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  #1941  
Old 11-04-12, 10:54
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LaFlorecita LaFlorecita is offline
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Default Portugal - Coimbra

I got inspired by Netserk's French RR so I created some National RR and TT courses as well

Hilly 47 km TT



RR - 88 km then a ~14 km loop that will be repeated 9 times, total length 221 km


The loop


The 3 cat 4 climbs in the loop aren't very challenging (1.9 km @ 5.6%, 3 km @ 4.0% and 1.9 km @ 5.9 %) but should still be hard enough to be decisive
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Originally Posted by Afrank
Froome see's how Contador is already dressing himself in yellow in anticipation for July, how he rides with no helmet without fear, how he and his loyal second in command Kreuziger have grown thin, how he takes on the sprinters in a bunch sprint, and how Contador has given previews of what others will face in July in the form of Giro 2011 pictures....

...and he feels fear...
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  #1942  
Old 11-04-12, 10:59
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Default España - Granada

55 km TT



263 km RR very challenging


1st cat climb is 12 km @ 5.7% it will be interesting to see if the people that get dropped can get back before the start of the 2nd cat climb.

2nd cat climb is 12 km @ 3.9% after that a 10 km descent.
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Originally Posted by Afrank
Froome see's how Contador is already dressing himself in yellow in anticipation for July, how he rides with no helmet without fear, how he and his loyal second in command Kreuziger have grown thin, how he takes on the sprinters in a bunch sprint, and how Contador has given previews of what others will face in July in the form of Giro 2011 pictures....

...and he feels fear...
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  #1943  
Old 11-04-12, 11:05
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Default Italia - Bologna

46 km TT with two tough hills



215 km RR circuit race, 27 km loop will be done 8 times


Top of last climb 4 km from the finish line, 2 flat km after a 2 km descent.
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Originally Posted by Afrank
Froome see's how Contador is already dressing himself in yellow in anticipation for July, how he rides with no helmet without fear, how he and his loyal second in command Kreuziger have grown thin, how he takes on the sprinters in a bunch sprint, and how Contador has given previews of what others will face in July in the form of Giro 2011 pictures....

...and he feels fear...
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  #1944  
Old 11-04-12, 11:10
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LaFlorecita LaFlorecita is offline
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Default France - Aurillac

TT

The 3rd cat climb has a 2 km part @ 7%


RR circuit race 13 times a 17 km loop, total of 221 km
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Afrank
Froome see's how Contador is already dressing himself in yellow in anticipation for July, how he rides with no helmet without fear, how he and his loyal second in command Kreuziger have grown thin, how he takes on the sprinters in a bunch sprint, and how Contador has given previews of what others will face in July in the form of Giro 2011 pictures....

...and he feels fear...
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  #1945  
Old 11-20-12, 19:54
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Libertine Seguros Libertine Seguros is offline
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While this thread may have lain dormant for a while, my race-mapping brain is too active not to come back once in a while.

The discussion I had with Parrulo, Ryo and a few others about the state of Portuguese cycling in the Transfer and General threads a few days ago took me back to one of my favourite races - the Volta a Portugal. I've had a go at designing one before, restoring it to its past glories as a three-week race and covering the whole of the country. But as is usually the case for us aspiring parcours designers, idealism trumps pragmatism on such occasions, and we get rather hung up on designing as best a parcours as we can, while real-life course designer issues such as who pays for the various starts and finishes and the cost of transporting people around and the feasibility of transfers are sometimes not taken into consideration to the level they perhaps ought to be. The real Volta a Portugal is pretty cash-strapped, for example. Joaquim Gomes has to fight to keep the race going, and because of this the race can be, geographically, quite repetitive. The last two years, he has announced that we are keeping the parcours 75-80% the same, although there are a couple of new or revisited homes for it each year.

This is my attempt at designing a 'realistic' Volta a Portugal. Only two of the host towns/cities have not hosted A Volta in the last five years, and almost all of the Volta's most supportive homes of that period will host a stage start or a stage finish. By doing this, I hope to illustrate that, while we can often be overly idealistic in course design, there is still a lot of potential to make a far more interesting and challenging race than has been put out of late even using the same old same old that has been the recent race routes.

Prologue: Lisboa - Lisboa, 5,3km





Portugal's erstwhile capital has hosted the Volta in each of the last four years; for a couple of years before that Portimão hosted the start before the race headed north. For the 2009 race, the prologue moved to Lisboa, for a simple out-and-back along Avenida da Liberdade, between Praça do Marquês de Pombal and Praça dos Restauradores (which I copied directly for the prologue of my three-week Volta). Since 2010, however, the final stage has typically been a sprinters' parade in Lisboa, similar to far too many Tour wannabe races. This requires a slightly longer circuit than the short run of the 2009 prologue, however, and it is to this slightly longer circuit that I have turned for this prologue. Rather than beginning at Marquês de Pombal and riding downhill before climbing up to the finish, this prologue will begin at Praça dos Restauradores and slowly grind uphill (climbing at 3-4% for a couple of kilometres past Praça do Marquês de Pombal and along Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo) until the timecheck at Praça Duque de Saldanha; after this we will retrace our steps back down to Praça dos Restauradores to finish. So basically, four straights, each of between 1 and 1,5km, with only one sharp corner; the mild uphill shouldn't prevent this one from being a pure power rider's haven.

