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Some tips for joe-blow public when watching the tour(33 posts)

Some tips for joe-blow public when watching the tourDave Hickey
Jul 10, 2003 10:04 AM
Being that it's Tour time and joeblow public is watching and reading about the tour, what are some misconceptions about bicycle racing? I've come up with a couple.

1. A 5'4", 125lb male is usually better in the overall classification than a 6', 190lb male
2. You don't need massive thighs to win the Tour
3. Those neat looking disk wheels don't work well on the mountains.

Any others????
re: Some tips for joe-blow public when watching the tourColnagoFE
Jul 10, 2003 10:12 AM
--lance doesnt need to be in first place all the time to win the overall tour and not everyone watching is rooting for lance.

--there is a strategy involved. it's not just about pedalling as hard as you can all the time.
TDF is about TT and Mountain Stageswink
Jul 10, 2003 2:18 PM
TDF is determined by the Time Trials and Mountains. Over the past 4 years Lance put a total of about an hour between him and the next best because of his consistancy on the mountains and TT. These early flat stages really mean nothing to the General Classification.
re: Some tips for joe-blow public when watching the tourJS Haiku Shop
Jul 10, 2003 10:16 AM
* 7th place 23 seconds off the lead doesn't mean jack
* they don't ride those space-aged time trial bikes on all the stages

perhaps the TT stages get more public air and mass-consumption. when i started working at my current place of employ, a coworker was taken aback to see a pic of my road bike (at the time)--standard shimano build kit. "didn't those curved bars go out of style in the 1970s?"
re: Some tips for joe-blow public when watching the tourKRider
Jul 10, 2003 10:19 AM
Totally agree,

Biggest one I can think of:

The Tour is much more about team strategy and tactical thinking than just who is the fastest or strongest.

Oh yeah, also there are different kinds of riders in each team: sprinters, climbers, TT-ists

Except Joe Blow public isn't watchingOldEdScott
Jul 10, 2003 10:25 AM
From ESPN:

"Most of the race coverage last year was on the Outdoor Life Network, a cable station available in less than 40 percent of U.S. homes. Race coverage had an average viewership of about 336,000 homes for the tour last year -- a number that essentially rounds down to zero in the world of television ratings."

Although your point's well taken. When my family and freinds, in an act of kindness, stop for a second to visit me at at my lonely TV (just me and the bloodhounds) and ask some polite questions, they inevitably evince the confusion these posts point out.
Has ESPN or any other network...94Nole
Jul 10, 2003 10:34 AM
ever televised any of the tour?
Used to.OldEdScott
Jul 10, 2003 10:46 AM
Really SERIOUSLY crappy evening wrap-up deals, an hour or two (can't remember) of ill-informed blabber and taped highlights. Then OLN took over a couple of years ago and things improved dramatically.
yeah...and their coverage sucked bad (nm)ColnagoFE
Jul 10, 2003 11:00 AM
Wasn't it last year that CBS had the rights to the final day.Dave Hickey
Jul 10, 2003 11:13 AM
Was it last year or the year before that CBS had the rights to final days stage to Paris? OLN could only show it on tape delay and CBS ran some bullsh!t coverage for about an hour. True fans watched OLN live for 3 weeks and the final stage into Paris, we had to wait until evening...
Wasn't it last year that CBS had the rights to the final day.No_sprint
Jul 10, 2003 11:18 AM
It was last year or the year before. They also had the weekend rights didn't they? They slammed a week's worth of tiny tidbit recaps into a half hour or hour and then showed a good solid 15 seconds of the days action. I wouldn't even bother watching it.
It was every Sunday last year. We didn't get toOldEdScott
Jul 10, 2003 11:22 AM
see Ventoux live either.
Good point. Is AdH going to be live Sunday??? nmDave Hickey
Jul 10, 2003 11:31 AM
CBS again :-(pitt83
Jul 10, 2003 11:39 AM
Looks like CBS gets the 1 hour show summarizing the week at 1pm EST. No OLN coverage until 8pm and that'll be, obviously, not live.

Probably every Sunday that way.
Yes but....Dave Hickey
Jul 10, 2003 10:36 AM
I agree that joeblow public doesn't watch but how many viewers does OLN have on a typical Mon,Tue or Wed night? Do the fishing and Rodeo shows pull in more viewers? I'd like to see the numbers.
Don't have hard numbers, butOldEdScott
Jul 10, 2003 10:49 AM
I read recently that their viewership does 'surge' (to infinitesimally above zero percent) during the tour. When you're a niche cable programmer like OLN, that's what you're trying to accomplish. So I think OLN is safely on board for Tour/bike race broadcasting for awhile, at least as long as there are some personable AMericans competing.
Neilsen Ratings from
Jul 10, 2003 11:32 AM
No data from the tour yet, but you'll get the idea.

Top rated show for 6/22-6/29 in spots, WWE smackdown with 5.0 million homes (whether this is sports is arguable). Wimbeldon tennins on Sunday, 2.5 million. Real World XIII is 2.6 million.

If we believe OldEdScotts figure of 336,000, that isn't really that poor. Likely better than average by far for OLN.

Even with a largely american field anin a sport which has been televised widely for 20+ years, the public still prefers wrestling 2:1 over tennis.

