2023 Tour de France route rumors

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Why this dislike of Planche des Belles Filles ? Not disagreeing, I don't have an opinion, just curious as I am surprised ?

Its a 6km @8.5% climb with a super steep finishing ramp. Does this discourage aggressive racing? If so, why?

It's the steep ramp on top that discourage attacks, combined with traditional early stages... nobody will attack from 5km. Combine it with the overuse...Also with the relative lack of variety around the climb and you get the hate.
I'd guess even Finestre would get the hate if used every other year.

On the other hand, before introducing LPDF the Tour had like 8 or so sprint stages. So if that climb essentially takes the place of a flat stage... I'd agree
 
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Sep 22, 2020
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Why this dislike of Planche des Belles Filles ? Not disagreeing, I don't have an opinion, just curious as I am surprised ?

Its a 6km @8.5% climb with a super steep finishing ramp. Does this discourage aggressive racing? If so, why?
If you have two very equally matched riders on a climb like that (say vingegaard or pogacar) they will likely just wait until the end as they don't want to attack early and then risk losing time on that final 20% ramp. But I don't mind it to be honest if its just a unipuerto stage like this year, at least so long as they do something interesting the next stage (it would be perfect if it was followed by a stage with climbs like Col du Petit Ballon and Col du Haag.
 
Why this dislike of Planche des Belles Filles ? Not disagreeing, I don't have an opinion, just curious as I am surprised ?

Its a 6km @8.5% climb with a super steep finishing ramp. Does this discourage aggressive racing? If so, why?
Planche des Belles Filles was introduced in 2012 and in the ten years since has been seen 14 times in pro races.

For context, Port de Balès only manages one more than that in 16 years, and over half of those are in the Route du Sud. Zoncolan has across the Giro and Giro Donne managed 9 uses in 24 years if you count the 1998 Giro Donne which didn't go quite to the top of the Sutrio side, 8 in 19 years if you don't. Angliru has 8 uses in 23 years, all in La Vuelta. The Giro has only ever been to Stelvio 11 times (it has been seen in the Giro Donne too, in 2010).

Hell, even just counting the Tour de France ascents only, Planche des Belles Filles has racked up as many appearances in 10 years as Bonette has in 60, more than La Plagne managed in 38, and as many as the Colle dell'Agnello has between the Tour and the Giro combined in 28.

Even really classic climbs need a layoff once in a while to maintain their aura, and give a bit more variety to what happens. When everybody's ridden the climb a dozen times before in competition and everybody knows exactly where to pace themselves, you lose all sense of tactics and just get a watts showdown, which is no good if the only place to attack from (this is where regular Planche is better than Super-Planche) is in the last few hundred metres. Even iconic places like Ventoux and Stelvio have seen their mystique eroded somewhat by repeated use and no longer feel as special to see. PDBF is a middling cat.1/cat.2 borderline climb (I think regular Planche should be cat.2, I think climbs like Cordal are a reach at cat.1 even in the Vuelta, and that's approximately the same length and steeper) which doesn't have the history of other overused climbs like Alpe d'Huez or Lagos de Covadonga to fall back on, and has been seen so often lately that it's staler than week old baguette.
 
I still think they should do 7 stages of flat (with stages for hills, crosswinds, and cobbles), medium mountain, and high mountain with 3 TTs of flat, hilly, and MTT. We’re always complaining of people thinking they are either GC contenders or could get the yellow Jersey causing crashes, why don’t we start the race with a MTT. Heck do it on Planche des Belles Filles to get it out of the way ;)
 
I still think they should do 7 stages of flat (with stages for hills, crosswinds, and cobbles), medium mountain, and high mountain with 3 TTs of flat, hilly, and MTT. We’re always complaining of people thinking they are either GC contenders or could get the yellow Jersey causing crashes, why don’t we start the race with a MTT. Heck do it on Planche des Belles Filles to get it out of the way ;)
Can you really put a route in with any certainty for crosswinds? I feel like everytime we get crosswind action its been a surprise. And the stages where crosswinds were 'expected' are inevitably a disappointment.
 
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I would never expect the ASO to back it up with the mountain stages to balance that out.

