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2017 Tour De France

Discussion in 'General Sports' started by SocrManiac, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. SocrManiac

    SocrManiac Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    We had a thread for last year’s big bike race. Stage 4 of this year’s event just completed and, well, wow.

    Race officials initially gave World Champion (and Epic Douchebag Model) Peter Sagan a 30 second GC penalty for his role in a crash that seems to have ended Mark Cavendish’s participation, but has since been disqualified entirely. Battle lines seem fairly set at this point with most opinions either in the “Ridiculously unfair” or “Totally justified” camps.



    Let me preface this by saying I hate Sagan’s stupid face and don’t like it when he’s on TV for my wife to make googley eyes. I tend to fall in line with this video’s take. I think the punishment is uncalled for and probably focuses on some damning still shots that don’t tell the whole story. https://cf-e2.streamablevideo.com/v...-G3PrvMU06B7O1hcUrJD7f5DQueG7XneRpmZmrl1KBc0=

    Coincidentally, if you look at the Stage 3 finish, Sagan takes a much more black and white shot at a competitor that didn’t lead to a crash. I can’t find the overhead video of it here, but he steers into a rider in red and leads with his shoulder. The other rider looks at him and backs off.

    What say ye?
     
  2. hawaiirsn

    hawaiirsn Member SoSH Member

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    555
    Was just tired of F5'ing in the Hayward thread and coming over here to start this same thread, so thanks. Certainly been quite a start to the Tour thus far.

    I don't agree with the DQ of Sagan. Maybe I'm just a bit fan boying as I love watching him ride, but it seems like the initially announced penalty would've been more appropriate. The elbow looks bad, but didn't even actually hit Cavendish, and Cav clearly leans his head into Sagan before the elbow to try to squeeze through. Seems like a mistake, and is certainly a disappointment as far as the entertainment value of the tour going forward.
     
  3. StupendousMan

    StupendousMan Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    963
    I'm another regular Tour-watcher. This accident is, I think, an example of the sort of crashes that happen once or twice every Tour during a bunch sprint. Sometimes, they are clearly no one's fault -- when a clump of 10 or 15 men riding all-out try to beat each other to the finish line in a narrow space, it's just going to happen. Sometimes, one can clearly assign blame. I put this particular incident somewhere in the middle.

    If you watch the helicopter view of the finish



    you can see much of what happened, though a tree unfortunately blocks the view of a critical moment. It looks to me as if the story went something like this:

    - to start (0:03 on video), Demare (the rider in red, white and blue) was making a strong sprint up the middle of the road. Cavendish was on his wheel, and Sagan to his left.

    - Demare passes Sagan. All three riders are drifting from left to right, toward the barriers

    - Sagan sees Demare go past him, and accelerates to catch Demare's wheel. This causes his path to start cut off Cavendish's path. I speculate that Sagan didn't see Cavendish at this point

    - (0:06 on video) Demare has passed Sagan, and now starts to cut to the left in order to pass a rider in front of him. Sagan and Cavendish continue to drift to the right, toward the barriers. Cavendish is still slightly behind Sagan.

    - (tree blocks view) Sagan and Cavendish collide, as Cavendish tries to move past Sagan. Cavendish is knocked off balance and falls to his right, into the barrier. Sagan is also unbalanced, but manages to stay upright. His right elbow flies outward.

    Now, from this helicopter video, it seems that the elbow flying outward makes contact with Cavendish and helps to push him over. However, video taken from the finish line, at ground level, seems to show that Cavendish was already falling over when the elbow flew outward, and was not touched by it. A video with a bit of commentary is here:



    In my opinion, Sagan is guilty of not "holding his line" and drifting across Cavendish's right of way, but not guilty of intentionally pushing his opponent into the barriers. I would agree with a penalty, but disqualification seems like too harsh a punishment.

    If you watch a full-length video from the helicopter, you can see that seconds after Cavendish goes down, Demare -- who ended up winning the race -- drifts back to the left and cuts off another rider. The other rider nearly touches Demare's back wheel, but manages to avoid a collision. That action by Demare drew no penalty from the judges, but it clearly violates the written rules. I suspect that similar questionable moves occur in many, perhaps most, of the big sprints, and that people usually ignore them unless a crash occurs.

