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Updated: 1 hour 42 min ago

Re: ITV4 Tour Coverage.

23 July 2015 - 11:23am
Reohn2 if you spend the £7.50 and use it on your bald acreage then you'll have hair like rapunzel in no time . Like Thirdcrank I'm lucky in that I can skip the adverts and the competition where most of the blurb is rhyming off all the T's and C's and call costs. Overall it makes a 4hr show( it's still cutting off early in my recordings ) about 2.5hrs. Not sure on Chris and Neds TDF questions lead in why they're shown manically laughing on the animation, I don't really get that bit as its not a comedy short..... though sadly the producers seem to make them put some low rent humour in there.

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

23 July 2015 - 10:10am
I'll try and put it another way.

Chris Froome beats the competition decisively, but by what would have been a narrow margin in some previous eras. This is after his entire season has been targeted on preparation for this one race. Dr Salaud, or whatever they call him, suggests among other possibilities that he may have some sort of motor fitted, even though on one stage, all the Team Sky bikes were seized by what Phil and Paul call the referees to be checked for just such gadgets, when none was found.

Earlier on this thread, it was suggested that Eddy Merckx dominance of the TdeF must be suspect. Anybody familiar with Merckx's era knows that he was a colossus. On yesterday's ITV4 coverage, there was a big banner at the roadside congratulating Thevenet as "Le tombeur de Merckx." ie his win was important for having brought down that rider. As has been noted, Merckx road everything and won much of it from Milan - San Remo to the Tour of Lombardy and competed on the track in winter, also finding time to nip off to Mexico at take the hour record without spending the usual time acclimatising to riding at altitude.

The sport is much bigger now with riders from many more countries and most trained to a much higher level. One of the biggest differences is that every rider in a race like the TdeF is a strong rider and today's team leaders get much more support than used to be the case from strong riders who might be good enough to star were they not riding in a support role.

I've probably posted before that a couple of years ago, when the media were beginning to cover the TdeF coming to Yorkshire, Brian Robinson was interviewed on what passes for the regional news, Look North We saw some library footage of the race in his heyday and it certainly looked tough. Given the opportunity to come the old soldier, he described conditions in his era as "rustic" and laughed as he said it. One of his stage victories was by some 20 minutes: a promenade stage when the whole field was happy to let him go. The prestige of a stage win today is such that there are no easy days.

All I'm saying is that no individual could dominate the sport today as Merckx and others did in the past. The competition in depth is stronger.

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

23 July 2015 - 2:14am
All this discussion reminds me of when Cassius Clay first arrived on the scene and was clobbering everybody. There would be heated discussions over whether he was better than Rocky Marciano. And it's about as fruitful.

Re: Tour rules

23 July 2015 - 2:00am
That makes sense. Thanks.

Re: ITV4 Tour Coverage.

22 July 2015 - 11:15pm
thirdcrank wrote:........ I saw a lot of publicity for Alpecin who are sponsoring one of the teams in the TdeF.

I saw some of that in (in)Sainsbury's yesterday,it was £7.50 a pop
Glad I'm bald!

Re: ITV4 Tour Coverage.

22 July 2015 - 10:34pm
I record it on a hard drive recorder then skip through the ads: five presses of the +60 seconds button works a treat unless it's competition time when it needs an extra 60 seconds. I see few of the ads so I don't know what they are selling, but I can appreciate a company connected with cycling not wanting to upset cyclists with ads interfering with their viewing. I watched some of the Spring classics on my son's Sky (Eurosport) and I didn't know how to skip the ads so I saw a lot of publicity for Alpecin who are sponsoring one of the teams in the TdeF.

Re: ITV4 Tour Coverage.

22 July 2015 - 10:05pm
Ray wrote:Or am I missing something?
A lot of the adverts, especially during the live show, are the sorts of adverts that block-buy advertising space on itv4 and can be seen in any old programme on there. It says more about itv's ad sales tactics than it does about whether cycling itself is big business.

Halfodds seem absent this year. I think even the wiggle advert was more common during the Tour of Yorkshire and Dauphiné than it has been during TdF coverage - but I'm not 100% sure because I also mute the adverts, although for me it's because they're something like 30% louder than the show. Broadcasters and advertisers still haven't realised that screaming at viewers is a good way to get the adverts muted and something else looked at for three minutes.

Re: ITV4 Tour Coverage.

22 July 2015 - 10:01pm
I've missed them all usually at a X12 speed.
I think the only thing I've noticed is Alpecin and wonder why anyone needs caffeine in their shampoo.

Re: Tour rules

22 July 2015 - 9:47pm
I understand that he would need to take his old bike with him and hand it to the mechanic in exchange for the new bike.

