To be honest, I only started to pay attention once I saw that old Merckx bike, so I was not aware that they mentioned radios and team cars, and I didn't know that they were speaking only of innovations that improved the racing. If that's the case, I'll weigh in and say that they are way off the mark to say that the radios improved the racing. Moreover, I'm not sure how much any innovation improves racing. I suppose multigeared bikes might make cycling compatible with a broader range of anatomies and physiologies, which could make the sport more competitive. As for the radios, I always chuckle when Paul repeatedly marvels at how the pack is always able to set a perfect pace to catch the break in the last km. Gee, with only two-way radios, GPS and computers in the team cars, and digital cyclometers, I can't imagine how they do it.
I think Phil is right on this one.
When we talk about improving the racing, I would take this to mean from the perspective of the spectator. In that regard, my vote goes to TV in general, and cable TV in the case of the US, where we would have no hope of seeing anything were it left to the networks... Then there's the 'net, which is where we may be getting our video in the near future, if we aren't already.
Tom Dalton Bethlehem, PA, USA "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: I saw that segment during the Versus TV Tour coverage, and I wondered what other people thought of the list of the "top 5 innovations" in the Tour (and racing in general, I suppose). The list was as follows: 5 - rider/team car race radios 4 - clipless pedals 3 - team "follow" cars 2 - integrated brake/shift levers 1 - the derailluer
Now, Bobke's misinformation about the derailluer's invention aside -- what did people think of this list? I don't have a big quibble with the derailluer listed as #1. I'm sure all of us love derailluers -- vintage, on-topic, or otherwise. But what about some of the others? Integrated brake/shift levers? Clipless pedals? Nice inventions, both, but have they really improved racing? Made the racers faster? Made the bikes that much better? Hmmm. . .
I'm getting into some off-topic stuff here - but one item I really take issue with is the inclusing of team car race radios. How Phil Ligget could even read this list on the air makes me chuckle, since he's commented several times in the past couple years how he thinks these radios have ruined racing and should be eliminated (granted, I doubt Phil came up with the list, or was even asked for input on its content).
Then, the question is, what "innovations" would you put on the list instead? Lightweight steel alloy tubing (such as 531)? Aluminum components? Now I'm getting into some really off-topic possibilities - but what about carbon fiber? (17 lb bikes WITHOUT drilling the bike to the brink of failure?) Aerodynamics? (remember LeMond beating Fignon in the final time trial of the '89 tour?).
Just wondering if anyone had some thoughts on it.
Kyle Brooks Akron, OH
> [Original Message]
> From: Tom Dalton
> To: Classic Rendezvous ; Jan Heine
> Date: 7/20/2007 10:00:30 AM
> Subject: [CR]history rewritten on Versus TV
> During last night's TdF coverage on versus, there was a tiny morsel of vintage bike content. In a brief segment about equipment innovations there were a couple of shots of what appeared to be an old Molteni team bike, with SR equipment. It was pretty thrashed and used to represent that arcahic old friction shifting with it's 1st gen SR rear der and knobbly shifters. To their credit, Versus identified derailleur gears as the most significant technological chane to hit the Tour during it's history (pharmaceuticals aside, I suppose). Seems like a good choice to me anyway. Then I had to shudder just a bit, when Bob Roll attributed the invention of the derailleur to Tullio Campagnolo. Now, as far as I'm concened, Tullio invented the light bulb, the Diesel engine, and the integrated circuit, but I'm pretty sure he did not invent the derailleur. In fact, I'm pretty sure that he did not even invent the parallelogram body that Campagnolo first used on the GS. It's my
> understanding that there is some Juy guy who can take credit for some major invention related to derailleurs, though having not yet read "the book," my knowledge is very spotty.
> Can someone with more credibility that me (that's a pretty open set of folks) please shoot Bobke an email at Versus TV and set him straight? Jan, you're the first person to come to my mind on this one.
> Tom Dalton
> Bethlehem, PA USA
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