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tour de france

(28 Posts)
rosy71 Sun 26-Jul-15 21:40:16

Anyone enjoy watching this? Just a little gripe. Today was the final stage in Paris & was preceded by a women's race over the final circuit. Great for women's cycling. However, there were several crashes due to the treacherous conditions in very heavy rain. Consequently, the course was altered & those parts of the course were missed out for the men! It felt a bit like the women were testing the course out before the men came along!

CoolWheelsPan Sun 26-Jul-15 21:53:34

Well not really. It was still the same course circuits round the centre of Paris, and it was very treacherous. The only recognition for the conditions was the the times given for the men's Tour were given as the end of the first lap, once they had gotten onto the circuit, and they completed a further 10 laps ( I think). To do otherwise would have been grossly negligent and dangerous.
LaCourse, the women's race was confined to the circuits only, whereas the men's Tour was approx 2,000 miles round France, and a bit of Belgium.
I did post elsewhere that it looked like it was okay for the women but too tough for the, which wasn't really the case.

But still excellent to have this second edition of LaCourse, as well as a womens Tour in Spain and Italy too.

rosy71 Sun 26-Jul-15 22:18:26

I stand corrected. I did think they had missed parts out. Oh well. Still seemed slightly unfair that the women were crashing all over the place though!

I agree, it was great to have the women racing too. smile

CoolWheelsPan Sun 26-Jul-15 22:25:27

oh sure it was painful to watch, and the men were watching it on tv before they set off from the outskirts of Paris so they knew what was coming - wet cobbles are a nightmare. One of them joked 'it looks like we are having the after Tour party at A&E'...
A problem was that LaCourse would have been much more competitive, as it was a one-stage race. For the men at the end of Le Tour it's largely processional, as to 'attack' the yellow jersey on the last stage just isn't done - the Paris stage focuses on the sprint finish.
Still there was a nasty tumble toward to end.

If they had neutralised the women's race after the first lap, the way they did for the men, there would have basically been no race at all, whereas the men's race today was the last stage of 21, and the overall winners had already been decided (barring accidents), so neutralising it after the first lap didn't affect the General Classification, just the stage winner.

dominogocatgo Mon 27-Jul-15 09:31:30

Why don't the women and men race together ? There would be uproar if they ran a different race for say, black cyclists.

Stubbed Mon 27-Jul-15 09:44:28

The men and women don't race together because the men are generally faster and the women would come last. So no real race for the women. There should be a women's Tour de France though.

Childrenofthestones Mon 27-Jul-15 09:44:50

Are you serious? I think you know the answer to that, the women would very likely be thrashed.
Why isn't there a 21 stage women's race is the question? The same course setting off an hour after the men say?
Is it a lack of numbers or possibly a lack of sponsers?
Surely there would be an interest in it and costs would be minimal as the course infrastructure would already be there.

Mide7 Mon 27-Jul-15 09:50:07

I know it's all about endurance but there isn't always a massive difference between men and women in really long distance events. Obviously sprint finishes would favour men.

I'm sure I read here that some of the best ultra marathon runners are women.

laurierf Mon 27-Jul-15 09:58:27

That's a helpful contribution domino. hmm

I would really like to see a real tour de france for women. I enjoy watching the men's tour and was rooting for Quintana, not least because I'd seen a documentary about him and he's the face of a television campaign in Colombia to promote gender equality and encouraging men to share household and family tasks.

Childrenofthestones Mon 27-Jul-15 11:13:30

If you want a woman's tour De France sign here.
50,000 signatures and rising.

CoolWheelsPan Mon 27-Jul-15 11:19:56

It's not so easy as that domino - the women/black analogies have severe limitations in practice. Do you follow any professional biking at all?

Womens Tour? There is the 'women's version' of the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta Espana (which comes later this year) but I don;t think they are the same races over the same courses as the mens' races.
Sponsorship may be an issue, though all of the teams at LaCourse were pro teams. The cost though to teams to do a Grand Tour at a time when womens pro-biking isn't fully developed yet (though leaps and bounds atm) could be prohibitive.
Also the tours can be put on because they have small towns as staging posts as they are 'cheaper' and utterly swamp them for 24 hours. Could these small places also 'support' double the personnel demand? Probs not.
Besides, I am sure Marianna Vos (seen as the lead player to securing LaCourse and winning last years race and current World Champ) isn't looking to necessarily just ape what the men do.

All parties agree that to develop women's pro-cycling sooner rather than later is to get more women riding day-to-day so attachments are made. Bits of kit and bikes are bought and the demand-side of the industry is promoted.

Mide7 Mon 27-Jul-15 11:27:47

Something I've noticed since the massive uptake in road cycling in the last 5 years or so is the increase in women riding.

