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Best mountain stages of the past 15 years

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Depends what we categorize as a one-climb stage. Is it a literal _______/ stage like Camperona in this year's Vuelta? Or is it a stage where everything is guaranteed to come down to the last climb?

vuelta2002_15.gif


Marabio is a hard climb, but really, Cordal is over-categorized (it's only 5,5km long) and everybody knows Angliru is going to be a one climb stage. Then add a torrential downpour and strong wind.
 
Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
Depends what we categorize as a one-climb stage. Is it a literal _______/ stage like Camperona in this year's Vuelta? Or is it a stage where everything is guaranteed to come down to the last climb?

vuelta2002_15.gif


Marabio is a hard climb, but really, Cordal is over-categorized (it's only 5,5km long) and everybody knows Angliru is going to be a one climb stage. Then add a torrential downpour and strong wind.
That stage was just way before I started watching cycling. I started to watch the tour in 2008 and the Giro as well as the Vuelta in 2011, so I just can't know many of the stages mentioned in this thread. And I really don't find a better one climb stage (also by your definition) which was better than cumbre del sol in the gt's I watched.

Ps: Because I wrote about the Österreich Rundfahrt 2012 before, do you guys know what happened in that race? I'm just curious.
 
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Too much to name really:

Tour 2000 Morzine (Lance who cracked on Joux Plane, Virenque who rode away from Ullrich in last km's of Joux Plane and Heras who kissed the fences)

Tour 2003 Alpe d'Huez (Beltran with a 1 kilometer sprint from the bottom of the Alp, Beloki who went full genius on the Alp, Armstrong who was under pressure, Vino who dropped 10 times, attacked 11 times and finished 2nd, Mayo with one of the most dominating climbing perfomances of the past 15 years and Hamilton who attacked with a broken collarbone.)

Tour 2005 Ax 3 Domaines (i somehow really liked this stage, with an emotional win of Totschnig and a good fight between the GC guys with a strong Basso and Paco Mancebo)

Tour 2006 La Toussuire/Morzine (The whole Tour of '06 was just epic. Thanks Floyd!)

Tour 2007 Loudenvielle (The return and fall of king Vino and the Rasmussen-Contador showing on the Peyresourde)

Tour 2007 Briancon (The breakthrough of Soler and 50 minutes of epicness on the Galibier)

Giro 2000 Abetone

Giro 2005 Sestriere (one of the best Giro's i've watched)

Giro 2007 Briancon

Giro 2010 Aprica and Asolo

Giro 2011 Gardeccia

Vuelta 2004 Granada

Vuelta 2005 Pajares

Vuelta 2012 Fuente De

Vuelta 2015 Cercedilla
 
Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
Giro 2010 Aprica
Vuelta 2005 Pajáres
Giro 2005 Sestriere
Tour 2006 Morzine
Giro 2011 Gardeccia
Giro 2004 Pfalzen
Vuelta 2002 Angliru
Tour 2011 Galibier
Giro 2007 Tre Cime
Vuelta 2012 Fuente Dé
Giro 2005 Zoldo Alto
Giro 2003 Pontechianale
Vuelta 2015 Cercedilla
That's a superb list. Just wish you had '15 AdH in it tho' ;) . I would have put the Giro '07 Zoncolan stage in it: Simoni-Piepoli and arguably the best Andy ever...Rolland dropping Bertie at l'AdH was cool too. Not GG relevant tho'. Landis and the Chicken deserve mentions...Ricco. The issue here is that the most memorable feats are the most likely to end up in The Clinic :D . Riblon? The course was unique, the back from the dead resurrection against TJVG was brutal. Any orange jersey winning in the Pyrenees was special. I'll go with '07 Zoncolan.
 
Re: Re:

Tonton said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Giro 2010 Aprica
Vuelta 2005 Pajáres
Giro 2005 Sestriere
Tour 2006 Morzine
Giro 2011 Gardeccia
Giro 2004 Pfalzen
Vuelta 2002 Angliru
Tour 2011 Galibier
Giro 2007 Tre Cime
Vuelta 2012 Fuente Dé
Giro 2005 Zoldo Alto
Giro 2003 Pontechianale
Vuelta 2015 Cercedilla
That's a superb list. Just wish you had '15 AdH in it tho' ;) . I would have put the Giro '07 Zoncolan stage in it: Simoni-Piepoli and arguably the best Andy ever...Rolland dropping Bertie at l'AdH was cool too. Not GG relevant tho'. Landis and the Chicken deserve mentions...Ricco. The issue here is that the most memorable feats are the most likely to end up in The Clinic :D . Riblon? The course was unique, the back from the dead resurrection against TJVG was brutal. Any orange jersey winning in the Pyrenees was special. I'll go with '07 Zoncolan.

Well, that only happened twice. :p
 
I remember Mayo and Sanchez winning (Luz Ardiden 2011), and surely Laiseka also on at that climb? Or was it Ax-3? But I think that makes it 3. Edit: Whoops, Mayo won on Alpe d Huez....

La Toussuire was Rasmussen's most epic mountain raid and laid the foundation for one of the best stages in recent TdF-history, thats also one of the best for me Tonton
 
Both Paolo Savoldelli victories in GIro included at least one enjoyable dramatic stage :
Stage 17 in 2002 (Frigo&Cadel cracking, Savoldelli fighting to win the Giro) &
Stage 11 in 2005 (Il Falco gaining the necessary seconds over Simoni & Rujano with his descent skills & smart anticipation - of course, it only became ULTRA-important after Basso would collapse few days later)

Stage 20 of Vuelta 2010 : The eternal drag between Eze Mosquera & Nibali...

