That's interesting. Also interesting is the fact it didn't finished in much bigger Argelès-Gazost, but in much smaller Arras-en-Lavedan. I guess it was (still kinda is) a rather small race but if then nothing bad didn't happen then maybe. But i can see some of the riders whining about this descent as it's quite nasty. Most of it is unprotected and in a forest. Still it's much safer than Col du Solude descent on that cliff road.
Now to my Tour. In this one there also will be some awful roads. As i wrote before, 100% realism wasn't my goal for this one.
Opening post: clickTour de France by railxmig – prologue. Brest – Brest-Océanopolis ITT, 6,3km, ~70m asc.Start:
Brest, Place du Général de GaulleFinish:
Brest, Rue des CormoransRoute:
Place du Général de Gaulle - Rue du Château - Place Wilson - Jardin Kennedy - Rue Yves Collet - Rue Saint-Marc - Rue de Verdun - Place Vinet - Rond-Point de Palaren - Rue Eugène Berest - Rond-Point Eric Tabarly - Rue Alain Colas - Rond-Point des Fous de Bassan - Rue des Cormorans
Brest is the westernmost metropolie in France and also the second French military port after Toulon. It's a former Roman fortress (Château de Brest). The main sights are the 2nd highest vertical-lift bridge in Europe Pont de Recouvrance, Château de Brest which dates back to the Roman Empire and now houses a National Navy Museum, Tour Tanguy housing a history museum of Brest and Place de la Liberté. Tour de France was a couple of times in Brest, hosting grand départ in 1952, 1974 and 2008. In 2008 the stage from Brest ended on a hill near Plumelec (the same used in 2015 TTT).Start.Château de Brest with Tour Tanguy.Place de la Liberté.
This just over 6km prologue will go from the Château on Place du Général de Gaulle uphill through one of the main Brest's highways to Rue Saint-Marc (2km at roughly 3%, max 5%) and then downhill through Rue du Verdun (short but quite steep descent with max 7-8%) to Port de Plaisance du Moulin Blanc and Océanopolis – one of the biggest aquariums in France
. The finish line is on Rue des Cormorans. Most of the route is on wide and well maintained roads but there are some slightly narrower parts like a part of Rue Saint-Marc and Rue de Verdun.Finish.Brest, Océanopolis.
My other idea for a grand départ was to start with a prologue in Avignon
and then have a hilly stage to either Manosque or Aix-en-Provence (with cat. 1 Col de Lagarde-d'Apt – 11km at 7%) and then straight into Alpes. Some parts of this tour were used in the alpine stages of this tour.
Next stage is continuing with the water theme starting near a big aquapark at the edge of Brest and adjacent towns of Guipavas and Le Relecq-Kerhuon.Tour de France by railxmig – stage 1. Brest-Spadiumparc - Crozon-Perros-Trébéron, 158km, ~1200m asc.Start
: Brest, SpadiumparcKm 0
: Plougastel-Daoulas, Keralliou, 3,4km from the startFinish
: Crozon, Perros-Trébéron, 400m, 10% uphillSprint
: Huelgoat, Rue Joliot Curie, 0,5km, 8% uphillFeed zone
: Lannédern, Croas ar Hars, D14Start - km 0
: Spadiumparc - Guipavas, Rue de Palaren - Le Relecq-Kerhuon, Boulevard Léopold
Maissin - Le Relecq-Kerhuon, Pont Albert Louppe - Plougastel-Daoulas, KeralliouClimbs
Côte de Gorré Ménez - 2,4km, 3,8%, 4 cat. 158m
Côte de la Croix Neuve - 3,4km, 5% (max 15%), 3 cat. 173m
Côte de Roch Béghéor - 2,8km, 6%, 3 cat. 267m
Côte de Ty Provost - 3,4km, 5% (max 15%), 3 cat. 182m
Côte de Crozon - 1km, 6,4% (max 14%), 4 cat. 82m
Côte de Perros-Trébéron - 0,4km, 10,8% (max 17%), 4 cat. 50mRibin
Clouchouren - Bellevue, 4,6km
This stage is hilly with a difficult ending on various short but steep bumps and some white roads. In Bretagne these are known as ribins. Of course the Tour doesn't bother with these for at least 30 or so years and the only bigger race dealing with them is Tro-Bro Léon going around the region of Bas-Léon north of Brest. This stage however will focus mainly on the Crozon Peninsula south of Brest.
