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Biosphere

Stage 4 TdF: Wed, July 4th: Abbeville - Rouen 215km

Down the Alabaster Coast

Jean-François Pescheux wrote:
The fourth stage, the fifth day of racing, but I am sure there will already be some gaps, proving that the prologue, the finish in Seraing and, most importantly, the finish in Boulogne-sur-Mer have made an impact. Today, we continue with one of the longest stages in the Tour, with 214.5 km between Abbeville and Rouen. We will obviously seize the opportunity to pay tribute to Jacques Anquetil. We will also emphasise the touristic aspect of the Tour by riding down the Alabaster coast for a long time and enjoying its breathtaking landscapes and light effects.








http://www.steephill.tv/2012/tour-de-france/previews-results/stage-04/
smarauder68

Rumor has it David Millar is targeting this stage for a breakaway.  The little bump near the end might cause the peleton to come unglued a bit.  I think a break will succeed by about a minute.
Bartali

They're taking the piss with those climbs ... how can 1.8km @ 3.9% be a 4th cat climb. That's virtually flat!
Biosphere

Do they do it to keep the KOM sponsor happy in light of this years novel parcours?
gerry12ie

I was at a ladies race tonight and it was breezy enough to cause a couple of problems - the long run along the coast might make for some frantic stuff tomorrow if the weather obliges...

Just checked, light breeze forecast only

12:00–18:00 20° 0.1 – 0.4 mm
Light breeze, 3 m/s from southwest
Beasley

Bartali wrote:
They're taking the piss with those climbs ... how can 1.8km @ 3.9% be a 4th cat climb. That's virtually flat!

I expect the ASO squeezed some $$$ out of the local region by allowing them to 'host' a prime.
Biosphere

Beasley wrote:
I expect the ASO squeezed some $$$ out of the local region by allowing them to 'host' a prime.


That would be a better explanation Smile
Bartali

Makes sense Beasley!
kathy

Moncoutie in a break on an almost flat stage!  What's going on?
Severo

Stuck with ITV4. I really can't stand Phil & Paul. At least on ES there's Sean Kelly.
ullrichfan

Mouncoutie finding his legs before they hit the mountains, Kathy?
HuwB

Some nice villages along the coastal route.
Other than that, we've had an EPIC wheel change.
Beasley

Goss given the honour of leading Cav out in today's intermediate sprint & Renshaw gets in the way to relegate Sagan to 7th.

Anyone would think they use to ride together or something...
Fontfroide

Well they say it pays to have pals in the peloton.
They also say the young ones get ganged up on and taught lessons by the older ones.
Some say linguistic groups tend to hang together, like English speakers.

Well that pretty much explains it.
HuwB

Cantwell brings down Nibali?
Fontfroide

Anyone know why the helmets of Wiggo and Cav look "solid" and the rest of the team have yellow helmets that look normal.
kathy

Typical northern France weather today!
kathy

Fontfroide wrote:
Anyone know why the helmets of Wiggo and Cav look "solid" and the rest of the team have yellow helmets that look normal.


Just to show they're more important Laughing
Fontfroide

Jalabert says the last little hill is a big ring job.
kathy

Oops!  Won't be Cav's stage today
Fontfroide

Asahiro speaks quite good French.  Started riding at 18 right around these very roads.
Severo

I'm starting to wonder about Goss: he's not quick enough to beat Cavendish or Greipel in the flat sprints, but he's not strong enough to get anywhere near Sagan when it gets a bit tougher, so where is his chance of victory going to be? Perhaps in a sprint shortly after a decent hill, but then I'd go for Sagan anyway...
Beasley

In sprinting terms, Goss is in the same category as EBH. He does everything well, but not good enough to challenge the virtuosi.

Bit of a 'tweener, but at least a monument winning one!
MS

Is the gap between Cavendish and Greipel more or less equal to the gap between Greipel and everyone else?
Fontfroide

Beasley wrote:
In sprinting terms, Goss is in the same category as EBH. He does everything well, but not good enough to challenge the virtuosi.

Bit of a 'tweener, but at least a monument winning one!


