2021 Giro Route Rumours

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I'm not sure I do, these profiles etc are fun to mess around with but I think putting 2 climbs like this in one stage basically makes the entire rest of a GT irrelevant, and it does so in a way that doesn't really require attacking but having climb so hard that the best float to the top naturally. If riders roflcrack the excitement is also not gonna last very long. Also, using multiple such climbs in a day will typically massively neutralize the first one. Take Agnello 2011, Madeleine 2020, etc, Mortirolo 2012, there's enough of them.
True there probably wouldn't be much happening on the Rombo but just for the absurd attrition I'd love to see this. I mean after all two of the three stages you mentioned there ended up being pretty great even though the significant attacks didn't come on the early monster climb itself. It also needs to be mentioned though, that Agnello, Madeleine and Mortirolo also were way further away from the finish and there were often long flat stretches still to come.

And the stage neutralizing earlier action, yeah that might be a problem, but then we would have to abolish queen stages altogether. It's also absolutely possible to solve this problem by not putting a stage like this on day 20 and by giving everyone enough incentive to attack elsewhere by putting hard climbs early in the race and making longer TT's.
 
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Zomegnan tried something different in 2009, even if it was a failed experiment.
On the cicloweb forum someone posted that he talked with one of the higher ups at Rcs durning the last few days of the Giro. They guy said that they are thinking about having the Giro start later next year, towards the end of May so that the race would finish around mid June.
 
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True there probably wouldn't be much happening on the Rombo but just for the absurd attrition I'd love to see this. I mean after all two of the three stages you mentioned there ended up being pretty great even though the significant attacks didn't come on the early monster climb itself. It also needs to be mentioned though, that Agnello, Madeleine and Mortirolo also were way further away from the finish and there were often long flat stretches still to come.

And the stage neutralizing earlier action, yeah that might be a problem, but then we would have to abolish queen stages altogether. It's also absolutely possible to solve this problem by not putting a stage like this on day 20 and by giving everyone enough incentive to attack elsewhere by putting hard climbs early in the race and making longer TT's.
Very true.

I'm not really against queen stages, I am against queen stages that are self limiting in action. Every AdH stage comes to mind. Similar reason I don't want Angliru or Zoncolan as queen stage either, though AdH is mainly because of the flat that always precedes it. And I'm all for putting the tappones earlier in the race, or at least one of them. And there's multiple sort of tappones you have, where I'd prefer the more typical 1-2 combo like Stelvio-Lago di Cancano near the end of the 2nd week and then more open stages like the Fauniera design or your traceurs favorite 191 climb stage around Cortina d'Ampezzo halfway the third week.

Final mountain stage I think you can do all sorts of things and some yolo shenanigans might happen if it's at the very least not a big/steep MTF but does contain some good climbs, although I don't think you quite replicate the Dauphine final stage madness in a GT
 
Zomegnan tried something different in 2009, even if it was a failed experiment.
On the cicloweb forum someone posted that he talked with one of the higher ups at Rcs durning the last few days of the Giro. They guy said that they are thinking about having the Giro start later next year, towards the end of May so that the race would finish around mid June.
Bilbao was the guinea pig?

It sounds weird, but then Giro/Tour doubles are uncommon enough for it to not matter all that much and I guess it makes it more possible for Giro/Olympics to be a good path?
 
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Generally I dont like ITTs as the last relevant GC stage either (or just finishing stage) as the riders dont really know how much to gain on the last mountain stage. Had Hindley known he needed 40 seconds or whatever, he would have tried earlier and harder I think.
 
I'm not really against queen stages, I am against queen stages that are self limiting in action. Every AdH stage comes to mind. Similar reason I don't want Angliru or Zoncolan as queen stage either, though AdH is mainly because of the flat that always precedes it. And I'm all for putting the tappones earlier in the race, or at least one of them. And there's multiple sort of tappones you have, where I'd prefer the more typical 1-2 combo like Stelvio-Lago di Cancano near the end of the 2nd week and then more open stages like the Fauniera design or your traceurs favorite 191 climb stage around Cortina d'Ampezzo halfway the third week.
What is a "tappone"? Don't know that term.
your traceurs favorite 191 climb stage around Cortina d'Ampezzo halfway the third week.
What stage is this?
 
Repeat the trifecta from 2011 with Grosslockner, Zoncolan and Gardeccia with Corones MTT as the first stage after the rest day and I will be happy. Also, put Finestre on stage 20 and Fauniera on stage 19. Also, an 40km flat ITT at the end of the first week to give Remco an advantage. Besides these 7 stages just put what you want. The spectacle is already guaranteed.

