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Thread: End The Madness Atmo -

  1. #1
    e-RICHIE's Avatar
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    Default End The Madness Atmo -

    I think the TDF model and all grand tours should be abolished. They have jumped the shark. The sport is hard enough without using a 100 year old business model served up fresh every summer. The schedule runs almost 10 months long. For some, the sport is July in France. Not only is the event the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest of bicycle racing with a little Depression Era dance marathon action thrown in, it's not even a race for most of those pinning on a number. Teams and sponsors want to be part of the dance because of the exposure it brings. They are there to sell much more than they are there to win anything atmo. A breakaway, a failed one at that, could provide more airplay for a brand than it could ever hope to get in a print ad campaign or similar. And then there are the physical aspects of the three week event. The demands are beyond reasonable. If you need that explained then I should stop typing now.

    All of the worst that is pro cycling has ties to grand tours. Give me a one day classic any day of the week. I only follow the TDF and Giro because these races have monopolized the June and July schedule such that little else makes a radar. Yes, I am sure there are some other kinda' sorta' mildly important races occurring at this time. But all the world stops when the tours are on. For sake of sanity, for the sake of humanity, and for the sake of keeping another generation of racers from turning themselves inside out simply to finish trying to digest those frankfurters, I say the race must end.

    The tours must reinvent themselves into events that allow racers to race within normal physical boundaries. Fine - you want them to climb the Tourmalet or have 80kph sprint finishes on city streets so that you can sell product? We don't need three weeks of it or the pageantry and baggage that comes with it. The recent JV Op-Ed piece, the pending book written with Tyler, the USADA ordeal with Lance - these are all part of the baggage that our sport carries as a result of these demanding and inhumane events. Go to the window and scream, "Three weeks is too long and I am not going to take it anymore atmo."

    The Tour de France may have had relevance back when the mission statement was to increase the readership of L'Auto. Over time it has allowed itself to become the bicycle racing equivalent of competitive eating. The event has eaten its own and has consumed too many generations of youngsters whose dreams include pinning on a number in France in July. To use the parlance of the street, I think this shit is a nightmare not a dream, and the event organizers need to burn it all down and start over, if at all.

    Armstrong accepts lifetime ban, loss of Tour de France titles

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    That would be a great idea atmo. The TDF (and the grand tour business model) is a fucking joke. It's long outlived its usefulness as a sporting event. It exists only for commerce and self-promotion, and the riders are collateral damage. Once, maybe 6-7 decades ago, the race had relevance because it sold newspapers. But in the late 20th Century it has spawned self-abuse, both of the riders as well as of the event itself. We don't need 3 week races or the baggage that comes with it. It's fucked. It's inhumane. It's not a race that a man can do without ruining his health or his mind. Yeah - it's fun to watch, but the best thing that could happen to cycle sport is to take it away. The TDF is not bicycle racing, and it belittles the entire rest of the calendar by continuing to be so self-important and omnipotent.

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    chasea's Avatar
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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    I think grand tours should be raced, start to finish, on one bike.

    Bet it'd be harder to push disposable bikes on the masses then.
    Got some cash
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    alexstar's Avatar
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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    They shoot horses, don't they? Great analogy. Thanks for writing.

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    ned
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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    Too big to fail.

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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    yes, yes, and yes
    how do we start?

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    Rudy is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    I came to the same conclusion, Richard, while viewing the PToC
    yesterday. A seven day stage race benefit riders (who can hang tough at high speeds and venture to attack while staying within striking distance of their rivals), sponsors (who receive high profiles with the aggressive and exciting riding), and fans, who can easily follow the action without investing close to a month.

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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    I disagree, to an extent.

    Before destruction, try shorter stages. That would require the ASO to acknowledge its part in the problem; maybe that's a pipe dream. But imagine a route shortened by a quarter. Or a third. Whatever. It would be a gamble on the ASO's part, a risk that sponsors wouldn't bolt en masse because of the loss of mind-numbing, 150k breakaways and the supposedly golden advertising opportunities that come with them.

    If the UCI can dictate that the hour record can henceforth only be done on Merckxian bikes because bike technology had gone too far, the grand tour organizations could made the same concessions to chemical technology.

    Eliminate (or at least greatly reduce) the need and things might change.

    I say might because none of us doubts that doping does not exist in shorter stage races.

    But it has to start somewhere; why not at the top.

    YMMV.

    Mom: He was very sickly until he started riding around on that bicycle.


    Dad: Yeah... well... now his body's fine, but his mind is gone.

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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    I would vote to scale back the race whatever it takes to make it clean. Part of the reason the riders dope is because they justify it due to the impossibleness of the Tour. Wiggins said something this year about the Tour has become more human but it has a long way to go. I don't think the answer is to burn the TdF in effigy but rather fix it. No one watches long stretches of a 224 km stage; if the riders are cheating does their fatigue really matter from a race perspective? So prune the race and revise the format while respecting and honoring the Tour's history. More people need to speak up for doping reform instead of saying (or writing) that pro cyclists will always dope it is what it is. I would also like to see race radios go away because the peleton needs to HTFU.