Well put.  I think EBH will be ordered to lose weight and learn to climb.
Nolte

a review of how my fp's has done:

stage 1 - rojas - crashed
stage 2 - hutarovich - 7th?
stage 3 - marcato - crashed (photo in irish times of him looking very dejected after the crash in the finale yesterday. maybe he came across my pick and wanted to go for it as he saw someone had faith in him but unfortunately crashed and that's why he looked dejected, for letting down the person who believed in him. marco, if you're reading this, it's ok)
stage 4 - renshaw - crashed.
Nolte

it's an interesting argument today in regards to time gaps at the finish. you could see at the finish, with the riders going for thee sprint and the other riders who safely made it through the crash at 2.8km, but a considerable gap appears.
the aso has decided to give them all the same time.
Fontfroide

Nolte,

Without seeming to be a hopeless rule follower, there are rules.  The rules can change, but they applied the rules.  ASO is the organisers and rakes in the money.  Formally speaking, I don't think they apply the rules.  I thought the commissars, who are UCI guys, applied the rules.  Although I really don't know for sure.  

There is no trick to it though, they see whose chip goes past the timer at three k.  If they are in the same group, they get the same time.  This allows riders who are not sprinters to fade back and not have to worry about small gaps that have caused problems in the past.  Everyone can let the Sprinters get on with it.
Bartali

But I thought you got the same time if you have a crash in the last 3km ... isn't Nolte suggesting some were dropped/sat up?
kathy

Yes, the rule only applies to people who crash, or are held up by a crash in the last 3k.  Not to people who are too lazy to keep up with the pace!
Fontfroide

I am not going to argue the point for long, because in fact, I don't really know.  And doubt if I am going to study the rules deeply.

As I understand it, there is a device that clocks the chips/transmitters on each bike as they pass the 3k mark, so at that point they know who is in what group.  they might even take the time at that point, but I am not sure.  If there is a crash, they all get the same time, even if they take a long time to get up and walk or ride the bike across the line.  Or if they hang about looking after a teammate, or if they are just pissed off (like Cav yesterday).

As I understand it, previously, if a gap of more than a bike length (roughly) appeared in the long line or grouping of riders who crossed the line, the commissars were entitled to give the "second" group the time of the first rider in that group to cross the finish ine.  In other words, a gap of two or three bike lengths could cost everyone in the second group or third group ten seconds, or more.  It happened.  And the guy who was fourth to cross the line in the second group would be pissed off with the first guy in the group who clearly lost the wheel at the end, allowing the gap to lengthen.  The result was that right up until the very end, no one slowed down, they all wanted to be in one big group, with no gaps.  This resulted in a huge crowd of non-sprinters messing things up for the trains, the sprinters and so forth.  No one seemed to want this.  the GC guys felt it was dangerous for them, the sprinters thought those climber guys should just piss off and let them sprint.

Sooo, they made it possible for the various non-competitiors in the sprint to ease up after three k, and leave the front argy bargy to those who cared.  That is why gaps occur, and why some of the riders "give up".  On the other hand, it is still better to be up front, than out back, so all riders do not always slow completely and fade out.

That is how I understand it.  And I am in favour of it.
Fontfroide

As you can see, it is not the ASO who is the interpreter of the rules. There are four commissars, although many others exist along the route. No idea who picks them.  If there is a big disagreement, the president takes the decision.  They are meant to be totally independent.  They tell the ASo about the decisions and the ASO communicates to the teams.

http://www.letour.fr/le-tour/2012/docs/reglement.pdf

You can also find at that site, the rules for the controversial limits of the delay for the autobus that comes in late on every big climbing stage.  VERY technical, but comprehensible.

➜ Article 12 Collège des
commissaires
Le Collège des commissaires, qui délibère en
français, comprend :
• le président du Collège ;
• trois commissaires internationaux.
Le Collège prend connaissance des
infractions relevées par les commissaires et
les officiels de l’épreuve, délibère en toute
indépendance et prononce les sanctions
qu’il juge nécessaires, dans le respect du
présent règlement, de celui de l’UCI et de la
Fédération Française de Cyclisme.
La voix du président est prépondérante.
Toutes les décisions du Collège sont
immédiatement communiquées à la direction
de l’épreuve, laquelle assume la charge de les
porter à la connaissance des directeurs sportifs
puis de la presse dans les meilleurs délais.
Severo

It's been suggested before to take the time for flat stages at the 3km mark. It'd allow all the GC guys and helpers to then ease up and leave the messy stuff to the sprinters and their teammates for the stage win.

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