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Tour de France - the slimmed down edition?

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Tour de France - the slimmed down edition?

Old 03-24-20, 10:43 AM
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Wildwood
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Tour de France - the slimmed down edition?

Read this AM that 'Tour de France' is considering running a slimmed down version of Le Grande Boucle. French Minister for Sport defends the importance of holding the race.

Not here to discuss the ethics of any decision that is reached.
Personally, if they go forward, I think it would be a good thing to have a slimmed down peloton. Fewer Teams potentially. Maybe fewer crashes. Could be just as exciting.

Let me find the Cyclingnews link I read.......

https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/wil...ance-go-ahead/

edit: I realize the slimming down is probably not for the number of Teams invited or participating. And my guess is that all invited Teams would feel compelled to compete.

Time will tell.

Last edited by Wildwood; 03-24-20 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 03-24-20, 11:54 AM
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I know that state of the world is crazy and sad and all that but I would like to see this IF they can find a way to do it safely. Not just as a cycling fan but just as a human being seeing something normal again start up.

but I do understand the reason for canceling everything, not mad but saddened about it.

I hope this happens that would be awesome. Just think in 50 years or whatever you can tell your grandchildren, kids, whoever I watched the virus tour of 2020.
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Old 03-28-20, 10:22 AM
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Just make all the riders wear face masks and carry hand sanitizer.
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Old 03-29-20, 04:32 AM
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Go back to old school

start here and finish there.... then let them go on their own

see who really is the fittest of the fit
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Old 03-29-20, 07:17 AM
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I think an altered/abbreviated Tour would would be OK if it were the only way to have it. I've been to it and don't know how they would control spectators; that in my mind is almost impossible to do. It could be exciting inasmuch that not much racing will have gone on before it, that could make it a real free for all. Shorten it, stay in France and get rid of race radios. That said, there would always be an asterisk next to the name of the "2020 TDF Lite" winner.
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Old 04-04-20, 10:06 PM
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No way any of the grand tours will happen this year.
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Old 04-04-20, 11:47 PM
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Bring people from all over the world, have them ride through tightly packed crowds throughout the country, what could go wrong?

The riders aren't training, the logistics of moving support and tv crews is going to be impossible to do safely, and it's basically just cruel to deliberately put people into a state of extreme physical exhaustion and force them to expose themselves to close contact with a crowd.

Ending up with people on ventilators is going to harm the sport a lot more than a skipped year.
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Old 04-05-20, 01:55 AM
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  • Make every stage a time trial.
  • Shorten it to one week of time trials on a variety of terrain, including mountains.
  • Each team sends only two riders each.
  • No drafting except for a single team/pair TT stage.
  • No radios, no power meters.
  • At least one stage much be on conventional road bikes, no aero bars, etc.

Call it the Race Across America. Nobody will show up to watch it. Super Cooties problem averted.
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Old 04-05-20, 07:04 AM
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If they do any kind of race in the next few months, it will be because finance considerations have outweighed the safety of racers, spectators, support crews, and media crews. Moving around the country like this is a ridiculous idea right now.

There's extremely strong reasons why every major professional sport has suspended or cancelled its season, and those reasons are probably even stronger for a grand tour format.
​​​​
How about an online Zwift competition?
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Old 04-05-20, 03:43 PM
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A lot can happen in a couple of months. Just think, none of us had heard of COVID-19 Coronavirus before January 2020,
For most of the month of February the virus was slowly spreading, perhaps being confused with the Flu.
Then suddenly March, and it is EVERYWHERE. And a lot of it.
And more as we get into April.

But, we have the spring on the way, and then early summer.

If they are serious about doing the race, I'd try to figure out how to have a somewhat flexible start date. For now, shift it to mid July, then if that looks better, but not good enough, mid August.

Several tours will be competing for the time slot of late July to early September.

Also, remember, was it Portugal who cancelled due to the heat last year. That could certainly be an issue in the lower latitudes in mid summer.

Sweden, Norway, Finland?
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Old 04-06-20, 09:48 AM
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Wow. Just wow.
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Old 04-06-20, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
A lot can happen in a couple of months. Just think, none of us had heard of COVID-19 Coronavirus before January 2020,
For most of the month of February the virus was slowly spreading, perhaps being confused with the Flu.
Then suddenly March, and it is EVERYWHERE. And a lot of it.
And more as we get into April.

But, we have the spring on the way, and then early summer.

If they are serious about doing the race, I'd try to figure out how to have a somewhat flexible start date. For now, shift it to mid July, then if that looks better, but not good enough, mid August.

Several tours will be competing for the time slot of late July to early September.