I have a friend who was riding a time trial, punctured 200 yards from the finish and ran to the line but didn't get a time because he didn't take his bike with him. Different rules (CTT) but I think the principal is the same.

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

22 July 2015 - 8:53pm
thirdcrank wrote:I was posting in reply to a suggestion that Merckx's domination of the TdeF implied doping.

Beyond that, it's generally likely to be futile comparing success at sport between generations because of changing conditions. (There's an argument that they are all softies compared with Eugene Christophe.) Naming a few other prominent strong riders tends to support what I said about the rank-and-file and I suspect that evidence to describe any of Merckx's contemporaries as strong would include their success in beating him - a bit circular. This took place in my golden youth and Merckx is just a few months younger than I am but I've dumped the rose-tinted specs.

I can't think of a better argument that a rider was strong than to say he'd beaten Merckx. I named more than a few strong riders of that era and there were a lot more. To say that riders in the past did not face strong competition is nonsense .

Re: ITV4 Tour Coverage.

22 July 2015 - 8:16pm
Although I share many of the above criticisms of the presentation (and presenters), by far my my least favourite part of the broadcast is the adverts, which I am quick to mute as soon as they appear.

Even without the sound, however, I have to wonder about the kind of stuff that is advertised. Presumably the target audience for the ads is those people who tune in to watch the TdF, people whom you might assume to have at least a passing interest in riding a bike for themselves. What seems remarkable is how few ads there are for bikes and bike kit. Now I can hardly claim to have done a thorough statistical analysis but, apart from noticing a "Wiggle" advert the other day, I can't really remember seeing any cycling stuff being advertised. Loans, insurance, cars, films - and other forgettable things - but very few, if any bikes, cycling clothing etc. We are led to believe that 'cycling is big business' these days, and we certainly see a lot more well-equipped riders on the road, but this apparent lack of interest on the part of cycling manufacturers is rather baffling.

I've always tended to assume that a fair proportion of my fellow-viewers would have approximately similar interests and lifestyles to my own, but I now wonder whether most of them, far from making a deliberate choice to watch cycle racing, are there because they'd be sitting in front of the box anyway, and would probably watch pretty well anything that is put out. It would seem that the marketers regard them as no more likely than anyone else to buy bike stuff.

Or am I missing something?

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

22 July 2015 - 7:37pm
I was posting in reply to a suggestion that Merckx's domination of the TdeF implied doping.

Beyond that, it's generally likely to be futile comparing success at sport between generations because of changing conditions. (There's an argument that they are all softies compared with Eugene Christophe.) Naming a few other prominent strong riders tends to support what I said about the rank-and-file and I suspect that evidence to describe any of Merckx's contemporaries as strong would include their success in beating him - a bit circular. This took place in my golden youth and Merckx is just a few months younger than I am but I've dumped the rose-tinted specs.

Re: ITV4 Tour Coverage.

22 July 2015 - 7:21pm
And he was presented with a 40 year anniversary yellow jersey after today's stage.

New TDF Awards ideas

22 July 2015 - 6:36pm
Any ideas for new jerseys that should be awarded, either during, or at the finish of the TDF.

How about.

Carrying on injured award, maybe the jersey should look like it's made of bandages, needs a snappier title though.
Crash Test dummy award, for most spectacular crash, jersey to be like Foska's crash test dummy one
Best domestique award,

I'd like all the power data collected and shared, then there could be an award for most energy expended. Jersey could be their normal jersey, but with a ready-brek style red glow around it.

Any others people would like to see awarded?
Best debut?
Best old rider?

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

22 July 2015 - 6:06pm
thirdcrank wrote: In short, although riders such as Merckx dominated their era, there was much less strong competition.

For most of his career Merkx was up against Roger De Vlaeminck in the classics. Look up the man's palmares and I think you'll find he's amongst the strongest competition any rider could face in them. Later on he was racing against Freddy Martens and earlier Rik Van Looy and Jaques Anquetil. Felice Gimondi was a constant throughout his career as was Poulidor - older but still capable of second place in the tour as late as 1974. Then there was Louis Ocana, not an easy man to beat. Joop Zoetemelk and Bernard Thevenet shouldn't be regarded as pushovers either.
If anything competition was probably stronger in Merckx's day than currently. As an example when he won the tour in 1972 the four riders just behind him in the GC were Felice Gimondi, Raymond Poulidor, Lucien Van Impe and Joop Zoetemelk. Three tour winners and the chap who probably holds the record for podium places without actually winning - not what I'd call easy opposition.