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    Matthew J is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    This is not just a cycling challenge. Professional baseball, football and basketball all have impossibly long seasons. I dont follow soccer so may be talking out of my ear, but it seems there is some sort of soccer event going on all year round.

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    SteveP is offline vSalon Legend
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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    nah,
    these are fantastic events.
    maybe shorten the stages some...
    but you are asking the nfl to stop having the super bowl cause its too commercial or baseball to stop having the world series cause the season is too long.

    makes no sense to cut off the biggest events of the year.
    beside, obviously, the doping is the same in any sporting event... well included are the classics or cross.

    i dont have an answer to doping in sport but i am sure as hell that there is a lot of doping across all professional sports... not just cycling.

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    e-RICHIE's Avatar
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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    Look - less days, shorter stages, whatever. It's all the same to me. Just change it. While you all are entertained and the brands get exposure, the riders continue to be put in harm's way as a result of the taxing demands places on them. I would bet the house that they have life-long effects that are more detrimental than enhancing. For the sake of the people doing the pedaling (the bicycles, not the wares) you all have to put your desire to be entertained at all costs aside and consider the event prehistoric. It's from another era, and it has long since past its sell-by date.

    I don't think it will change, but if it's addressed and discussed, maybe some good will come from it. The human body is not wired for this level of exertion. Anyone who remotely cares about PEDs use, sports, and the individuals who have numbers on their backs would be a fool to think otherwise atmo.

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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    Quote Originally Posted by chasea View Post
    I think grand tours should be raced, start to finish, on one bike.

    Bet it'd be harder to push disposable bikes on the masses then.
    I personally pride myself on being able to finish a mountain bike race in NE without a DNF for a mechanical. Plenty of guys ride beyond their machines which inevitably fail as a result. Choose your weapon from the rack and leave the armory at home. It just feels more man to man to me.

    I do smell what ATMO is scratching but as someone else pointed out, doping is going on at all levels. I think a good pruning of the grand tours is a great place to start though. They've become super human especially when you look at the amount of miles these guys are doing in a season. it's nuts to expect that to happen at the current levels of performance without science. -Chris

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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    Quote Originally Posted by chasea View Post
    I think grand tours should be raced, start to finish, on one bike.

    Bet it'd be harder to push disposable bikes on the masses then.
    I would like that. Or some model close to it.

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    Loknor is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    Quote Originally Posted by chasea View Post
    Bet it'd be harder to push disposable bikes on the masses then.
    Huh?

    Bikes are so much better than they have ever been. Not just racing bikes, but city/commuting bikes are better and more functional than ever before.

    Disposable bikes is a nice buzz phrase, but the truth is bikes last a lot longer than they used to. Rust is hardly an issue, lightning solutions are very good, tires are strong and have a long life. Add to that the pedelec's which really are nice for comuting and for elder people and you see an industry that is producing much better stuff than ever before.

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    Matthew J is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveP View Post
    nah,
    these are fantastic events.
    maybe shorten the stages some...
    but you are asking the nfl to stop having the super bowl cause its too commercial or baseball to stop having the world series cause the season is too long.

    makes no sense to cut off the biggest events of the year.
    beside, obviously, the doping is the same in any sporting event... well included are the classics or cross.

    i dont have an answer to doping in sport but i am sure as hell that there is a lot of doping across all professional sports... not just cycling.
    But is the world series any better after 160 games than 140? The super bowl 16 than 14?

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    progetto is offline VSalonistas

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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    I thought it was all just entertainment?

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    Justin Spinelli is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    The constant travel is almost as tiresome as the racing itself.

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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    You want those Grand Tours.
    You need those Grand Tours.

    Just some thoughts on addressing the issues while not undressing the sport

    (more than just GTs)

    salary caps
    structured pay scale based on # of race days
    seasonal leagues - (globalization, hemisphere based)
    the above addresses the nearly 12mo season
    reduce the number of teams in the GTs
    reduce the number of riders on those teams
    no wild card teams (pack fodder)
    rosters for GT squads must be fixed 4 weeks prior and random testing of those on lists. (not perfect, can be ironed out)
    minimum day of racing for each rider through the season (no more 2month training camps in the middle of the atlantic)

    just getting the juices flowing
    "make the break"

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    e-RICHIE's Avatar
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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    Quote Originally Posted by progetto View Post
    I thought it was all just entertainment?
    The entertainment comes from the bigger picture and not just what happens on some alpine climb or in in the last kilometer. The recent news stories encompass well over a generation of riders and we have all watched them race. We have also watched them fall in and out of favor. For me, it has reached a tipping point. We have the benefit of hindsight, history, and also of personal connections to the riders and the folks running the orgs - and, for me, the value has decreased in spades. For the sport to place these grand tours on pedestals as if the seasons revolve around them is akin to using Fox News to find out what happened in the world today. The three week races are a breeding ground for sensationalism and also where most of the skeletons are buried. Again, the human body isn't made for these events as they now exist. They weren't back when the tour began either. But that was 100 years ago and we should know better by now atmo.

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    Peter Polack is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: End The Madness Atmo -

    It's too late. Pandora's Box has already been opened.

    I agree with what you're saying in principle, Richard, but now that drugs are out there riders will forever result to doping even if there are ONLY one day races.

    It's sad, but true.

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