Re: News From The Pro Tour

Postby Tugboat on Sat 5/Mar/11 7:51am

W00t!!! Jesse Sergent leads the Tour of West Flanders after winning the prologue!! Sam Bewley in third. :) :thumbsup:


http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/drieda ... ue/results
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Re: News From The Pro Tour

Postby johnL on Sat 5/Mar/11 8:04am

pretty sweet eh
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Re: News From The Pro Tour

Postby Oli on Sat 5/Mar/11 8:17am

jimc wrote:You can certainly Jen's point of view. However, I thought the ban on radios was just to stop the relay of break information so the bunch had to think about the time gap? They still had access to race information with regards to the safety on the roads? I may be wrong!
There is still race radio in the cars, I believe, but no radios between cars and riders.
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Re: News From The Pro Tour

Postby Gavatron on Sat 5/Mar/11 9:40am

I've been following the radio issue closely as surprisingly for once I agree in principle with the UCI. Pro race stages can be soul-less, calculating affairs where at worst race directors manipulate their robotic resources to best effect and where breakaways only succeed if the peleton (or the puppeteers) miscalculate.

I really rate Jens but initially felt his appeal for radios was OTT. However I read it again and had to admit even though (as he himself admits at one point) he exaggerates, he makes some good points. Others may like the explosion of activity in the last few kms after hours of flat tedium but I don't so some alternatives would be good. And at least he does propose some alternative ideas which shows he really thinks about these sorts of things.

His argument in favour of radios based on incidents of rogue cars on the course or serious crashes seems to be that radios are essential to receive this sort of information. However this ignores that fact the races have other vehicles on the course, especially near the front, such as motorcycle commissaires who can relay safety info to riders just as they do now with split times.

If safety is the main reason to keep radios why not link the riders to race radio (or an edited version) so they can receive split times and other relevant race information, and importantly any safety warnings, but not direct communciation from their team cars?

This way they would receive the safety warrnings that Jens is concerned about but the riders on the road would have to make their own decisions as the race unfolds rather than waiting to be told what to do.

The radio issue is the main one on the surface of a lot of tension between the pro teams and the UCI. The C in their name does not stand for consultation (or compromise) but it needs to.
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Re: News From The Pro Tour

Postby jimc on Sat 5/Mar/11 2:03pm

Gavatron wrote:I've been following the radio issue closely as surprisingly for once I agree in principle with the UCI. Pro race stages can be soul-less, calculating affairs where at worst race directors manipulate their robotic resources to best effect and where breakaways only succeed if the peleton (or the puppeteers) miscalculate.

I really rate Jens but initially felt his appeal for radios was OTT. However I read it again and had to admit even though (as he himself admits at one point) he exaggerates, he makes some good points. Others may like the explosion of activity in the last few kms after hours of flat tedium but I don't so some alternatives would be good. And at least he does propose some alternative ideas which shows he really thinks about these sorts of things.

His argument in favour of radios based on incidents of rogue cars on the course or serious crashes seems to be that radios are essential to receive this sort of information. However this ignores that fact the races have other vehicles on the course, especially near the front, such as motorcycle commissaires who can relay safety info to riders just as they do now with split times.

If safety is the main reason to keep radios why not link the riders to race radio (or an edited version) so they can receive split times and other relevant race information, and importantly any safety warnings, but not direct communciation from their team cars?

This way they would receive the safety warrnings that Jens is concerned about but the riders on the road would have to make their own decisions as the race unfolds rather than waiting to be told what to do.

The radio issue is the main one on the surface of a lot of tension between the pro teams and the UCI. The C in their name does not stand for consultation (or compromise) but it needs to.

:withstupid:
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Re: News From The Pro Tour

Postby musket on Sat 5/Mar/11 2:12pm

Oli wrote:
jimc wrote:You can certainly Jen's point of view. However, I thought the ban on radios was just to stop the relay of break information so the bunch had to think about the time gap? They still had access to race information with regards to the safety on the roads? I may be wrong!
There is still race radio in the cars, I believe, but no radios between cars and riders.


Correct. The main change is that it's now up to the Event Organiser to relay info to riders via loud hailer / motos / whiteboards etc etc as there's no DS to rider communication excet if they come back to the car (which is a hassle without radios, they need to drop back to comm so you can be called up, or drop to you in convoy). This is something that has been done well, and also very badly, and can really impact on results.
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Re: News From The Pro Tour

Postby johnL on Sat 5/Mar/11 4:47pm

they have to come back for bidons, they can also get info at same time.
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Re: News From The Pro Tour

Postby musket on Sat 5/Mar/11 7:40pm

johnL wrote:they have to come back for bidons, they can also get info at same time.


