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Tirreno-Adriatico: Wed 9th - Tue 15th March 2015

FP thread kicked off and awaiting here

BMC take ttt with OS's in the blue at nearly 57 km/ h  (56.947km/ h)

Since when did fdj learn to ttt good in third?

My pick of cannondale was way off

Some background on today's stage:

“The stage presents a Classics-style finale that I helped to ‘design,’” Bettini writes, mindful, no doubt, that not everyone in the peloton will be grateful for his input. “Thinking back on it, I’ve been a bit of a bastard…”

Didn't expect the stage we got today although with bettini doing the route, shouldn't have underestimated it in terms of fping

Unfortunately tomorrow is cancelled due to snow

So it basically becomes a race with 2 times trials and not a single, meaningful climb?
Talk about eggs in one basket.
What a shit edition this is turning out to be.
And it's not the first time.

Yep, picking a team for Velogames turns out to be a slightly less than satisfactory exercise.  Besides the race being a little less than interesting.  

Still, the season has begun for sure.    Rolling Eyes

Yup ... cancelled stage even though no snow was forecast.  Why do Astana (not my favourite team by far) have to check the stage out and find its clear ... isn't that what the organisers do.

Now ... I suppose we have no Paris Roubaix if its raining?  Where's the consistency? Joke sport yet again.

After the big disappointment of yesterday, an interesting stage today, as stybar and van avermaet tried to eke out a bit more of an advantage. It looked in the final km that they were going to play cat and mouse and might have got caught.

I did quite enjoy yesterday's stage with a lot of the main movers and shakers in the break and trying to avoid being caught so they could eke out some few seconds to set themselves up for today.

So on to today and Peter the Second comes up with a new way to live up to his name. It's The Curse I tell you Wink

Bartali wrote:
Yup ... cancelled stage even though no snow was forecast.  Why do Astana (not my favourite team by far) have to check the stage out and find its clear ... isn't that what the organisers do.

Now ... I suppose we have no Paris Roubaix if its raining?  Where's the consistency? Joke sport yet again.

I'm pretty sure snow was forecast. Given that Paris Nice had been forced to abandon a stage just a day or two earlier, I think the organisers were damned if they did and damned if they didn't.

Having not been impressed with RCS on the Stelvio a couple of years back, I should probably give them credit for trying to do the right thing and whatever the circumstances basing a decision on how it impacts Nibali's potential race is not on the table.

Indeed, they went with some concrete decision, and quickly... especially after the feedback coming from France around P-N - starting then stopping then cancelling...

From what I have read posted by the Italians on the CN forum, they said the majority of forecasts had no snowfall.
One posted a local forecast map which was snow icon free.

If this weather protocol thing is the sport's future, then the RCS should forget about including certain, iconic climbs for as long as the Giro remains in May and Tirreno needs to drop mountain finishes altogether and go with a couple of those Chieti type stages.

As for this race, due to the emasculated parcour it ended as a close race, but exciting, (other than the final laps yesterday) it most certainly was not.
It also leaves the GT men with a headache.
They might need to add a race to their programme, should a suitable option be available.

it is a difficult for climbers to get races suited to them as most races as it is don't have mountain stages. it was a lament of kenny ellisonde's the lack of proper climbing races

we've seen snow stop races in may, two as proper climbing stage races being giro di trentino and route du sud but trentino is in april so could face similar problems.

on tirreno addriatico, i know i asked after the ttt something similar but fdj what work have they been doing to be tting well in this race?

Huw puts it well ... as ever.  It doesn't take a genius to check out the stage nearer the time.  And lets be honest ... snow on a climb is no less dangerous than PR in the wet.  The sport has gone soft ... like many things in modern life.


I don't doubt that some forecasts were snow free, but equally I don't doubt that some forecasts would have had snow. The various stakeholders are not going to cancel on a whim. IMO. Also a lot of the stage was up and down. A lack of snow at the finish doesn't mean no snow on one of the earlier passes. This was exactly the situation in the Paris-Nice photos you posted when the stage was abandoned.

