How hard is the Tour?

Discussion in 'Pro Cycling (Road and Track Racing)' started by benb, 23 Jul 2012.

  1. benb

    benb Evidence based cyclist

    I think that the TdF is probably the most challenging sporting event, bar none. I can't think of any other competition, in any sporting discipline, that comes close.

    You do hear of people running a marathon every day for a week or something, but that's not an official sporting event.
  2. Rob3rt

    Rob3rt Man or Moose!

    Well........... its hard to say really, how do ever you quantify or pin this down? Distances covered? Number of consecutive days competed over? Accumulated hours racing? Accumulated hours competing vs. the total elapsed time? What do you mean by challenging, mental? Physical?
  3. Andrius.B

    Andrius.B Active Member

    maybe we could use something like this formula to find the hardest sport physically:
    ((total power output) / (time including breaks and rest))

    edit: maybe not... there are just too many variables
  4. OP

    benb Evidence based cyclist

    I just can't think of another sporting event that has the same kind of sustained output over a similar time-frame.
  5. Dave Davenport

    Dave Davenport Legendary Member

    Nah, it's a piece of p1ss, that Francis bloke didn't even look tired.
    montage, Fnaar, MattHB and 2 others like this.
  6. PaulB

    PaulB Guru

    The Bob Graham round? A triathlon? The Welsh 1,000 metres? Okay, they're not sustained over anything like the time frame of the Tour but I would estimate all of those events would be harder than even the toughest TdF stage taken in isolation. And cycling is a lot kinder to the body than anything involving feet/ground interface.
  7. VamP

    VamP Banned

    There are plenty of events with more sustained effort and much less rest (if any), though not with the same total time span - the question is which is harder on the body - three weeks on a bike with support teams, massages, sleeps in a comfy bed - or 3 to 10 day sustained efforts carrying own supplies, no or little sleep snatched along the way and often in extreme conditions.

    The Iditarod across Alaska, Marathon des Sables across the Sahara, Jungle Marathon across Amazon Forest or even the Brutal double Ironman in Snowdonia are all pretty extreme.

    And then there's the Giro ;)
    Scoosh likes this.
  8. beastie

    beastie Veteran

  9. mangid

    mangid Veteran

    Round the world Cycle Race ?

    Mike Hall's effort, 200 miles a day for 92 days ...

    ComedyPilot likes this.
  10. I've looked it up. This years TdF was 2,173 miles in total. The Giro d Italia was 3 miles longer. Does that make it harder?
    david k likes this.
  11. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Resistance is futile! Moderator

    If so, it's by an incredibly small amount. I'd put the RAAM as harder.
    It's further and you have much less time. It's certainly more likely to mess you up, IMHO.
    An absolute maximum of 4 hours sleep a night for 12 days or you won't make the time cut?
    Ride for 42 hours and than have 25 minutes kip?
    Start hallucinating that your support crew has been replaced by alien replicants?
    It's only for the seriously bonkers.

    We should enter a CC team.
  12. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    Heavyweight boxing.

    I could ride over the Alps with Contador, though I'd finish a long way behind him. After two seconds in the ring with Mike Tyson I'd be on my way to hospital.
    Zofo, david k and Andrius.B like this.
  13. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Resistance is futile! Moderator

    Not sure I'd class boxing as a sport. It's more televised thuggery IMHO.
    *hides from flaming*
  14. Andrius.B

    Andrius.B Active Member

    Boxing is a sport.
    (No further debate is required)
  15. VamP

    VamP Banned


    The last couple of years the Giro has had a tougher profile than the Tour, as has been widely discussed. It's not a given, and my throwaway comment was tongue in cheek...
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