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Tour de Farce - The greatest political race in the world(26 posts)

Tour de Farce - The greatest political race in the worldPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 19, 2002 10:15 PM
In all honesty what the %^&$ are they doing? Zulle's out... Cipollini is out... what are they gonna do next year? Say fricking Lance Armstrong is banned for winning 4 tours in a row.

Fricking eh,
Nick Corcoran (as annoyed with this crap as with not getting the giro on tv... at least Cipo is in that)
Beating a Dead Horse...TJeanloz
May 20, 2002 6:01 AM
Haven't we already been through this. This year. And won't we have the same arguement next year? It's Jean-Marie's party, and he can invite whoever he wants. If he wants to ban Armstrong, he can. The Tour de France isn't a public service, it's a business, and LeBlanc is a rather shrewd businessman. A week ago, you'd have probably complained that Pantani wasn't included.

He doesn't need to justify to you, or anybody, who gets invited. Cipollini has repeatedly insulted the organizers, and I don't really think he has a positive impact on the race. His teams make flat stages less interesting because they ensure bunch sprints, which make four hours of racing more boring than watching paint dry so that the last 20 seconds are interesting.

Zulle, you forget, was a KEY figure in the 1998 doping scandel- so he already treads on thin ice (granted, he has been invited since the scandel, but he doesn't have a lot to work with.)
Let's be honest Cipo is a waste in the tour...Djudd
May 20, 2002 6:16 AM
he contends for the first week of sprints then is out by his own hand. Remember the last tour he was in, he faked an injury after giving the TdF poobahs a hard time by wearing bright yellow shorts and jersey when he was in yellow. He is fun and a great sprinter but the TdF is three weeks not six days.
J-M Leblanc is not a nice guy and I think it's unfair to make the TdF a showcase for (hopefully) up and coming Frnch riders. That's what I think, but it means nothing to LeBlanc His mission is clear, promote French cycling in France's grand tour. If we had a grand tour in the U.S. would we not demand the same?
May 20, 2002 6:26 AM
Last I checked, we don't let Japanese baseball teams compete in the 'World Series'; or European NBA teams compete for the NBA 'World Championship'. The USPro races include some pretty marginal American teams- we don't know which European teams were and were not invited though.

I think LeBlanc needs to pander to his viewership, which is overwhelmingly French. Face it, OLN isn't paying that much to air the Tour, compared to what Euro TV is paying. It is, after all, nothing more than an entertainment business.
Well, it is and it isn't...EJC
May 20, 2002 6:37 AM
..."nothing more than an entertainment business."

I hate to sound like a broken record, but this sentiment is more American in ideology than a Euro mentality. Granted, LeBlanc is a business man, but there is far less sentiiment of "business and nothing but business...give the public what they want" Hollywood sentiment than you find in the states.

The tradition, and fraternity of Euro, and even more so, French cycling culture plays a HUGE role in how the tour decisions get made, as much or more than the "entertainment business"mentality. France isn't Hollywood, nor does it concentrate on the showbidniz bottom line like the states.


The Tdf better be entertaining or the sponsors are out...Djudd
May 20, 2002 6:50 AM
you might define entertainment differently but that doesn't change that fact that people watch to be entertained and the sponsors support to get thier names out there to those who watch to be entertained. An old formula whether one is European, American or Tibetan
respectfully, again...EJC
May 20, 2002 6:58 AM are approaching it from a one-sided perspective. I do AGREE that there is a need for it to be entertaining, however, it is MUCH less of a factor than you would think vis-a-vis Le Tour. Sponsors may pull out if the race is a TOTAL tanker, but it is less of that sentiment than NASCAR, or NBA.


Maybe I am not understanding your point...Djudd
May 20, 2002 7:06 AM
less or more the sponsors are in it one reason; get their name to millions. There would not be a TdF if no one watched.
no worries...EJC
May 20, 2002 7:34 AM
...I may not be eloquating my sentiments that well this morning!

Let me try again...

