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Race Design Thread

A place to discuss all things related to current professional road races. Here, you can also touch on the latest news relating to professional road racing. A doping discussion free forum.

10 Mar 2017 15:02

Monte Titano, nice.
Le Cap d'Agde stage is pretty similar to my Sete stage, Mont Saint Clair as the main climb with chances of echelons.
Also nice medium mountain stage to La Salvetat.
Forever The Best
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11 Mar 2017 14:36

Does anyone know why lots of roads on cronoescalada cannot be used? For instance I'm not able to use west side of agnello or stelvio from bormio. Remember there were some problems with bonette and grand bernard too.
phil-i-am
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Re:

11 Mar 2017 15:54

phil-i-am wrote:Does anyone know why lots of roads on cronoescalada cannot be used? For instance I'm not able to use west side of agnello or stelvio from bormio. Remember there were some problems with bonette and grand bernard too.

Those roads are closed for winter in real life, and Google Maps takes that into account by rendering them unusuable. You can either map them out by hand or use La Flamme Rouge, which ommits that (or wait until they open next month :o )
mikii4567
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Re: Re:

12 Mar 2017 15:34

mikii4567 wrote:
phil-i-am wrote:Does anyone know why lots of roads on cronoescalada cannot be used? For instance I'm not able to use west side of agnello or stelvio from bormio. Remember there were some problems with bonette and grand bernard too.

Those roads are closed for winter in real life, and Google Maps takes that into account by rendering them unusuable. You can either map them out by hand or use La Flamme Rouge, which ommits that (or wait until they open next month :o )


Haha, thanks!
phil-i-am
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Re: Race Design Thread

12 Mar 2017 18:33

VUELTA A ESPANA

(Wed) stage 16: Lloret de Mar - Sitges / Ermita de la Trinitat, 182 km

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Murito fun in Catalunya.

Final 42 km:

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Rat Penat: 5 km at 9,3%, including one km at 14,7%!

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Rolling terrain after Rat Penat:
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Mas d'En Puig: 1,5 km at 8,5%. Fast descent. 6 km to go.

Ermita de la Trinitat: 1,2 km at 9,6%. Rough surface.

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HD Video of Ermita de la Trinitat: uphill, downhill.


Lloret de Mar
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Sitges
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Ermita de la Trinitat
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User avatar fauniera
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Re: Race Design Thread

13 Mar 2017 16:24

@fauniera, there's quite a lot of really fine quality sterrato trails just north of Ermita de la Trinitat. I see a roughly 20km long track from Begues to Sant Pere de Ribes (north of Sitges) supposedly called Camí Parc del Garraf which is almost entirely on sterrato. This track should end roughly 8km from the finish line. This entire stretch of road is on streetview. There also seems to be a couple of alternative tracks nearby which may work as well.
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My next Tour de France entry ended up being way too long, but there's a lot to talk about. Also thank god i didn't watched the Nice stage as i would probably ragequit. Also, is it me, or does Pinot look a bit bulkier than usuall? Maybe that's just my awful eyes.

Last stage: click

Emm... this was supposed to happen...

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Pau - Peyragudes-Les Agudes.

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Bagnères-de-Luchon – Foix.

I took 2 days off from posting to complete these 2 stages below. I won't talk about the first one as it's just a copy of 2011 stage. It's purpose is to have a proper MTF and to maybe slightly wear of some legs for the next stage. I expect a similar scenario to 2011 and 2015 stages – a roughly 10-man dash to the finish line.

Tour de France by railxmig – stage 15. Saint-Gaudens - Plateau de Beille, 169km, ~4100 asc.
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Climbs:
Col de Portet-d'Aspet - 4,3km, 9,7%, 2 cat. 1069m
Col de la Core - 14km, 5,8%, 1 cat. 1395m
Col de Latrape - 5,5km, 7,4%, 2 cat. 1110m
Col d'Agnès - 10km, 8,2%, 1 cat. 1570m
Port de Lers - 3,8km, 5,5%, 3 cat. 1517m
Plateau de Beille - 15,8km, 7,9%, HC cat. 1780m

Start: Saint-Gaudens, Rue des Compagnons du Tour de France
Km 0: Miramont-de-Comminges, D905, 3,3km from the start
Finish: Plateau de Beille
Sprint: Castillon-en-Couserans, Avenue Noël Peyrevidal, 250m straight
Feed zone: Seix, Route d'Espagne

Start - km 0:
Rue des Compagnons du Tour de France - Rue de la République - Boulevard Louis Pasteur - Boulevard Eugène Azémar - Boulevard Jean Bepmale - Place de Barbastro - Avenue Henri Montagut - Avenue du Président Kenned - Avenue André Bouery - Pont de Miramont-de-Comminge - Miramont-de-Comminges, D905

Tour de France by railxmig – stage 16. Foix - Llívia, 212km, ~3200m asc.
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Climbs:
Col de Montségur - 4,7km, 8%, 2 cat. 1059m
Col de Pailhères - 16,7km, 7,3%, HC cat. 2001m
Col de Puymorens - 28,1km, 4,2%, 1 cat. 1920m
Côte de la Griole - 4,5km, 7%, 2 cat. 1559m

Start: Foix, Allées de Villote
Km 0: Foix, Route d'Espagne, 3,3km from the start
Finish: Llívia, Avinguda de Catalunya, 140m straight
Sprint: Quillan, Boulevard Charles de Gaulle, 200m straight
Feed zone: Saint-Martin-Lys, D117
Start - km 0: Allées de Villote - Cours Bouycheres - Avenue de Barcelone - Route d'Espagne

Sterrato:
Estavar - 1,2km
La Griole - 3,2km
Carrer de Llívia España - 2,6km

I had two versions of this stage prepared. I initially rejected the idea i finally went with. While the first one with Pailhères and Puymorens was easier to draw it was probably an easier version of this stage. I abandoned the realistic part of this race long time ago so i just decided to have fun and not care about anything. My philosphy of designing a stage/race was always heavily based on the realistic nature of such piece. This time i decided just to take the oppurtunity.

I don't know if anyone ever came up with such an idea to finish in Llívia in such fashion but i guess i'm not the first one. Sadly the search engine in this forum seems to be a bit wonky so i don't know if such a finish ever featured in this thread. Maybe someone in a Vuelta allready did such thing.

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Start in Foix.

