Tdf why are they going on about this 3km rule?

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  • Tdf why are they going on about this 3km rule?
  • meeeee
    Member

    Ok I’m not a big tdf expert , but watching tonight’s highlights they mentioned the 3km rule a few times and it sounds like some of the sprinters don’t like it?

    Why’s that then? All I know about it is that if there’s a crash in final 3km then riders that go down who were part of a main group get the same time as those that didn’t go down? What am I missing 😳

    mikey74
    Member

    Possibly because it encourages the teams with a rider with a chance of the GC to come to the front, which gets in the way of the teams looking to lead out their sprinter.

    I may be wrong about that, though.

    Premier Icon eddie11
    Subscriber

    no you’ve got 90% of it. One argument is the unintended consequence of the 3k rule is all the GC riders’ teams fight to get beyond the 3k line before they relax a bit. At the same time all the sprinters teams are fighting for room to set up for their sprints. competing objectives for finite road leads to friction. Well except for lampre who tootle along at the back with steve cummings doing I don’t know what exactly.

    there is an alternative argument that its the flat first week of the tour, its a complete non issue but theres nothing else to talk about.

    Premier Icon beej
    Subscriber

    The 3km rule only applies if a split is caused by a crash/incident/mechanical. This means if there are splits due to other things – e.g. a rider losing the wheel and creating a gap – there will be time differences between the riders either side of the split. This means GC teams try and keep to the front pretty much to the line. Froome has been top 10 on a sprint for example!

    The sprinters are suggesting that GC times are taken at 3km, so all of the GC riders can then get the hell out of the way for the finish with no concerns about losing time.

    therevokid
    Member

    also doesn’t apply to summit finishes from what i heard yesterday.

    mrblobby
    Member

    Rethinking The 3km Rule

    The sprinters are suggesting that GC times are taken at 3km, so all of the GC riders can then get the hell out of the way for the finish with no concerns about losing time.

    They had a stage of the Giro like that earlier in the year as the finish was deemed a bit dangerous. Was a bit odd as you got a GC race not to finish the wrong side of a split up to 3k, then most of the field sat up and just left the sprinters and their trains run to the actual finish. Makes for less of a spectacle but probably a lot safer.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    I believe the current discussion/argument is about extending it to around 5k.

    This is all nonsense if the GC contenders are timed over the same line as the sprinters. They can’t simply sit up and wait for the sprinters to do their stuff, gaps might open, valuable seconds may be lost.

    They can’t simply sit up and wait for the sprinters to do their stuff, gaps might open, valuable seconds may be lost.

    Indeed. Would eliminate the cheeky 1k ITT breakaway to win the stage and snatch the jumper! [sic]

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    I think Brailsford nailed it yesterday when he said something along the lines of… it’s a bike race, get over it…

    It does seem to be a thing that’s seeped into being over the last couple of years. I don’t remember the GC riders being so concerned with being right at the front 5 or 10 years ago unless they were actually in with a shout of the win.

    Possible rose tinted, Reynolds 853 framed spectacles

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    It does seem to be a thing that’s seeped into being over the last couple of years. I don’t remember the GC riders being so concerned with being right at the front 5 or 10 years ago unless they were actually in with a shout of the win.

    Yes but years ago you had maybe one or two trains.

    Now everyone has one and they’re all fighting for the same bit of road. Cav actually said in his post-race interview yesterday that it was one of the safest years he’d seen, most of the GC teams were pretty respectful (he singled out Sky for special praise for being more aware of what was around them and making way for the sprinters).

    atlaz
    Member

    The risk for a GC rider being caught behind one of those massive pileups is too big for the teams to ignore. Your entire grand tour could be ruined by one small mistake from a sprint train. When, like Sky, you build a large part of your year around a single race, you have to remove the risks where you can.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    It’s only watching on-board cameras you begin to get a sense of the chaos and speed in the last 3km of a sprint stage. Riders bouncing off each other, shoulder barging to get on wheels, some riders sitting up, some riders speeding up to get the best line into the next corner – I can see a certain logic to separating the GC finish from the sprint finish, would give fans at the end more of a chance to see the GC contenders as they roll-up to the line.

    larkim
    Member

    So is the 3km finish line concept ignored if there isn’t a crash, but comes into play only if there is a crash / mechanical?

    How does that work then if you’re in the bunch at 3km, then the bunch splits in two with (say) a 5s gap but you get a puncture or snapped chain? Do you get the time of the lead group or the 5s down group, or do those lucky individuals who weren’t quick enough to avoid the 5s gap benefit from your misfortune and everyone’s time ends up being the same?

    I should probably read the rules…

    steve_b77
    Member

    larkim – Member
    So is the 3km finish line concept ignored if there isn’t a crash, but comes into play only if there is a crash / mechanical?

    How does that work then if you’re in the bunch at 3km, then the bunch splits in two with (say) a 5s gap but you get a puncture or snapped chain? Do you get the time of the lead group or the 5s down group, or do those lucky individuals who weren’t quick enough to avoid the 5s gap benefit from your misfortune and everyone’s time ends up being the same?

