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Tour de France....???? SPOILERS

Old 07-09-21, 12:39 PM
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55tele
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Tour de France....???? SPOILERS

I've been casually watching the Tour and all the hype about Mark Cavandish. So he won Stage 13 today and the press is gushing that he has now equaled Merckx's number of stage wins at 34.

Does anyone share my skepticism about this great achievement? Maybe I'm over skeptical, but it almost looked like a setup for him to win.....

I wouldn't put it past Tour organizers to pull a stunt like this to get PR traction for the tour...

What say all you race experts out there?

Am I full of it?
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Old 07-09-21, 12:48 PM
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I wouldn't put it past Tour organizers to pull a stunt like this to get PR traction for the tour...
Of course - the stages and routes selected for racing will always favor one kind of rider over another.

And yes racing is the epitome of a public-relations stunt. So what is your point?

Are you implying that the cyclists in the tour are not competing? Or is bicycle stage-racing too complex for you to understand how team work and training make certain outcomes seem inevitable?
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Old 07-09-21, 12:52 PM
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Yes, I'm implying it isn't sport if its a setup to win...

Maybe bicycle road racing isn't a sport??

And yes, it is totally possible I don't understand enough of the nuances to know what really is going on...

I think I'll just watch to see what happens..

Just like professional wrestling.....
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Old 07-09-21, 12:59 PM
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I don’t think it is a setup by the other riders for him to win.

Will he not make the time limit and be cut? Not if he is remotely close. The tour will make sure he continues.

At 36 he is pretty spectacular.

With 34 stage wins, is he at the same caliber as Eddy Merckx?

Not a chance.

John
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Old 07-09-21, 01:01 PM
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John, I think those are intelligent comments...thanks
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Old 07-09-21, 01:02 PM
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Cavendish is in good form this year so is able to beat other sprinters. But its a crapshoot as to the setup for the finish and a lot of things need to go right for the team to get him into position for a successful sprint. Often as not they cannot set him up correctly. He's having a good year as the team is doing a good job and as well some of his closest competitors have dropped out (I think)
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Old 07-09-21, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 55tele View Post
Yes, I'm implying it isn't sport if its a setup to win...

Maybe bicycle road racing isn't a sport??

And yes, it is totally possible I don't understand enough of the nuances to know what really is going on...

I think I'll just watch to see what happens..

Just like professional wrestling.....
I think you mistake cynicism for skepticism. All the OTHER teams, and their sponsors who pay huge sums of money hoping to get the image of their rider crossing the line first wearing the company logo emblazoned across their chest are going to get together and throw the races, telling their own highly competitive riders who have just a few chances every year to let Cavendish win? Think just how many people would have to be in on it, to pull this off, and NOBODY going to the press to tattle?

Please.
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Old 07-09-21, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by 55tele View Post
I've been casually watching the Tour and all the hype about Mark Cavandish. So he won Stage 13 today
Excuse me, but did you just post a spoiler? I think you did. Not everyone has the ability to watch the early broadcast.
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Old 07-09-21, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I donít think it is a setup by the other riders for him to win.

Will he not make the time limit and be cut? Not if he is remotely close. The tour will make sure he continues.

At 36 he is pretty spectacular.

With 34 stage wins, is he at the same caliber as Eddy Merckx?

Not a chance.


John
I mentioned something about this yesterday - Sure, Cavendish may break this ONE record of Merckx's, but that's about it. Merckx was such a phenomenal talent, and his records cover so much territory that even if every last one is broken, it will be because a number of riders EACH broke one or two, not because ONE rider broke all of them.

And if one DID, then he'd be another phenomenal talent whom we'd all be blessed to watch.
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Old 07-09-21, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 55tele View Post
Am I full of it?
Yes. The riders couldn't all agree to stop for one minute at the start of a stage to protest dangerous courses, but you think they'd all let someone win a stage knowing that even one stage win at The Tour makes a career? Sure.
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Old 07-09-21, 01:11 PM
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Cavendish is reaping the rewards of being the best sprinter with the best leadout train left in the race. No one is gifting him stages. Cav and the DQS team are simply at a different level than the rest right now. The story might be very different if Ewan was still around.
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Old 07-09-21, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 55tele View Post
Yes, I'm implying it isn't sport if its a setup to win...

Maybe bicycle road racing isn't a sport??

And yes, it is totally possible I don't understand enough of the nuances to know what really is going on...

I think I'll just watch to see what happens..

Just like professional wrestling.....

Ultimately, you've got to define what you mean by "a setup". If they design the race to favor a rider's particular style, is that a setup if he performs better on that race and wins? Other riders have the opportunity to perform better on that course by training for it, etc. To me, a setup means people are stopped from competing or voluntarily throw their chances out, presumably in exchange for or out of fear of something.

Sports are a form of entertainment, pretty much all sports will adjust the rules to encourage entertaining styles of play or to highlight the skills of star players.

Now, bending over backwards to let your star get away with PEDs? That's a setup.
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Old 07-09-21, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
I think you mistake cynicism for skepticism. All the OTHER teams, and their sponsors who pay huge sums of money hoping to get the image of their rider crossing the line first wearing the company logo emblazoned across their chest are going to get together and throw the races, telling their own highly competitive riders who have just a few chances every year to let Cavendish win? Think just how many people would have to be in on it, to pull this off, and NOBODY going to the press to tattle?

Please.
+1.

Too hard to fix something like that. USPRO Championship, on the other hand....