    Cycling is a high-speed sport with the potential for violent injuries, and these bunch sprints are the most dangerous facets of the sport. I'm not sure it's possible to prevent accidents of this sort as long as the cyclists are still moving in a big group at high speeds towards the line.
     
  4. SocrManiac

    SocrManiac Member SoSH Member

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    2,156
    I agree with you. If you cherry pick the views, you can make Sagan out to be Satan. If you take all of the evidence together, there’s no way you can DQ him.
     
  5. MiracleOfO2704

    MiracleOfO2704 not AWOL SoSH Member

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    5,483
    I used to follow the race a lot more closely in the Armstrong days, but just caught Sagan's DQ on the news. I guess my question is, if this were 500m further from the finish and it's a domestique or lead-out rider that Sagan cuts off, is there even a penalty? Is most of this because it was Cavendish going down, then out of the Tour?
     
  6. Rovin Romine

    Rovin Romine Johnny Rico Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    8,227
    I don't know. It's a 100% douchy move. Sagan knew Cavendish was there. Sagan knew Cavendish had nowhere to go. If you watch Sagan's path (including a second after the crash), there was literally no way Cavendish (parallel to Sagan) could have proceeded without crashing into the barrier - particularly the orange foam barrier, which protrudes further out than the cement barriers. Also, watch Sagan's hips, not his elbow. Sagan's not correcting to his left at contact with another rider, he's continuing to drift and brace toward his right (Cavendish and the barrier). (PS - edit. If you look at stupendous man's first, from above video, six seconds in, Sagan had plenty of room to his left. The head-on video is a telephoto and compresses the depth.)

    There is a general drift, and the positioning takes place quickly, but this is one of those things that operates at almost an instinctive level - you know what your clearance is, and you know how much space is a lane v. how much space is a squeeze. Sagan simply would not have done that to one of his own team members. And that's really the deciding element for me.

    The sport needs less of such things, not more borderline roller-derby calls. The TDF is an endurance race. While there's a lot of strategy, there's no reason not to broadly enforce rules to let riders proceed unobstructed in a final sprint. IMO, if you want good positioning at the finish, you have to do better in the race leading up to that point.
     
    #6 Rovin Romine, Jul 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  7. Average Reds

    Average Reds Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    22,072
    Probably. That doesn't mean it's the wrong call.
     
  8. MiracleOfO2704

    MiracleOfO2704 not AWOL SoSH Member

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    I don't disagree, I just wondered if a lesser rider as a victim would have sent Sagan home. It shouldn't matter, but human nature says otherwise.
     
  9. Schnerres

    Schnerres Member SoSH Member

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    1,511
    So considerig the shirts, this Tour seems to be more open than the last few years.
    Tomorrow´s(SUN) mega stage will bring some attacks right from the start. Chris Froome hasn´t been untouchable, so if he is his classic self, he will destroy the competition tomorrow with his team behind him. But ... we will have to see.

    And considering the green shirt, Sagan´s disqualification and Cav´s injury may a close finish to the final (green) standings, although Marcel Kittel has somehow dominated on the flat stages. Demare, Matthews, Greipel and Kristoff have a chance for the shirt with Kittel, now that Sagan isn´t there.

    Polka dot? Everything is up for grabs, I have no idea who will win this thing, Froome should be Top5, then it´s a big guess...someone from Majka, Aru, Dan Martin, Porte, Quintana and others could win this thing...
     
  10. Dernells Casket n Flagon

    Dernells Casket n Flagon Member SoSH Member

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    2,855
    I was pretty excited for Taylor Phinney's first tour, but I already hate the dude.

    Today has been fun so far and it should only get better. Crazy stage set up today wish it ended on top of a mountain rather than a descent.
     
  11. SocrManiac

    SocrManiac Member SoSH Member

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    2,156
    The Taylor Phinney segments are unwatchable. What an insufferable douchebag.
     
