing or imbueing or projecting or whatever. The feeling and honor drives things, whether you said it or not. No one wants that non-sporting bad thing to happen, and if such bad things happen, they may take extraordinary actions to avoid it changing the result. Or not.

e.g. this race, G flatted while on the Champs when the race was in full flight. No one was slowing down. Had he not caught back on with his team help (and team car's? !! yes, not "legal" per se), he would have lost a step on the podium.

Originally Posted by Arthur P*****y View Post
In an early Olympics marathon, a runner got confused, ran the wrong direction, some spectators helped him, which resulted in disqualification.
In early Tour, the "no help" rule DQd a rider who stopped to repair his frame at a smith's shop and he got the "help" of the smithy kid working the bellows for him.

Originally Posted by Arthur P*****y View Post
What's the 3km rule? What's the green jersey?
All manner of confounding and interacting and competing rules and truths and prizes that make the systemic interactions of the event the hornet's nest of intrigue that it is, even without positing acts of God wrapped in 1 sec gaps cloaked in enigmas. Bon apetit.

Last edited by slcbob; 07-29-19 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 07-29-19, 02:20 AM
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P.S. "why don't they compete?"

Which race did you watch? I saw a helluva competition. For the stage win, and in theory (in the pre-Sagan era often in practice) for the green jersey.

With a 1 min gap, the yellow jersey competition was already over.
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Old 07-29-19, 07:24 AM
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What if one second separated first
and second?

My bet is the second place team would still not attack, given that it would be futile in all likelyhood.

you couldn’t win by getting a time bonus because the sprinters will take all those.

so you’d have to split the field with the yellow jersey behind the split. All the leaders team would have to do is stay in the same group.

and for safety reasons the officials are going to give the entire group the same time, unless there’s a real definable gap.

add in tradition, which would make the official loath to not give the yellow jersey same time in a pack finish, and the rath the attacking team would get from the other teams, and I just don’t see it happening.

Last edited by merlinextraligh; 07-29-19 at 09:11 AM. Reason: correcting typos
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Old 07-29-19, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
The green jersey is the one they award to the rider who does the most wheelies in the last 3 kms. of each stage.
Nice.
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Old 07-29-19, 12:52 PM
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Ullrich once said that the last stage would be a valid competition if there were actually a chance to change the standings. Like a breakaway; but not to take advantage of an accident or mishap or just to be a prick.
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Old 07-29-19, 01:08 PM
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One time they made the final stage an ITT. The French never made that mistake again.
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Old 07-29-19, 01:25 PM
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So ... based on 7/23/89 ... we know that there's strong competition with 50 seconds separating the 1st and 2nd GC riders, so if the margin were 1 second, we can assume there'd be competition for yellow.

Based on the same date, do we know that 58 seconds is to much to make up? I'm not sure of the logic/arithmetic to answer that question...
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Old 07-29-19, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
So ... based on 7/23/89 ... we know that there's strong competition with 50 seconds separating the 1st and 2nd GC riders, so if the margin were 1 second, we can assume there'd be competition for yellow.

Based on the same date, do we know that 58 seconds is to much to make up? I'm not sure of the logic/arithmetic to answer that question...
As I've pointed out in a different thread, the only exception to the 'rule' that GC isn't contested is where the final stage is an ITT as it was in 1989. As this year's final stage was the more normal sprint stage the GC wasn't contested.
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Old 07-29-19, 01:55 PM
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You can't compare TT's to mass starts.
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Old 07-29-19, 02:13 PM
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Arthur Peabody
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Originally Posted by slcbob View Post
Which race did you watch?
None. I ride my bicycle, not watch others do it - same reason I don't watch porn. I hear about it on the news, which doesn't explain many details.
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Old 07-29-19, 02:35 PM
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I also want to be put back on my bike when I fall off.
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Old 07-29-19, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Arthur P*****y View Post
None. I ride my bicycle, not watch others do it - same reason I don't watch porn. I hear about it on the news, which doesn't explain many details.
Yes. I'd think that unless you were watching on a pretty dodgy cable channel, the FCC wouldn't allow the news to get into many of the details of porn. Good reason to pass.
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Old 07-29-19, 03:56 PM
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They have it on super-early in the morning, just before the farm report. It's just dry statistics, if you didn't know otherwise, you'd assume they were talking about projected numbers of hog bellies and spring heifers.
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Old 07-29-19, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Arthur P*****y View Post
What if 1 second separates them?

