Can Someone Explain How The Pro Tour Works?

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Can Someone Explain How The Pro Tour Works?

Postby Panz05 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:39 pm

Hi,

I am really new to cycling and have been getting in to European cycling races on Eurosport and I have been watching the Tour de Romandie and overall I have been enjoying the coverage, but I am still way behind in understanding how it all works. I am hoping someone can point me in the direction of a dummy's guide or help me answer a few questions about how it all works.

I will use Team Sky in my example.

I think I understand that everyone in Team Sky is helping Chris Froome keep the yellow jersey, and they essentially protect Chris by being in font of the Peloton and dictating the tempo.

What I don't understand is why the other teams don't attack and get their rider in a breakaway so they can win the stage by enough seconds to take the overall yellow jersey? There seems to be a few half hearted break away attempts by single people rather than by the overall team.

Is there an unwritten rule or something?

Also what do HC & GC mean. I heard these terms used by the commentators, but didn't know what they meant.

I have also been catching highlights of the Tour of Turkey and don't understand how Green Edge can race in both the Tour of Turkey and the Tour de Romandie. Are Pro Teams allowed to race in Pro Tour events and European continental races? That does not seem fair to the Continental teams.

As you can see, I am lost and may be beyond help understanding how it all works, but any explanation or direction on where to get the answers would be greatly appreciated.
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by BNA » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:17 pm

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Re: Can Someone Explain How The Pro Tour Works?

Postby RonK » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:17 pm

Panz05 wrote:What I don't understand is why the other teams don't attack and get their rider in a breakaway so they can win the stage by enough seconds to take the overall yellow jersey? There seems to be a few half hearted break away attempts by single people rather than by the overall team.

Is there an unwritten rule or something?

If the other teams attacked, the leading team would have to chase them down. Instead they let a few lowly ranked (on the GC) riders escape then no team has to work too hard. These riders will be striving for a stage win. Toward the end the teams can close a break down at the rate of 1 minute per 10 kilometres. If it's a sprint finish the sprinters team will take over the chase, the leading team do not need to win the stage since all the riders will in the sprint bunch will be credited with the same time, they just need to finish in the same bunch as any riders who are close enough on GC to challenge. If its an uphill finish then the leading team usually must take responsibility if they want to keep the leaders jersey - much time can be lost on climbs, so they cannot let any GC challengers get away.

Also what do HC & GC mean. I heard these terms used by the commentators, but didn't know what they meant.

GC - General classification, the riders rank in terms of the total time taken over all stages. Naturally the leader is the rider who has taken the least time.
HC - Hors category, french term for a climb that is beyond classification, the hardest of climbs.



I have also been catching highlights of the Tour of Turkey and don't understand how Green Edge can race in both the Tour of Turkey and the Tour de Romandie. Are Pro Teams allowed to race in Pro Tour events and European continental races? That does not seem fair to the Continental teams.

Pro Tour teams are required to enter all World Tour events, but may enter any UCI sanctioned event. A limited number of Pro Continental teams may be granted a wildcard entry to World Tour events.

Keep watching and listen to the commentary and you will soon understand the tactics used on any stage.
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Re: Can Someone Explain How The Pro Tour Works?

Postby DavidTomic » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:23 pm

Panz05 wrote:
What I don't understand is why the other teams don't attack and get their rider in a breakaway so they can win the stage by enough seconds to take the overall yellow jersey? There seems to be a few half hearted break away attempts by single people rather than by the overall team.

Is there an unwritten rule or something?


It's nothing to do with an unwritten rule. The breakaways only get away in the first place because the main peleton lets them, usually because they don't contain any riders who are a serious threat to the overall title.

What you need to understand for all of this to make sense, is that being able to ride/draft behind another rider reduces the energy output you need to maintain pretty significantly. The stats that I commonly see put the figure at anywhere between 15-30%. IE - To maintain a given speed, the rider "out front" is having to put out 15-30% more energy than the person drafting behind them.

That's why you see them rotating their order so frequently while they're riding. One rider will ride out front while the others sit behind him (conserving energy), then he'll drop back and the next rider will move to the front, and so on

Make sense?

If a "dangerous rider" (IE - someone who was a contender for the overall title) tried to get off in a breakaway, the main peleton would (more than likely) just shut it down.

IE - A group of riders would work together in order to ensure that he didn't get away from them. Remember: more riders = less time having to ride out front = less energy required = being able to ride faster.



Also what do HC & GC mean. I heard these terms used by the commentators, but didn't know what they meant.