Also bring Montelupone back and put it somewhere in the first week.
 
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If Cortina is used as a stage finish next year, they should really do either Duran or Cibiana followed by Staulanza and Giau. That's the only proper way to design a Cortina stage finish!
That's the best option. I'd love to see them use Via Faloria in Cortina once, that would be like the murito in Briancon. 580m at 12.8%
http://www.salite.ch/7352.asp?mappa=
That said after a hard Zoncolan Mtf you could also have a more medium mountain Cortina stage. The Costalta climb that they used in the Sappada stage from the other side, Passo di San Antonio from the Danta side and Tre Croci from Auronzo before a downhill finish wouldn't be a bad sequence of final climbs.
 
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That's the best option. I'd love to see them use Via Faloria in Cortina once, that would be like the murito in Briancon. 580m at 12.8%
http://www.salite.ch/7352.asp?mappa=
That said after a hard Zoncolan Mtf you could also have a more medium mountain Cortina stage. The Costalta climb that they used in the Sappada stage from the other side, Passo di San Antonio from the Danta side and Tre Croci from Auronzo before a downhill finish wouldn't be a bad sequence of final climbs.
I would rather like a Cortina stage like I mentioned preceeded by a Montasio stage finish rather than Zoncolan + medium Cortina stage. Never been that fond of Zoncolan.

And I also hope that they do something else than just use the monumental climbs like Stelvio, Gavia, Fauniera, Finestre, Zoncolan,, etc., as the only main highlights of the Giro. An option I've had on my wishlist for several years is a stage using several of the tough climbs around Trento and Rovereto, with a downhill finish to one of the two towns. A finish with Monte Fae, followed by the last part of Passo Bordala and a downhill finish to Rovereto would be excellent stage design.

A couple of stages would this would also be less "risky" than designing a route where the most important mountain stages uses passes over 2500m. In may it's not very unlikely that this stages are cancelled or re-routed.

 
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What is a "tappone"? Don't know that term.

What stage is this?
tappone just means extremely hard stage.

There's no specific stage, just that in the area around Cortina d'Ampezzo there's a tonne of climbs that connect extremely well together at high altitude, with the hardest ones being Giau and Fedaia but where none of the climbs are really complete monsters in their own right. There's a thousand combinations to connect like 4-7+ climbs really well together there without making the stage 250km. Something like Duran>Staulanza>Giau>Falzarego>Fedaia>Pordoi>Gardena would be insane.
 
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A little in hindsight, the 2020 Giro route was missing some tougher stages between 8-13 imo. First 7 stages had a very nice mixture of stuff, and Etna was already semi selective.

It had a good amount of ITT, though some more k's wouldn't hurt either.

Personally I feel like your biggest GT GC stages should be around the 8-10 and 14-16 block (surrounding rest days, and using weekends). If we take this year's Giro, only 14 and 15 of those were really good. A number of other days were wasted. Why not have your queen Stelvio stage on 16, then a couple of less frightening, but still ambush potential stages after that?

Maybe you still have a mountain stage on the final Saturday, but it shouldn't be one of the three hardest mountain stages of the race. There should be no waiting for it.
 
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tappone just means extremely hard stage.

There's no specific stage, just that in the area around Cortina d'Ampezzo there's a tonne of climbs that connect extremely well together at high altitude, with the hardest ones being Giau and Fedaia but where none of the climbs are really complete monsters in their own right. There's a thousand combinations to connect like 4-7+ climbs really well together there without making the stage 250km. Something like Duran>Staulanza>Giau>Falzarego>Fedaia>Pordoi>Gardena would be insane.
Okay, thank you.

Agreed on a stage around Cortina. Save for the two combos of Mortirolo-Aprica and Finestre-Sestriere, a stage like that around Cortina (or one of the smaller villages in the area) is the most obvious of all stage designs for a Giro mountain stage. Giau and/or Fedaia should be included with a stage finish near one of these two climbs.
 
BTW, would it be possible to use the old route for Fedaia, or is it forever ruined? I know the U23 Giro used the new route last year, but surely they can still use the old one for the riders, no? They can always have the caravan use the new.
 
A little in hindsight, the 2020 Giro route was missing some tougher stages between 8-13 imo. First 7 stages had a very nice mixture of stuff, and Etna was already semi selective.

It had a good amount of ITT, though some more k's wouldn't hurt either.

