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No Spoiler I like the short stages better
 

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dfcas
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 2360
Location: hillbilly heaven

7/14/17 1:56 PM

No Spoiler I like the short stages better

I've also seen shorter stages in the Vuelta and I prefer them to the slog stages where everyone is more conservative. I like the gas to the floor all out racing like in todays stage.

How did >100 mile stages become the norm? More time for selling ads and more towns to offer money to pass thru?

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 5707
Location: Maine

7/14/17 5:03 PM

Didn't work for me

I was hoping to catch the end of the stage but by the time I got home for lunch it was over.

Historically I think the cumulative grueling nature of long stages has been viewed as an important part of the Tour's challenge. Also cited as why riders need drugs to get through it.

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KerryIrons
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 2828
Location: Midland, MI

7/15/17 10:48 AM

Drugs


quote:
Also cited as why riders need drugs to get through it.


Given that track and field athletes take drugs for events lasting less than 10 seconds, this argument is specious at best. People take drugs to perform better, regardless of the duration of the event, and they need to perform better because 1) they're not as good as somebody else or 2) somebody else is taking drugs.

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henoch
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 1454

7/15/17 10:56 AM

Drugs and Distance

Like Karry said, and even more so in Baseball where hitting a home run takes all of 1 second and yet....

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 5707
Location: Maine

7/15/17 4:25 PM

Drugs

Well I wasn't suggesting that is the only reason athletes take drugs. I was just referring to comments I've heard from cyclists about how difficult the Tour is to get through, and that is one reason for drugs. I recall Alexi Grewal saying that people who criticize drug use have no idea how difficult the Tour is (not admitting that he took them, but leaving a strong inference).

While athletes take drugs to hit more home runs or sprint faster, they also take them to recover faster (that's why baseball players by their own admission took "greenies" for years, to keep going through the 150-160 games).

I think it's entirely possible that the Touris so difficult that it is not in the athlete's best interest, but I haven't studied the issue enough to reach a firm conclusion.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 3691
Location: Nashua, NH

7/15/17 5:09 PM

It's been shown...

...that the riders lose significant muscle mass, especially later in the race. The Tour is definitely not healthy for, nor physically beneficial to the riders in any way. That's why it takes months to recover from it.

I'm also a fan of the shorter stages, as they tend to be far more interesting and the distances are something that a normal cyclist can actually relate and aspire to. I don't know anyone who can do the typical "125 miles average per day at 25 mph average speed" for three weeks, or anyone who would want to for that matter. I also think they should cut the team size back to 5-6 riders and admit a handful of additional teams, or just shrink the field to a size that the roads can handle better and make the race safer.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 15528
Location: Portland, OR

7/16/17 11:12 AM

I like them better only because you can get through them faster. I am NOT sitting in front of the tube for 5-6 hours for 3 weeks. Of course if I wait to the next day, or later that day the replays can get FF/RW etc. The live stream does not do this with my method of watching.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 2761
Location: Springfield

7/16/17 7:24 PM

Re: Stephen Roche interview. I think he mentioned 25 stages that year, with A/B days.

Bob Roll used to write features for VeloNews and in one he recalled all the teams slept in a gymnasium after one stage. And of course that was just the start of the story.

By the way, a moment of silence for passing of Tom Simpson fifty years ago this Tour.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 3691
Location: Nashua, NH

7/17/17 4:53 AM

Speaking of Simpson...

...I don't really understand all of the reverence for him. After all, it's not as if he did something heroic; he died because he was doped to the gills and his body finally said "enough". It seems to me that it's guys like Fabio Casartelli and Wouter Weylandt who truly deserve the memorials and our remembrance.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 2761
Location: Springfield

7/17/17 11:02 AM

For me Simpson's death is sad, desperate, misguided, relentless, driven. The early '90s amateur EPO deaths share some of the attributes. That said, my initial reaction to reading of all these 'performance enhanced' deaths included their suffering from ignorance and stupidity. There's something poignant to their humanity.

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