This stage starts outside of Spadiumparc – an aquapark at the edge of Brest, Guipavas and Le Relecq-Kerhuon. The km 0 is in Keralliou on the other side of Pont Albert Louppe – a historical bridge on the Élorn bay.Start in Brest.Spadiumparc.Pont Albert Louppe.
The stage will first go through Haut-Léon starting straight with two categorised climbs - Côte de Gorré Ménez and Côte de la Croix Neuve. After that the stage goes through Monts d'Arrée which are very rocky and windy. They will be culminated by the well known Col du Trévézel (only 4,5km at 2,1% so not worth categorisation) and a lakeside town and a prehistoric archeological site of Huelgoat where a sprint will be held on Rue Joliot Curie on top of a small 0,5km at 8% hill. Of course the region is known for small stone chapels, menhirs and windy open fields (sort of a Scottish landscape).Monts d'Arrée.Huelgoat.
From Huelgoat the stage will go back to the Atlantic coast visiting two more categorised climbs Côte de Roch Béghéor (still part of Monts d'Arrée) and Côte de Ty Provost before entering the Crozon Peninsula. Here the stage will go nearby a naval base in Lanvéoc and a nuclear submarines base on Île Longue before entering the first ribin. I'm a pacifist so i'm obviously against such weapons.
The first ribin section is 4,6km long and goes from Clouchouren to Bellevue. It seems to look smooth but it's mainly a field road so it does have a lot of bumps created mainly by the combines and other agro vehicles. It's also quite hilly with a short and steep descent followed by a short and steep ascent before connecting with D55. Of course if the weather will be awful, and Bretagne is known for its local rain showers, then some people will be hurt. Still, i don't really expect any very big gaps as the peloton was only stretched in the similar to this
Paris-Nice stage from last year but considering the finale some guys like Stybar, Sagan, Vanmarcke or even GT should try to shake off guys like Valverde, Bardet or Alaphilippe.First ribin section from Clouchouren to Bellevue.
Next roughly 9km are relatively calm going near Camaret-sur-Mer (the tip of the peninsula) before coming back on D08 to Crozon – the capital of the peninsula known for its beaches Plage de Morgat and Plage de Postolonnec and coastal cliffs like Pointe des Grottes or Pointe du Menhir. At the entrace to the city there will be a small detour consisting of the last, short ribin section and a short but steep (max 14%) cat. 4 hill.Last ribin section in Crozon.Plage de Postolonnec in Crozon with the finish line on top of a cliff on the other side.
From the top of this hill (which is in the centre of Crozon) the stage goes through a steep but very picturesque downhill (straight, wide 2-lane road) to Plage de Postolonnec, where a parking lot is located and then continues on a short but very steep (max 17%) cat. 4 hill to the finish line at the top of that cliff (Pointe de Trébéron) in the village of Perros-Trébéron (hence the name of the finish).Finish in Perros-Trébéron.
Interestingly there is some space at the top (i wasn't expecting this) which combined with a paring on Plage de Postolonnec and nearby city of Crozon makes this finish not that logistically challenging. It should be too small for Tour but for something like Tour de Bretagne or even Vuelta it should be fine.
