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TdF TTT oddity for 2004(21 posts)

TdF TTT oddity for 2004TJeanloz
Oct 23, 2003 9:55 AM
What are everybody's thoughts on the new TTT format - basically, it's handicapped so that no rider can lose more than 2'30" in the TTT.

The question is, do teams like Euskatel just sit up for the whole thing, not even contest it, and accept their fate of being down 2'30"? Or does everybody ride it hard? I'm a little bit perplexed by the whole thing, but it will make the race a little more dicey, as some lesser teams will have contenders in the race much later than usual.
re: TdF TTT oddity for 2004frankamo
Oct 23, 2003 10:05 AM
what are the exact specifics of this? I only saw it mentioned once with no details.
Hard to come byTJeanloz
Oct 23, 2003 10:14 AM
There hasn't been any mention of it, as far as I can tell, in the cycling press, but an AP story said it:

http://www.boston.com/sports/other_sports/articles/2003/10/23/changes_in_store_for_2004_tour_de_france/

"Also, the July 7 team time trial will be weighted so that no team can gain more than 2 minutes, 30 seconds, so as not to "give good riders in weaker teams too much disadvantage," Leblanc said."
Hard to come byfrankamo
Oct 23, 2003 10:19 AM
Yeah, that's all I've been able to find too.

I never liked how much damage the TTT could do to a GC contender thru no fault of his own. Granted, it's a team sport. But by allowing the TTT to do unlimited damage to a rider's time, I think it punishes lower budgeted teams too much.
'Weighted'? nmOldEdScott
Oct 23, 2003 10:19 AM
I have no more information that thisTJeanloz
Oct 23, 2003 10:23 AM
Maybe they're going to grade on a curve? Best time gets it added, worst time is -2:30, everybody else is allocated a time based on their percentage of being between the best and worst?

I have no idea - but that's the sort of formula that "weighted" implies to me. Any other wild hypotheses? And how did the cycling press miss this tidbit, it seems like the most interesting bit of the whole race?
8 of 22 teams in last year's TTTOldEdScott
Oct 23, 2003 10:16 AM
had times of 2:30 or more down. Lots of riders would have been affected by that rule.

You could certainly sit up at the last check (or before) when it became, as Dick Nixon liked to say, perfectly clear you weren't going to be inside the cutoff time.

It's kind of a weird rule, but then (though I tremedously enjoy it) the TTT itself is kind of an anomaly within the race. Obviously, it sets up situations where someone with the best INDIVIDUAL time for the whole race might lose the GC simply because he's saddled with a poor TTT support cast.

Kind of like bonus seconds. I don't like them. I want time to be time.
there's still a time cutmohair_chair
Oct 23, 2003 10:29 AM
The 2003 TTT had a time cut of 25%, which is very generous (15 minutes if the winning time is an hour). If they are going to make the maximum loss 2:30, I think they have to adjust the timecut downward as well to legitimize the stage. Otherwise you are correct, some teams will sit up. If the numbers moved at the same rate, the new timecut should be 9% (5:24 if the winning time is an hour).
Saw that, couldn't believe it!Asiago
Oct 23, 2003 10:45 AM
I found it very interesting that they dropped the team cut-off to only 2:30. Why even have the TTT if you limit a team's (not individual's) time loss to 2:30? Granted, this would not have affected the overall classification this past year but it still seems silly.

I think the more likely outcome than teams sitting up (they'll still ride hard, at least until down 2:30!), is how teams with potential overall winners who are climbers, modify their composition. Euskaltel or Saeco (rumor is Gibo will focus on Tour and may not ever ride Giro) for example. With 2:30 the max time loss, will they simply leave any roleur-type rider off their team and load up on spindly climbers? Take their loss in the TTT and then try to destroy Jans/Lances/Tylers teams in the mountains. With the time lost in the TTT, they will not have to defend the jersey... So no need for big roleurs there either.

Asiago
Rule favors the sucky french/basque teams who can't TTT. nmeschelon
Oct 23, 2003 10:52 AM
also italian teams who ride Giro nmcyclopathic
Oct 23, 2003 1:09 PM
No - Designed to make US loosebimini
Oct 24, 2003 4:35 AM
The Europeans could not live with themselves if Lance won a record 6 Tours. They do not like Lance, they do not like the US, and they clearly do not like Lance and the US winning over there. I have read several articals about the last tour being designed specifically to make Lance loose.

Now the TTT rule, now in 2003 where did Lance pick up his time, hum, I wonder?
They did the same thing to IndurainTJeanloz
Oct 24, 2003 5:27 AM
The Tour always jumps through hoops to make the race more competitive. Note that in 1998, when it looked like Ullrich was going to win every Tour for the next ten years, they added a ton of climbing, which enabled Pantani to beat Ullrich. It's nothing personal against Armstrong.
You should get out more....divve
Oct 24, 2003 5:37 AM
...you'd realize there's no such thing as a "European" in sports. For the resentment types from other EC nations it would be just as bad for a German to win all the time as it would be an American...probably worse.
Clarification on time cuts in a TTT.Asiago
Oct 23, 2003 11:22 AM
There are two different types of time cuts in a TTT. Let's take this year's TTT in LeTour.