Previously i planned a finish in Foix. Now it has a start. It's located on the other side of Allées de Villote, basically parallel to 2012 and i assume 2017 finish. Foix is a former Roman fortress (later it evolved into an actual castle) and an abbey from XII c. In the middle ages it was a capital of a small county just south of Toulouse. The main sights are Château de Foix from XIII-XV c. and Abbatiale Saint-Volusien from XII c.

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Château de Foix.

First roughly 80km are on the Foix – Perpignan road. There's a small detour to quite steep Col de Montségur on top of which are the ruins of Château de Montségur from around XIII c. It had strong connection with Cathars. In 1233 it became sort of a capital of Cathars. It was heavilly damaged during the Albigensian Crusade.

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Profile of Col de Montségur.

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Château de Montségur.

The descent from Montségur will lead to Puivert where there's another Cathar castle (Château de Puivert) from XII c. Further down the road is Quillan, where an intermediate sprint is located. Not far away is a feed zone, located just after Gorges de la Pierre-Lys. Soon riders leave the Perpignan road in Pont d'Aliès (Axat) and turn towards the 2nd climb of the day – Col de Jau.

First roughly 10km to Sainte-Colombe-sur-Guette in the l'Aiguette valley are false-flat. The main ascent is 13,9km long at 6,6% and it's cat. 1. The road is quite narrow and not in best of conditions. This climb was used in Tour a couple of time, last time in 2001 with Laurent Roux first on top. While it's not an easy climb (a strong cat. 1) the descent should be the main concern. It's not steep with majority of the first 10km at 6-8% and max 10% but with 23km of twisty (18 serpentines in span of 6km) and narrow roads it's highly dangerous.

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Profile of Col de Jau.

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One of the serpentines on the descent from Col de Jau.

The descent leads to Catllar – a small town just north of Prades. Prades is the capital and biggest city of Conflent, a historic region at the entrance to Vallée de la Têt – one of the main valleys of Pyrénées-Orientales. Riders will stay in this valley for the next 15km going on N116 Perpignan – Lleida road and leave it in Olette.

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Picturesque cliffs in the Têt valley.

In Olette riders leave the Lleida road turning into Vallée du Cabrils and start the next climb of the day – Col de la Llose (or Coll de la Llosa in Catalan). Col de la Llose is sort of a harder version of Puymorens while Jau was an easier version of Pailhères. Jau is not really important to this stage outside of its descent. Llose however is very important to this stage. It's topping at over 40km from the finish line but it should be very influential to the last 20km.

First 11km of the ascent are irregular with even short bits of descents and 12% slopes. Next roughly 13,5km to the top are much more regular with slopes between 5-7%. Llose's task is to create a selection good enough to get rid of a majority of riders, who are good on rough terrain. These guys are usually quite bulky so their climbing capabilities are limited. The lesser amount of people, who are used to ride on dirt roads the bigger gaps could be generated in the last kms of this stage. It will be softpedalled, but i still expect a roughly 40-man group at the top. While the road up is narrow and not in the best of conditions thankfully the descent is short and relatively easy.

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Profile of Col de la Llose.

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Road to the top of Col de la Llose.

The descent will lead to Mont-Louis – the entrace to Haut-Cerdagne from Vallée de la Têt. During the middle ages it was understandably a major citadel defending Cerdagne from the valley. Nowadays the citadel is listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

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Citadel of Mont-Louis.

Next roughly 17km to Llívia are in Haut-Cerdagne back on N116. The race will go close to the main ski area on the French side of Pyrénées-Orientales – Font-Romeu. There are a couple of roads and places for a finish in the area. The highest and hardest one is to the biathlon stadium in Mollera des Clots at 2040m. These climbs are not hard (cat. 3 or easy 2) but combined with Col de la Llose (like i think in the crazy 1976 stage) it can be a quite significant finish. Riders will leave N116 for good in Saillagouse and soon after reach Estavar – a small town adjacent to Llívia, but on the French side of the border.

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Font-Romeu.

Just today i managed to find yet another fine dirt road near Llívia. This one is very important as it nullifies the need to cross the finish line from the other side. This section connects Estavar with the northernmost peak of Llívia, basically bypassing the city from north. I assume this road is used mainly for mining as there are some small sand heaps. Maybe something with clay, i don't know. This road seems to be quite rough, with some amount of debris but it should be easily cleared before the race.

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Pseudo-lap around Llívia.

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Dirt section from Estavar to Llívia.

Llívia was the historic capital of Cerdagne. It was a quite important citadel in the early middle ages but nowadays it's a rather small town. It became an exclave thanks to the Treaty of Pyrenees in 1659 to end a 25 years war between France and Spain. The main sights are a medieval pharmacy and museum Farmàcia Esteve from XVII c and the remains of Castell de Llívia on top of a nearby hill, from the early middle ages.

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Llívia.

The sort of lap around Llívia is very difficult. After the initial dirt section there's immediately a cat. 2 climb to la Griole – a camping site on the French side of the border near Targassonne. It's 4,5km at 7% with some bits of over 10% reaching even 16%. It's a quite narrow road with a times shaky surface quality. Last roughly 3km of this climb are on dirt. Judging from the satelite images it should be in a fine state – not Strade-Bianche quality but better than Tro-Bro Léon. This dirt section finishes when the road reaches D618 on a small plateau roughly 200m after the KOM. The top of this climb is roughly 13km from the finish line.

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Profile of Côte de la Griole.

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Road up to la Griole.

From the top there's a roughly 10km long, nice, easy, wide and shallow descent on D618 to Ur. However, that's not the end of difficulties as in Ur riders won't go straight to Llívia but go via an alternate route known as Carrer de Llívia España. Coincidentally this route is also on dirt. It seems to be slightly rougher than the one to la Griole with a couple of filled ponds on the satelite images which means potholes. This dirt section is 2,6km long and it ends 1,1km from the finish line.

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Carrer de Llívia España.

The run-in is not easy either as it'll require a descend down to N-154 on Carrer Camí Ral and Carrer d'Encorones before the last 720m on wide and nice N-154 to the finish line.

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Finish in Llívia.

Llívia has a good amount of sterrato paths to offer. I've used three of them but there are at least two more available. There's a roughly 2km long Carrer Concellabre connecting with D30 in La Solana. There's also a much easier 400m long path directly to D618 on a small plateau above Cereja. I will probably come back to Llívia as it should be a fine place for a hilly/medium mountain one-day race including sterrato and nearby ski stations like Font Romeu and Egat.

