Vuelta a España 2022 Vuelta route rumors

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In fairness though Mayo, Pikes Peak isn't a pass. There are quite a few Unipuertos that can be MTFs that are steep in the US, but a lot of the big passes tend to be the tempo grinder ones - and even when they are decently steep, they tend to be more consistent as they were made with more advanced technological equipment than a lot of the older passes like the main Alpine through routes or the central Pyrenees. Interestingly the eastern Pyrenees tend to be more along similar lines, and that possibly helps explain Tejay van Garderen's success in the Volta a Catalunya relative to other short stage races in Europe. The Tour of Utah includes probably the best mix of climbs in any of the US stage races as in addition to long but gradual passes it also has some climbs which are gradual from one side but steep from the other, and in its MTFs it sometimes even has roads steep enough for Sepp Kuss.

There are quite a lot of real HC types if you go for climbs that would have to be MTFs - as well as Pikes Peak (31km @ 6,6%) you have the likes of Mount Baldy (if climbed all the way, not the climbing part of a different side, then descending part of the toughest side, then climbing the same part of a different side then doing the last bit to the finish like the Tour of California did) which is 21km @ 7% albeit with the steepest stuff at the end, and a bunch of the climbs in eastern California a bit too far away from population centres for the race to have bothered with, such as Onion Valley Road (21km, 7,5%), Whitney Portal (19km, 7,4%) and from Wofford Heights east of Bakersfield you've got Alta Sierra Ski Resort (16km, 7,8%), although I suspect the Tour of California would have gone over Greenhorn Summit (the pass below it) from the much more gradual western side. As for steeper PASSES there's only really Palomar Mountain (20km @ 6,9%) and Gibraltar Road that really stand out as HC types that are that for steepness rather than length there, even if lots of other climbs are debatably or certainly genuine HC. Sure, there are plenty of more 'normal' HCs that are MTF only too (Horseshoe Meadows, 31km @ 6%, or Wolverton Ski Area, 33km @ 5,5%, stand out here as tougher examples), but that's typical in Europe too, there are plenty of big climbs that only average tempo grinder levels that are used as summits in Europe too, such as La Toussuire, Val Thorens, Arcalis, Cervinia, traditional Sierra Nevada, or most of the Catalan climbs like Vallter2000, Pla de Beret or Port-Ainé.

Elsewhere in the States you have e.g. Mount Washington (12km @ 11%, an absolute monster), Mount Equinox (8,4km @ 11,7%), Powder Mountain Resort (11,5km @ 9,7%), but most of the toughest passes tend to be long but around 5-6%, such as Daylight Pass (21km, 6%), Townes Pass (27km, 5,6%), Dawson Saddle (38km, 5%) and the various sides of Rim of the World Highway (toughest being 20km @ 6,4% by my reckoning) - a possible exception is Little Bald Mountain, or "Alternate Route 14", which is 23km @ 6,5%, but that is way off the beaten track in northern Wyoming.
 
In fairness though Mayo, Pikes Peak isn't a pass. There are quite a few Unipuertos that can be MTFs that are steep in the US, but a lot of the big passes tend to be the tempo grinder ones - and even when they are decently steep, they tend to be more consistent as they were made with more advanced technological equipment than a lot of the older passes like the main Alpine through routes or the central Pyrenees. Interestingly the eastern Pyrenees tend to be more along similar lines, and that possibly helps explain Tejay van Garderen's success in the Volta a Catalunya relative to other short stage races in Europe. The Tour of Utah includes probably the best mix of climbs in any of the US stage races as in addition to long but gradual passes it also has some climbs which are gradual from one side but steep from the other, and in its MTFs it sometimes even has roads steep enough for Sepp Kuss.

There are quite a lot of real HC types if you go for climbs that would have to be MTFs - as well as Pikes Peak (31km @ 6,6%) you have the likes of Mount Baldy (if climbed all the way, not the climbing part of a different side, then descending part of the toughest side, then climbing the same part of a different side then doing the last bit to the finish like the Tour of California did) which is 21km @ 7% albeit with the steepest stuff at the end, and a bunch of the climbs in eastern California a bit too far away from population centres for the race to have bothered with, such as Onion Valley Road (21km, 7,5%), Whitney Portal (19km, 7,4%) and from Wofford Heights east of Bakersfield you've got Alta Sierra Ski Resort (16km, 7,8%), although I suspect the Tour of California would have gone over Greenhorn Summit (the pass below it) from the much more gradual western side. As for steeper PASSES there's only really Palomar Mountain (20km @ 6,9%) and Gibraltar Road that really stand out as HC types that are that for steepness rather than length there, even if lots of other climbs are debatably or certainly genuine HC. Sure, there are plenty of more 'normal' HCs that are MTF only too (Horseshoe Meadows, 31km @ 6%, or Wolverton Ski Area, 33km @ 5,5%, stand out here as tougher examples), but that's typical in Europe too, there are plenty of big climbs that only average tempo grinder levels that are used as summits in Europe too, such as La Toussuire, Val Thorens, Arcalis, Cervinia, traditional Sierra Nevada, or most of the Catalan climbs like Vallter2000, Pla de Beret or Port-Ainé.