I agree that there would be no Tour if no one watched, BUT the Euro mentality is less in reagrds to getting sponsors to make the race happen, and MORE of the tradition, athletes and spectacle that is Le Tour...meaning, the Hollywood mentality would be to have EVRYTHING emablazed with symbols, logos, sponsors etc...and water down the race to make it less a race of endurance, traidition etc...and MORE to get the sponsors logos products the public's eye.

It is the "Jerry Bruckheimer" mentality versus the "Milos Forman" mentality of production and promotion.


hopefully not too argumentative here but...Djudd
May 20, 2002 7:49 AM
The TdF does emblazon its' logo on any number of items for sale i.e. shirts, pants, water bottles. Those red Coca-Cola water bottles are omni-present throughout the tour and the cities it hits. It might be distasteful to the French mentality but it's true...the Societe has to make money to keep the race going.
I agree that it is not as crass as a Hollywood affair but this is the modern world.
May 20, 2002 9:30 PM
There are no baseball or basketball teams in other parts of the world that could compete with ours. Obviously not so with cyclists. This is the difference.
May 20, 2002 12:24 PM
K you ride up to 200 km even on a flat stage or not and sprint 70 km/h at the end. Enough said.

Nick and Cipo fan
May 20, 2002 7:29 AM
Do they ever invite teams just to get one rider? I thought the criteria was largely based upon team acheivements. Not sure, though.

Cippo is entertaining, yes.

Maybe they should have a rule that stage wins don't count unless you finish the Tour? Would he even want to be there, then?

Does he even want to be there, now?TJeanloz
May 20, 2002 7:33 AM
We need to consider that Cipo doesn't really want to ride the Tour. He's had pretty public spats with the Societe, and made it pretty clear that he's not a huge fan of them.

So if you invite him, you take 9 guys to get 1 that you want. And the one that you want will only ride ~9 stages before he quits, leaving 8 chumps in the race for more than half of it. And the race is less interesting with him in it anyway.

I say it was a good move to leave him out.
probably notDougSloan
May 20, 2002 7:46 AM
He's having fun with the home crowd in the Giro.

BTW, the Giro is mostly Italian riders. Why would anyone gripe about the Tour being mostly French? Duh.

Only 1 or 2 teams at issue, really, here are the guidelinesPdxMark
May 20, 2002 8:16 AM
Why is it a farce? Would Cipo challenge Lance? No. The significance of the TdF should not be dependent on Ullrich's knees.

Besides, most teams are selected automatically, based on team performance (or having the prior TdF winner or World Cup winner). Cipo didn't win either, and his team isn't top 10... So his problem is that his team isn't winning enough... It seems ridiculous to bash the TdF for passing over Cipo's A&S after Cipo says he doesn't want to ride it.

The only arguments here are as to the wildcard selections... the grey zone... Maybe Coast should have been selected as a wildcard. Coast can get a seat in the TdF when Coast makes it to the top 10 or wins a team classification in a Grand Tour. Until then, they are at the mercy of LeBlanc. Here are the guidelines for TdF team selection...

According to UCI regulations, the first 10 classified teams at the end of the year get an automatic berth in the three Grand Tours. In the case of the Tour de France, you also need to add the winner's team (Armstrong's US Postal), the team of the World Cup winner,(Dekker's Rabobank) and the winner of the team classification in the three Grand Tours (Giro: Alessio; Tour: Kelme; Vuelta: There is some overlap between these teams. The remainder of the 16 teams are made up from the UCI rankings at the end of 2001, provided all eligible teams have registered by December 20.

Based on the latest UCI rankings (October 14, 2001), the following is a very unofficial Tour de France preselection list.

1 Fassa Bortolo
2 Team Deutsche Telekom
3 Rabobank
4 Mapei-Quick Step
5 Lotto-Adecco
7 O.N.C.E.-Eroski
8 Cofidis
9 US Postal Service
10 Domo-Farm Frites
Stage wins won't count if you don't finish??? BULL!!!PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 20, 2002 10:56 AM
I agree team achievement should be huge.