I have no clue what will happen on these sterrato bits. It's not Tro-Bro Léon and on paper it's much harder than Strade Bianche. I assume by the time there won't be any specialists in the reduced Peloton. I guess Sky might have the best chance to pose problems with Kwiato and mainly GT keeping things intact. I guess even on a sunny weather the gaps should be noticeable, but i have no clue how big they can be and who will gain the most but the last 20km around Llívia should be very entertaining.

If the weather will be very awful then the alternate route can bypass the dirt bits and go entirely on asphalt with a climb on D33 from Estavar to Egat (Col d'Egat – 7km, 6%, cat. 2) and then a 16km long false-descent to Llívia using the regular N-154 road rather than alternatives. Then it should be a much easier race ending with a 20-30-man sprint.

Now finally back to my original post.

Tour de France by railxmig – stage 17. Muret - Villeneuve-sur-Lot, 199km, ~1300m asc.
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Start: Muret, Rue Castelvielh
Km 0: Muret, Route de Rieumes, 3,1km from the start
Finish: Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Avenue d'Agen, 400m straight
Sprint: Verdun-sur-Garonne, Route d'Auch, 5,7km straight
Feed zone: Labastide-du-Temple, Goubet, Route de Lafrancaise

Climbs:
Côte de Saint-Georges - 1,1km, 9,6%, 3 Cat. 180m
Côte de Haut-Castel - 1,8km, 5,9%, 4 Cat. 217m
Côte de Lauzerte - 1,2km, 6,6%, 4 cat. 184m
Côte des Vignals - 2,7km, 4,5%, 4 Cat. 231m
Côte de Terre-Nègre - 2,4km, 4,1%, 4 cat. 254m
Côte de Couyssels - 2,6km, 3,7%, 4 Cat. 230m
Côte de Cap de l'Homme - 3km, 4,1%, 4 cat. 208m
Côte de Lagrémie - 1,1km, 10%, 3 cat. 191m

Start - km 0:
Rue Castelvielh - Rue Clément Ader - Place de la République - Place de la Paix - Place du Languedoc - Avenue Saint-Germier - Boulevard de Lamasquère - Route de Rieumes

Most of this stage comes from an older Fleurance – Marmande stage from my 2nd Tour (the one starting in Avignon). It later evolved into this:

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Blagnac – Bergerac.

I finally ended up with Villeneuve-sur-Lot and a quite tough cat. 3 Côte de Lagrémie only 5,5km from the finish line. There might be some GC movement possible but considering it's at the end of this Tour, so the time splits in GC should be relatively big and the next stage is a TT i doubt there will be any GC action. It should be a nice battleground for the breakaway though.

This stage starts in Muret on Rue Castelvielh. Muret is just south of Toulouse. It may look smallish but it has 25 000 inhabitants. Muret comes from a Roman villa. The main event in Muret's history was a nearby battle in 1213 between Crusaders Simon IV and Catharist, Arangonese and Catalan forces of Peter II. It was one of the main events of the Albigensian Crusade which managed to get rid of Cathars and join the Languedoc to France. Muret once hosted a Tour stage. It was in 2015 to Rodez, which was won by Greg Van Avermaet.

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Start in Muret.

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Eglise Saint-Jacques de Muret.

This stage goes through the hills of Lot and Garonne – mainly Quercy (a former province) and Agenais. There's a lot of cat. 4 hills. Last two of them are part of Agenais while the rest is in Quercy. Both these regions are quite known for hilltop towns like Lafrançaise, Lauzerte, Pujols or Penne-d'Agenais. This whole region looks like a more densly forested Tuscany and seeing the architecture of the towns it's really not that far away from Italy.

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Centre of Lauzerte.

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Montaigu-de-Quercy.

Most of the roads on this stage are nice and wide. The only exception are the last roughly 15km where some narrower bits shows up but nothing really challenging. This stage does use small amount of national roads – N224, which for some reason is national and like 300m of Périgueux – Lourdes N21.

While the very bumpy 50km in Quercy does look a bit intimidating the main action should be held on the last two hills – Côte de Cap de l'Homme and Côte de Lagrémie. Côte de Cap de l'Homme is quite long but not really special with 3km at 4,1% (max 8%). The main difficulty is Côte de Lagrémie topping about 5,5km from the finish line. It's 1,1km at a very stable 10% (max 12%). It's on a slightly narrower road but the descent is nice and wide (max 9%). The descent from Lagrémie goes through Pujols and then down to Villeneuve-sur-Lot. The finish line is on Avenue d'Agen, at the end of a 400m straight.

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Road up to Côte de Lagrémie.

Villeneuve-sur-Lot comes from Gajac, which was destroyed during the Albigensian Crusade. It lies on the Lot river, which is littered with manor houses and small castles like Château de Favols or Château de la Sylvestrie. Tour de France finished here twice. First in 1996 won by Massimo Podenzana and in 2000 won by Erik Dekker.

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Finish in Villeneuve-sur-Lot.

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Villeneuve-sur-Lot.

Next 2 stages are very important and because they'll wander aimlessly around Dordogne expect hilly, twisty, narrow and wet roads. Apparently i'm very cynical.
railxmig
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Re: Race Design Thread

13 Mar 2017 16:51

railxmig wrote:
@fauniera, there's quite a lot of really fine quality sterrato trails just north of Ermita de la Trinitat. I see a roughly 20km long track from Begues to Sant Pere de Ribes (north of Sitges) supposedly called Camí Parc del Garraf which is almost entirely on sterrato. This track should end roughly 8km from the finish line. This entire stretch of road is on streetview. There also seems to be a couple of alternative tracks nearby which may work as well.


Don't worry, there will be plenty of sterrato in my Vuelta. We are nearly there. ;)
User avatar fauniera
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13 Mar 2017 19:33

I don't like Plateau de Beille MTF that much in the last week of a GT, railxmig. Goulier-Neige is not that far away and suitable for attacks before the last climb. It would be a 1C climb:
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And to not make the stage very short you canstart in Lannemezan and climb Mente before Portet d'Aspet and you have a stage like this:
https://www.la-flamme-rouge.eu/maps/viewtrack/hd/79132
The Llivia and Villeneuve sur Lot stages are very innovative, especially the first one and these stages after Goulier-Neige MTF can be perfect.


@fauniera Great stage with a nice murito finish. Very excited to have what you have next in store. But your images of Ermita de la Trinitat don't work because they are probably imgur.
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13 Mar 2017 19:50

Giro d'Italia
I've been planning this version of the "Corsa Rosa" for quite some time now, and have postponed it because of some similarities with railxmig's. So, here goes... you're welcome to laugh, it probably won't be that good :D .

