2023 Tour de France route rumors

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Why has the Belles Filles become so prominent in recent years? They pay the most money to ASO? It bloody well sucks and I don’t recall it being raced so many times in the 90’s and early/mid 2000’s. Recently it seems like a yearly stage finish.
I have ridden the Planche (rather slower than the pro's!) and it is very very steep in places so it is very good for TV which is what the TdF is all about as far as the organisers are concerned. I also think it is popular as its location fits well in both a clockwise and counter-clockwise tour and it can be placed at the end of a stage. So love it or hate it I think we shall be seeing a lot more of it but in 2023 I am not convinced it will be in there.
 
I have ridden the Planche (rather slower than the pro's!) and it is very very steep in places so it is very good for TV which is what the TdF is all about as far as the organisers are concerned. I also think it is popular as its location fits well in both a clockwise and counter-clockwise tour and it can be placed at the end of a stage. So love it or hate it I think we shall be seeing a lot more of it but in 2023 I am not convinced it will be in there.
The ironic thing is, I don't even actually think there is that big of a problem with that climb. It offered pretty decent racing in 2014 and 2017 and while it didn't in 2012, nothing did that year. The moronic thing was introducing that stupid gravel ramp at the end which completely renders everything before it useless. Sadly now that they've introduced it I just don't see them returning to the old finish.
 
The ironic thing is, I don't even actually think there is that big of a problem with that climb. It offered pretty decent racing in 2014 and 2017 and while it didn't in 2012, nothing did that year. The moronic thing was introducing that stupid gravel ramp at the end which completely renders everything before it useless. Sadly now that they've introduced it I just don't see them returning to the old finish.
Nor did I, but they did in 2020
 
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The problem with PdBF is that it is a) ridiculously overused and b) very hard to build a decisive stage around it. I wouldn't even say the gravel section is that much of a problem because the non-gravel finish also has the final ramp which makes people wait. For me the main issue is that the riders are just too fresh when the Vosges are the first mountains and that PdBF is too far from the other hard climbs of the Vosges (Petit+Grand Ballon or Platzer).
I'd say 2014 was the best stages that did feature that finish and they should certainly do Col des Chevreres beforehand.

But yeah, being there myself has actually somehow lowered my dislike for the climb. For a skiing station it's not that ugly (at least compared to some of the monsters in the Alpes) and the climb itself is quite nice.
 
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For the health of this forum and its members the organizers should consider taking out PdBF for a few years. I have not seen a single edition where I liked it. Oh wait, maybe when it was in stage 20 in 2020. But please replace it a medium mountain stage. There is nothing wrong with medium mountain stage.
 
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i liked it in 2019.

it's a climb that apparently pays a lot of money and also serves the same purpose of the "GC relevant climb outside the mountains" that Mende serves, i don't think it's really supposed to be some kind of huge GC decider.

that said i'd like to see Puy Mary from 2020 again since Puy de Dome is never happening as far as "GC climbs out of the two major ranges" go
 
i liked it in 2019.

it's a climb that apparently pays a lot of money and also serves the same purpose of the "GC relevant climb outside the mountains" that Mende serves, i don't think it's really supposed to be some kind of huge GC decider.

that said i'd like to see Puy Mary from 2020 again since Puy de Dome is never happening as far as "GC climbs out of the two major ranges" go
Goveneou already said Puy de Dome is likely coming back
 
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All this talk about la planche des belles filles being isolated from tougher mountains and nobody brings up the obvious solution which is a double climb of La Planche. Have them turn around at the Station. lol I am kidding. The climb is what it is, not my favorite and it's overused but it occasionally produces good racing.

One thing that they do which I wish more mountain stages would do is have massive shuttle services to the mountain.
 
All this talk about la planche des belles filles being isolated from tougher mountains and nobody brings up the obvious solution which is a double climb of La Planche. Have them turn around at the Station. lol I am kidding. The climb is what it is, not my favorite and it's overused but it occasionally produces good racing.

One thing that they do which I wish more mountain stages would do is have massive shuttle services to the mountain.
I think it's bad that it has always been the last climb in the Vosges.

It's fine to have a medium length MTF that dominates its surroundings, but bad when it is the pinnacle of a mountain range (especially so when only the last km of it is raced).

It's easily accessible from both south and west, so it's by choice and not inherent to the climb. Use it as the first Vosges stage, and then have a more open one afterwards.
 
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That has to be as a MTT and not a road stage. No way they are sending the peloton up this road:

Road to Puy de Dome
It's not as tight as it looks.
I'd push through even the publicity caravan.
Yeah, google streetview is a bit deceiving, it's probably wider than Gamoniteiru although you'd have huge issue if something would happen to a car because unlike other climbs where you could still somehow move into the gutter you'd be literally stuck between the barrier and the train track.

Still, I'd be very surprised if they get allowed to go up there. The road has been closed for cyclists(!!!!) for over 10 years now - something I never understood, maybe a French member with more insight could enlighten me: Why do you ban the most ecologically friendly and safe way (apart from walking) to get up in favor for a tourist train (don't get me wrong, I love trains but here???)? Who the heck signed off on this?

And now suddenly the massive caravan of the TdF is being considered to get the go? Would be quite odd but I guess the Tour is king so maybe that reason is enough.
 
At least one long medium mountain stage, similar to the Le Creusot stage in 2021, should really be a priority. These kind of stages rarely boring, usually good and sometimes very good. And it is possible to create a stage like this several places in France, especially in Massif Central., but also in the Vosges, Jura and the outskirts of the Alps.

This is a stage I designed in the Race Design Thread with a finish in Clermont Ferrand after a loop around the town two times, including the short and very steep Col de Bancillon. The stage could easily be made harder by approaching from the south and not from the north like my design. There are several places where one easily could have created similar stages with a finish in at least bigger villages or medium sized towns.

 
It wasn't really a "mountain" stage but Macon - Saint-Etienne (193km) 2019 was one of my favorite stages of that Tour.



Actually we had the Aigle - Chatel stage at 190km this year which was also very entertaining.

Still, I would like at least one 220+ stage on the Massif Central or something like that, since the Giro seems to be the ones doing the 250km queen stages these days.
 
Not loading the race with flat and irrelevant stages is the single most positive thing all GTss seem to have agreed upon. I think its especially a point thats important to TdF due to its geography, but Prudhomme and Gouvenou have done a fantastic job on that account. It can be hard in France, but they have made sure to make sufficient hilly days/cobbles etc. in areas where you might as well have had a flat bunch sprint. Kudos!

Edit: I care a lot about who the fastest man is, but thats in track and field. Not necessarily in cycling. Never interested me.
I think this is close to the most important aspect in a GT route, yet it is almost completely ignored when assessing the design of a route (now, Red Rick will probably come and teach how I twist his and the others' words).
 
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In fairness that 240km stage in the 2021 Tour which crossed the Signal d'Uchon really fatigued the riders. It lead to great racing in the following stages in the Alps. That area is quite hilly and although it's nothing like the Vosges in terms of elevation, it has enough of potential to be used as a hilly stage again. I think it's called the Monts du Morvan chain of hills.
 
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