Before say 2012 the sport seemed to be solely men aged between 30 and 40. Really diversified in recent years.

laurierf Mon 27-Jul-15 11:30:47

Why is anyone responding to domino's post even vaguely seriously? confused

CoolWheelsPan Mon 27-Jul-15 11:34:10

yep, I commute a fairly long distance by bike and it's only in the last couple of years that far more women are on the road doing the same thing.
@BreezeNetwork may be responsible for a lot of that - a sort of hub for women-only events, rides and interests in all things bike.

museumum Mon 27-Jul-15 11:36:31

The women were fresh and only racing a couple of hours whereas the men were exhausted and they've been on the road three weeks, it would have been an absolute outrage if the final tdf result had hinged on a wet cobbles lottery.
There are arguments for and against La Course. Normally it gets them good TV coverage as the crews are set up for the men's finish, it didn't really get as much this year as many of the journalists didn't get to Paris in time as its 7hrs at least (more in tour traffic) from Alp D'Huez where they were the night before.

CoolWheelsPan Mon 27-Jul-15 11:37:03

The petition above is supported by Marianna Vos and is requesting 'same time, same course' TdeF. Interesting that the pressure got LaCourse.

shovetheholly Mon 27-Jul-15 13:31:58

Genuine question (I am no sports scientist): is it beyond the realms of possibility that women would be able to race the Tour de France and be within a reasonable time/distance of the men? I'm absolutely not talking about winning here. Just wondering if they could actually get around within a reasonable time of the blokes?

I know running is different, but just thinking about Paula Radcliffe's achievement in the marathon and how many top blokes she used to beat and wondering whether a woman could do it - even if she came last by 10 minutes??

shaska Mon 27-Jul-15 13:45:00

"Just wondering if they could actually get around within a reasonable time of the blokes?"

Not a scientist either but my guess would be that some women would be able to get around the course in a similar time to some men - eg a female climber would possibly beat the male sprinters up the mountains.

But as a mixed competition I'm not sure how it could work because there are several key elements requiring raw power in the tour, eg the time trials - so a woman would likely lose time there solely because she was a woman, thus making it harder for her to win the tour overall.

There used to be a grand tour in France for women - the Grande Boucle Feminine, but it struggled to get sponsorship and venues, so lapsed in 2009.

Hopefully the growing interest in women's sports, women's cycling, and cycling as a whole will enable the GBF to come back.

On a practical level, I don't know if it could be run on the same course, same days as the TdF - each stage of the TdF requires road closures, from several hours before the publicity caravan comes through, to about an hour afterwards, iirc. Adding in the women's race on the same route, same days would be easier than doing it on a different day or different route, but would still need road closures for longer.

I suspect that, if it was tried, it would be easier than it sounds, and that the pleasure of the spectators at having twice as much racing to watch would outweigh irritation at the extension to the road closures.

laurierf Mon 27-Jul-15 14:05:53

In amateur events (e.g. the Etape which is a stage of the Tour done the week before the pros do it) there are plenty of women who'll do better than fit and trained men. But, as said above, in a mixed pro competition a pro woman is not going to be the best overall across various categories and so is not going to be picked to be a GC rider for a team, so she would never have the chance of winning the Tour in a mixed competition because she would never be picked to be the GC rider in a team. It is not an individual event like a marathon.

CoolWheelsPan Mon 27-Jul-15 14:21:48

I'd reckon some women would get, at least, close to mens' times. They would probably do well, generalising, on the climbs but comparatively suffer on the long flat stages - but as we know the overall times are won on the climbing stages. AND van Bruggen who won LaCourse has also won a few one-day classics so she's prob. a really good TTer with a massive engine.

Though as is said, the TdF is a team game, so any really good female cyclist would have to be surrounded by other really good female cyclists to get anywhere the mens' times.
Road closures - it would be possible to have the separate roll-outs at say 2 hour interval, 11am and 1pm? So the competitors wouldn't meet and the roads would be opened again only a couple of hours later.

Mide7 Mon 27-Jul-15 14:25:37

Being a sport and numbers geek, I've just been looking at a comparison chart of men's and women's watts per kg figures. According to the chart I looked at a world class women's cyclist can produce about the same amount as a decent level pro. I don't loads about the data but looks to me like the difference isn't massive on average.

The difference for short more powerful bursts is greater than the average over an hour.

CoolWheelsPan Mon 27-Jul-15 14:34:43

Impressive!grin Didn't think it would be a massive difference. That difference is what you'd expect though isn't it?

A problem is in transferring data to road conditions? So Chris Froome had 8 other world class cyclists to shelter him and assist him up the 'lumpy' bits, and every other GC contender had the same, so across the board they will do better than the female teams who don't have that assistance purely through the lack of numbers currently, despite the raw data indicating a narrow gap.
it's a wonder I lost my job as Sports Performance Directeur at Team Wonky

Mide7 Mon 27-Jul-15 14:46:57

Yup that's what I was thinking coolwheels. The data isn't perfect but it gives an indication.

I don't know much about women's road cycling if I'm honest but I'm assuming there isn't the money involved like the men's. So along with the actual on road stuff you've pointed out. What about the massive pampering top male cyclists get. The huge team of assistants, physio's, nutritionist. All these things add up to increased performance on the road indirectly.

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