Stage 1: Lecce -> Lecce
9.7km
ImageIndividual time trial
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The Giro gets underway with an individual time trial in one of the major cities in the Apulia region: Lecce. Founded in 200BC and conquered by the Romans in the 3rd century, it was later taken over by the Normans and then by the Sicilian Empire, becoming one of the most important cities in southern Italy. Today, one can visit the Church of the Holy Cross, and also the 12th century Cathedral. There is also a Roman Amphitheatre here, which was able to seat 25,000 in the 2nd century. Now, though, it is half buried.

(DISCLAIMER = I am not a specialist in history, especially Italian history. There are some people who could probably give a much better historical POV :D. I'll mostly stick to the sporting side.)

The riders leave from the Porta Napoli, a gate built to commemorate Charles V, and one of the three used to enter the historical centre. The 9.7km long route features a mix of turns and straights, so basically it's a classic inner-city ITT. There's a twisty bit after the time check, with 11 turns in the space of 1.2km, and this is the only true test of the day. It's pan flat, so nothing to write about for KOM.

Start: Lecce, Piazzetta Arco di Trionfo
Finish: Lecce, Via Garibaldi
Intermediate time check: Lecce, Viale Gallipoli
mikii4567
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14 Mar 2017 12:40

railxmig, you killed 3/4 of the peloton with those stages :surprised:
User avatar Guybrush
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Re:

14 Mar 2017 16:01

Guybrush wrote:railxmig, you killed 3/4 of the peloton with those stages :surprised:

I kinda doubt it. Beille is here only to maybe have some impact on the Llívia stage, as on its own it's not that difficult. I assume any debris from dirt roads will be mostly cleared before the stage. Also there won't be any dirt sections if the weather is awful. I assume Beille will be taken softly ending in a 5-10-man group sprint. I also assume Alps are the main place for the climbers to do some damage. The 3rd week is more towards bike handlers. A lot of these guys can handle things like Paris-Roubaix or Strade Bianche pretty well so i guess a 7km of dirt roads is not that menacing.

@mikii4567, i wonder if a collab would be in place as i think we have simillar ideas. How are you with central Europe (Poland, Chech Republic and Slovakia)? I won't help you much with Italy right now as i'm studying Moravia. From Lecce i only remember there was this architectonic style called barocco leccese. Also if your next stages are in puglia you'll probably stumble into this dude Frederick II a lot.

I mostly prefer a positive selection by just being better in a particular terrain rather than by crashing out of race. This time i will contradict myself, but this particular stage was haunting me for like 3 years now so i will finally get rid of it. Also i guess focus and bike handling skills are also part of this sport. Both 2 stages are in the Dordogne valley so expect deep ravines, plateaus, dense forests and narrow roads.

Last 3 stages: click

Tour de France by railxmig – stage 18. Les Eyzies-Cro Magnon - Montignac-Lascaux, 38km, ~435m asc.
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Start: Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, Cro Magnon, Avenue de la Préhistoire
Finish: Montignac, Grotte de Lascaux 2, 530m, 7,5% uphill
Time Check 1: Tamniès, D48
Time Check 2: La Chapelle-Aubareil, Les Granges (max 7%)

Climbs:
Côte de la Castagnate - 2,1km, 6,8% (max 10%), 3 cat. 275m
Côte de Mondissou - 1km, 8,5% (max 12%), 4 cat. 228m

This is the 2nd TT. Categorisation of the climbs on this stage is more visual. I don't expect them to be categorised in an actual race. I'm more of a guy that in a TT would categorise only cat. 2 climbs or above. The main theme of this stage is prehistory.

This time trial starts in Cro Magnon, part of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil. Of course the whole area is full of various caves with prehistoric artifacts. I guess everybody knows something about this place so i will leave it here. This stage starts between Abri de Cro-Magnon and Musée national de Préhistoire on Avenue de la Préhistoire.

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Start in Cro Magnon.

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A shell necklace from Cro Magnon.

Most of this stage takes place in Perigord Noir – mainly on the Vézère valley. This valley is famous for very steep cliffs with various prehistoric caves dwelled in them. There are more of them than just Cro Magnon like nearby Abri du Poisson or Abri du Cap Blanc. The area is also known for walnuts, truffles and strawberries.

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Vézère valley.

After first roughly 13km in La Beune valley the stage goes through various hills east of Vézère with Côte de la Castagnate, Côte de Mondissou and the ascent La Chapelle-Aubareil being the most prominent. These climbs are short but quite steep (max around 12% on Côte de Mondissou). The roads are mostly narrowish and quite twisty in mostly forests, but it shouldn't be a big problem for an ITT. I think the main difficulty may be the short but steep (max 10%) descent from Côte de Mondissou to Lascaux.

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Descent from Côte de Mondissou.

Finish is near Grotte de Lascaux 2 on one of the nearby parking lots hidden in the dense forest. This finish is on a 530m at 7,5% hill. If i'm not mistaken this grotte is a sort of reproduction of the original one, which is some couple meters behind it. The original one was closed because it suffered from air and human breath.

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Finish in Lascaux.

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Lascaux.

Because of the hills and technical roads i assume some of the riders might fare much better than usual. Also Dordogne is known for unstable weather so it also should be an important factor. Besides all that, i don't think this stage should generate any big GC movements unless the weather is unstable.

The next stage will continue with the technical roads theme, but this time it will wander around the real Dordogne valley.

Tour de France by railxmig – stage 19. Brive-la-Gaillarde - Mauriac, 193km, ~2600m asc.
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Start: Brive-la-Gaillarde, Promenade des Tilleuls, Place du 14 Juillet
Km 0: Brive-la-Gaillarde, Avenue Edmond Michelet, 2,6km from the start
Finish: Mauriac, Rue du 8 Mai, 230m straight
Sprint: Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, Rue Général de Gaulle, 220m straight
Feed zone: Saint-Geniez-ô-Merle, le Vert

Climbs:
Côte de la Croix du Buis - 1km, 9,6%, 3 cat. 308m
Côte d'Auvergnassou - 8km, 4,4%, 3 cat. 497m
Le Puy Chastang - 7,3km, 3,7%, 3 cat. 558m
Côte de Riobazet - 2,1km, 5,4%, 4 cat. 313m
Côte de Freygnac - 5,8km, 5,3%, 3 cat. 540m
Côte du Breuil - 3,5km, 5,8%, 3 cat. 467m
Côte du Peuch - 7,6km, 4,2%, 3 cat. 582m
Côte de Montplaisir - 4,5km, 7% (max 12%), 2 cat. 583m

Start – km 0:
Promenade des Tilleuls - Avenue de Paris - Boulevard Général Koenig - Boulevard Edouard Lachaud - Boulevard Maréchal Lyautey - Avenue Edouard Herriot - Avenue Léon Blum - Avenue Edmond Michelet

Disclaimer: i'm not sure about the placement of km 0. It might be like 3-4km later so there's no initial bump and the action would start with a short run-in to the ascent to Noailles. The stage then should be around 190km long.

