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Have a new question(13 posts)

Have a new questionhawayyan1
Jul 24, 2003 3:11 PM
ONCE AGAIN, sorry for getting on alot of nerves with a couple earlier posts!!! I'm learning. I understand that it's an "unwritten rule" that no one attacks when the leader falls. But why? It seems that no matter who you are, you would owe it to the sponsors to win at all costs, short of cheating. While I do agree that Ulrich did something very sporting, I do I guess have the typical American outlook:
1. Ulrich didn't cause the fall.
2. TDF title on the line by only 15 seconds.
3. $250, winners prize along with all endorsment dollars.
So I don't understand if Ulrich had attacked, why it would be considered in bad taste.
After all, cynically, isn't one persons bad luck another persons good luck?
Cycling still a gentleman's sportatpjunkie
Jul 24, 2003 3:30 PM
like WW1 fighter pilots. was unfair to engage someone with jammed guns. unwritten rule is you have to win fair and square not by misfortune. It's just cyclings rules for engagement.
other rules
no attacking in a feed zone.
peloton slows for pee breaks and no attacking during such activity
when a race passes through a riders hometown he's alowed a breakaway to the town to greet his peeps, if the rider uses this as a chance to attack he's dealt with severly
JU could have attacked, his victory would have been viewed as cheap or as a cheater. especially as LA slowed pack twice to wait for him (2000 flat, 2001 crash) which in turn would have damaged his endorsement and shamed his team. After all LA's crash was caused by a spectator whilst Jans (2001) was his own bad descending. Thus the 'bad taste', as his win would be marred by a
less than sporting advantage
granted these rules get broken from time to time but the peloton has a weird way of enforcing the rules. More than 1 rule breaker has been bumped into the barriers for breaking these rules.
I'm glad cycling has these rules, it's one of the few sports left where at the top level such gentlemans agreements exist
That's pretty awesomehawayyan1
Jul 24, 2003 4:15 PM
It's too bad that some other sports don't follow suit. I just don't know any other sport where true sportsmanship really exists anymore. Look at auto racing for instance, one driver will absolutely wreck another driver in the last turn purposely for the win, call it a "racing incident", and be a hero for the week.

When can you attack during a fall. A friend was telling me a few years ago, there ws a crash on a causway in the TDF, where a few teams weren't caught behind, and those teams rode away. Is it just individuals you can't do that to. Also I was watching a Pro 1-2 race here at home (Hawaii) and a person attacked in the "feed zone". Didn't seem anyone was real teed off at that. Just a few low rumblings "Whoa, did you see where he attacked"?

This whole sportsmanship thing is pretty refreshing though. Alot diferent than most "American Ideals" nowadays it seems (win at any cost, regardless). Maybe some of our more notable sports figures should take a class on "Class"!!
As Paul Sherwen would say:seyboro
Jul 24, 2003 4:46 PM
'Let's not forget'...that, at one point anyways, there WERE unwritten rules in American sports. Remember, when football teams did not throw the ball late in the game with a big lead? Remember, when basketball coaches called off the press in a 4th quarter beating?
And some are still alive. Soccer teams will allow an injured opponent to be treated by throwing the ball out of bounds. This is usually followed by the opponent throwing the ball back to them in return. Tennis players apologize after a point off of a ball touching the net and let the opponent know when new balls are being used. Surely, the list could go on.
Every sport has 'gentleman's rules'. Just seems that cyclists honor theirs...
As Paul Sherwen would say:atpjunkie
Jul 24, 2003 4:59 PM
Vino didn't need to wait or slow during Beloki/LA crash as he was ahead and didn't know. other riders sat up and slowed for Lance as he did his cyclocross thing, yes it's a dying art, kinda sad.
Is it possible...hawayyan1
Jul 24, 2003 5:32 PM
That Vino did in fact know there was a fall behind him and just kept going anyway? What exactly will they be passed in that little radio gizmo they use? Not that he would/did, but is it possible? Would they have passed that info if they new it? You'd figure that something like that would have been passed to all the team cars on a common radio?
Is it possible...atpjunkie
Jul 24, 2003 5:42 PM
I'm sure he knew. They have tele's in the car. his team knew they'd gone down but a rider in front in a break is excused. IMHO if Beloki had stayed up they most likely would have caught or lost about 10 sec's or less to Vino.
Also read...hawayyan1
Jul 24, 2003 6:23 PM
in a previous post that riders are not supposed to attack in the last stage to Paris. Is this true? Some people seemed shocked that Ulrich said he would attack that stage.

Also, what's up with the Green Jersey? What is the whole points thing? It seems that the riders vying for that are for the most part in the rear of the field. Why is it important if you are like Mckewen and basically 5th or 6th from last? It doesn't seem like he had such a great race, yet vying for a prize. I haven't even heard his name in two weeks.
Jul 24, 2003 7:04 PM
It's customary to give the yellow jersey the lead for a few laps in the final stage in Paris, until the sprinters teams vie for the win. It's also considered bad form to attack for a GC placing, except perhaps if the yellow jersey will be decided by a few seconds.

The green jersey is the points winner. Also known as the sprinters jersey. There are points offered in intermediate sprints along the course, and then a larger number for the stage win. It's basically whoever crosses that point first gets the points; it doesn't have to be a sprint, but it's the sprinters who will most consistantly try for points. The green jersey is pretty prestigious, and I'm sure there's a cash bonus too.

