Ruvu75 wrote:Is it?
Looking at the profile I can't figure out why to be honest...?
Gomes had talked of an uphill finish in Sabugal, and the original profile had a ludicrous glitch that jumped about 150m in under a kilometre, a rise that exists nowhere at all around Sabugal itself. Therefore, the understanding was that there was an uphill finish, but it was not clear how difficult it was going to be as we didn't have a last-kms-profile or detailed map of the finish, and only had the glitched profile to go on.
Now, the last 2km will have a bit of a hill in them, but nothing that will trouble all but the most miserably bad of climbers.
This is pretty miserable though, it confirms the route is actually even worse than anticipated. It's like there are two climbs, a TT and nothing else
. The uphill finish in Guarda is gone, and has been replaced by nothing. The cobbled climb of Gouveia after the big climb of Penhas Douradas has gone, and has been replaced by nothing. The cat.2 finish at Monte Assunção has gone, and has been replaced by nothing. The stage to Monte Farinha is a one-climb stage, which the climb isn't really hard enough to be. It's a good climb, but needs something like Monte do Viso or the Alto Campanhó to lead in to it - this also usually means good racing as it's short enough to tempt riders to attack on the penultimate climb. That's how Hernâni Broco got into the GC mix in 2010.
It seems the race is sadly going the way of the Volta a Catalunya; bank everything on one or two stages, and have the rest just be holding station. Maybe they're hoping Sergio Ribeiro can make the podium and remind us all of that f***ing joke that was Cândido Barbosa in 2007.
I know Gomes has had to work hard to even produce a race this last few years, but come on, are you really meaning to say that this is all they could do? Just off the top of my head with two minutes, I offer this suggestion to make stage 5 into an actually relevant one:
Going from Armamar, instead of turning west along the river at Castro Daire, continue south to São Pedro do Sul. Then head to the north over the extremely difficult Alto de São Macário (when staying on the main road not doing the last few hundred metres up to the chapel it's 9,2km @ 9,1%), descending towards Arouca. You could have the same cat.3 climb as they have in the race as the run in (and then not have the extra lap around the finish, to make the run-in harder and easier for breaks to escape and tempt GC men to attack), or you could leave Arouca and double back on yourself to climb the Serra da Freita, which would probably be another cat.1 climb (about 12km @ 6%), before descending down to have about 10km flat before the slight uphill rise to the finish.