This stage is the oldest French stage i ever created. You could see a track4bikers profile of this one in my preview post. The last roughly 100km around Dordogne went unchanged since like June 2014.

It's the last stage before Paris and also the last stage which may feature some GC action. It will mainly depend on often unstable in this region weather. This stage also could be neutralised but i'm very cynical and potential crashes are part of this "fun". The main difficulty of this stage is to be 100% focused on your bike and your surroundings for the last roughly 120km. The first 75km to Goulles are rather easy and on wide roads.

This stage starts in one of the staples of Tour de France – Brive-la-Gaillarde. It's one of the biggest cities in Massif Central, behind only Clermont-Ferrand and Saint-Étienne. Last time Tour was in Brive-la-Gaillarde in 2012, where Mark Cavendish won a bunch sprint. The start is on Promenade des Tilleuls near Place du 14 Juillet.

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Start in Brive-la-Gaillarde.

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Aerial view of the centre of Brive-la-Gaillarde.

First 42km to Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne (where the intermediate sprint is located) are mainly to just get to Dordogne (i've also seen the naming variant with Dore). These opening kms are quite hilly but flat compared to the rest of this stage. There are also a couple of interesting towns like Meyssac or Collonges-la-Rouge with an interesting architecture based on red sandstones and various manor houses like Château du Martret or Château de Benge. The former abbey of Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne (IX c.) is also worth mentioning.

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Collonges-la-Rouge.

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Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne.

Riders will cross Dordogne for the first time in Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne. The Dordogne valley is very deep and densly forested. There are no particular mountain peaks nearby but mostly plateaus. The climbs are often steep at the bottom and flatter on the top. The roads are almost exclusively twisty and narrow. There's also a bunch of dams on the river and a couple of these will be visited today. From Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne riders will head into La Chapelle-Saint-Géraud and Goulles through Côte d'Auvergnassou.

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Côte d'Auvergnassou from Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne.

In Goulles riders will wave goodbye to nice and wide roads as they'll descent down into Maronne valley (smaller sister of Dordogne valley) and Tours de Merle. Tours de Merle is a rather horrific looking desolate ruins of a castle from XII c. It's on a small hill overlooking river Maronne.

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Vallée de la Maronne.

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Tours de Merle.

Near Tours de Merle the 3rd climb of the day – Le Puy Chastang starts. On top of it there are roughly 15km of hilly terrain on a plateau (Saint-Geniez-ô-Merle), where a feed zone is also located. From there riders will go down to Dordogne once again crossing it in Argentat before going uphill first to Côte de Riobazet and then one of the hardest climbs of the day – Côte de Freygnac. Of course the roads are mostly narrowish and technically challenging.

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Côte de Freygnac.

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Road up to Côte de Freygnac.

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Argentat.

From the top of Côte de Freygnac the next challenge is a descent down to Barrage Du Chastang (one of the dams on Dordogne), where Dordogne will be crossed for the 3rd time. After Barrage Du Chastang another climb awaits, to Servières-le-Château (Côte du Breuil).

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Serpentine on the descent to Barrage Du Chastang.

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Dordogne valley from Barrage Du Chastang.

From Servières-le-Château there will be around 10km of respite before going down once again to Dordogne, more exactly to Pont de Chambon and then uphill to Côte du Peuch and Saint-Merd-de-Lapleau, where a quite shallow descent to Laval-sur-Luzège starts. Laval-sur-Luzège is an interesting looking old village but now it's mostly deserted with just over 100 inhabitants. For the next roughly 10km to Barrage de l'Aigle (another dam on Dordogne) the stage goes alongside Dordogne. Here riders will cross the river for the 4th and final time.

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A serpentine on a descent to Pont de Chambon.

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Dordogne from Barrage de l'Aigle.

The last and hardest climb of the day starts just before Barrage de l'Aigle. It's Côte de Montplaisir and it goes up to Montplaisir, part of Chalvignac. It's 4,5km at 7% (max 12%) and it's the only climb on this stage worth cat. 2. The top of this climb is roughly 8km from the finish line. After the top however there's only a small plateau before the road (now wider) goes uphill once again (3-6%) to reach just over 700m in the outskirts of Mauriac. I expect some GC action on this climb unless everyone in GC is very spread out.

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Côte de Montplaisir.

The run-in to Mauriac is, like most of this stage, quite difficult. First riders will go thorugh a short downhill section on Rue Saint-Mary and Boulevard Monthyon before a short uphill on Rue du 8 Mai to the finish line. Mauriac is nothing special – a former abbey, but it does have a small miracle in its history. It was a point of pilgrimage in the middle ages. The good times lasted until the French Revolution, when Mauriac fell into obscurity. The main sight is a basilica Notre-Dame-des-Miracles. Mauriac never hosted a Tour de France stage but it was a couple of times mid-stage.

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Finish in Mauriac.

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Notre-Dame-des-Miracles, Mauriac.

As i've mentioned before, the main difficulty of this stage are narrow and twisty roads going up and down the Dordogne valley. Most of the descents are unprotected and in dense forests. In real life such stage wouldn't have any rights to exist (but Mont du Chat... it might be interesting in the future). Here however it's the last significant stage of this Tour and any defect, technical or crash might be crucial as narrow roads should force the cars to go only one at a time. Yes, it's an awful way of selection but i guess the handling skills, rapid reactions and focus are also part of this sport.

For the last stage i decided to copy the 2015 Tour one.

Tour de France by railxmig – stage 20. Sèvres - Paris-Champs-Élysées, 110km.

To answer the potential 20 stages question. First stage was just a prologue. Stage 1 was actual stage 2 so stage 20 is 21. I probably screwed up the naming as i should count the prologue as a proper stage 1.

EDIT: Sorry, i missed this post.