Praça dos Restauradores:


Praça do Marquês de Pombal (old school):
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Last edited by Libertine Seguros; 11-20-12 at 21:41.
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  #1946  
Old 11-20-12, 21:02
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Libertine Seguros Libertine Seguros is offline
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Stage 1: Sintra - Leiria, 173km





Climbs:
Alto da Boavista do Vale de Banho (cat.3) 4,0km @ 5,0%
Montejunto (cat.2) 5,6km @ 6,3%
Casal do Alho (cat.4) 2,2km @ 5,6%

The city of Sintra with its grand castle has been the start point of choice for the Volta's final stage for the last three years, so bearing in mind I'm starting in Lisbon rather than finishing there, it makes a logical place to begin the first road stage. It often hosted a closing ITT in days gone by, with the last such stage being the final stage of the 2004 race, when Sergio Paulinho won the stage and David Bernabéu defended the GC. Leiria similarly used to host the race regularly, but had fallen out of favour until fairly recently; in 2010 and 2012, however, the long ITT has been held in the city, serving as the spot for the final GC battle.

The stage between the two is fairly typical opening stage fare; lots of rolling countryside and small hills. After all, it isn't easy to find truly flat terrain in the area around Torres Vedras; riders will have the chance to discover this first hand in the Trofeu Joaquim Agostinho, the Volta's main warmup event. The only real challenge of the day is the grinding road up to the Serra de Montejunto, which stands tall over the region. The riders will only take on the first two thirds or so of the climb - there are many routes up to the top, with the main one being 9,2km @ 6,2%. It is frequently featured in Portuguese races, but the Volta in recent history hasn't really featured major climbing this far south. As a result we are passing by the climb, but continue northward.

Although there are plenty of rises and falls, the terrain for the rest of the stage is mostly rolling, while we pass through some fairly notable towns, such as Caldas da Rainha, on the way. The sting in the tail, however, is a short puncheur's climb to Casal do Alho, cresting 11km from the finish. This isn't super-steep, however, averaging just 5,6%, and the maximum gradient of 12% occurs near the bottom, with it flattening out higher up. The run-in into Leiria is uncomplicated, with the final corner coming 600m from the finish, next to Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa, the state-of-the-art stadium built for Euro 2004, but now going empty as the rent was too high for the relatively small team União Leiria to afford as the team has been struggling badly in recent years.

This one could be a puncheur stage, or it could be a sprint. There are options.

Sintra:


Leiria:
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  #1947  
Old 11-20-12, 22:21
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Libertine Seguros Libertine Seguros is offline
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Stage 2: Pedrógão - Castelo Branco, 183km





Climbs:
Alto das Pousadas Vedras (cat.4) 2,2km @ 7,2%
Serra do Mouro (cat.3) 4,5km @ 4,0%
Portela de São Simão (cat.3) 4,5km @ 5,5%
Alqueidão (cat.3) 4,3km @ 5,1%
Portela dos Berrezins (cat.4) 3,0km @ 3,3%
Cimadas Cimeiras (cat.3) 5,5km @ 4,1%
Alto de Cunqueiros (cat.3) 4,6km @ 4,8%
Pena Falcão (cat.4) 1,7km @ 5,8%
Sarzedas (cat.4) 3,2km @ 4,4%

(some of these may be incorrect names - quite a few hills and climbs in Portugal either have no names or no acknowledged names when used in races even if categorised).

Pedrógão (at least the Pedrógão we're starting in - it's not an uncommon name) is a small town with beautiful forests on one side and a renowned beach on the other. It has recently featured in the Volta twice, hosting the start of the ITT into Leiria in both 2010 and 2012. It will make the transfer easy and keep the race within the same municipality, as the transfer from Leiria is short enough to be the length of a normal ITT! Castelo Branco, on the other hand, having hosted a stage finish in the Volta every year in the last decade, except 2011. In 2012 it was the site of the prologue, while in 2006 it was the destination town of the race-deciding ITT; as a result the city has a lot of pedigree as a host of A Volta.

Today's stage is similar to - but tougher than - the first road stage of the 2009 Volta, won by Manuel Cardoso ahead of Portuguese phenom and inexplicable climber Cândido Barbosa. We traverse the country from the Atlantic coast to one of its easternmost provinces, crossing the foothills of the Sistema Central, which provides the stage with its saw-toothed appearance. Although no climb is categorised higher than 3, there are no fewer than 9 categorised climbs on today's route, 5 category 3 climbs and 4 category 4s. However, the last of these falls with 22km to go, and is hardly impassable in its difficulty. Key points on the route today include the city of Pombal, the hilly town of Sertã, which occurs just after the halfway point and which hosted a stage finish in 2011 (won by Jacob Rathe of Chipotle Development Team with a smart late dash from a large break while the Portuguese riders marked each other out of it), and Proença-a-Nova, which hasn't hosted any stage starts or finishes lately, but usually hosts a Meta Volante; I would expect Sertã to hold the other one.