Also, remember, was it Portugal who cancelled due to the heat last year. That could certainly be an issue in the lower latitudes in mid summer.

Sweden, Norway, Finland?
Whether the virus spreads slower in the summer remains to be seen, but even if so, you understand that when it's summer in the northern hemisphere, it's winter in the southern, right? So holding an event which necessitates bringing people from all over the world and having them travel together really isn't going to be a good idea for quite a while.
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Old 04-06-20, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Whether the virus spreads slower in the summer remains to be seen, but even if so, you understand that when it's summer in the northern hemisphere, it's winter in the southern, right? So holding an event which necessitates bringing people from all over the world and having them travel together really isn't going to be a good idea for quite a while.
True,

They could limit international spectators using leisure travel restrictions.

For contestants, they don't have to invite every country.

One could have a lot of testing, but for certain countries, test before boarding the aircraft. Then put the athletes into in-country housing for a 2 week isolation and more testing before the race. A team wouldn't necessarily have to be isolated from each other, but if they choose team isolation instead of individual isolation, then anybody that tests positive on the team would necessarily knock out the whole team.

At some point we should make resolved infection passports, either with documented cases of the disease followed by testing "clean", or antibody tests.
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Old 04-06-20, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
True,

They could limit international spectators using leisure travel restrictions.

For contestants, they don't have to invite every country.

One could have a lot of testing, but for certain countries, test before boarding the aircraft. Then put the athletes into in-country housing for a 2 week isolation and more testing before the race. A team wouldn't necessarily have to be isolated from each other, but if they choose team isolation instead of individual isolation, then anybody that tests positive on the team would necessarily knock out the whole team.

At some point we should make resolved infection passports, either with documented cases of the disease followed by testing "clean", or antibody tests.
Or, just do the sane thing, and skip it this year. It's the teams, it's their crews, it's media crews from all over the world. It's literally the most isolation unfriendly sporting event imaginable, sending many hundreds of people over thousands of miles of route. There's no way they riders can be kept isolated before the race and train, and there's no way to run the race and keep them isolated, and that's just assuming all of the other people involved aren't just as big a concern. And no one has any idea what happens to people engaging in the most extreme endurance activity know to humans when they get exposed to the virus.
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Old 04-06-20, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Or, just do the sane thing, and skip it this year. It's the teams, it's their crews, it's media crews from all over the world. It's literally the most isolation unfriendly sporting event imaginable, sending many hundreds of people over thousands of miles of route. There's no way they riders can be kept isolated before the race and train, and there's no way to run the race and keep them isolated, and that's just assuming all of the other people involved aren't just as big a concern. And no one has any idea what happens to people engaging in the most extreme endurance activity know to humans when they get exposed to the virus.
Just on the training point, you keep implying it's impossible for them to train, but cycling is a sport for which indoor/isolated training is not only possible, put pretty effective. Sure, team tactics and whatnot can't be honed, but the fitness and "riding" aspect are there.

Compare it to most other sports, like football/soccer for example, and all the players can do is keep fit and perhaps work on some individual skills. Nothing that keep them match ready when they return to actual play.

The way things are trending, I don't see why having a no-spectator race in July would be impossible. I think you would be surprised how many riders and team members would be in favor of it (no TDF could mean a lot of these people basically going a full year without income.
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Old 04-06-20, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Just on the training point, you keep implying it's impossible for them to train, but cycling is a sport for which indoor/isolated training is not only possible, put pretty effective. Sure, team tactics and whatnot can't be honed, but the fitness and "riding" aspect are there.

Compare it to most other sports, like football/soccer for example, and all the players can do is keep fit and perhaps work on some individual skills. Nothing that keep them match ready when they return to actual play.

The way things are trending, I don't see why having a no-spectator race in July would be impossible. I think you would be surprised how many riders and team members would be in favor of it (no TDF could mean a lot of these people basically going a full year without income.

So basically, we're proposing a cross-country road race without spectators, a team sport where the teams can't train together, and exactly how do you isolate the huge throng of reporters and technicians needed to broadcast it? You do understand that these throngs of people need to be housed and fed during the event, right? That's mostly in a different place every night.

This is a whole lot of people passing from town to town throughout a country with a population. It isn't just about protecting the riders, this is a threat to spread the virus further into the general public. Travel is how this thing spreads from place to place, the TdF is competitive travel.

Want a list of athletes and entertainers who are going without an income right now? Bicycling isn't special in that regard.