The last time they did 2 long TTs it was 2012.
Give me the mountain stages like 2007 and I'll happily except two 100k ITT's. Heck, the 'easy' stage of the Pyrenees that year would be seen as a monster queen stage by today's standards lol.
 
Can you really put a route in with any certainty for crosswinds? I feel like everytime we get crosswind action its been a surprise. And the stages where crosswinds were 'expected' are inevitably a disappointment.
No but you could put them along the coast to try and help while not making the stage as flat as possible. Than I wonder how the KoM competition would go reverting back to how is was before 2011.
 
2007 mountain designs were overrated IMO
I'm really meant the Pyrenees, looking back the Alps were pretty poor, basicly a worse designed version of the Alps of 2021. The Pyrenees stages were really good that year, I mean that stage 16 to the Col d' Aubisque must be one of the last TDF stages around 6000 of elevation? A proper queen stage and a great race overshadowed by clinic stuff....
 
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The Pyrenees were good, the Alps were atrocious IMO.
I'm really meant the Pyrenees, looking back the Alps were pretty poor, basicly a worse designed version of the Alps of 2021. The Pyrenees stages were really good that year, I mean that stage 16 to the Col d' Aubisque must be one of the last TDF stages around 6000 of elevation? A proper queen stage and a great race overshadowed by clinic stuff....
Pyrenees were hard, but still pretty uncreative design in that they were straightforward about the last climb, with the descent finish also being sandwiched in between the 2 HC MTF that were in the 3 final mountain stages. 2007 was arguably the last Tour with a super stark TTer vs climber dichotomy. That's hard to predict and nearly impossible to fabricate.

For me the last truly great TdF queen stage design was 2011.
 
Pyrenees were hard, but still pretty uncreative design in that they were straightforward about the last climb, with the descent finish also being sandwiched in between the 2 HC MTF that were in the 3 final mountain stages. 2007 was arguably the last Tour with a super stark TTer vs climber dichotomy. That's hard to predict and nearly impossible to fabricate.

For me the last truly great TdF queen stage design was 2011.
Yes it was, but you say uncreative, but it's worth noting that the Port de Bales was a brand new climb back then. Also the stage to the Col d' Aubisque had the Port de Larrau which IMO is an underused beast (although difficult to put in the decisive part of a race).
Not only was the stage to the Galiber in 2011 the last true queen stage, but also the stage the next day to Alpe d'huez I guess was the start of the obsession with the 'short is good' mountain stages ....
 
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Yes it was, but you say uncreative, but it's worth noting that the Port de Bales was a brand new climb back then. Also the stage to the Col d' Aubisque had the Port de Larrau which IMO is an underused beast (although difficult to put in the decisive part of a race).
Not only was the stage to the Galiber in 2011 the last true queen stage, but also the stage the next day to Alpe d'huez I guess was the start of the obsession with the 'short is good' mountain stages ....
The ADH stage this year was a real queen stage, and especially 2018 with 3 HC climbs. 2018 had the cat 2 after the first HC

They just weren't raced hard. Did the same stage in 1986 and the time gaps were beyond MASSIVE because the racing started on the easy side of the Telegraph
 
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Pyrenees were hard, but still pretty uncreative design in that they were straightforward about the last climb, with the descent finish also being sandwiched in between the 2 HC MTF that were in the 3 final mountain stages. 2007 was arguably the last Tour with a super stark TTer vs climber dichotomy. That's hard to predict and nearly impossible to fabricate.

For me the last truly great TdF queen stage design was 2011.
Are you forgetting the rest days? They meant that the mountain stages were perfectly placed (with the ITTs too).
 
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So we have our first real rumor. They're going to be in Limoges supposedly on July 8th. What kind of stage finish will that be? Sprint? Then Puy de Dome the next day. So what stages 8 and stages 9? Maybe the weekend before the rest day. Where does that leave us? Will they have done the Pyrenees before that or are they doing a big circle back to the Pyrenees after the rest day? If they do the Pyrenees and Dome before the first rest day. Wow. Also it looks like the rumors of no northern France are correct. Or are they doing a loop of flat sprint stages up north which might explain the start in Charente? Thoughts?
 
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