  12. StupendousMan

    StupendousMan Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    963
    Today's stage was unpredictable and always interesting, but sometimes in a very unpleasant way. Richie Porte suffered a very bad crash going ~45 mph downhill on a slippery, steep descent of the final mountain of the day; he's in the hospital with a broken collarbone and broken (but not displaced) pelvis, which is surprisingly good, given how scary things looked in real time.

    Unfortunately, he slid into Dan Martin and caused Martin to crash, too. Martin might have been a favorite to win the stage, as he was in the group that eventually finished together, and he's has a strong finish. He got up and continued, but his front brakes were damaged by the crash, so when almost immediately crashed _again_ when he tried (and failed) to use them on the next turn. Poor Dan. He's currently in sixth place, 1:44 down from Froome.

    One of the most conversation-worthy facets to today's face happened on the final climb. A group of about 8 of the top riders was together, about 2/3 of the way up the very large hill, when the current leader and race favorite Chris Froome suffered a mechanical problem: his shifter failed. One of the other favorites, Fabian Aru, immediately attacked, and opened up a big gap between the group and Froome. When some of the other riders realized that Froome had a problem with his bike, they told Aru (and each other) to stop riding hard, and wait for Froome to catch up. There is an unwritten rule, a custom among _some_ riders, that one should not take advantage of an opponent's mechanical failure. Some riders don't follow this custom, some do. Should they? It's a good topic for a long session around the keg ...

    Today, those riders did slow down and wait for Froome to catch up. Afterwards, as they all descended that mountain, two of them crashed; Porte stayed down, but Dan Martin got up and continued riding. Froome (and the other riders) did NOT wait for Martin to catch up. Apparently, the unwritten rule is "wait for a rider whose bike has a problem, but ride away from a rider who was knocked over in an accident."

    As you can probably tell, I'm not a fan of this (and other) unwritten rules. Maybe it dates back to the time that Andy Schleck dropped a chain in 2010 and watched helplessly as Contador, Menchov and Sanchez rode away....
     
  13. MuzzyField

    MuzzyField Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    5,274
    I agree, it's a bike race. The bike matters and when the best equipment from a major manufacturer/sponsor fails, crush em. I love watching, but I'm not sure this TDF will keep me for the whole ride.

    Thankfully, the sports is completely clean now... Ha!
     
  14. inter tatters

    inter tatters Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter SoSH Member

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    524
    The difference was, Froome, Aru and, I think, Uran, were all in front of Porte when the crash happened so didn't know anything about it and, rather than scare the living crap out of them on an already difficult descent, particularly Froome as he's good friends with Porte, the teams didn't tell them until they got to the bottom. You could possibly say they should have slowed up at the bottom, but with Quintana right behind Martin, Froome would have lost the entirety of the lead he worked hard for when he shed Quintana on the climb.

    Aru looks to be Froome's only real challenger now, but with Froome's far higher ability in TT riding, Aru is going to need to obliterate Froome on one of the mountain stages in either the Pyrenees or Alps and the way Froome rode yesterday, I can't see it.
     
  15. StupendousMan

    StupendousMan Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    963
    Actually, the order at the time of the crash was: Froome, Aru, Barguil (?), Porte, Martin, Uran, Bardet. So Uran and Bardet saw the crash happen -- not only saw it: Uran's gears were damaged by Martin's foot as he rode past. You can see for yourself at:

    http://www.steephill.tv/players/720...hboard=tour-de-france&id=pXFsvD4rlgqx&yr=2017

    The entire group would have been aware of the crash within a few minutes after it happened.
     
  16. inter tatters

    inter tatters Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter SoSH Member

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    524
    Barguil was the lone breakaway rider in front so, yes, he missed it.

    You're correct, I forgot about Uran. However, riding at 45mph downhill, it is extremely unlikely they would have been able to communicate until they got to the bottom. Oh and within a few minutes, they were at the bottom, so what would have been the difference? Also, do you think, having seen the way Martin got wiped out, Uran or Bardet would have thought Martin was getting back on any time soon - I, personally, couldn't believe he did, especially after Majka and Thomas earlier in the stage?