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

22 July 2015 - 4:44pm
Doping in sport is something I know little about, but IMO it's misleading to think of bike racing in the past in terms of what it's like now. Pro racing was largely restricted to France, Italy, Belgium and Spain, with some more from Holland, Germany and, of course Luxemburg. The amateur part of the sport was dominated by the Iron Curtain countries. The road calendar was a three season affair, with many riders having either a complete break in winter or doing a bit of cyclo-cross. As has been pointed out, some top roadmen were able to continue through the winter with 6 day (track racing) contracts.

The Paris-Nice stage race was generally regarded as a bit of a training run after the winter. Most of the classics, as now were held in the spring and then the Giro was mainly ridden by Italian riders followed a bit later by the TdeF which was a bit more cosmopolitan but still mainly home riders. In the days of national teams - which ended just before Merckx's career, there would be a French national team and several French regional teams. After the TdeF, French riders made their living riding the numerous local village races around-the-houses where each race organiser would pay appearance money for a few pro riders - recent success in the TdeF meaning more appearance money - and then was pretty much the World Championships - held a bit earlier in the year than now - and Tour of Lombardy, then bikes back away for the Winter.

All this meant that there were fewer truly strong riders and there was less specialisation. Obviously, there were sprinters, but not with entire teams forming a lead-out train. There were specialist climbers, too, but largely lightweights who could accelerate repeatedly. In the days when there was much less motorised technical support, domestiques were largely there to fetch and carry for the team leader, swapping wheels and even bikes with the team leader to a much greater extent than happens now. Some domestiques were not full-time riders. eg AFAIK, Roger Chaussabel, who was lanterne rouge in 1956 was also a part-time fireman. They would be expected to forage in roadside bars and cafés for cold drinks, especially in hot weather. In short, although riders such as Merckx dominated their era, there was much less strong competition. No modern rider could hope to dominate the sport in the way that Merckx did, even with rocket fuel: pro bike racing is now much more international, especially since the fall of the Iron Curtain, but television coverage has meant much more money, and more incentive for riders to ride hard throughout a race. Modern professionals are more .... professional.

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

22 July 2015 - 10:35am
thirdcrank wrote:For a couple of decades - 1968 to 1989 - there was also a combined classification for the rider doing best across the three other jersey classifications. It began as a white jersey but was changed to a sort of patchwork quilt of the yellow, green, and polka dot. Eddy Merckx won all four in 1969.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combinati ... _de_France

The diagram illustrating the combined jersey in that link also has a patch of red. At one time, they introduced an intermediate sprint competition separate from the green jersey which was recognised by the award of the red jersey.

Interesting link. Before this years TDF I didnt really understand the jersey qualifications. Have to say though after reading Walsh's book on Armstrong and the world of doping in cycling I'm really suspicious of Eddy Merckx's stunning three jersey win.

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

22 July 2015 - 6:47am
For a couple of decades - 1968 to 1989 - there was also a combined classification for the rider doing best across the three other jersey classifications. It began as a white jersey but was changed to a sort of patchwork quilt of the yellow, green, and polka dot. Eddy Merckx won all four in 1969.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combinati ... _de_France

The diagram illustrating the combined jersey in that link also has a patch of red. At one time, they introduced an intermediate sprint competition separate from the green jersey which was recognised by the award of the red jersey.

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

21 July 2015 - 11:43pm
ukdodger wrote:LollyKat wrote:And Merckx also won the King of the Mountains jersey in 1969 and 1970 - so in his first TdF he won all three jerseys

Wow. But with a performance like that you have to wonder about drugs. Doping was around long before testing.

And testing was around before Merckx. Remember he rode all year round spring classics, the stage races and finishing with the Tour of Lombardy before starting the winter 6 day track stuff. Winners and podium finishers tended to be tested and Merckx was almost always one of those.
Merckx also had a very bad track accident at Blois in the autumn of 69 damaging his pelvis and back so badly he was confined to bed for 6 weeks. By his own admission he was never as good a rider after the accident and in particular it affected his climbing. That may well be why he never again won all the jerseys in a single tour.

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

21 July 2015 - 11:32pm
Merckx's career was both long and consistent. His performances (even as an amateur) were just phenomenal. Back then, those things were not the hallmarks of a doper.

Merckx was found with dope in his system on just three occasions, despite many tests during his long career, during an era of -sometimes flagrant- drug abuse in sport. Of those three, only one lacks a reasonable explanation. I'm inclined to the view that amongst his peers, he was either much less likely to have doped, or (less likely IMHO) he had some special way of doping that was just way better than anyone else's, that he somehow used for about seventeen years.

cheers

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