How the hell can this be spectatorless? Are they going to confine people to their houses with force?
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Old 04-06-20, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
And no one has any idea what happens to people engaging in the most extreme endurance activity know to humans when they get exposed to the virus.
Likely when the carbon fibers get infected, the bicycle simply disintegrates, and the riders dematerialize out of existence.
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Old 04-06-20, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Likely when the carbon fibers get infected, the bicycle simply disintegrates, and the riders dematerialize out of existence.
Are you postulating some sort of cyborgian merger between cyclist and bike here?

I guess at some level, you could say the cyclists are partially made of carbon fibers, but not sure how the bike disappears.

I don't think putting extreme prolonged demands on a person's cardiovascular system while exposing them to the virus is an experiment that ought to be run. The fear is of acute respiratory distress, which can be fatal, not dematerialization. Pretty sure the possibility that extreme activity could make them more prone to this is not tinfoil hat stuff, but I'm also pretty sure that there aren't enough people doing this for there to be any data on it.

I understand you're joking, but I really don't get it.
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Old 04-06-20, 04:33 PM
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What we do know is the young and fit seem to be less susceptible to the virus.

There may be a dose response curve, so casual contact with a bystander, or being coughed on by a spectator while riding past at 20 MPH may not infect a person, or may produce a very mild infection. Transmission rate may also be less outdoors than indoors. Yet, living/working in close quarters with someone infected may elevate the overall risk of both infection and potentially serious consequences.

My guess is the greatest risk is what if the cyclist permanently loses say 10% of their pulmonary function. It may not make any difference for life in general, but it could be a significant deficit for the endurance athletes.

What I'm not seeing is whether there is any difference between route of infection and symptoms. So, for example, it is possible that some kind of contact/oral transmission may be less severe than a primary pulmonary transmission?

Cycling & ASTHMA?
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Old 04-07-20, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
So basically, we're proposing a cross-country road race without spectators, a team sport where the teams can't train together, and exactly how do you isolate the huge throng of reporters and technicians needed to broadcast it? You do understand that these throngs of people need to be housed and fed during the event, right? That's mostly in a different place every night.

This is a whole lot of people passing from town to town throughout a country with a population. It isn't just about protecting the riders, this is a threat to spread the virus further into the general public. Travel is how this thing spreads from place to place, the TdF is competitive travel.

Want a list of athletes and entertainers who are going without an income right now? Bicycling isn't special in that regard.

How the hell can this be spectatorless? Are they going to confine people to their houses with force?
Yes, I guess I am. Keeping the spectators away would certainly be a challenge, but I'm sure some stiff fines and good police work could make it feasible.

As for the rest, with some common sense and some smart planning, the other aspects aren't impossible to manage. A bare minimum of support and media vehicles and operators, and everything else limited to the bare essentials. Of course there would still be some risk involved, but there is still going to be some risk involved for all of us in the coming months, even with a simple trip to the grocery store.

And I'm willing to be that all those involved would be willing to take that risk (again with some common sense measures in place), if it means their most significant revenue stream remains largely intact. This is all on a voluntary basis. You don't want anyone from the tour staying in your hotel? Keep it closed. You don't want to cover the race as a member of the press or a team member, you can opt out. Don't want to ride it? No worries.

As for athletes going without, nobody is talking about, or worried about, the Roger Federers of the world. Or Labron James. It's the guys (and girls) at the lower levels that barely make enough to pay their expenses when they are actually competing.

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Pretty sure the possibility that extreme activity could make them more prone to this is not tinfoil hat stuff, but I'm also pretty sure that there aren't enough people doing this for there to be any data on it.
I was thinking about this as well, and I agree that some extreme activity could create higher risk. It only seems logical...
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Old 04-09-20, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Yes, I guess I am. Keeping the spectators away would certainly be a challenge, but I'm sure some stiff fines and good police work could make it feasible.

As for the rest, with some common sense and some smart planning, the other aspects aren't impossible to manage. A bare minimum of support and media vehicles and operators, and everything else limited to the bare essentials. Of course there would still be some risk involved, but there is still going to be some risk involved for all of us in the coming months, even with a simple trip to the grocery store.

And I'm willing to be that all those involved would be willing to take that risk (again with some common sense measures in place), if it means their most significant revenue stream remains largely intact. This is all on a voluntary basis. You don't want anyone from the tour staying in your hotel? Keep it closed. You don't want to cover the race as a member of the press or a team member, you can opt out. Don't want to ride it? No worries.

As for athletes going without, nobody is talking about, or worried about, the Roger Federers of the world. Or Labron James. It's the guys (and girls) at the lower levels that barely make enough to pay their expenses when they are actually competing.



I was thinking about this as well, and I agree that some extreme activity could create higher risk. It only seems logical...

