Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The cutoff rules

Those riders at the back of the peloton need to be acutely aware of the cutoff rules in play for each stage in order to finish the stage without being eliminated. This becomes even more important in the difficult mountain stages that lie ahead. The cutoff rules are summarized here. (Thanks to Allen Gathman for the link!)

The problem to the rider having trouble on the road becomes that the cutoffs are a moving target and aren't determined exactly until the stage winner crosses the finish line - and even then they're often modified by the officials if a large number of riders would be affected. So sometimes a rider doesn't know with any certainty until well after the finish line if he will be permitted to continue.

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Considering the complexity of the time cut rules, I've put together a calculator to estimate the cutoff percentage and time for any stage, based on the current race leader's performance. See what you think.
That's very cool!! Thanks for making that up!

Last year I tried looking around for the official stage classifications and was never able to find them. I don't even know if the stages are all classified in advance or if they do it on the fly depending on the weather.

Can any of our readers hunt up that information for us? I'll look again.... no, still can't find anything on the Tour de France official site....
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