The reason that the sprinters are all on the back usually, especially in the mountains, is because they aren't great all around riders, but they can ride 500m faster than anyone. The teams of the sprinters will try to reel in any breakaways to prevent them from getting points. Near the end of the stage, ideally for them it would be a mass finish. The teams of the top sprinters will move to the front and crank the race to a blazing speed for the last 20km or so of a flat stage. This is to prevent a rider from being able to go off the front in a breakaway. Then with about 1 or 2 km to go, the sprinters will vie for a good leadout. You don't want to be first, or even second in line usually, because you need the draft. There are usually leadout men trying to give their team sprinter a good leadout to the line. These men pull away just before the line, and the sprinters have at it. Anything goes, as long as your hands stay on the bars and you don't seek to make contact. The best position is usually 3rd or 4th in line, and the pace can hit 70km/h by the finish.
Think of the Green Jersey this way...jhart11
Jul 24, 2003 7:17 PM
...if you're at all familiar with Road Racing in the USA, with it's bias towards Omnimun race weekends (i.e. say 2 criteriums and 1 road race, or 1 time trial, 1 crit, and 1 road race--all held in a 2-3 day period in which one's placing in each event yields points that accumulate after each stage and determine one's overall position upon the completion of all three events--like a point series in autoracing, only held over a shorter period of time), then think of the Green Jersey as the competition that reveals the race winner IF the overall result hinged on the most consistly placed man on each of 21 stages (for points), rather than the man with the lowest cumulative time. The differences between the Green Jersey competition in the Tour and the Omnium in the USA, become the higher points awarded for the Green jersey competition on the flats stages and the ability to garner Green Jersey points at intermediate "hot sprint spots" in the middle portions of flat stages. This makes the race more interesting as well because it gives the sprinters and their teams impetus to attack on flat stages that don't provide changes to the overall times of the Yellow jersey contenders.

If Pettachi could have made it over the mountains, then the Green jersey, due to the massive points that he garnered in four flat stage wins, would have been a likely canidate for the Green jersey. With his abandon, however, the winner of the Green Jersey will be the best sprinter that MADE it through the mountains (in the past this was often Eric Zabel--on of the coolest guys in the peleton, an excellent sportsman)

So, long story long, the green jersey should reveal the most consistent finisher in the Tour (time, then becomes irrelevant, which is good because most of these guys don't climb anywhere near as quickly as the GC contenders do).

Hope this helps.
Rules of WaitingBradTyler
Jul 24, 2003 6:25 PM
Let's look at 4 different situations and the rules of waiting:
1) Spectator Dumping Armstrong - Armstrong was on the attack and in the yellow jersey. He crashes, the riders who "were" in his group either kept the same pace or slowed enough to let Lance rejoin. In a sense, the spectator did the group a favor - it basically set the group back to before Lance and Mayo attacked. Ullrich and crew didn't lose anything by waiting/not attacking

2) Beloki Crash - Vino off the front with a 15-20 second gap. Chase group chasing hard and closing, only a few KM to the finish. Beloki goes down (hard mind you), Armstrong takes his cross country trip. The chase group didn't wait for Beloki for two reasons : One he crashed HARD and wasn't scrambling immediatly to get up Two - a GC threat was off the front in the finale of a race. The whole chase group would have lost more time if they held up for word on Beloki's condition

3) Ullrich crash in 2001. At the time, you had Beloki, Lance, Heras, Ullrich, and Livingston in a chase group with a lot of racing left in the stage with the the Big Three still several minutes out of the yellow jersey. Ullrich goes down, and immediatly scrambles to get going again. The tactical situation was Lance and Jan needed to work together to get closer to the yellow jersey, then fight each other on the uphill finish If Lance went with Beloki's attack, he would not have been able to take as much time out the Yellow Jersey. By waiting, you had a five man chase group with domestiques. A very good situation.

1999 - Causeway crash. THe teams knew this was a danger spot on the stage- a handfull of teams were treating the approach to the causeway similar to the first sector of cobbles in Paris-Roubaix. Others were asleep at the back. In the closing KM's before the causeway, Postal was driving hard in the front echelon since there was a brutal crosswind and were trying to force a split in the field. Crash happens, some GC contenders were asleep at the back, and several teams took off to put time in. This situation is a little muddy but the tactics for the day were closer to Paris - Roubaix than the tour de France. The teams which did their homework and made sure their leaders were at the front benefited, the ones asleep paid the price
I'll tell ya...hawayyan1
Jul 24, 2003 7:49 PM
there are alot of things to consider about this whole road racing stuff :-) It is sure alot easier as a member of the gravity racers (downhiller mtb'r). Thanks for explaining all this. I can see why all the coaches are in the cars behind the riders with those little radios. I'd have an aneurism trying to figure all this out AND ride a race:-) I am really having a good time watching and being educated, but apart from that, I think I'll stick to the dirt, and leave this cerebral stuff to the thinkers!! There's alot to this stuff I never realized. My hats really off to ya. I am getting a brand new realization as to whats involved.

Thanks guys
Since this is the first year you've followed cycling...spyderman
Jul 25, 2003 6:02 AM
I can understand your question. You also sound a little young...

Would you want to win a world renowned competition by "cheating" and have that asterik next to your name? The cycling community would've chastized him...

Now, take into consideration that LAnce waited for Ullrich when he fell last year... And that Lance is going for his 5th TdF in a row... The rest of the world would've torn Ullrich apart! His sponsors probably would've dropped him for the negative publicity...

Win at all costs, yes. Only, where and when it applies to what you can control, not when you benefit from anothers misfortune.