Armstrong claims BMC manager Ochowicz helped fix $1m race | Cycling Weekly

P.S. I watched that race in person.
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Old 07-09-21, 01:17 PM
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I'll just copy and paste my post in a similar thread from today:

Philipsen to his team DS: "Well, I sandbagged the sprint to let Cav win again, as you ordered me to. Explain again why you had me do that?"

Team DS: "But it's obvious! Now, when I talk to the sponsors who spent millions of Euros to field a professional team capable of winning sprint stages at the world's most prestigious cycling event, I'll be able to tell them that the half-dozen or so novice Tour watchers who correctly interpret your actions as a sentimental gesture in support of another team's sprinter will admire us, for at least the rest of the day."
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Old 07-09-21, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by 55tele View Post
I've been casually watching the Tour and all the hype about Mark Cavandish. So he won Stage 13 today and the press is gushing that he has now equaled Merckx's number of stage wins at 34.

Does anyone share my skepticism about this great achievement? Maybe I'm over skeptical, but it almost looked like a setup for him to win.....

I wouldn't put it past Tour organizers to pull a stunt like this to get PR traction for the tour...

What say all you race experts out there?

Am I full of it?
Answer to your last question: yes.

That aside, this is a spoiler (already pointed out above), which is frowned upon in here by those of us who actually do enjoy professional cycling, including the Tour, and who might have been wanting to watch today's stage on a delay. Thanks.
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Old 07-09-21, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 55tele View Post
I've been casually watching the Tour and all the hype about Mark Cavandish. So he won Stage 13 today
Pay particular attention to post #3 in this thread:

https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycl...do-not-do.html
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Old 07-09-21, 01:20 PM
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One of the reasons why the sprint looked a bit like a set piece is the phenomenal teamwork by Quickstep, they simply have the perfect team to put Cavandish in the right spot to be able to win and they have done it over and over again. Cavandish has very good form right now and so he is able to make his wins look relatively easy. Another factor is that several of his strongest rivals are no longer in the race, Caleb Ewen for example
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Old 07-09-21, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 55tele View Post
...I don't understand enough of the nuances to know what really is going on....
This ^^^
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Old 07-09-21, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
This ^^^
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Old 07-09-21, 01:24 PM
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To be fair to the OP, though, that 'No Spoilers' post is in the Road Cycling subforum, and maybe he didn't see it?
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Old 07-09-21, 01:32 PM
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Sorry, thoughtless of me about "spoiling"........won't do it again.....

However, how could you have not "heard" about the win with all the hype about this**********

I still think the Tour de France is on a par with Professional Wrestling
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Old 07-09-21, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 55tele View Post
I've been casually watching the Tour and all the hype about Mark Cavandish. So he won Stage 13 today and the press is gushing that he has now equaled Merckx's number of stage wins at 34.

Does anyone share my skepticism about this great achievement? Maybe I'm over skeptical, but it almost looked like a setup for him to win.....

I wouldn't put it past Tour organizers to pull a stunt like this to get PR traction for the tour...

What say all you race experts out there?

Am I full of it?
A little perspective. The Tour de France is a money making event overseen by a for-profit company. It was founded by a sport newspaper for publicity. The race is less than half the event. The company (ASO) chooses its routes to maximize profit, both in the short term and long run. That includes deciding what will make for the biggest TV and publicity draw. It is a race in France owned by a French company, so tailoring the race to maximize the chance of a French rider has been happening forever (until Festina; after which few French riders measured up for a couple of decades).

ASO also looks at the "weather", ie what's happening in bike racing and the world as a whole. So the course chosen and details like points allocations, time bonuses, etc, will change as ASO look to maximize interest and profits. But once the course is set (and publicized long in advance), all the riders have to compete on that playing field. This year's playing field has lots of sprint possibilities but also some very hard stages for a sprinter to just make the time cut. Also racing has become more dangerous with more crashes. (More pressure to stay up front, riders with less rigorous coaching in their early years, more road furniture and faster bikes/better conditioning.)

So, if you want to dominate sprints, you need a combination of all the sprint gifts that were always needed; top end speed, acceleration, instincts, the train AND a team that can get you there safe from crashes and having controlled the race enough. The team D-QS has done this. Everyone on that team at the Tour is on board with the singular task of bringing Mark Cavendish to the finish line first. Other teams have other riders for other days who are not useful for this task or who save themselves for their days. (Example: Julien Alapillippe. On another team he'd be a protected rider. On D-QS, he has been doing very hard work to bring the sprint team up and bring breaks back. He hasn't had it on the days where you'd think he'd shine. Did too much work in the trenches.)

And the crashes - it is very hard to both crash and win Tour de France sprints. Those successful at the latter do their best to avoid the former. Many of Cavendish's rivals have suffered crashes this year, Ewan is out. Sagan is out. Other teams have lost key teammates that have been costing the sprinter heavily late in races. D-QS is built on thriving in long, hard, aggressively ridden day races in early season Belgium where hard, full contact, very physical racing is the national sport.
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Old 07-09-21, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 55tele View Post
I still think the Tour de France is on a par with Professional Wrestling
I still think your previous self-assessment is completely accurate.
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Old 07-09-21, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 55tele View Post
However, how could you have not "heard" about the win with all the hype about this**********
Because I don't follow media coverage of things all day long. Neither do a lot of people. Like yesterday, I was planning to watch the end of the day's coverage at my local during happy hour.
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Old 07-09-21, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 55tele View Post
I still think the Tour de France is on a par with Professional Wrestling
I don’t think so.

Besides do you realize how much skill it would take to hit an opponent on the back of his head with a chair while going 40-50mph downhill?

John
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