21st stage TDF question

Discussion in 'Pro Cycling (Road and Track Racing)' started by novetan, 31 Jul 2018.

  1. novetan

    novetan Well-Known Member

    Roglic was lying in 4th position, 1min more than Froome (3rd). What if he likes to sprint and try to win the stage, perhaps even can overtake Froome. Just hypothetical assuming that's possible to take a min off. The 21st stage is more or less ceremony, but is Roglic allowed to do that?
     
  2. Dave 123

    Dave 123 Guru

    There's nothing in the rules to say he can't, but it would be unwise for his career and riding in the pro peloton.
     
  3. queasyrider

    queasyrider Still perplexed

    I believe you are allowed to do anything. It is custom/tradition stops it, and the concern about other riders', the crowd and sponsors' reaction.
     
  4. If Roglic wanted to sprint and had been capable I doubt there would have been much in the way of fuss. I don't think there's any restriction on GC contenders sprinting if they are capable. Hinault won on the Champs Elysees in yellow in 1982. Wiggins, in yellow, led Cavendish out in 2012.

    However if Big Tommy Poopy Pants had been 2 sec off the yellow jersey and he'd gone on the attack during the race he would simply have been closed down by a rather irritated peloton and would have been very unpopular.
     
    Salty seadog likes this.
  5. normgow

    normgow Über Member

    Location:
    Germany
    But it has not always been this way. In 1947 - (I've read this, even I'm not that old to be able to remember) Jean Robic at the start of the last stage Caen-Paris, was in third place nearly three minutes behind maillot jaune Brambilla of Italy. On the road out of Rouen, Robin attacked on the Côte du Homme Morte together with Fachleitner of France. They worked hard together and reached Paris with a fourteen minute lead thus assuring overall victory to Jean Robic, who became the first winner not to have worn the yellow jersey.
    This feat was repeated in 1968 when Jan Janssen of the Netherlands beat Hermann van Springel in the last stage time trial to take the victory.
    The tour in 1947 was the first to be held after the end of WW2 and there was no doubt huge support for a French victory as a symbol of regained prestige in the world even more so when that victory was gained over someone from a country which only a few years previously had been an enemy.
    Also at that time the Tour was contested by national and French regional teams so there was no doubt a certain patriotic fervour which with current trade teams is no longer the case.
     
  6. David Millar did a short video on this subject. The gist was that you shouldn't make everyone else have to race hard and spill their champagne.

    There was also the famous final day time trial of Lemond vs Fignon in 1989.
     
  7. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    This "Tradition" only began in 1975, the first year that the Tour ended with a criterium in Paris where it is virtually impossible for a contender to open any time gap. The last stage was often time trial previous to that, as it was again in 1989 when Lemond overtook Fignon to snatch victory. Should the final stage end on top of a mountain it would be a full on race.
     
    Dogtrousers likes this.
  8. Aravis

    Aravis White-Haired Trundler

    Location:
    Gloucester
    Traditions develop over time, and can always continue to evolve. It hasn't happened yet, but one day we'll have first and second separated by such a small gap that a simple split in the peloton could change the result. When that happens both teams will have to be properly vigilant and won't have any complaint if they get it wrong - although it would get extremely messy if it descends into arguments about who gets the same time as who following crashes in the last 3km.

    OK, I've changed my mind. Neutralise it completely rather than relying on unwritten conventions.
     
  9. The last time I "remember" (well, don't remember properly) there actually being a practical possibility of yellow changing hands in the final stage and there being genuine "will they, won't they" speculation was late 2000s possibly the year Carlos Sastre won. But my memory may be playing tricks.

    (Edit or was it 2011 when Evans won.) Ignore me.
     
  10. Aravis

    Aravis White-Haired Trundler

    Location:
    Gloucester
    A bit further back, in 1987 when Roche led Delgado by 40 seconds, Delgado made very conspicuous attempts to get away, and was of course caught fairly easily.

    Interestingly, from what I can recall (I gave all my tapes to a young cycling-mad cousin a few years ago) no-one at the time saw anything wrong in this. If anything, it would have been seen as disrespectful to the race if he hadn't tried.
     
    Dogtrousers likes this.
  11. ColinJ

    ColinJ A big clot!

    I think that if the final stage is going to be procession followed by a sprint then the times shouldn't count for the GC. It would be really bad if the rider in the yellow jersey got knocked off his bike with 3.1 km to go and lost the race as a result. I'm sure that the vast majority of the riders would agree with such a change to the rules.
     
    Salty seadog likes this.
  12. smutchin

    smutchin Cat 6 Racer

    Location:
    The Red Enclave
    They did neutralise the timings on the final stage in 2015 due to the bad weather.

    Otherwise, I think they just have to treat it the same as any other flat stage that's likely to end in a bunch sprint.

    I've also heard it said that they would neutralise the timings if the yellow jersey wearer were to crash on the final stage - and in any case, no one would attack if that happened.
     
  13. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    I wouldn't agree to a rule change. It's still a race and if the riders want to neutralise it so be it, but if anyone doesn't then so be it.
     
    Dogtrousers likes this.
  14. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    It would be an issue if the yellow jersey crashed and was unable to finish the stage.
    I can imagine the new winner would be embarrassed to win that way given that the race is conceded at the end of S20.
     
  15. I have to admit that Thomas' tendency to fall off at inopportune moments (whether due to his own fault or otherwise) did cross my mind before the final stage this year. Fat lady, singing, and all that.
     
    Last edited: 31 Jul 2018
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