What would the TdF be like without teams/team orders?

xpc316e

Senior Member
Having watched the last few TdFs with increasing interest, I wonder what the Tour would be like if there were no teams to support the big names and no team orders to rein in riders who attack when they ought not to?

Froome does seem to be a very strong rider and it seems a shame that he is not allowed to do what he is capable of. Radios also seem like a mixed blessing with at one point Froome being told not to break away, and the next Wiggins is throttling back the peloton so that Evans can get back in after his punctures. Sporting gestures like that would be more difficult without the radios, but it might give a more honest result to the race.

I am a newcomer to watching pro racing, so I'd be keen to see what others think would happen.
 
it wouldn't change that much - it would still be a 3-week stage race...
 
It would be impossible to enforce. If you read a history of the Tour (there are several around) you'll see that in the beginning there was no team system. Henri Desgrange (the chap who started the Tour in the first place) hated the idea that team leaders could loaf around in an armchair while being dragged around France by lackeys. He tried very hard to stop it but failed utterly (he also hated gears and freewheels, the man was a sadist and a nutter) because teams are a logical way to deal with a stage race, or any long race for that matter.

As for team orders, again, do some reading and look up the rivalry between Lemond and Hinault in 1986. Lemond felt he could have won the 1985 Tour but was stitched up (his version) be being ordered not to attack the break he was in and wait for his leader, Hinault. The promise was that he would be allowed to race for yellow in 1986, but Hinault either reneged on the deal (Lemond's version) or spent ages attacking Lemond to toughen him up and force him to prove that he deserved the jersey (Hinault's version).
 
Might I recommend Benjo Masso's "The Sweat of the Gods" for a good overview of the development of the tour.
It's a good book, but perhaps more useful as a critique of how the Tour was reported and it's various myths created?

My favourite Tour history is Matt Rendell's Blazing Saddles. It's a hugely entertaining read and a great way in to the whole thing.
 

Berties

Fast and careful!
It would be more like the time trial day,would suit the no nonsense riding of Saga,but pretty much no change,but still feel it is better as a team event
 

dellzeqq

pre-talced and mighty
Location
SW2
the nearest we came to this was the year of Roche's victory. His team, Carrera Boys, offered him no support at all - and he enjoined riders from other teams to help him. So...the answer to the OP's question is that it would look much the same with riders buying other riders.

One of the reasons for Kelly's success was that he had his own budget.
 

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
the nearest we came to this was the year of Roche's victory. His team, Carrera Boys, offered him no support at all - and he enjoined riders from other teams to help him. So...the answer to the OP's question is that it would look much the same with riders buying other riders.

One of the reasons for Kelly's success was that he had his own budget.
That was in the Giro the same year when he usurped the designated leader Roberto Vinsentini and took the leaders jersey. In the tour he had the full support of the team again.
 

dellzeqq

pre-talced and mighty
Location
SW2
my recollection is that he was supported at the beginning, but he did without support in the latter stages of the Giro and the team management went mental when Vinsentini gained the pink jersey and Roche joined an escape. In the latter stage of the Giro he was so paranoid about Carrera Boys that he suspected the team might poison him (which seems totally paranoid, but remember in the previous year LeMond thought that his own mechanic had cut through one of his front forks, and that his own team had tried to poison him). And, incredibly, Roche might not have been wrong - it's accepted that the Carrera Boys manager threatened to ride Roche off the road with the team car.

A somewhat sanitised account here http://www.podiumcafe.com/2011/6/6/2209374/Stephen-Roche

In the Tour he really didn't have much by way of support other than Schepers who he'd promised a job to - everybody knew he was on his way out of Carrera Boys to Fagor - although he'd never regain his 1987 form.

However...........'not ready for a woman, just yet' has to be the best line in the Tour's history.
 

dellzeqq

pre-talced and mighty
Location
SW2
and, in the light of all this intra-team huffing and puffing, an interesting aside from Vaughters today. He tried to sign Froome for Garmin, but couldn't match Sky's money. So, Mr. Froome, you had your chance to be team leader.......
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
We mere mortals have no idea of the machinations that go on behind the scenes. As a relatively uninformed observer it seems clearer than ever to me this year that the outcome of each day is already decided between the teams before they set off every morning. I think I read about this in Matt Seaton's or Paul Kimmage's book.
 
Top Bottom