środa, 24 lipca 2013

Tour de Pologne 2013: new classification and its impact on GC explained

70th edition of Tour de Pologne starts this week, so it's time to look at the changes the UCI and organizers made. When the changes were announced, I wrote a small piece about them (you can find it here) but today we know all the details and, suprisingly, there is a road book in English available.

I honestly thought I'll have to put it all together by myself and that it's going to take ages but since we got the rules in English, there's no need to do that. Here we go:

Time bonuses at the finish line:

1st place - 10 sec
2nd place - 6 sec
3rd place - 4 sec

Intermediate sprint: 3-2-1

There are three intermediate sprints on stages 1, 2 and 4; two on stage 3 and one intermediate sprint on stages 5 and 6. Stage 7 is a time trial so obviously no intermediate sprints.

There is one additional classification that has something to do with intermediate sprints and categorized mountain passes. It's called "attractivity contest classification". No idea where the name comes from but anyway, this can change the way the race plays out and may suprise some of the fans.

So, it's time to quote. The rules state:

At each stage to the first three riders of “attractivity contest classification” will be awarded time bonuses: 30 sec., 20 sec. and 10 sec. respectively (point 11.1.5).

11.1.5. “ATTRACTIVITY CONTEST CLASSIFICATION” Riders gain points to daily “Attractivity Contest Classification” ranking on each of the primes during the stage (intermediate sprints, mountain passes, hill contests) Agreement to restrict time bonuses to top 3 in daily “Attractivity Contest Classification” ranking:
  • 1st in daily Race Appeal ranking: 30 seconds time bonus on individual general classification 
  • 2nd in daily “Attractivity Contest Classification” ranking: 20 seconds time bonus on individual general classification 
  • 3rd in daily “Attractivity Contest Classification” ranking: 10 seconds time bonus on individual general classification
  • Tied riders are awarded the same time bonuses 
  • The top 3 in the daily “Attractivity Contest Classification” ranking include tied riders. This means that if for instance the top 3 riders have the same amount of points, each obtains a 30 second time bonus and no other bonus is awarded (see example 2 below). In other words, ties in the upper positions cancel time bonuses relative to the inferior positions. For instance, if the top 2 riders are tied and obtain each 30 second time bonuses, the rider next in line obtains the time bonus relative to the 3rd position, i.e, 10 seconds and not that of the 2nd position. 
  • The stage classification settles ties on the individual general classification
Example: The daily Race Appeal ranking must be communicated on an ongoing basis during the race via radio-tour such that the actors are permanently informed of the points awarded on each of the animations; the resulting ranking must be updated following each animation.

This all means that with 6 riders per team, the race becomes much more difficult to control and situation on the road can simply get out of hand. Riders attacking early and gathering points on intermediate sprints and mountain passes may gain enough time to become the race leader, even if the peleton brings them back and the final sprint will be claimed by another rider.

The 70th Tour de Pologne starts in four days. Remember - racing commences in Italy with two tough stages in Trentino - with two uphill finishes. The riders will fight for the victory on the slopes of Madonna di Campiglio during stage 1. Naxt day seems to be even harder as it features Passo Pampeago, Passo Costalunga and the final climb of Passo Pordoi.

What's interesting, there are three intermediate sprints on these highly difficult mountain stages. The full TdP preview willbe online tomorrow or, more likely, on Friday, so stay tuned.

You can download full pdf "TdP Rules" here.

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