Ultimately, a forecast is a professional guess and I still think that seeing ASO a day earlier trying to push on with the stage and then coming a cropper with a lack of resources to actually transport the riders and bikes to their hotels once abandonment was forced on them would have weighed heavily on the decision to cancel. Without that backdrop I suspect they would have been less cautious.

I had a look at the protocol and it's pretty vague and short. Extreme weather (undefined) forecasts precipitate an obligatory meeting between organisers, race doctor, rider reps, UCI commissars and they agree what to do if anything. Nothing is prescribed other than at least forcing people to discuss the situation. I don't think it is going to change the character of races as such and it will bed in OK once people get used to it. Nibali's Giro win came amidst one stage cancellation plus two further stage truncations due to snow. Nothing to do with the protocol. Snow happens. Even in late spring. Off the top of my head I can think of snow impacting 2 Giros, an MSR, a Romandie and a Suisse in the last few years.

I agree that the race was not exciting as a whole. I only commented that the last two days of it had at least been entertaining as a different set of riders seized the opportunity they were given.


I dont think I express myself that much worse than Huw - it's just that you disagree with me Wink

I'd even say that snow on a climb is a lot safer than PR in the wet. The situation is more complicated than that though. There were multiple passes to descend. You have the whole caravan associated with the race to get up and down too. You have volunteers and police to inform. You have the public maybe getting caught up a mountain in bad conditions if the worst forecast comes to pass. You've got to get back down after the stage. I honestly think that they made their decision as best and as timely they could.

I've gotten pretty used to snow over the last few years. Last year we had it as late as May and as early as October. I was caught out in May as I had swapped to summer tyres on the car and it was basically difficult to drive even in a car park after just a few hours of it and a few inches. It's not about being soft (well the snow is), it's just not very possible. In January this year I tried to go over a small local pass (only 600m) with the winter road bike but once I got to 450m I had no more traction even though it was only an inch or two. Perfectly safe, but I was going no further. It was no problem the next day with studded tyres on the mountain bike - even when the gradient hit 18% Smile

You might be surprised how changeable it can be at this time of year. It was snowing here on Wednesday with no hint of sunshine. Today was a glorious spring day, a good 10-12 degrees warmer and I've never seen so many skiing day trippers at the train station in the morning taking advantage of the blues skies and fresh snow. The video Astana posted doesn't surprise me but I don't read too much into it as I know the difference 24 hours makes. The in car Astana video I want to see is the one where Nibali is hanging on to the wing mirror for an hour Wink

Anyway, I'm not really arguing about it and I've gone on enough. Just offering a my perspective. Races in the mountains in the depth of summer get affected by landslides and flash floods. Nature happens. We miss out on a day of free entertainment . . .

Comparing to other outdoor sports, you'd say it was a bit extreme to call it off a day before - usually inspections on-the-day or last minute decision to cancel can be more accurate vs. weather forecasts. But i guess it's understandable, to do that prior to the support staff and the fans getting out onto the side of the road in the expected terrible weather.

But what grinds me is that it sets a precedent... if its windy in Gent-Wevelgem, are they going to cancel it?

There should be a quantifiable metric which could define when the stage/race is cancelled.. heavy snowfall on a day with many descents, winds of xy kmph gusts, lashing it down with rain... etc


I was in no way having a pop at you, just giving vent to my feelings upon possible implications further down the line.

I genuinely hadn't thought you were and sorry if there's some inadvertent tone to my last post that suggests I'm annoyed Smile I went on a bit more that I intended to and with work stopping me from posting as much as I would normally like I just went off on a Friday night ramble . . .

I understand the points you were making, but I hope/think that the cancellation is a cautious misjudgement rather than a step change due to the new protocol. Time will tell.

Biosphere wrote:
I dont think I express myself that much worse than Huw - it's just that you disagree with me Wink

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