But one good teammate can make the team. USPS isn't the strongest team so why are they in the tour if Lance is the strongest guy and everyone else is working so hard to make sure he wins that they don't win themselves. Thats like saying a team must finish with all people for the leader to win... almost as bad as stage wins not counting if you don't finish the Tour. There is so much that can happen in 22 days that taking peoples wins away because they don't finish is sad.

It's almost as sad as Michael Schumacher winning the F1 race last weekend... after his friend/teammate/close rival pulled over. Is that what we want to make the Tour into?

WE DO have a say in what happens in the Tour... we just have to bug the organizers till they listen. And as much as I love the Tour if someone isn't being a positive influence on the Tour as a whole... for $%^$ sakes they should be kicked out. I wish there was a UCI vote to find who is the president of the Tour and makes all these decisions. And you know what? I'm ready to not watch the Tour this year.

Although at the same time if the GREAT sprinters can't come... new sprinters will be born. And there is a point where there needs to be a changing of the guards. But does that mean they force Armstrong out?

MY one millionth of a cent,
Nick Corcoran (happy the Olympics don't have this bull%^&%)
Schumacher F1 bit,TJeanloz
May 20, 2002 11:21 AM
Almost as sad as Schumacher? I think Michael learned that move from watching bike racing. Cycling invented the teammate-suicide-for-team-leader glory. Did you see the Olympic road race in 2000? Have you ever heard of a lead out? Because that's exactly what Schu's teammate did, lead him out for the win.
Not the same thing...PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 20, 2002 12:20 PM
I don't believe its remotely close. Bicycle racing you need to draft... in F1 theres not the same benefit. And a leadout is so someone can win the sprint. If not all the people can do for the sprint and get 7 of the top 10 but now win or just all finish back in the pack. In the F1 race he just pulled over very noticeably. At least when Armstrong "let" Pantani win (don't want to start that debate) he did it in a way that wasn't so obvious as parking on the side of the straight in an F1 race.

Although Schumachers teammate did concede it to make his contrack concrete. But thats all my opinion.

O.k. how about this one?TJeanloz
May 20, 2002 12:38 PM
Remember the 1985 Tour? I know you don't because you were a toddler at the time (and I was a sports analyst at age 7...). In that race, a young Greg LeMond was forced by team management to 'soft pedal' so that team leader Bernard Hinault could win the Tour. Everybody knew that LeMond was stronger, but he was held back for his team leader. Similar boat for Ullrich in the 1996 Tour. He had to work REALLY hard to support Riis, when he could have won the tour in his own right.
the are professionalsDougSloan
May 20, 2002 12:52 PM
Yup, don't forget that these guys are paid professionals -- employees. They do what they are told by the people who pay them. They are playing on someone else's dime.

they nmDougSloan
May 20, 2002 12:57 PM
Money drives the world...PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 20, 2002 1:13 PM
Money drives the world in so many ways... and if you don't listen to your boss... you get fired. So they had to listen.

Nick and amateur athlete :(
May 20, 2002 1:26 PM
Yes, it's amazing how that works. Someone pays you money to do something, but then they expect to be able to direct how you do it? What a concept.

If someone wants to ride how they want, they can either remain amateur or buy their own team. Remember the golden rule...

It's a little naive to think that every racer, there on a bike someone else paid for, all expenses paid for by someone else, making a healthy salary, can then just do as he pleases in the race. This is the big time.

May 20, 2002 1:09 PM
Those are good examples... its almost as blatantly obvious as parking your car on the side of a race track.

Don't watchmr_spin
May 20, 2002 12:15 PM
You do not have a say in the Tour. The Tour is a French, for profit organization that doesn't really care what Americans or Canadians think. If this bothers you, then don't watch.

I will watch, regardless of who goes and who doesn't. I love the sport, and I love the spectacle. Riders come and go but L'Alpe d'Huez doesn't get any steeper. Most fans of the Tour are not fair weather. They are simply fans. Put another way, a lot of people watch the Superbowl and the World Series and the Olympics and could care less who's playing. They just want to see a good game.