Personally I feel like your biggest GT GC stages should be around the 8-10 and 14-16 block (surrounding rest days, and using weekends). If we take this year's Giro, only 14 and 15 of those were really good. A number of other days were wasted. Why not have your queen Stelvio stage on 16, then a couple of less frightening, but still ambush potential stages after that?

Maybe you still have a mountain stage on the final Saturday, but it shouldn't be one of the three hardest mountain stages of the race. There should be no waiting for it.
And if it is one of the three hardest mountain stages, have the hardest stuff earlier on. That's what was so good about this year's original design of Stage 20.
 
BTW, would it be possible to use the old route for Fedaia, or is it forever ruined? I know the U23 Giro used the new route last year, but surely they can still use the old one for the riders, no? They can always have the caravan use the new.
Google Street View has images from March 2019 and is doesn't look ruined. It's just closed to traffic but there's a train on rubber tires for visitors doing the route up and down. I don't know if it's possible to get the necessary permit or if that option is totally ruled out.
 
Generally I dont like ITTs as the last relevant GC stage either (or just finishing stage) as the riders dont really know how much to gain on the last mountain stage. Had Hindley known he needed 40 seconds or whatever, he would have tried earlier and harder I think.
I also think they lead to riders holding back at least a little bit on stage 20.
I remember in 2017 when Quintana and Nibali weren't able to drop each other on the final mountain stage but had dropped Dumoulin. They decided their best chance to win the giro at that point was to stop fighting and combine their powers against their common enemy, since they both fancied their chances against the other in the final TT. Eventually they finished 9 seconds apart and both were still beaten by Dumoulin, but stopping to attack each other was definitely the right move to maximise their chances to win.
I'd like to see how that stage would have played out if both Quintana and Nibali had known whoever wore pink after that stage, would end up wearing it in Milan.
 
There are none. The French climb that comes closest (but still a long way of), and is feasable in a road cycling race, is probably the newly paved col de la loze.
Yup, Loze is probably hardest TdF climb ever, ahead of ascents like Ventoux, Madeleine, Croix de Fer (north) and Portet (#1 in Pyrenees). If we include combos then Galibier+Telegraphe could be the hardest of all (due to mamooth vertical relief of almost 2 km). Giro icons are most difficult of all GTs though.
 
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Yup, Loze is probably hardest TdF climb ever, ahead of ascents like Ventoux, Madeleine, Croix de Fer (north) and Portet (#1 in Pyrenees). If we include combos then Galibier+Telegraphe could be the hardest of all (due to mamooth vertical relief of almost 2 km). Giro icons are most difficult of all GTs though.
I think Col de Portet is a beast and it underachieved in 2018. I'm pretty sure France has some climbs easily up there but they're never prepared for road cycling/TdF. Col de La Loze is a new addition that is ofcourse much more interesting as a pass than a MTF. Parpaillan, Col de La Moutiere+Cime de Bonette, etc are just climbs I have no idea how raceable they are.

With the Tour I expect them to use them as novelty MTFs first before they're properly used as passes in a great location in the race, like it happened with Plateau de Glieres.

Spain just doesn't have any real options at that level. There's MTF in Angliru, Gamoniteiro and a few others. I rate the Ancares very highly (the side they did in 2014), especially with Folgeiras or whatever the name is beforehand, it's like a lesser Galibier/Mortirolo hybrid. Then there's funnily enough all the combination in the Sierra Nevada, but I don't expect that one to be used as a pass (just under the Pico Veleta, I wouldn't know how high it is) in my lifetime.
 
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Yeah, what makes the Fauniera great is its much less well known than the Stelvio while probably being equally hard (maybe a bit easier). But as always its impossible to rank these legendary Italian climbs like Stelvio, Finestre, Fauniera, Agnello, Mortirolo...
I tend to think the difference between them is smaller than the difference that is made by other circumstances. Roughly I'd probably go Finestre>Stelvio=Fauniera>Mortirolo>Agnello with Mortirolo being the most reliable one to generate action but maybe having the lowest ceiling as it's always at 30km to go with a super easy climb afterward.
I live in Piemonte, I have ridden the Fauniera, the Agnello and the Finestre multiple times.
The Fauniera is way harder than the Finestre, simply because the Finestre has a constant gradient around 9%, while the Fauniera is a bit more irregular, therefore significantly steeper.

Few years ago I did a 200 km (and 3600 m elevation gain) loop from my home, basically 20 km of flat road, then Sestriere (from Pinerolo, the 1st climb they did Saturday at the Giro), descent to Cesana, false flat (slightly downhill) to Susa, Finestre from Susa, descent to Usseaux and back home. I started the Finestre with 110 km and almost 2000 m of elevation gain...however I was able to manage the climb without any problem because you can pace yourself very easily. I would have never been able to do the same thing with the Fauniera, I would have still finished my ride but it would have been significantly more difficult.

