Watching dead tired riders crumple onto the pavement at the end of stages/races just doesn’t seem right.
There should be chairs, couches, beds, something! for them to relax on after a rough stage rather than forcing them to lay down on some dirty road.
What do you all think?
I’d love to hear some of your ideas, be they practical or fanciful. Let’s brainstorm ways to provide these pro riders some well earned relief!
While I like the idea, thinking practically, I assume the issue of lack of seating is attributable to lack of available access via road to larger vehicles that would carry chairs/ tents/ etc up these steep climbs.
On flatter stages riders can finish & then head back to the team bus or to a finish area set up in a town whereas on these alpine finishes there’s just not a place to set up all the requisite infrastructure. If memory serves, due to its finish at being at a ski village & its being accessible to buses (wide corners to allow the buses up to the top) today’s finish at the top of Alpe d’Huez should have a more humane* appearance.
Additionally, after going above threshold in a stage winning effort, it’s all one can do to not fall off the bike. The ground is the closest seating available. Cameras tend to follow the riders who’ve just ridden the hardest for the stage win rather than the ones who come in minutes down riding at their pace & are more likely to have their wits about them.
Tl;dr: I like the idea but suspect there’s practical reasons – available space & coverage why we see riders on the ground after a stage
*Not sure “humane” is the perfect word choice but I should be asleep & am granting myself a bit of grace.
I don’t think it matters. When you are spent, you aren’t really more comfortable seated on a chair than lying or seated on the ground.
Besides, they still need to descend back to their team bus.
Yep I remember getting smashed at Baw Baw one year and all I wanted was the ground once I finished.
The risk is they get too comfortable on a couch and get to stiff from lounging without warming down!
I will tell you from personal experience living in one of the hottest places on the planet and having suffered heat exhaustion, hypokalemia, and dehydration at the conclusion of a hard climb or ride in the summer that there is no single more comfortable feeling than laying down on hard ground in the shade and getting some cold fluids in. Honorary mention for the floor in front of my refrigerator but that’s impractical to bring to the tour. Seriously more comfortable than any memory foam mattress I’ve ever owned.
Back in the day Lance used to take a helicopter down from the summit finish stages to start his recovery early which looked bad ass but I believe ASO/UCI put a stop to that because it was an unfair advantage and kind of a logistical nightmare.
I think that Bora and Hansgrohe should get together to build a ‘recovery’ podium. 1st 3 riders home get a cubicle that has a seat, an air extraction fan and a shower misting them with water.
They could put a bidon filled with Haribo in there too and the riders can take time to get their breath back and cool down without anyone bothering them until they are ready to come out.
To move it between finishes, it would need to be collapsible obviously and need a catchy title so I’m proposing ‘Le Douche Bag’ ?
For me, getting down onto the road for recovery is easy, and it is definitely a relief. It’s getting back up that requires some assistance. But cool shady grass is actually the very best surface to lay on.
AFAIK, Ineos still does this for key mountain stages.
This is the kind of outside the box thinking we need
Watching ppl at their limits is the whole point. Who cares abt comfort?
the relief comes later, when it matters. calm down.
Would work but I think Patrick Lefevere has rights to that nickname.
Perhaps they should go back to what Armstrong was taking? He was always fresh at the end, pumping his arms, animated during interviews, etc. The fact is, laying on asphalt after stages like that is bliss - the suffering is over.
LA douche bag would be even better IMHO
A little portable soft sprinkle shower thing and cold sweet watermelon slices. Eat watermelon while sitting on pavement underneath soft shower = luxury.
Beat me to the punch on this. My favorite post ride snack during summer by far is ice cold watermelon. They should have kiddie pools full of it that the riders can collapse into after the finish line!
Love this idea. An ice cold, natural solution, full of vitamin c. The slow mo shots of riders squishing into the melon would be epic.