I disagree that this is just a matter of individual choice, this is about societal risk, probably moreso than in any other sport. You are talking about allowing a parade of people from all over the world to crisscross an entire country. All for the societal luxury of providing a spectacle. This whole idea is idiotic.

Going to the store for food = necessity.
Cross-country racing = luxury. Sorry there are some people going to take a financial and career hit. There's a VERY large club of such people world-wide who are going to be worse off than athletes and sponsors.

By your logic, BTW, minor league baseball needs to keep happening.

Seriously, competitive sport is shut down pretty much everywhere. Denial just seems to be stronger in the cycling world.
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Old 04-09-20, 11:55 AM
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They are going to make their decision on May 15. I think its crazy and irresponsible to be even considering it at this point.
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Old 04-09-20, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I disagree that this is just a matter of individual choice, this is about societal risk, probably moreso than in any other sport. You are talking about allowing a parade of people from all over the world to crisscross an entire country. All for the societal luxury of providing a spectacle. This whole idea is idiotic.

Going to the store for food = necessity.
Cross-country racing = luxury. Sorry there are some people going to take a financial and career hit. There's a VERY large club of such people world-wide who are going to be worse off than athletes and sponsors.

By your logic, BTW, minor league baseball needs to keep happening.

Seriously, competitive sport is shut down pretty much everywhere. Denial just seems to be stronger in the cycling world.
I just cited the financial aspect to support the argument. It is by no means the basis of my argument. But, again, I'm sure there are people willing to take the limited risk involved. I mean, every time one of us gets in the car (or crosses the street...) we accept the very small chance that we might get injured or even killed in the process. And yet we do it anyway.

And before you apply simple labels like spectacle and parade to an event like this, you should realize that it means a lot more than that to some people, and not just financially. There are good reasons why a lot of events have continued on despite less than ideal circumstances or world events.

As for societal risk, that too can be minimized. Most of the racing really takes place in the open countryside, and even in the towns they pass through, what's the real risk? I'd feel perfectly safe having the entire TDF peloton and support structure pass right outside my window tomorrow.

(Just to be clear, I'm not some denier, conspiracy theorist or "libertarian." I'm completely in favor of the current social distancing measures in place, and I'm complying with them to a a greater degree than many of the people I see around me (out my window). I just think we have to remember that the situation will likely, and hopefully, be quite different in July.)
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Old 04-09-20, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
I just cited the financial aspect to support the argument. It is by no means the basis of my argument. But, again, I'm sure there are people willing to take the limited risk involved. I mean, every time one of us gets in the car (or crosses the street...) we accept the very small chance that we might get injured or even killed in the process. And yet we do it anyway.

And before you apply simple labels like spectacle and parade to an event like this, you should realize that it means a lot more than that to some people, and not just financially. There are good reasons why a lot of events have continued on despite less than ideal circumstances or world events.

As for societal risk, that too can be minimized. Most of the racing really takes place in the open countryside, and even in the towns they pass through, what's the real risk? I'd feel perfectly safe having the entire TDF peloton and support structure pass right outside my window tomorrow.

(Just to be clear, I'm not some denier, conspiracy theorist or "libertarian." I'm completely in favor of the current social distancing measures in place, and I'm complying with them to a a greater degree than many of the people I see around me (out my window). I just think we have to remember that the situation will likely, and hopefully, be quite different in July.)

Yes, the situation will be different, but there's no reason to assume it's going to be that much better and could be worse. In any event, it now appears that most of July has been given up on:
https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/cor...h-into-august/

Basically, the new proposal appears to be to push the whole race to a July 25 start. I think there's still a lot of reasons to be skeptical that it will take place.

Logistically, this cannot be safe unless there is a drastic change in the virus treatment or prevention by then. This isn't "crossing the street" risk, this is "you're probably spreading the plague" risk. I don't think this one sporting event out of all of the events in the world is somehow too sacred to lose sight of that.


Again, this isn't just a few riders, this is a huge group of support people and media crews, helicopter crews, camera crews, etc. zooming all over the place and staying somewhere every single night. I don't care if you'd feel safe watching it, I do care that it's pretty much everything we've been told to avoid being done at a time when such actions will most likely kill people. It's gathering large numbers of people from all over the world, concentrating them and then sending them out to mingle with the population. It's absolutely crass economic interests that are driving this conversation.

I know this doesn't mean a lot, but if they hold it this year, I'll never watch a minute of it again on general principle. This is just plain morally wrong.
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Old 04-13-20, 01:49 PM
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Now here's an idea worth talking about:

https://www.outsideonline.com/241157...tour-de-france
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