First, there was a time cut for team time in the TTT this year. However, it was not 2min30sec! It was 7min!

If you did not finish with your team, you received your individual time provided you made the total time cut-off. I don't remember what this was, but I think it was in the 15-20min range.

Asiago
It's simple...........Len J
Oct 23, 2003 11:49 AM
they obviously want the race more competitive, by more riders late in the race.

We keep thinking this is a competition first and entertainment second, however, it is clear from all of the decisions LeBlanc has made that it is about entertainment and selling papers first & the competition second.

If it was about competitive team importance, this wouldn't have happened.

Why do you think the last ITT is an uphill on AlpeD'Huez late in the tour? Because they are hoping that several riders have a chance to win at this point.

I like it, it will make the whole tour more interesting. The only thing I don't like is that the way it seems now, some teams could use this as an extra rest day, Just make sure you make the time limit & only lose 2:30.

Len
Another takeinnergel
Oct 23, 2003 2:35 PM
Possible that the max 2:30 loss is based on your team finishing time, and not to the field as a whole? This would still allow for major differences in team performances and give the riders who go off the back some cushion.

For example, say USPS wins the TTT in 1 hour. T-Mobile comes in second place with a time of 1:05, but in the process Vino goes off the back and looses 5 minutes to his team. Vino would be given the same time as his team +2:30 for a total 7:30 deficit on the day, instead of a 10 min deficit where he would have finished last year. This would force the teams to ride hard to limit their overall losses, but still keep the individual losses to a relative minimum.

Just thinking out loud.
I don't think Vino would go off the back that quickcyclopathic
Oct 23, 2003 5:03 PM
;)

however, if he rides as well as he did this year, LA is in trouble. T-Mobil can play 1-2 with Jan and Vino. Heck if Evans and Botero will ride as they rode last year with mountains coming late they'd have men to send on break every stage. Each of them, given enough time, can walk away with tour. May end up being '96 re-run they just need to sign up Riis 8)
Lots of teams lining up a big one-two punch at Lanceinnergel
Oct 24, 2003 5:44 AM
T-Moblie with Jan and Vino, not to mention Santiago Botero
Phonak with Tyler and Oscar Sevilla
Whatever Once becomes with Beloki, Nozal and Galdeano
Euskatel with Mayo and Excebarria (I probably butchered that spelling)

And those dang Spanish riders always going crazy to try and go off the front in the Pyrenees in front of the Basque crowd.

But Lance will be able to counter with Heras, Beltran, Rubiera and Hincapie

I think it will be a great tour!
All chiefs no indians = T-mobile, plus TTT change thoughtsCoolhand
Oct 24, 2003 6:07 AM
Vino got a bunch of free shots off the front last year. When he started getting marked he didn't do much. Now he will not even be the focus of his team, and the special motivation he had will be gone. Vino may be a one year wonder. Vino may even be forced to work for Jan. Jan also will be a lot more comfortable- which usually doesn't bode well for his results.

Don't forget Tyler will be 100% (hopefully) behind a powerhouse team devoted solely to him. CSC has a very good team put together as well- maybe better then T-mobile depth and talent wise. Beloki will be back as well.

Beloki and Once (whatever they are called this year) will always be a threat as well in the TTT, even more then Postal. This change hurts them alot.

While losing 2:30 won't kill the lesser french teams (who the rule is designed to protect) it will knock a contender out of the podium contenion. But---- It will make the team competition alot closer this year, but should not have much of an impact on the overall jersey races. I think that getting a French team into the best overall classification might be the hidden object of this change, not the yellow jersey.

If the TdF folks were baised against Lance, they wouldn't have added so many mtn top finishes or a uphill TT either. They know who their moneymaker is.

Next year should be a good race with more condenders then pretenders. A couple top ten finishers this year won't be even close next year. I can't wait!

Coolhand
calculations may become complicatedcyclopathic
Oct 24, 2003 9:07 AM
last week in Alps looks really interesting. 4 hard mnt stages and 2 TT, 5 days of hard racing.

In '03 tour when peloton got into Pyrenees, there were 8 riders in contention. Most of them lost time either in ITT or in 1st TT. With that eliminated (2:30 max on ITT and no TT) I'd guess there will be 10-15 guys within podium reach. There will be less then 5-7min separating 1st and 10th.

Now, if T-mobil has 4 guys in top 10, and they won't be hung up on Jan as they were in the past, it will be hard to calculate moves. If Vino goes on break in stage 15, how well can he TT? or what to expect from Evans? Is Botero on form or a bluff? And don't forget other teams (Pohanok, EE, Kelme, Once, etc) who will try play out their card.

Yes Postal has Herras and Bertran, but you know who they ride for. Brunyl will never let Herras win tour while LA is around. Plus it is gonna be the last week of racing, tough mountains and Georgi and Ekki are not getting any younger.

However T-Mobile may have more cards to play, and if they play smart they can walk away with tour even if they don't have the strongest guy. They just need someone like Riis to orchestrate moves.