HC - is a climbing classification which stands for Hors catégorie - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hors_cat%C3%A9gorie
GC - stands for General Classification - basically the overall winner of the race - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_classification
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Re: Can Someone Explain How The Pro Tour Works?

Postby Fitzroy » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:27 pm

Panz05 wrote:What I don't understand is why the other teams don't attack and get their rider in a breakaway so they can win the stage by enough seconds to take the overall yellow jersey? Is there an unwritten rule or something?


No, but it is near on impossible for a team, or individual, to ride away from the peloton. Unless that team or individual is no threat to the GC (see below) then the rest of the riders might not chase them.

Panz05 wrote:Also what do HC & GC mean. I heard these terms used by the commentators, but didn't know what they meant.


HC & GC

Panz05 wrote:I have also been catching highlights of the Tour of Turkey and don't understand how Green Edge can race in both the Tour of Turkey and the Tour de Romandie. Are Pro Teams allowed to race in Pro Tour events and European continental races? That does not seem fair to the Continental teams.

Yes, can race in both. Most teams have 25+ riders and races(tours) consist of teams from 5 to 9 depending on tour size, think TdF (Tour de France) is still 9 man teams (rumoured to be going to 8 ).

Hope that helps.
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Re: Can Someone Explain How The Pro Tour Works?

Postby Bob_TAS » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:31 pm

One might even go so far as to say that a lot of breakaway riders are doing so not to win the race, but to get paid by their sponsors for promoting their brands.
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Re: Can Someone Explain How The Pro Tour Works?

Postby Panz05 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:33 pm

thanks to all that answered my questions. you have made perfect sense.

I can now go and enjoy the rest of the coverage and better understand what is going on.
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Re: Can Someone Explain How The Pro Tour Works?

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:20 am

Bob_TAS wrote:One might even go so far as to say that a lot of breakaway riders are doing so not to win the race, but to get paid by their sponsors for promoting their brands.


But, as Jens points out, 9 times out of 10, a break away won't succeed, but if you don't break away, your chances of winning are much closer to zero.
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Re: Can Someone Explain How The Pro Tour Works?

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:00 am

The first hour of racing is often as exciting as the last... The break tries to get away by the 40-50km mark when the feeding will open and the peloton will ease up, eat and pee... Then certain teams will set a tempo to keep the break at a certain distance, usually the yellow jersey team... If the best rider in the break is not a threat then it will be up to other teams to real them in in the last hour if they want to go for a stage win.
Of course that is the scenario usually... But not always... When radios are banned the riders will often have to go back to the car to check who is the most dangerous in the break as it will be constantly announced on race radio... Things will change a lot when (and if ) radios are banned at all levels.
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Re: Can Someone Explain How The Pro Tour Works?

Postby RRalphy » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:12 am

Panz05 if you want to watch some youtube clips with commentary on tactics etc (i.e. explaining what is happening during the race and why certain riders/teams are pushing/holding back etc) go to youtube and search "how the race was won" there should be a bunch of videos by Cosmo Catalano which mainly focus on the spring classics but a lot of it is transferrable to the tours too
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Re: Can Someone Explain How The Pro Tour Works?

Postby Panz05 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:19 am

RRalphy, those video's are awesome. I have looked at a couple and it is giving me a clearer picture of what is going on.

Thanks for that.
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Re: Can Someone Explain How The Pro Tour Works?

Postby avroncotton » Thu May 02, 2013 6:03 pm

Sorry if this has been covered. I heard a rumour that the UCI has banned the filing of the lugs on the front forks therefore making it longer to change a puncture. Is that right?
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Re: Can Someone Explain How The Pro Tour Works?

Postby RonK » Thu May 02, 2013 6:30 pm

avroncotton wrote:Sorry if this has been covered. I heard a rumour that the UCI has banned the filing of the lugs on the front forks therefore making it longer to change a puncture. Is that right?

Yes, that is right...
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Re: Can Someone Explain How The Pro Tour Works?

Postby macca33 » Thu May 02, 2013 6:32 pm

avroncotton wrote:Sorry if this has been covered. I heard a rumour that the UCI has banned the filing of the lugs on the front forks therefore making it longer to change a puncture. Is that right?



Yes, that is correct.
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Re: Can Someone Explain How The Pro Tour Works?

Postby DavidTomic » Thu May 02, 2013 7:42 pm

avroncotton wrote:Sorry if this has been covered. I heard a rumour that the UCI has banned the filing of the lugs on the front forks therefore making it longer to change a puncture. Is that right?


http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/02/ ... tar_274065
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