Forever The Best wrote:I don't like Plateau de Beille MTF that much in the last week of a GT, railxmig. Goulier-Neige is not that far away and suitable for attacks before the last climb. It would be a 1C climb:
Image
And to not make the stage very short you canstart in Lannemezan and climb Mente before Portet d'Aspet and you have a stage like this:
https://www.la-flamme-rouge.eu/maps/viewtrack/hd/79132
The Llivia and Villeneuve sur Lot stages are very innovative, especially the first one and these stages after Goulier-Neige MTF can be perfect.


@fauniera Great stage with a nice murito finish. Very excited to have what you have next in store. But your images of Ermita de la Trinitat don't work because they are probably imgur.

I decided against Goulier-Neige because:
1. Like Beille, Goulier-Neige is just lazy as almost everybody in this forum did it at least one in their lifetime and Beille is much tougher. But at least Beille seems to be not that liked here, and apparently i have some sort of a hipster in my blood.
2. Nobody will attack before Goulier-Neige, because most of them will be scared of that Llívia stage day after. That's why Beille should work better, because it will ensure some pain to the legs, even when softly taken while Goulier-Neige is just a regular cat. 1 climb. A really nice one, but i don't think it would work well with this specific scenario.

Goulier-Neige was very interesting a couple of years ago, but i've seen to many combinations with Latrape and Agnes while Beille doesn't seem to be very liked here. What i wanted to do is to have a finish on Monts-d'Olmes after Montségur but that would be too easy to handle as both climbs are nothing special and they're hardly linkable with anything. If it was like an introduction stage to Pyrenees then i would definitely go with Monts-d'Olmes as a leg warmer to much tougher couple of stages afterwards. Maybe i should go with Monts-d'Olmes and then start the next stage in Limoux, i will need to think on that once more. I hope i explained my thinking process well enough.
railxmig
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Re: Re:

14 Mar 2017 17:52

railxmig wrote:
Forever The Best wrote:I don't like Plateau de Beille MTF that much in the last week of a GT, railxmig. Goulier-Neige is not that far away and suitable for attacks before the last climb. It would be a 1C climb:
Image
And to not make the stage very short you canstart in Lannemezan and climb Mente before Portet d'Aspet and you have a stage like this:
https://www.la-flamme-rouge.eu/maps/viewtrack/hd/79132
The Llivia and Villeneuve sur Lot stages are very innovative, especially the first one and these stages after Goulier-Neige MTF can be perfect.


@fauniera Great stage with a nice murito finish. Very excited to have what you have next in store. But your images of Ermita de la Trinitat don't work because they are probably imgur.

I decided against Goulier-Neige because:
1. Like Beille, Goulier-Neige is just lazy as almost everybody in this forum did it at least one in their lifetime and Beille is much tougher. But at least Beille seems to be not that liked here, and apparently i have some sort of a hipster in my blood.
2. Nobody will attack before Goulier-Neige, because most of them will be scared of that Llívia stage day after. That's why Beille should work better, because it will ensure some pain to the legs, even when softly taken while Goulier-Neige is just a regular cat. 1 climb. A really nice one, but i don't think it would work well with this specific scenario.

Goulier-Neige was very interesting a couple of years ago, but i've seen to many combinations with Latrape and Agnes while Beille doesn't seem to be very liked here. What i wanted to do is to have a finish on Monts-d'Olmes after Montségur but that would be too easy to handle as both climbs are nothing special and they're hardly linkable with anything. If it was like an introduction stage to Pyrenees then i would definitely go with Monts-d'Olmes as a leg warmer to much tougher couple of stages afterwards. Maybe i should go with Monts-d'Olmes and then start the next stage in Limoux, i will need to think on that once more. I hope i explained my thinking process well enough.


I think i was too harsh on Goulier-Neige. It's not that i dislike this climb. I really like it as it's nicely linkable and it's a fine cat. 1 on its own, but i just don't want to use it because i consider it quite overused on this forum. I had my share of classic (for this thread) climbs and combos and i don't want to overstretch it by using another popular climb. Also, Beille is just a placeholder to justify the next stage in some way. There would be no attacks on either Beille or Neige because of the next stage, but Beille is much harder than Neige...

Tour de France by railxmig – ending post.

This Tour is weird. It heavily relies on weather as there are 3 potential echelon stages – Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, Saint-Pierre-d'Oléron and Le Cap d'Agde, and 4 other stages on which weather is important – Crozon-Perros-Trébéron, Llívia, Montignac-Lascaux and Mauriac. There are only 5 flat stages but max 7 stages should be for sprinters. There are 5 hilly stages of which 2 ends on a hill – Crozon-Perros-Trébéron and technically Manosque. 3 stages are medium mountain (one MTF), but Menthières-Monts Jura is a borderline mountain stage. All of them are potential GC important stages. 5 stages are mountain (3 MTFs).

There's a normal amount of MTF's i guess. There are 4 of them and outside of HC Plateau de Beille the hardest one is probably Aillons-Margériaz – a borderline cat. 1. Except cat. 4 Chalets des Marmottes rest of them are cat. 2.

The number of climbs cat. 2 or beyond isn't really big – 28. The number of HC climbs is rather normal – 6 of which 4 can be considered as crucial. One additional climb – Mont Revard can be considered as a borderline HC.

I normally prefer shorter stages, but this time i ended up with quite long ones. The shortest ones outside 3 TTs and Paris are Crozon-Perros-Trébéron and Aillons-Margériaz at almost 160km. There are 4 stages over 200km and also 5 over 190km to back it up. The longest stage is to Mâcon at 231km. The shortest one is the opening prologue in Brest.

First week relies mostly on flat and hilly stages, so it should be good for ruleurs. 2nd week should be the time, where climbers should launch their counterattack. 3rd week is very hilly and technical with twisty, narrow roads on occasionally rougher surface, so i guess it should be better for ruleurs but it's mostly for puncheurs and baroudeurs. I tried myself to not be concerned about the right distribution of stages and optimalization. It's just what i ended with. I don't care for whom it is or is it good. I personally kinda like this route.

Also a small trivia. There are roughly 12,5km of dirt roads in this race. It's a laughable amount for Strade Bianche or Tro-Bro Léon but i guess it should the the biggest amount of dirt Tour seen in decades.

Finally i'm done with this. If i will ever have any next projects it would be either short tours in more obscure places (i'm thinking about Moravia and Red Russia, Ukraine) or just one-day races. For now i'm quite done with GT's.

