2021 Giro Route Rumours

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Problem in last years is that cycling changed a lot.
Every year is harder to make some decent time gaps even in really tough mountain stages. Reasons are different e.g. riders like Pantani, Contador etc. are gone and nobody want to take risk and make race selective earlier then 3km to go then technology like radios powermeters reduced differences between cyclist which were better just using better their brain and tactics without their DS(no offence to anyone).
Then last years best climbers are also one of best TTers (Froome, Thomas, Roglic, Pogacar, Dumoulin,...) so why reduce so much TT km when quite pure climbers like Bardet, Quintana, Yates, Lopez,... are not good enough to beat them even in hard and steep climbs.
When we saw last time some classic duel of climber vs TTer, I do not even remember that, maybe remotly Aru vs Contador 2015 but Aru wasn´t particullary better climber then Contador during all 3 weeks, he just used very well his extra strong team and Landa particullary.
 
Problem in last years is that cycling changed a lot.
Every year is harder to make some decent time gaps even in really tough mountain stages. Reasons are different e.g. riders like Pantani, Contador etc. are gone and nobody want to take risk and make race selective earlier then 3km to go then technology like radios powermeters reduced differences between cyclist which were better just using better their brain and tactics without their DS(no offence to anyone).
Then last years best climbers are also one of best TTers (Froome, Thomas, Roglic, Pogacar, Dumoulin,...) so why reduce so much TT km when quite pure climbers like Bardet, Quintana, Yates, Lopez,... are not good enough to beat them even in hard and steep climbs.
When we saw last time some classic duel of climber vs TTer, I do not even remember that, maybe remotly Aru vs Contador 2015 but Aru wasn´t particullary better climber then Contador during all 3 weeks, he just used very well his extra strong team and Landa particullary.
That is simply Not true. When hard stages are raced properly You can still get monster gaps . See Last years Stelvio Stage.
 
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Despite all of our disagreements, most of us probably agree that we'd prefer more endurance stages again. For the TDF, if 60 kms ITT is the max total, then I'd prefer a 5-10 km prologue and 50-55 flattish ITT (between the alps and Pyrenees transition) instead of two mid length ITT's (which we have this year).

People keep bringing up the Giro. I think it's a little different. The racing is naturally more chaotic anyway with weaker teams and sometimes mountain stages that encourage longer range attacks. ITT's aren't as relevant in the Giro as in the Tour imo where finding the best all around rider has been more of a tradition.
 
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I think that everyone who argues in favour of more ITT km than the current norm also argue in favour of big, well designed and well paced mountain stages.
Exactly, you need more TT kms so climbers are going to loose minutes but also mountain stages selective enough to favour large time gaps and designed in a way they have the terrain to attack from far.
In the Giro usually there isn't to much to complain regarding mountain stages (just last year already stage 5 was longer and had more elevation gain than every Tour mountain stage) so it's obvious to complain about the TT mileage.
 
Anyway it's not that having a lot of TTs mileage coupled with hard mountain stages is an essential prequisite to have a great GT but without that you need to hope on circumstances, 2010, 2011, 2015 and 2018 were cited as entartaining GTs and in every one of that there were the right circumstances that forced good racing.

In 2010 you can easily say that stars aligned, already stage 2 and 3 that should have been boring sprints had echelons then you had the downpour in Montalcino coupled with the sterrato and if that wasn't enough Nibali (that had the maglia rosa) crashed on the descent just before the first starrato sector derailing into the ditch the whole Liquigas train that was controlling the race so just as they hit the sterrato was free for all. After some days then the fuga bidone happened, again thanks to a day under downpour (and to Zomegnan that put a 262 kms long transitional stage), so the rest of the Giro was ridden with all the guns blazing to recover the time lost and only stage 20 (when Basso had already secured the jersey) was pretty dull.

In 2011 you had Contador racing like a mad man because otherwise the only stage good for long range attacks was the one of Rifugio Gardeccia and also in that stage without Contador with minutes of advantage it's unlikely you would have seen action already from the Giau like happened.

