N.B.O.L., on 13 June 2011 - 11:25 PM, said:
I was aware of the 8KM number although I had never thought about a lesser number for women and juniors. My real question is there a formal policy on if you call the stage after the prologue Stage 1 or Stage 2, or is that an organizers decision? I believe the TdF always calls the stage after the prologue Stage 1 when they have a prologue.
Afaik, stage numbering starts with 1. If you have an official prologue, it comes before stage 1. In this TdS, although it is short, the first day was officially
a stage, not a prologue. Anyway, in reference to the TdS, I tried to dig into this distinction between “stage 1” and “prologue” a bit more.
Race day lengths appear to be defined more by max kms rather than min.
As we know, the prologue length limit is 8km. Another distinction would be that you can DNF a prologue and still start the following stage. Not sure, but maybe you can also DNS a prologue (provided you do not race elsewhere the same day)?
Possibly the TdS first day being a stage has something to do with the Dauphine still being run. So as to avoid potential conflict of interest (riders moving from the Dauphine on to the TdS).
If you look at the race statistics
(p.6 column 5, p.36) you can see that for many years the race had an official prologue. Since 2004 the race has been shortened to a total of 9 days and the official prologue gone (maybe this coincided with some UCI calendar changes). Nevertheless on 4 occasions stage 1 could have potentially been a prologue, distance wise (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011). On all of these occasions Cancellara won.
In the earlier years Cancellara was more of a prologue specialist, yet less consistent when it came to longer ITTs (well, the likes of Ullrich were around to scorch the road).
2002 - Prologue: Zuelle, long ITT: Tobias Steinhauser
2003 - Prologue: Cance
2004 - no short opener, long ITT: Ullrich
2005 - no short opener, long ITT: Ullrich
2006 - no short opener, long ITT: Ullrich
2007 - st.1 (3.8km) ITT, st.9 (long) ITT both won by Cance
2008 - no short opener. An outlier: Cance does not win the long ITT\st.8, but wins two road stages
2009 - st.1 (7.8km) ITT, st.9 (long) ITT both won by Cance as well as overall GC
2010 - st.1 (7.6km) ITT: Cance, st.9 (long) ITT: T Martin
2011 - st.1 (7.3km) ITT: Cance, st.9 (long) ITT: up for grabs
Just saying, maybe the Swiss reintroduced a short opener to increase the chances of a Swiss win.
Edit: fixed mistakes in 2008 and 2009.
~ don't sleep and post
This post has been edited by Leafcake: 14 June 2011 - 11:10 AM