Stage, distance, type, difficulty:
Brest - Brest-Océanopolis, 6,4km, Image *
Brest-Spadiumparc - Crozon-Perros-Trébéron, 158km, Image (HTF + dirt) ***
Quimper - Plouay, 183km, Image **
Vannes - Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, 190km, Image (wind) **
La Roche-sur-Yon - Saint-Pierre-d'Oléron, 190km, Image (wind) **
Jonzac - Cognac, 41km, Image *****
Guéret - Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, 170km, Image *
Nevers - Mâcon, 231km, Image *
Bourg-en-Bresse - Menthières-Monts Jura, 172km, Image (MTF) ***
-------Image Rest Day - Haute-Savoie-------
Annemasse - Aillons-Margériaz, 157km, Image (MTF) ****
Annecy - Saint-Jean-d'Arves-les Chalets des Marmottes, 185km, Image (HTF) *****
Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - Val-d'Isère, 224km, Image *****
Vizille - Manosque, 194km, Image (HTF) *
Châteaurenard - Le Cap d'Agde, 182km, Image (wind) **
Béziers - La Salvetat-sur-Agout, 209km, Image ***
-------Image Rest Day - Haute-Garonne-------
Saint-Gaudens - Plateau de Beille, 169km, Image (MTF) *****
Foix - Llívia, 212km, Image (dirt roads) *****
Muret - Villeneuve-sur-Lot, 199km, Image *
Les Eyzies-Cro Magnon - Montignac-Lascaux, 38km, Image ****
Brive-la-Gaillarde - Mauriac, 193km, Image ***
Sèvres - Paris-Champs-Élysées, 110km, Image *

Statistics:
Flat Stages: 5
Hilly Stages: 5
Medium Mountain Stages: 3
Mountain Stages: 5
# of Categorized Climbs (Cat 2, 1, HC): 28
# of HC Climbs: 6
Summit Finishes: 4
Individual Time Trialing: 85km
Team Time Trial: 0km
Overall Distance: 3410km
Stage Avg: 162,3km
Stage Avg w/o TT: 184,7km
Started: 07.2014
Ended: 14.03.2017

Links:
Stages 1-3: click
Stages 4-6: click
Stages 7-8: click
Stages 9-10: click
Stages 11-12: click
Stages 13-14: click
Stage 15: click
Stages 16-18: click
Stages 19-21: click
Whole tour: click

Profiles:
Brest - Brest-Océanopolis:
Image
Brest-Spadiumparc - Crozon-Perros-Trébéron:
Image
Quimper - Plouay:
Image
Vannes - Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie:
Image
La Roche-sur-Yon - Saint-Pierre-d'Oléron:
Image
Jonzac - Cognac:
Image
Guéret - Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours:
Image
Nevers - Mâcon:
Image
Bourg-en-Bresse - Menthières-Monts Jura:
Image

Annemasse - Aillons-Margériaz:
Image
Annecy - Saint-Jean-d'Arves-les Chalets des Marmottes:
Image
Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - Val-d'Isère:
Image
Vizille - Manosque:
Image
Châteaurenard - Le Cap d'Agde:
Image
Béziers - La Salvetat-sur-Agout:
Image

Saint-Gaudens - Plateau de Beille:
Image
Foix - Llívia:
Image
Muret - Villeneuve-sur-Lot:
Image
Les Eyzies-Cro Magnon - Montignac-Lascaux:
Image
Brive-la-Gaillarde - Mauriac:
Image
Sèvres - Paris-Champs-Élysées:
Champs-Élysées...

This tour might be updated in the future.
Last edited by railxmig on 15 Mar 2017 16:49, edited 1 time in total.
railxmig
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14 Mar 2017 18:24

I don't really get why you think the Llívia stage is so frightening that it'd block the previous stage. It has two cat 1 climbs 110 and 40km out and a cat 2 in the finale.

In the Alpes on the other hand, you have some really proper mountain stages, and I'm not sure how much would happen on the first stage after the rest day, but we should see plenty of fireworks on CdF and Iseran.
Goodbye, Tommeke; thank you for all you have given us!
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Re:

14 Mar 2017 18:58

Netserk wrote:I don't really get why you think the Llívia stage is so frightening that it'd block the previous stage. It has two cat 1 climbs 110 and 40km out and a cat 2 in the finale.

In the Alpes on the other hand, you have some really proper mountain stages, and I'm not sure how much would happen on the first stage after the rest day, but we should see plenty of fireworks on CdF and Iseran.

Indeed, the Llivia stage is great but it definitely won't frighten the riders in the previous stage which means that attacks on Agnes are very much possible in Goulier Neige stage.
And for Llivia stage to work out, there have to be some very tired legs which can be ensued by the Goulier Neige stage with chances of 40 km of action. And, people like Quintana have to go all out in Goulier Neige stage because the remaining stages don't suit them.
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Re: Race Design Thread

14 Mar 2017 19:36

@Netserk & @Forever The Best. I don't know how good climbers are on dirt. On Finestre it doesn't seem to have much of an impact but the entire stretch is at 7-9%. Maybe i've panicked too much. If you want, you can change Beille into Goulier-Neige. I still would prefer something else (less explored) though. i allready borrowed the Val d'Isère stage and i personally wouldn't call it as proper. Iseran isn't that difficult (slightly harder than Risoul) and while Mont-Cenis is massive, there are like 15km of flat between it and Iseran.

Wait a sec... Goulier-Neige? I thought of Guzet-Neige. Goulier-Neige doesn't have any space available and it seems to be largely abandoned. I do however have a small crush on Les Monts d'Olmes, even if it's too easy and not really linkable with anything other than Montségur.
railxmig
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Re: Race Design Thread

14 Mar 2017 19:53

railxmig wrote:@Netserk & @Forever The Best. I don't know how good climbers are on dirt. On Finestre it doesn't seem to have much of an impact but the entire stretch is at 7-9%. Maybe i've panicked too much. If you want, you can change Beille into Goulier-Neige. I still would prefer something else (less explored) though. i allready borrowed the Val d'Isère stage and i personally wouldn't call it as proper. Iseran isn't that difficult (slightly harder than Risoul) and while Mont-Cenis is massive, there are like 15km of flat between it and Iseran.

Wait a sec... Goulier-Neige? I thought of Guzet-Neige. Goulier-Neige doesn't have any space available and it seems to be largely abandoned. I do however have a small crush on Les Monts d'Olmes, even if it's too easy and not really linkable with anything other than Montségur.