The comparison of the Fauniera with the Agnello is more difficult because they are very different, the Fauniera is long and relatively constant while the Agnello is extremely long (more than double the Fauniera) but almost always very easy until you reach the last 10 km in Chianale.
Usually, if it's the first climb of the day, the Agnello is a bit easier because the hardest segment is significantly shorter than the Fauniera (9.5 km vs 15 km). However, if it's the second/third climb of the day...these climbs are both extremely difficult, I would say at the same level.

As a side note, I can assure you that the Fauniera and the Agnello are way harder than any other climb I have done. This list includes Lombarda, Maddalena, Vars, Izoard, Galibier, Iseran, Nivolet, Lautaret, Granon, Montgenevre, Sestriere, Finestre, Giau, Falzarego, Valparola, Sella, Gardena, Pordoi, Campolongo, Sampeyre, Moncenisio.

My dream is a stage starting in Cuneo, then Pradleves, Castelmagno, Colle d'Esischie (basically Fauniera, but you turn right 1 km before the summit), descent to Ponte Marmora, Colle di Sampeyre, descent to Sampeyre, summit finish at the Agnello. About 5100 meters of elevation gain in 130 km o_O
 
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I live in Piemonte, I have ridden the Fauniera, the Agnello and the Finestre multiple times.
The Fauniera is way harder than the Finestre, simply because the Finestre has a constant gradient around 9%, while the Fauniera is a bit more irregular, therefore significantly steeper.

Few years ago I did a 200 km (and 3600 m elevation gain) loop from my home, basically 20 km of flat road, then Sestriere (from Pinerolo, the 1st climb they did Saturday at the Giro), descent to Cesana, false flat (slightly downhill) to Susa, Finestre from Susa, descent to Usseaux and back home. I started the Finestre with 110 km and almost 2000 m of elevation gain...however I was able to manage the climb without any problem because you can pace yourself very easily. I would have never been able to do the same thing with the Fauniera, I would have still complited my ride but it would have been significantly more difficult.

The comparison of the Fauniera with the Agnello is more difficult because they are very different, the Fauniera is long and relatively constant while the Agnello is extremely long (more than double the Fauniera) but almost always very easy until you reach the last 10 km in Chianale.
Usually, if it's the first climb of the day, the Agnello is a bit easier because the hardest segment is significantly shorter than the Fauniera (9.5 km vs 15 km). However, if it's the second/third climb of the day...these climbs are both extremely difficult, I would say at the same level.

As a side note, I can assure you that the Fauniera and the Agnello are way harder than any other climb I have done. This list includes Lombarda, Maddalena, Vars, Izoard, Galibier, Iseran, Nivolet, Lautaret, Granon, Montgenevre, Sestriere, Finestre, Giau, Falzarego, Valparola, Sella, Gardena, Pordoi, Campolongo, Sampeyre, Moncenisio.

My dream is a stage starting in Cuneo, then Pradleves, Castelmagno, Colle d'Esischie (basically Fauniera, but you turn right 1 km before the summit), descent to Ponte Marmora, Colle di Sampeyre, descent to Sampeyre, summit finish at the Agnello. About 5100 meters of elevation gain in 130 km o_O
Great post. It's a confirmation that uneven climbs are perceived as more difficult. I've never done those 1500m+ mamooth climbs or anything close to them (my biggest cycling climb had a vertical relief of 600 m) but I understand the difficultly of changing gradients (from my numerous mountain treks).
 
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Great post. It's a confirmation that uneven climbs are perceived as more difficult. I've never done those 1500m+ mamooth climbs or anything close to them (my biggest cycling climb had a vertical relief of 600 m) but I understand the difficultly of changing gradients (from my numerous mountain treks).
Yes, that is the point. When I started the Finestre, that day, I was already tired but I knew that the gradient was constant therefore I paced myself in order to keep my heart rate in the range 160-165 bpm. It was relatively easy because there was no spike in the gradient, therefore you simply have to stay focused.
On the Fauniera or the Agnello is simply impossible...for example 3 km below the summit of the Agnello there is a 250/300 m flat section followed by 1 km that averages above 10% with a 14% maximum (and you are above 2500 m). In that case you can't pace yourself properly, you simply slow down in the flat section to recover a bit and then you make a big effort on the steeper part.