Elsewhere in the States you have e.g. Mount Washington (12km @ 11%, an absolute monster), Mount Equinox (8,4km @ 11,7%), Powder Mountain Resort (11,5km @ 9,7%), but most of the toughest passes tend to be long but around 5-6%, such as Daylight Pass (21km, 6%), Townes Pass (27km, 5,6%), Dawson Saddle (38km, 5%) and the various sides of Rim of the World Highway (toughest being 20km @ 6,4% by my reckoning) - a possible exception is Little Bald Mountain, or "Alternate Route 14", which is 23km @ 6,5%, but that is way off the beaten track in northern Wyoming.
I knew that someone was going to call me out on this one!

Tenton Pass from the Wyoming side is also 9kms at 8.1%, a proper cat 1, and Utah has Empire Pass that is 12.8kms at 7.5% with 2kms at over 11%. If you go all the way up to Guardsman pass you have 14.1kms at 8.5%, topping at over 2,950m of altitude, a real HC monster.
 
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I knew that someone was going to call me out on this one!

Tenton Pass from the Wyoming side is also 9kms at 8.1%, a proper cat 1, and Utah has Empire Pass that is 12.8kms at 7.5% with 2kms at over 11%. If you go all the way up to Guardsman pass you have 14.1kms at 8.5%, topping at over 2,950m of altitude, a real HC monster.
As far as raw altitude the US has a lot of good locations. Pretty much everything in Colorado is higher than all European cycling. Not sure about gradients but there’s tons of options with over 1000m of gain as well.
 
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They're still in talks with the authorities of the National Park. But they've talked to them almost every time they've gone there. My expectations are only 2500m high.

In any case, I believe this would be the profile if they go above my expectations..


Wow, the profile of this climb looks FANTASTIC!

I pray they will go all the way to the top. 35kms, with 17% gradients at nearly 2.900mtrs!… Just perfect!

Tailor-made for Miguel Angel Lopez…

For Remco, however, this full climb would be a nightmare. MAL would finish first up there, probably, and Remco likely in 20th position, ten minutes down…
 
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Wow, the profile of this climb looks FANTASTIC!

I pray they will go all the way to the top. 35kms, with 17% gradients at nearly 2.900mtrs!… Just perfect!

Tailor-made for Miguel Angel Lopez…

For Remco, however, this full climb would be a nightmare. MAL would finish first up there, probably, and Remco likely in 20th position, ten minutes down…
True Veleta MTF, until the final parking, would be superb indeed. I'm still undetermined about the observatory though.
 
Unipublic‘s Vuelta, just as RCS‘s Giro, have always been - and still are - innovative and open-minded, with regards of adding new and/or attractive and/or special climbs. This is exactly what we as pro cycling lovers want to see. I remember the Angliru hype when it was first ridden, end of the 1990ies. Nowadays, Angliru is a frequent part of Vuelta.

ASO and the TdF also seem to be searching for these new, spectacular climbs - though in France, they seem to be more conservative. Loze e.g. was great. Cime de la Bonette, with its 2.802mtrs, would certainly be a pleasure to watch.

Anyways, the „strade bianche“ and gravel hype could influence these route choices more and more. With improved material and improved high altitude knowledge within the teams, future MTFs could become possible at places where no one would have expected a road bike race to finish, in past times.

Long, steep, high altitude climbs to MTFs, at the end of hard stages, in weeks #2 and 3 of GTs, are the greatest minutes of all cycling season, IMHO… :)
 
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Unipublic‘s Vuelta, just as RCS‘s Giro, have always been - and still are - innovative and open-minded, with regards of adding new and/or attractive and/or special climbs. This is exactly what we as pro cycling lovers want to see. I remember the Angliru hype when it was first ridden, end of the 1990ies. Nowadays, Angliru is a frequent part of Vuelta.

ASO and the TdF also seem to be searching for these new, spectacular climbs - though in France, they seem to be more conservative. Loze e.g. was great. Cime de la Bonette, with its 2.802mtrs, would certainly be a pleasure to watch.

Anyways, the „strade bianche“ and gravel hype could influence these route choices more and more. With improved material and improved high altitude knowledge within the teams, future MTFs could become possible at places where no one would have expected a road bike race to finish, in past times.

Long, steep, high altitude climbs to MTFs, at the end of hard stages, in weeks #2 and 3 of GTs, are the greatest minutes of all cycling season, IMHO… :)
ASO runs the Vuelta now. They bought Unipublic about 10 years ago
 
I guess IRAM will be the new Gamoniteiru but no Gamoniteiru rumors?

In theory it could be better for the race to finish at 2500m because of balancing and because people might race more passively, but the climb should be long and hard enough that people get relatively cooked early on.
 
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I guess IRAM will be the new Gamoniteiru but no Gamoniteiru rumors?

In theory it could be better for the race to finish at 2500m because of balancing and because people might race more passively, but the climb should be long and hard enough that people get relatively cooked early on.
The best would have been to go up towards 3000m till the final parking slot, because IRAM holds the risk that the riders wait for the final ramp to place their attacks.

So you might be 100% correct eventually regarding the Hoya de la mora finish.
 
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Oh, that point in time when you realize TdF is done and dusted and wants a closer look at the Vuelta just to find out that it starts in NL.

Sporting wise, this will be the worst 3x3 days of GT Grand Departs in history Im pretty sure.
The rest of the route isn‘t really better though, too many low-gradient climbs, especially towards the end of the race
 
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