Yeah, they do, but even that can be dangerous without radios, when you have drop back to Comm1 and then wait for your team to be called up in turn. The lack of radios makes a whole load of the logistical stuff spectators don't worry about much harder and riskier, and it's not about to go back to pre-radio type feeding where the DS just drives up the side of the bunch.

Also - info only when feeding means info 2 or 3 times a race - pretty useless. That's why (as I said) event organisers need to ensure safety and race info is relayed.

One tour I was at last year saw a major (10 rider) crash on a descent, with another 15-20 riders stuck trying to get through and around. No race radios and poor, poor info systems from event organiser meant there were convoy cars (me included) coming down the mountain right in to the middle of riders all over the road. I still remember being in total shock as I took the team vehicle through riders all over the hairpin - maybe 1m from riders on each side and only by luck not killing anyone.

It turned out that they'd been down for some time, and race radio knew but hadn't figured out how to relay the info.
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Re: News From The Pro Tour

Postby johnL on Sat 5/Mar/11 8:17pm

yes thats a commasaire issue, and communication to convoy. all cars would not necessary get info from riders in bunch either.
radios have only been in since Motorola team started them. Just a bunch of riders and team support that has had nothing different. they can just get an "I phone" mounted in stem and get txt updates anyway :sly:

The autobus

In the mountain stages we hear about the last group of riders that come in as the laughing group, the grupetto, the sprinters group, or the autobus. This is the group of riders that can’t climb as well as the top riders and have no hope for the stage win or overall on the GC. The goal of this group is to come within the time limit of the stage (often 15% of the winners time), and use as little amount of energy as possible. They ride at a steady tempo together. No sense in Boonen or McEwen to ride hard to get 65th and be tired for when the flat stages return, or for the domestiques to spend energy when they are not working for the team leader.

the good old days
"The autobus has been around for many years and it often has a captain or driver. This rider is an experienced rider who has the ability to tell on how fast they need to go to make the time gap. In recent years with all riders having radio contact with the cars this roll is not as important, but the driver of the autobus used to pick up from radios and people talking on the side of the road how hard the riders in the front of the race was going, and speed up or slow down the group as necessary. Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle was a great driver of the autobus in the 80’s and early 90’s. After him came big Eros Poli who was another famous driver. Poli in ’94 left the bus and went off at the start of a stage in the Tour and won the day when they went over Mt Ventoux. He hit the base of the mountain with almost a 30 minute lead and was down to less around 10 minutes by the top. It was not the prettiest of rides, but one of the bravest. After Poli there has not been a true driver of the bus, with maybe Eric Zabel assuming that roll the most in recent years. Not sure if there is a driver of the autobus in this years Tour, but the autobus certainly exists with a group of 53 riders including Boonen and McEwen finishing 40 minutes behind Vino. While early race leader Jens Voigt could not even hang with the sprinters and finished outside the time limit and is headed home."
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Re: News From The Pro Tour

Postby musket on Sat 5/Mar/11 8:44pm

I agree in part John - but at any Tour where I've been informed of safety risks by my riders, the first thing I do is relay that via race radio to the REO and other DS's.

The autobus times can often be worked out the evening before a stage - with only minor adjustments needed to accommodate particularly aggressive (or slow) days.

I'm not sure any of these arguments show radios are a bad thing...
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Re: News From The Pro Tour

Postby way_downsouth on Sun 6/Mar/11 7:11am

While I am no expert on this, I would have thought the easiest solution would be the central race radio would have been the go. Split updates and safety information with everyone on the same page would work a treat.
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Re: News From The Pro Tour

Postby Tugboat on Sun 6/Mar/11 11:22am

It continues to be a great weekend for the Kiwi pros... Jeremy Vennell notched up a win in the TT at the Merco Cycling Classic in the States.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/merco- ... al/results


And Jesse Sergent finished in the bunch but retained yellow in West Flanders!
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Re: News From The Pro Tour

Postby Tugboat on Mon 7/Mar/11 6:19am

Jesse Sergent has won the 3 days of West Flanders tour! Great result set up by his awesome prologue win.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/drieda ... -2/results
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Re: News From The Pro Tour

Postby Gavatron on Mon 7/Mar/11 7:15am

Awesome weekend for Kiwis! Capped by Greg Henderson's fifth place overnight on stage one of Paris-Nice.
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Re: News From The Pro Tour

Postby johnL on Mon 7/Mar/11 7:18am

well would you look at that. a good weekend for all the boys
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