Yes, it is official. It is coming.
I will announce the theme of the challenge in the upcoming days*, I still have to work out some rules.
I will give some information though, mainly recollecting stuff I already said in other threads:
- It will be about a whole new stage race.
- It will be bigger than a regular GT (roughly one month of duration)
- It will give more leeway to players wrt UCI rules...
- The start of the competition itself will probably be in August
There are already a few players registered and a couple of judges... but the more, the better, so don't hesitate and join the biggest race design competition in the world!
*:...when I have time
Here's the theme.
This will be the Tour of the Roman Empire
(the actual name will be up to you).
A stage race that will last 32 days, with 28 stages and 4 rest days. It is the Tour of the Roman Empire, but it is intended to be raced in the present. With present-day roads. BUT every stage should start and end in roman age cities or landmarks (using their ancient name will get you style points). They do not HAVE to be roman (as all GTs, you could have stages abroad... but they must be of that time). This will mean a few things.
First of all, basically MTFs will be very hard to make, because you would need to find some kind of roman sanctuary on a mountain, maybe. Surely you won't find towns up there.
Secondly, the Roman Empire was a pretty big place. Covering it in 28 stages will be tough, especially considering you can't just start or finish a stage anywhere. To alleviate your burden, the Roman Cycling Union has granted you special permission to ignore the riders' complaints and go full pre-WW2 heroic cycling. You will have a transfer limit of 150 km between stages (no limits during rest days), and the length limit of each stage will be 300 km (100 km for TTs of any kind). Furthermore, you'll have the possibility to break this limit, up to 500 km, for three stages (we will refer to these as "Ultra-stages"), as long as they come just after or before a rest day. These stages cannot have more than 6000m of altitude gain though.
The overall length of the race shall not be higher than 6000 km.
Unlike the last edition, I will come up with a penalty system for those who will break the rules. Let's say you didn't find any roman settlement to finish your stage in. Fear not, you can still submit your stage, but you'll get a penalty and lose some points. Same goes for the km limit. I'm still thinking of the actual amount of points, so I won't say the details yet. The voting system will remain similar to last year, with technical and cultural points, with slight modifications depending on the number of players involved and the number of judges. The only real change will be that the final evaluation of each week will also include a cultural voting (instead of only the technical one). Furthermore, I will introduce a small points bonus for the best write-up of each round, so put some effort into it and you'll get rewarded
So that's it, the challenge is made. The competition will start on August 20th
(the starting date has been postponed).
Please write here to confirm your participation. You'll be able to register up to the very start of the competition.
EDIT#2: Judges and rules:http://forum.cyclingnews.com/viewtopic.php?p=2004265&sid=8b3e1fd996b7507aff051cd4fcd21243#p2004265