By peloton you mean everybody else? Is teaming up legal?

I hadn't imputed a desire on anyone. Bad things happen occasionally no matter everyone's good intentions.

In an early Olympics marathon, a runner got confused, ran the wrong direction, some spectators helped him, which resulted in disqualification.

What's the 3km rule? What's the green jersey?
What if 1 second separates them? The race would probably be neutralized (by general truce among the riders) until the sprint teams wound up in Paris but maybe not. That hasn't happened yet.

By peloton you mean everybody else? Is teaming up legal? Formally teaming up between two different teams is not legal but informal teaming up is a fundamental part of mass start racing and happens all the time. Look at any disciplined breakaway. You'll see 5 riders of 5 different teams riding a perfect team time trial.

I hadn't imputed a desire on anyone. Bad things happen occasionally no matter everyone's good intentions.

In an early Olympics marathon, a runner got confused, ran the wrong direction, some spectators helped him, which resulted in disqualification. Different sports have different rules. Outside help is illegal in bike racing but not always enforced.

What's the 3km rule? What's the green jersey? 3 kn rule - any rider crashing in the final 3km of a stage is considered to have finished and gets the same time as the group he was in. Riders can also drop out os the group they are in once past the 3 km mark. (This means the leaders on General Classification, ie lowest overall time, do not have to endanger themselves or others riding close to sprinters who are fighting for stage wins.)

The Green Jersey - Tour de France leader of the points standings. Points are awarded to first finishers of a stage or intermediate sprint.

Ben
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Old 07-29-19, 04:20 PM
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Would have been hilarious in 1989 for Fignon to have tried to get his eight seconds back on the Champs-Élysées. I wonder if it ever crossed his mind.
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Old 07-29-19, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
because it's impossible for a GC contender to make up that kind of time even with his entire team backing him on a flat stage. Peloton with the yellow would never allow it and 150 riders vs a team of 8 is no contest. The other riders would just laugh in the slipstream of the team trying to pull that off.

If something horrible happened to the yellow jersey in stage 21, then who is in 2nd would win the race for the same reason but I don't know a single rider who would want to win it that way. As Rubiksoval said, entire race would neutralize immediately on Stage 21 if that happened.

Years ago, there was a rider who clinched the green jersey but wrecked horribly racing for the stage win in Paris and they literally picked his body off the ground, flung him across his bike, and pushed him across the finish line to take the green jersey. (3km rule now in place because of that incident).
Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
The green jersey is the one they award to the rider who does the most wheelies in the last 3 kms. of each stage.
Don’t forget the bonus points for signing a book while climbing...
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Old 07-29-19, 04:22 PM
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Oh, and to the OPs question - remember, these riders are tired to the bone. They are fierce competitors but also brothers. They all enjoy the ritual of the final ride; that the three weeks of the hardest racing on the planet are over (at least until the sprinters go for their final last and biggest glory). Breaking that tradition means incurring the wrath of over 100 competitors; competitors they are going to line up against many more times. (I talked about the informal alliances that happen in races in my post above. Burning bridges is not smart racing. Not if racing is your paycheck.)
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Old 07-29-19, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Would have been hilarious in 1989 for Fignon to have tried to get his eight seconds back on the Champs-Élysées. I wonder if it ever crossed his mind.
What on earth are you talking about?
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Old 07-29-19, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Would have been hilarious in 1989 for Fignon to have tried to get his eight seconds back on the Champs-Élysées. I wonder if it ever crossed his mind.
Ohhhh my friend you need to watch what happened then!


The final stage that year was the time trial, no sprint. He raced down to the line but was 8 seconds to slow, the length of a football field.

LeMond had no radio his whole ride and went flat out. Fignon had a radio and knew he had lost it with a football field left to the finish line. Crossing the line Fignon literally collapsed in grief and fatigue. It was crazy.
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Old 07-29-19, 05:02 PM
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You are correct, sir. I had forgotten the TT WAS the final stage, quite unusual. Plus it was slightly downhill.

They should consider having a really steep downhill TT in the race some time. First one to the bottom of the Galibier. Or possibly a unicycle stage (Sagan would win hands down).
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