    I should probably read the rules..

    AFAIK it only applies when there is a crash within the final 3km on flat finishes, it doesn’t apply on anything that is classed as an up hill finish. I don’t think mechanicals or punctures are included.

    If you get caught in a split as a result of your chain snapping etc it’s tough luck.

    The rule was introduced in the 70’s after Eddy Mercx binned it within 3km of the end of a stage and lost a load of time, so essentially it was instigated to protect the high and mighty but extends to all.

    DanW
    Member

    there is an alternative argument that its the flat first week of the tour, its a complete non issue but theres nothing else to talk about.

    Basically this 🙂

    I can see a certain logic to separating the GC finish from the sprint finish, would give fans at the end more of a chance to see the GC contenders as they roll-up to the line.

    One intriguing attraction of a Grand Tour for the viewers (and tactical challenge for the teams) is the mix of agendas between teams and I don’t see why that should be separated out.

    In the past you had sprinters teams dedicated to their sprinter, whereas now the teams with the strongest sprinters have more of a mix of agendas, hence the GC focused teams can still mix it up with them. I do feel if they had a team more dedicated to their sprinter then SKY et al wouldn’t be quite so far towards the front,* although they’ll obviously be doing their best.

    When was the last time you saw almost an entire team leading out their man at such a pace it was fully strung out and no-one could come around? Milram/ Zabel type GT’s maybe?

    * unless we are talking Wiggins leading out Cav 😉 🙂

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    AFAIK it only applies when there is a crash within the final 3km on flat finishes, it doesn’t apply on anything that is classed as an up hill finish. I don’t think mechanicals or punctures are included.

    They are. Thing is, the bunch is moving at such speed that there’s no chance of a team car getting there and fixing any problem so it would be conceivable that a potential GC rider could lose minutes just from a simple puncture. On the open road, it’s much more laid back and the peloton has a certain code of honour around how it deal with things like that. You remember Brad Wiggins slowing down the bunch so Cadel Evans could get back on when he punctured on tacks that had been scattered? Or Lance waiting for Jan Ullrich after Ullrich binned it on a descent?

    But that’s never going to happen in the final few km so the officials look at all the footage and at any time gaps at the 3km mark (which has the same transponders and photo finish gear as the genuine finish line), watch the replay of the final 3km and decide if a time gap was due to someone letting the wheel go or some sort of mechanical although what defines “a mechanical” is often quite discretionary.

    Uphill finishes are exempt since it’s not the same size or speed of bunch, quite often there’s already been a selection by then and all the sprinters are 20 minutes behind in the autobus.

    mikewsmith
    Member

    so it would be conceivable that a potential GC rider could lose minutes just from a simple puncture

    See stage 2 and Porte nearly 2mins back

    Premier Icon mrhoppy
    Subscriber

    Im not a fan of the 2 finish line option its messy and hard to explain to new followers. I think they maybe need to look at the way they consider gaps in bunch sprits as this is what causes the pressure on the GC riders.

    They put gaps on 1 second splits in the pack but the time difference attributed is from front of the 1st group to the front of the 2nd. This means that there can be fairly significant time differences for small gaps so the GC riders still want to be near the front. On sprint finishes they could increase the size of the split required for a different time to 2-3 seconds or they could apply time differences in the ‘bunch’ based on the time difference between the back of the 1st group and front of the 2nd. Either of these options reduces the pressure on the GC riders to avoid dropping time.

    Some of the recent (last few years) sprint finishes have been designed by the tourist board not the racers too, which means that there has been unreasonable risk on the finish run in putting further pressure to get up the front. Better finish design could work although it removes some of the help for breakaways surviving or smart sprinters.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    what defines “a mechanical” is often quite discretionary.

    Or indeed a crash, it’s not unheard of for minor spillages to occur for the same reason.

    Rethinking The 3km Rule

    antigee
    Member

    good article on the topic here:

    http://inrng.com/2016/07/rethinking-the-3km-rule/

    my 2cents worth is the rule doesn’t solve the problem – personally i could live without the sprint finishes but then again its part of the complexity of the races within the race and part of the show

    mrblobby
    Member

    On sprint finishes they could increase the size of the split required for a different time to 2-3 seconds or they could apply time differences in the ‘bunch’ based on the time difference between the back of the 1st group and front of the 2nd. Either of these options reduces the pressure on the GC riders to avoid dropping time.

    Think the first is a pretty sensible option, I’d increase it a fair bit too, maybe 10s to let the main field roll I’m behind the sprinters. The speed the sprint trains are going in the last few K’s can easily fracture the bunch.

    personally i could live without the sprint finishes but then again its part of the complexity of

    Sprint finishes are great, love the last 20k or so of a sprint stage, the tension, the speed, the battle for position, it’s riveting to watch. Sprinters are some of the best personalities in the peloton too and bring a lot to the race.

    mikewsmith
    Member

    Taking the sprints out removes the likes of cav and kittle which the tour is much better for, Cav’s twitter feed in the alps week is always worth a read 🙂

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