The Iseran stage has also altitude as a big factor. And also there is a small climb between Mont Cenis and Iseran.
I think Goulier Neige can host a Tour stage finish if places like Bola del Mundo can host Vuelta stage finishes.
Forever The Best
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14 Mar 2017 19:57

Plus the whole stage has a lot of vertical meters, not to mention that it comes as the third back-to-back mountain stage. In this design I think the stage is great as it is, but in a different Tour, it'd be great to have Tignes as the finish after Cenis-Iseran.
Goodbye, Tommeke; thank you for all you have given us!
User avatar Netserk
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Re: Race Design Thread

14 Mar 2017 20:34

Forever The Best wrote:
railxmig wrote:@Netserk & @Forever The Best. I don't know how good climbers are on dirt. On Finestre it doesn't seem to have much of an impact but the entire stretch is at 7-9%. Maybe i've panicked too much. If you want, you can change Beille into Goulier-Neige. I still would prefer something else (less explored) though. i allready borrowed the Val d'Isère stage and i personally wouldn't call it as proper. Iseran isn't that difficult (slightly harder than Risoul) and while Mont-Cenis is massive, there are like 15km of flat between it and Iseran.

Wait a sec... Goulier-Neige? I thought of Guzet-Neige. Goulier-Neige doesn't have any space available and it seems to be largely abandoned. I do however have a small crush on Les Monts d'Olmes, even if it's too easy and not really linkable with anything other than Montségur.

The Iseran stage has also altitude as a big factor. And also there is a small climb between Mont Cenis and Iseran.
I think Goulier Neige can host a Tour stage finish if places like Bola del Mundo can host Vuelta stage finishes.

Vuelta is way smaller than Tour, but then i've abandoned the realism long time ago so i should not really care. Yes, the Iseran stage has a lot of over 2000m stretches, but nowadays most of the climbers and their lieutenants are used to high altitudes thanks to the training camps.

Netserk wrote:Plus the whole stage has a lot of vertical meters, not to mention that it comes as the third back-to-back mountain stage. In this design I think the stage is great as it is, but in a different Tour, it'd be great to have Tignes as the finish after Cenis-Iseran.

I never was a person, who thought vertical meters really mattered that much. Yes, i also hope that, because it's 3rd back to back mountain stage it will generate bigger gaps than it usually could do. Also, Mont-Cenis & Iseran combo is obviously not my idea so i'm thanking to whoever came up with it first.
railxmig
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Re:

15 Mar 2017 14:54

Netserk wrote:Plus the whole stage has a lot of vertical meters, not to mention that it comes as the third back-to-back mountain stage. In this design I think the stage is great as it is, but in a different Tour, it'd be great to have Tignes as the finish after Cenis-Iseran.

Indeed. Tignes after Cenis-Iseran combo would be great in a different Tour, but the stage is great in this design because of the reasons you mentioned.

And I think there can be many ways for a last GC defining stage of the race(except TTs) can be long mountain stages(200-250 km) and have some hard passes in quick succession (Cyclotouristes-Arpettaz-Bisanne combo after 1 or 2 hard climbs, Sinne-Saint Martin-Turini combo after 2 hard climb(Cayolle-Valberg for example), or Sampeyre-Fauniera combo with 1 or 2 climbs before it) before the easier final climbs (Aravis, Castillon, Madonna del Colletto etc.) and descents in the last 30 km or so.(finishes in Le Grand Bornand,Menton, Borgo San Dalmazzo etc.)(also a lot of vertical meters)

Or a short mountain stages with steep, mid length(1C) passes(Romme-Colombiere, Glieres etc.) in the beginning and easier passes in final 25-30 km.

Or a 200-250 km hilly stage with many 2nd and 3rd category passes.(an uphill finish like Urkiola wouldn't be a problem here if the previous climb are hard and well connected with the final one.) (example: Massif Central, Cevennes, Vosges, Jura, Basque Country etc.)
Or a classics type stage in Ardennes hills, Flanders cobbled hills, Roubaix cobbles, ribin roads(Tro Bro Leon), or Strade Bianche roads.

railxmig's Llivia stage is great because there is a lot of terrain for attacking from the start of Col de la Llose till the end and the best of all, it won't prevent any attacks on the previous day.They can attack on Llose, the descent of Llose, or on the dirt road sections, one of which is a 2C climb.

Also I eagerly wait for the sterrato stages of fauniera in the Vuelta.
Forever The Best
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Re: Re:

15 Mar 2017 18:30

railxmig wrote:@mikii4567, i wonder if a collab would be in place as i think we have simillar ideas. How are you with central Europe (Poland, Chech Republic and Slovakia)? I won't help you much with Italy right now as i'm studying Moravia. From Lecce i only remember there was this architectonic style called barocco leccese. Also if your next stages are in puglia you'll probably stumble into this dude Frederick II a lot.


I'm from Poland so I know a bit about where to look for tracks, but I'm not that great when it comes to history :)

Giro d'Italia
Stage 2: Lecce -> Nardo (Ring)
198km
Image Flat stage
Image
Image
I know this is a pretty lame GT stage 2, but I simply didn't want to completely underload it and also I sort of wanted to have SOMETHING happening on stage 1 GC wise. Start is in Lecce again, so no need for any more information. The riders head south, through Apulia, pass the very forced KOM (1.7km at 3.5%... I really wanted the blue jersey to go to SOMEONE after day 2, though - remember the ITT was also pan-flat) and then hit the Ionian Sea coastline, to which they'll stick to for the remainer of the day.

The first of the two Traguardi Volante is in Gallipoli, a town founded in the ancient times that now mostly relies on coastal tourism. The other, shortly after is in the 'finishing' town of Nardo, founded by the Messapi in 1000BC which currently produces an array of DOC wines. There is a cathedral here, built in 1000AD.

But although the finish is in 'Nardo', the riders will actually pass the city with 39.7km to go. And won't return. Instead, they'll head north-west, and finish on the Nardo Ring. What's so special about that? The final 12.7km are on the actual high-speed test track used to test out the newest creations by the finest sports car manufacturers. Since 2012, it's owned by Porsche. Although I know this adds nothing to the sporting side, it will surely be something interesting to see and, as far as I'm aware, hasn't been done (ie. finishing on an oval track).

Start: Lecce, Via Garibaldi (km 0 is on the SP1, near Merine)
Finish: Nardo Ring
Intermediate sprints: Gallipoli, Nardo
Feed zone: Torre Vado
Climbs:
Schillanti (4th Category, 155 m, 1.7 Km at 3.5%, Km 48.7)
mikii4567
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