In 2015 you had Contador with a crap team against a strong Astana that wanted to fatigue him the more possible to favour Nibali in the Tour and anaway there you had the 60 kms long ITT where the strongest climber in the race lost 4 minutes.

In 2018 you had Froome that crashed early and lost time so he had to pull out the masterpiece on the Finestre and regardless that for two weeks Yates attacked like there wasn't tomorrow, and guess why? Because he feared the ITT.
 
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Anyway it's not that having a lot of TTs mileage coupled with hard mountain stages is an essential prequisite to have a great GT but without that you need to hope on circumstances, 2010, 2011, 2015 and 2018 were cited as entartaining GTs and in every one of that there were the right circumstances that forced good racing.

In 2010 you can easily say that stars aligned, already stage 2 and 3 that should have been boring sprints had echelons then you had the downpour in Montalcino coupled with the sterrato and if that wasn't enough Nibali (that had the maglia rosa) crashed on the descent just before the first starrato sector derailing into the ditch the whole Liquigas train that was controlling the race so just as they hit the sterrato was free for all. After some days then the fuga bidone happened, again thanks to a day under downpour (and to Zomegnan that put a 262 kms long transitional stage), so the rest of the Giro was ridden with all the guns blazing to recover the time lost and only stage 20 (when Basso had already secured the jersey) was pretty dull.

In 2011 you had Contador racing like a mad man because otherwise the only stage good for long range attacks was the one of Rifugio Gardeccia and also in that stage without Contador with minutes of advantage it's unlikely you would have seen action already from the Giau like happened.

In 2015 you had Contador with a crap team against a strong Astana that wanted to fatigue him the more possible to favour Nibali in the Tour and anaway there you had the 60 kms long ITT where the strongest climber in the race lost 4 minutes.

In 2018 you had Froome that crashed early and lost time so he had to pull out the masterpiece on the Finestre and regardless that for two weeks Yates attacked like there wasn't tomorrow, and guess why? Because he feared the ITT.
Gap sizes have gone down a lot but this is fairly limited to MTFs. I think tactical optimization of MTFs has been the underrated driver smaller gaps. Riders don't just blow themselves up anymore unless a roflstrong team drills the exact right climb from the bottom. And this actually tends to happen less on multi mountain stages because those stages make the sacrificial domestiques much weaker. Angliru and Zoncolan only create small gaps these days.

Col de la Loze and GC profiles didn't help the Tour a lot this year either.

Still, climbs like Stelvio still do absolute work, but I fear the extent to which they are controllable by a team like Ineos
 
Gap sizes have gone down in large part because they are unnecessary and the norm of tight GCs leads to defensive racing. While any one particular ITT only affect the racing so much, the norm of next to no ITTs and mostly ones that won't create large gaps early on (and the attitude that if the strongest climber doesn't win, then there were too much TTing) incentivise more riders and teams to ride for GC and to a lesser extent tolerate risk of handing outsiders a chunk of time. When most if not all of the contenders are happy to minimize risks and wait and see if they are strong enough for the last km shootout, even the leading rider is incentivised to ride overly defensively.

But I'll admit that it has as much (almost) to do with the mountain stages (of the Tour) as the ITTs. Even if I think a lot would be gained if there was a 50+ km long ITT in the first two weeks as the norm, so contenders were used to racing with larger time gaps.
 
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Gap sizes have gone down a lot but this is fairly limited to MTFs. I think tactical optimization of MTFs has been the underrated driver smaller gaps. Riders don't just blow themselves up anymore unless a roflstrong team drills the exact right climb from the bottom. And this actually tends to happen less on multi mountain stages because those stages make the sacrificial domestiques much weaker. Angliru and Zoncolan only create small gaps these days.

Col de la Loze and GC profiles didn't help the Tour a lot this year either.