After passing through Proença-a-Nova, the climbs start to ease out and become less frequent, or at least less long as the riders pass Os Montes da Senhora. The last 35km are pretty rolling, and so it is quite likely that the teams will be able to compose themselves and control attacks in the latter stages in order to contest the sprint in the middle of Castelo Branco, with the closing stages aping the route of the 2012 prologue; however the stage up until that point, with several climbs and with the middle section of the stage being composed of almost non-stop up-and-down, means that there is a good chance that the bunch will have been thinned out somewhat, and many major sprinters will be unable to make it; this is more for the Peter Sagans than the Andrea Guardinis of this world, and serves as a nice lead-in to the first weekend.

Pedrógão:


Castelo Branco:
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  #1948  
Old 11-21-12, 21:03
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Libertine Seguros Libertine Seguros is offline
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Stage 3: Idanha-a-Nova - Coimbra, 228km





Climbs:
Foz Giraldo (cat.2) 11,2km @ 3,5%
Bogas de Baixo (cat.3) 5,3km @ 4,1%
Portela de Unhais (cat.2) 7,0km @ 6,3%
Alto Malhado do Rei (cat.4) 2,2km @ 6,8%
Alto da Serra do Vidual (cat.3) 4,0km @ 6,5%
Portela de Ubrais (cat.3) 4,5km @ 4,9%
Serra da Lousã (cat.1) 9,4km @ 5,7%
Alto do Senhor da Serra (cat.3) 3,0km @ 6,6%
Mata Nacional de Vale de Canas (cat.3) 2,1km @ 9,4%

Our first weekend stage is the longest of the event, running in the opposite direction to yesterday's stage, parallel and a bit to the north. The host of the départ, Idanha-a-Nova, hasn't been on the route in the last two years, however from 2006 to 2010 it hosted a stage start every year, usually heading for Gouveia or the Alto da Torre. However, in 2006 it was the start of a 39km ITT into Castelo Branco, so that also tells you how short the transfer is. This time, however, we're travelling a bit further south and heading through the lower end of the Sistema Central for a long and difficult intermediate stage that should see the first real shake-up of the GC on the way to Coimbra. Coimbra, one of the most important cities in central Portugal with a population of over 100.000, hasn't hosted the Volta since 2003, however it has featured regularly on the route of the now-departed GP CTT Correios de Portugal, formerly the most important short stage race in the country.

This one is going to be a really tough day in the saddle for riders, especially if we get the brutal heat that the Volta is known for. After a rolling first 40km, the riders are driven over a seemingly endless parade of short- and medium-length climbs. There's no real consistency to them either - some are low-gradient power grinds, others are short, punchy affairs - so this could well be one to get a strong breakaway going in, because the variety of climbs could really sap the domestiques trying to pull the break back in - especially as at this point I would not expect one of the teams who are targeting the GC to have the Camisola Amarela, so somebody is going to have to take responsibility for the chase.

The hardest of the early climbs is the climb up to Capela de Nossa Senhora de Lourdes, at Portela de Unhais, which is a mid-length climb that gradually gets steeper, with the last couple of kilometres averaging over 9% as we move away from the Rio Zêzere and head back towards the coast passing through mountain villages like Vidual de Cima on the way.

The last of the major climbs is the winding way up to the Serra Lousã, a very well-known climb in Portugal. Obviously, as this isn't an MTF, we aren't going all the way to the summit but instead to the pass about 10km after Castanheira da Pêra. Don't believe the Climbbybike profile that says this gets to 1500m - it doesn't, even the full summit is nothing like that high. Either way, at over 9km at just under 6%, it's the first cat.1 climb of the race and crests with about 55km to go. Hopefully this should thin the bunch out, so that when things inevitably come back together on the long, winding descent into Lousã we are left with a pretty trimmed-down bunch for the last two climbs.

The climb to Senhor da Serra is hardly on the same level as the Serra da Lousã, just 3km long with an average of 6% and a maximum of 11%, but cresting at just 18km to go will mean that it could be an enticing spot for an attack. If not, we could see a decent-sized bunch arrive on the outskirts of Coimbra to take on the final challenge for the riders for the day - the narrow Vale de Canas road, the summit of which overlooks Coimbra from a height. This short climb is a tough puncheur's climb - just over 2km in length, but over 9% on average - and crests just 4,5% from the finishing line. So yes, it is certainly possible that this ends up being a one-climb shootout, but I have given plenty of opportunities for riders to make more of the day, from the second or third climb out, and also, by placing this before the GC has been truly sorted out, giving an opportunity for a breakaway to build up a lead, as it is unlikely a major GC contender will be in the leader's jersey before this point.

Either way, there will be some gaps created on the GC today, and this is, to me at least, truly a worthy weekend stage.

Idanha-a-Nova:


Coimbra:
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  #1949  
Old 11-21-12, 21:08
togo95 togo95 is offline
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Nice stages, up and down all day long. And especially stage 3 would probably provide some kind of action.
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  #1950  
Old 11-21-12, 21:34
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Descender Descender is offline
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Nice stage that last one!
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