This stage should have an interesting last 20km with 5km of ribin and two steep cat. 4 hills. It should be an interesting banter between powerhouses like Stybar, Kwiatkowski or Thomas an punchers like Alaphilippe, Valverde or Bardet. The gaps shouldn't be big but i guess the winner of this stage will wear the yellow for maybe even the next 3 stages. That guy could even try to extend the lead a lil bit because the next stage is similar to this one.Tour de France by railxmig – stage 2. Quimper - Plouay, 183km, ~900m asc.Start
: Quimper, Rue de la Déesse, Place de la RésistanceKm 0
: Ergué-Gabéric, Route d'Elliant, 8,3km from the startFinish
: Plouay, Boulevard des Championnats du Monde, 500m straightSprint
: Plouay, Boulevard des Championnats du Monde, 500m straight, lap 1Feed zone
: Le Faouët, Kercalvez, Rue du FaouëtLap
: Plouay, 14,5km, x3Climbs
Côte de Beg ar Ménez - 1,8km, 5,6%, 4 cat. 224m
Col de Toullaëron - 2,5km, 4,4%, 4 cat. 266m
Côte de Kerroc'h - 2,2km, 4,1%, 4 cat. 275m
Côte de Ty-Marrec - 1,4km, 5,1%, 4 cat. 124mStart - km 0
Rue de la Déesse - Pont Max Jacob - Quai de l'Odet - Rue du Parc - Boulevard Amiral de
Kerguélen - Rue Aristide Briand - Rue de l'Hippodrome - Avenue des Sports - Avenue Saint-
Denis - Rue Kerhuel - Rue Philippe Lebon - Rond-Point Philippe Lebon - Route de Coray -
Ergué-Gabéric, Rond-Point du Rouillen - Ergué-Gabéric, Avenue du Rouillen - Ergué-Gabéric,
Avenue de Coray - Ergué-Gabéric, Rond-Point de Kerourvois - Ergué-Gabéric, Avenue de Garsalec
This stage starts in Quimper, 2nd biggest and important city in west Bretagne. It's the capital of the Finistère department (most of the Bretagne). Main sights include the cathedral and a very specific vernacular architecture in the historic centre. The city hosted a Tour de France stage 6 times, last time in 2004 with a sprint stage won by Thor Hushovd. The start is on Place de la Résistance on the south bank of Odete. Km 0 is in Ergué-Gabéric, 8,3km from the start.Start in Quimper.Quimper and the Odet river.Very characteristic (dutch-like) architecture in Quimper.
From Quimper the stage goes mainly east through small but steep valleys and Montagnes Noires (just south of Monts d'Arrée). They are geologically very similar to Monts d'Arrée but they're much densly forested. On this stage Montagnes Noires are presented by two cat. 4 hills Côte de Beg ar Ménez and Col de Toullaëron. Like most of Bretagne this area is full of menhirs. Also worth mentioning is a nearby beautifull Château de Trévarez.Karreg an Tan near Gouézec.Menhir de Trimen.Château de Trévarez.
From there the stage wanders a bit before hitting Plouray and the highest hill of the day - Côte de Kerroc'h. Then it goes south to the well known laps of GP de Plouay. There are 3x14,5km long laps around Plouay which were used in the 2000 WC
which was held here. It was mainly a puncher galore with now rather forgotten powerhouses Vainsteins and Spruch fightning for the win and Oscar Freire taking bronze. The pivotal point of them are uncategorised Côte du Lézot – 1km at 5,7% and categorised only once (next to last lap) Côte de Ty-Marrec. The intermediate sprint is on the first passage of the finish line.Last 3 laps around Plouay.Église Notre-Dame, Kernascléden.
Côte de Ty-Marrec is the main obstacle of this lap. The toughest part is 0,7km at 8% which is roughly 3km from the finish line – at the same place as in 2000 WC. I think this stage should be a bit too hard for normal sprinters but guys like Sagan and Albasini could be favourites. I consider it an easier stage than the previous one and i don't expect any strong selection attempts so a 30-50-man sprint should be the most probable scenario.Finish in Plouay.Plouay.
The first 3 stages are not the easiest one and should generate some splits. Outside of 2 ribin sections the roads are not in the worst of conditions so i hope the amount of crashes should be limited especially as there's only a small amount of straight highways. I assume a puncher should have the yellow after these stages. Next 3 stages will go alongside the Atlantic coast so either they'll be boring or there'll be plenty of echelon action.