Still, climbs like Stelvio still do absolute work, but I fear the extent to which they are controllable by a team like Ineos
For Zoncolan, the stage up to Zoncolan has often been poor enough. If we actually got the original 2011 stage again, I reckon riders would be all over the place.

When the stage just has flat and some smaller climbs, it doesn't really weaken the legs of the top climbers.

I'd almost like to see an MTT up Zoncolan for the laugh. It would be horrific for the sprinters of course but would likely create big gaps
 
For Zoncolan, the stage up to Zoncolan has often been poor enough. If we actually got the original 2011 stage again, I reckon riders would be all over the place.

When the stage just has flat and some smaller climbs, it doesn't really weaken the legs of the top climbers.

I'd almost like to see an MTT up Zoncolan for the laugh. It would be horrific for the sprinters of course but would likely create big gaps
Weakening the legs of the top climbers doesn't matter that much these days, they still get to the bottom really fresh while the domestiques get burnt out and the pace is low. Weakening the legs is very often not the trigger for action at all.

I wanna bet if you make the 150km before Zonc pan flat you get bigger gaps than if you put 3 cat 2s in front of it.

As for Crostis, I honestly think it would just be softpedaled, and you'd waste a queen stage on just another single MTF of action.
 
Weakening the legs of the top climbers doesn't matter that much these days, they still get to the bottom really fresh while the domestiques get burnt out and the pace is low. Weakening the legs is very often not the trigger for action at all.

I wanna bet if you make the 150km before Zonc pan flat you get bigger gaps than if you put 3 cat 2s in front of it.


As for Crostis, I honestly think it would just be softpedaled, and you'd waste a queen stage on just another single MTF of action.
Probaly, harder climbs and lots of altitude gain could make a difference, but 3 cat 2 climbs are probably a nice warm-up for the gc guys. Pan flat and a high pace before the climb would actually hurt the small pure climbers a lot more.
Overall the Zoncolan is better than your average super steep climb because the really steep part comes in the middle and you have the easier final 2km, so it's not a waiting game until the end and the fresher guys can increase their advantage on the final 2km where the difference in speed will be higher. It's also one one the few steep climbs that suit diesel climbers more than guys who just rely on their crazy acceleration because it's a regular grind.
 
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Weakening the legs of the top climbers doesn't matter that much these days, they still get to the bottom really fresh while the domestiques get burnt out and the pace is low. Weakening the legs is very often not the trigger for action at all.

I wanna bet if you make the 150km before Zonc pan flat you get bigger gaps than if you put 3 cat 2s in front of it.

As for Crostis, I honestly think it would just be softpedaled, and you'd waste a queen stage on just another single MTF of action.
Depends on the race situation really. The gap between top of Crostis to the bottom of Zoncolan isn't that long so if a climber or a decent team needs to make up time, you can attack on Crostis (help if you had teammates ahead at that point too) and then try and diesel up Zoncolan.

Crostis is also steep and long enough that it will burn a lot of teammates off, and unless there's a top strength Ineos or Jumbo there (and it's not the Tour so there won't be) I can see most domestiquea dropping quickly.

If you placed a stage like that after another leg sapping day (not a mtf as that will be guaranteed to be soft pedalled), or maybe even an ITT so leaders would have already gone heavy out, you could really blow things up.
 
Weakening the legs of the top climbers doesn't matter that much these days, they still get to the bottom really fresh while the domestiques get burnt out and the pace is low. Weakening the legs is very often not the trigger for action at all.

I wanna bet if you make the 150km before Zonc pan flat you get bigger gaps than if you put 3 cat 2s in front of it.

As for Crostis, I honestly think it would just be softpedaled, and you'd waste a queen stage on just another single MTF of action.
Wow, maybe your theorizing is getting a little out of hand...
 
it's just a youtube video stating that possibility, but it seems like it's just the speaker speculating about it rather than him having any actual information. I would be all for it ofc.
edit: I'm talking about the long ITT on stage 2. For Fauniera, there is no way in hell they put the Cima Coppi on stage 3.
 

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