Clearly everything depend also on your weight, but in general 8-9% is much more manageable than 10-11% because you can pace yourself more easily. Consider also that in the case of the Finestre the maximum gradient is around 13% but it's after 1 km of climb, then you maybe see a 10% gradient for a total of 500 m until the end. On the Agnello and Fauniera you see most of the time 10% on your GPS, 9% is like "happy recovery time" to compensate for the 13-14% sections.
 
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A local article today talked about 4 stages in Piedmont, including Turin (which I'd assume could be the final stage, as an ITT). Also, Alba is mentioned instead of Casale, which fits even better with a following stage in Cuneo. So they should probably arrive in Verbania on stage 17 instead of stage 16 like I wrote yesterday. This leaves a spot for another stage. I would think stage 16 will be the Valtellina one, which means that either stage 15 is Cortina, in which case the missing stage would be earlier in the second week, or stage 15 is a stage in Trentino/Südtirol which we still haven't heard about. I would lean towards the latter, as it would be weird they don't have a stage at all.

1: Sicily?
2: Sicily?
3: Sicily?
4: ??? - Monte Botte Donato
5: ??? - ???
6: ??? - Monte Compatri
7: ??? - Gualdo Tadino or Foligno
8: ??? - ???
9: ??? - Sesto Fiorentino or Firenze
rest
10: Rimini - Ravenna? ITT
11: Ravenna - Verona
12: ??? - Cormons
13: Udine? - Zoncolan or Montasio
14: ??? - Cortina
15: ??? - Somewhere in Trentino?
rest
16: ??? - Somewhere in Valtellina
17: Somewhere in Valtellina - Verbania
18: Borgomanero - Pila
19: Aosta - Alba
20: Cuneo - Cuneo
21: Torino? ITT
 
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Talking about crazy climbs, there is another one not far from the Finestre (60 km), that however I don't think will ever be considered by the Giro because of logistics (narrow road, no space at the top) and money (no ski resorts or something like that in the valley).
It's called "Colle Barant" and it's located in Val Pellice, right between the Val Chisone (Pinerolo, Finestre, Sestriere) and the Valle Po (Monviso, Pian del Re, source of the Po river). The name sounds like French but it is entirely in Italian territory (it's also called Colle del Baracun).

Similarly to the Finestre, the last 5 km of the climb are gravel (at the moment suited only to gravel bikes and mountain bikes). The difference is that the Finestre looks like an overbridge with respect to the Barant.
The Barant is 14.5 km long, the average gradient is 11.4%, first 3 km are the easiest with flat and downhill sections...so the last 11.5 km of the climb are always well over 12%. The maximum gradient is 23% (real, I measured it) and there are several sections of at least 40-50 meters above 20%. Highest avg gradient over a 500 m section is 18%.

This climb starts 20 km from my home...I have ridden it several times and it's way harder than Fauniera, Agnello and all the other usual climbs you can think about.
Considering exclusively the gravel section, it would not be an impossible task to prepare it for the Giro because it's an old military road so it is very well built.
The problem is that the road is extremely narrow, sometimes not even wide enough for a car and a bike.

Here is the elevation profile.

 
I think Col de Portet is a beast and it underachieved in 2018. I'm pretty sure France has some climbs easily up there but they're never prepared for road cycling/TdF. Col de La Loze is a new addition that is ofcourse much more interesting as a pass than a MTF. Parpaillan, Col de La Moutiere+Cime de Bonette, etc are just climbs I have no idea how raceable they are.

With the Tour I expect them to use them as novelty MTFs first before they're properly used as passes in a great location in the race, like it happened with Plateau de Glieres.

Spain just doesn't have any real options at that level. There's MTF in Angliru, Gamoniteiro and a few others. I rate the Ancares very highly (the side they did in 2014), especially with Folgeiras or whatever the name is beforehand, it's like a lesser Galibier/Mortirolo hybrid. Then there's funnily enough all the combination in the Sierra Nevada, but I don't expect that one to be used as a pass (just under the Pico Veleta, I wouldn't know how high it is) in my lifetime.
Hardest mountain pass in mainland Spain IMHO is Collado de las Sabinas in Sierra Nevada through Güejar Sierra+Hazallanas+Sabinas, then descending through the main road to Granada (or up again through Sabinas and finishing as high as 2843m, which would be the highest GT point ever ridden). All three parts have been used in the Vuelta before, but never together.



Apart from Ancares (four sides, two of them legit HC), my personal wish would be to see Haza de Lino, south of Granada. Five sides, the two hardest being:



 

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