    The teams definitely didn't communicate the crash to their riders until they reached the bottom, that was confirmed by the TV analysts in the UK and, as I said, Martin ended up finishing in the same group as Quintana. So, I ask again, would it be have been fair for Quintana to benefit from Martin's unfortunate spill too?
     
  17. Snedds

    Snedds Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    59
    The other distinction between stopping for Froome verses Martin/Porte, aside from the mechanical vs. crash debate, is that the unwritten rule is to do with respecting the maillot jaune and not attacking the race leader when in difficulty.
     
  18. Snedds

    Snedds Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    59
    I would say as well, if a rider has a mechanical, you know that's a pretty quick fix. Get a bike change done and you're sorted. If someone goes over in a crash, especially on a quick decent, it's just unrealistic to expect anyone to stop, as there's no way of knowing a) how long they'll be down for or b) if they'll even be able to continue.
     
  19. semsox

    semsox Member SoSH Member

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    1,438
    Awesome stage today. Froome finally showed a potential crack
     
  20. Dan Murfman

    Dan Murfman Member SoSH Member

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    That finish. On the bike for over 5:30 hours with a bunch of tough climbs and then the last 400 meters just straight up.
     
  21. Dernells Casket n Flagon

    Dernells Casket n Flagon Member SoSH Member

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    2,855
    This has actually turned into a pretty exciting tour. I really was expecting a Froome robot performance the whole tour. A lot of riders in very close contention, but based on the time trial and gaps I think Froome is still favorite.
     
  22. StupendousMan

    StupendousMan Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    963
    Froome also has by far the strongest team to help him. I'd say he's the strong favorite at this point.
     
  23. Schnerres

    Schnerres Member SoSH Member

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    1,511
    Froome fighting back from broken wheel. Please someone, anyone take the yellow!
     
  24. inter tatters

    inter tatters Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter SoSH Member

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    524
    The French "Fans" showed their true colours again yesterday. The abuse and booing of Froome as he rode alone trying to catch up was ridiculous.
     
  25. Dernells Casket n Flagon

    Dernells Casket n Flagon Member SoSH Member

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    2,855
    I've got no problem with them booing a competitor, especially when their countryman has a chance to take the yellow jersey. They didn't interfere or hassle him or throw water on him like you've seen happen in previous years. He should take it as a sign of respect. I can't see how anyone can get Froome this year with the TT still to go the way he rode his way back in after the flat tire yesterday. They should have attacked him as soon as he pulled himself back.

    I hope Taylor Phinney rides off a mountain before the tour is over. "If you think I'm a chill dude, then Rigoberto is a chillllll duuuuuuude." I don't think you're a chill dude, I think you're a complete tool.

    As for race coverage this year, I think the NBC Sports has done a better job than previous years. I really like the perspective of Christian Van De Velde as one of the main commentators, and I love Jens Voigt. If he didn't have such a strong accent, he should be their go to. Bob Roll has been greatly reduced, which is another big plus. I don't mind him in very small quantities. I honestly am wondering if Phil Sherwin might be having some mental deterioration due to age. He's 73 now, and all tour he's been mixing up names, confusing riders and forgetting riders last names. Getting into Pat Summerall territory.
     
  26. SocrManiac

    SocrManiac Member SoSH Member

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    2,156
    Agreed on all of your coverage points. I just wish they hadn't moved to NBC Gold (really not looking forward to the EPL season as a result of that). I just don't know how you'd watch it live- it's an orgy of a five commercial rotation for the first 2.5 hours. It must be nearly a 50% advertisement rate.

    I realize Phinney is NBC's choice for connecting the US audience to the tour, but is anybody at the network actually paying attention? He is a caricature of all of the worst qualities you'd expect in a millennial, except from what I've heard he doesn't even connect with his own age group. He's just awful in every conceivable way.
     
  27. barbed wire Bob

    barbed wire Bob crippled by fear Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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