It will grow, especially this year because America has it's own hero and loves the simplicity of good versus evil, USA vs. the world, etc. You'll get some converts from this and ratings numbers will improve. Advertisers will follow.
re: Some tips for joe-blow public when watching the tourNo_sprint
Jul 10, 2003 10:30 AM
Yes, the winners do get to take the podium girls home for an evening of enjoyment.

The stuffed lion is filled with money.
Agree with all so far, but the one I keep harping on is:MXL02
Jul 10, 2003 10:31 AM
How incredible these athletes are and how difficult this event is. How they burn 5-7000 calories per day when they ride, etc. and how this compares to other athletic activities like football, soccer, etc. Most of the non-cyclists ask me because they know I'm into cycling, and I simply explain that the pros in the TdF ride as an
i average
what I am lucky to have as a top speed. and they do it over 100 mile stage races, daily for 3 weeks. They all start to finally understand how hard this event is and how incredible Lance's accomplishments have been.
I agree...Dave Hickey
Jul 10, 2003 10:39 AM
I was talking to my wife last night and trying to explain that my 18-20mph average ride is 10mph slower than these guys. They rode 120 miles today with an average speed of 29+mph... Incredible....
That's down right obscene! (nm)B2
Jul 10, 2003 10:53 AM
I agree...VW
Jul 10, 2003 11:18 AM
If you can hire the whole peloton and they have to ride at the pace you are comfortable. You can probably ride comfortably in the middle of the peloton at 25+ mph.

Although 29+ mph is still 4 mph more your 25+ mph, and that's a rather substantial increase in speed!

and that's just on flatsCHRoadie
Jul 10, 2003 1:30 PM
As soon as it went the least little bit uphill, we'd all be off the back. Guys in the back of the peloton would have to swerve so as to not run us over while we flew back through the middle of the group.
and that's just on flatsVW
Jul 10, 2003 4:02 PM
Yeah, I believe the 29+ mph average he talked about was for a very flat stage ... but then, what considered flat for these guys. Maybe the flatest stage still has some slight uphill that is just tough for us.

Here's what I know: I normal ride a century by myself at about 15mph (much slower than Dave Hickey's 18 - 20mph). At one century, I jump into a massive 30+ rider paceline/peloton (many were riding two and three abreast) at the beginning of a century, we kept up an average speed of 22mph for nearly 40 miles before the start of some serious climbing. I must admit I was really tired at mile 40, and I didn't climb very well after that. I tell you a massive peloton can really up your speed. Maybe it is even psychologically pushing you to ride fast, but you do ride alot faster!

Unfortunately, I have not been on another massive peloton in any of the other centuries I rode ever again. They just fissiles out after a couple of miles with some guys going too fast and some guys going too slow.

You're not slow....Dave Hickey
Jul 11, 2003 3:44 AM
You're not that slow. My 18-20mph was my average with a group. I'm a good 2 mph slower by myself...
re: Some tips for joe-blow public when watching the tourmapei boy
Jul 10, 2003 11:08 AM
Every year, I tape one or two of the more insane mountain stages and lend them to my workmates to watch. Sometimes it takes them about a week or two to get around to viewing them, but when they do they're invariably blown away. I don't know if I've turned any of my workmates into fans, but they have come to appreciate the madness and drama that is Le Tour de France.
I ride a bike; how hard can it be?Dropped
Jul 10, 2003 12:19 PM
You hear this all the time, especially from fat sportswriters: "Anyone can ride a bike. It's easy. So, the tour is easy. They're not even athletes."

Well, I can shoot hoops at the playground too. Does than mean Michael Jordan isn't a great athlete and that what he did was easy? I can throw a football, too. Doesn't make me Joe Montana.

Who said that the ESPN tour coverage was bad? It's was the same thing you now get on OLN, Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwin and all. Of course, I only get to watch OLN when my neighbor invites me over. We don't have cable TV because, other than OLN's cycling coverage, there isn't one damn thing on television worth watching.
espn coverage sucked.rufus
Jul 10, 2003 1:18 PM
even when they did a half hour show each day with an hour for the bigger stages it blew. half an hour show, often aired at a different time than listed to, with ten minutes of commercials, five minutes of recaps, five minutes of "human interest" or "travelogue" features, and ten minutes to show the highlights of the day, mostly interviews at the start, the start, and then the final sprint.

of course you might see a bit more on a stage like alpe duez, but it's nothing like watching oln live, and watching stuff in real time like an attack, the others coming back up, another attack, a guy spending everything he had to bridge back up, get dropped again, and still climb back up.

i could watch my tapes and list specific stages and riders, and the drama and courage they showed on a given day, but i don't have the time. suffice it to say, oln's coverage is the best thing to happen to professional cycling coverage in the united states.
bite your tongue!The Human G-Nome
Jul 10, 2003 1:45 PM
you obviously haven't been watching the world series of poker.
Thank God!seyboro
Jul 10, 2003 5:08 PM
I thought I was hallucinating when I saw that show on the TV guide...
re: Some tips for joe-blow public when watching the tourkjr39
Jul 10, 2003 12:38 PM
-Just because they shave their legs does not mean that they swing both ways...
We need a Bicycle Network in High Definition! (nt)bburgoyne26
Jul 10, 2003 5:02 PM
TDF in HD!!! Now we're talking! nmCritLover
Jul 10, 2003 7:57 PM