Cobo vs. Froome mano a mano @ Peña Cabarga (Vuelta 2011)

Stage 19 of 2011 Tour had the greatest START of mountain stage ever. Voeckler lost the Tour by being too competitive. Sad day for me but great racing... (it fizzled down a bit by the end though...)

I also loved the way Kelme used to (successfully & unsuccessfully) send half of the team in early breakaways before their captain would attack and use those guys up the road as multiple springboards... They did with Escartin (did not produce a victory) and later Heras (did produce). These are slightly older than 15 years though...

those came to my mind without to much back-research....
 
Re: Re:

burning said:
Tonton said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Giro 2010 Aprica
Vuelta 2005 Pajáres
Giro 2005 Sestriere
Tour 2006 Morzine
Giro 2011 Gardeccia
Giro 2004 Pfalzen
Vuelta 2002 Angliru
Tour 2011 Galibier
Giro 2007 Tre Cime
Vuelta 2012 Fuente Dé
Giro 2005 Zoldo Alto
Giro 2003 Pontechianale
Vuelta 2015 Cercedilla
That's a superb list. Just wish you had '15 AdH in it tho' ;) . I would have put the Giro '07 Zoncolan stage in it: Simoni-Piepoli and arguably the best Andy ever...Rolland dropping Bertie at l'AdH was cool too. Not GG relevant tho'. Landis and the Chicken deserve mentions...Ricco. The issue here is that the most memorable feats are the most likely to end up in The Clinic :D . Riblon? The course was unique, the back from the dead resurrection against TJVG was brutal. Any orange jersey winning in the Pyrenees was special. I'll go with '07 Zoncolan.

Well, that only happened twice. :p

E20061101-3b9f3.jpg
 
Ouch... This one will be mostly subjective and based on my emotions of said stages or the amount of impact the gave on me. It doesn't mean they were dull or something, otherwise they wouldn't produce such emotions. I've propably missed a lot of stages that i didn't watch or just plain forgotten. I will limit myself only to GT's as there was much more nice stages in smaller races but i didn't watched them or just forgotten about them.

Giro:
Sestriere 2005. I absolutely hate this stage with passion as my man Rujano (Trollo!!) just missed a GT win.

Briançon 2007. Il Cobra, Piepo and Gibo blasted open like Gewiss on Agnel (superb climb by the way) leaving like 6 or 7 other Giro condenders with them and dropping then veteran maglia rosa Andrea Noe. Then on Izoard Garzelli dropped and it came as a 5 man sprint up cobbled side outside Briançon centre leaving guys like Cobra (who cracked after blasting on Agnel), Pelizotti and Falco for over 2 minutes. It was not only like last 70-80km of tension and pressure but then my man and my bet for a GT win Andy did really great. Sadly this was one of his last important races without his brother.

Fedaia 2008. Most of mountain stages in Giro 2008 which was in my opinion more crazy than 2010 edition. The tension between Di Luca, Ricco, Sella and then quiet Contador was nerve-wrecking. While ojectively i should go with Monte Pora stage i will actually go with Fedaia one because of those last 3 or 4km on like 10% avg which lasted eternity. Ricco trying to get a gap with di Luca while Contador and Menchov were yoyoing in no man's land. Somehow this mano-a-mano gave me more thrills than the Pora stage. Other special mention would go to the Kronplatz TT which was only slightly less impactful on me than Fedaia stage.

Montalcino 2010. This one is mostly thanks to the weather. Evans in rainbow, Vino and of all people Cunego (which i call "Che Guevara") showing real flahute skills of old. Guys like Godefroot, Kelly, de Vlaeminck, van Springel or Maartens would be proud of them. Interestingly future all-rounder Nibali lost 2 minutes. Times changes as then he was more known as possible future Savoldelli but his climbing seem to got better while he now rarely shows descending skills. I thankfully didn't watched rest of this Giro because i would most propably lost rest of my hair. I never was a fan of Basso and him doing Robo just when Arroyo had a chance to do Pereiro... I don't even want to think about that. Wait those must be only mountain stages... Sheep.

Grossglockner 2011. I could get with Gardecchia 2011 but Bruce Lee was in such control that those (as allways back then) useless Nibali attacks didn't even get attention of me. But his yoyoing like Vino 2003 l'Alpe was quite funny. From 2011 i've chosen the Grossglockner stage only because of my preferences as i'm both big fan of Rujano and Contador and it was funny to see the "chasing" group watching each other.

Stelvio 2012. Blowup on Mortirollo then hestiation in the Valley as de Gent (then in top 10) was just dropping Cunego in the breakaway. De Gent's solo up Stelvio was really a great feat and Hesjedal was the only one from leader's group who showed some balls and decided to go a la Evans dragging rest of the group behind him. De Gent's solo made him a podium placing in GT while passive showing from Purito denided him his first GT win. From other stages i would propably shout-out Rabottini's solo win in rainy Pian dei Resinelli and Huzarski's 2nd in Assisi.

Verbania 2015. This Giro was sick. Astana challenging US Postal, leadership tension between Aru and sudden Landa plus shaky form of Fabio made it a really great race. Even the last stage was won by a breakaway which is a rarity these times. It was a hard time between La Spezia, San Giorgio Del Sannio, Aprica, Sestriere and Verbania but i went with the last one because this stage is an iconic example Contador's style of racing. I know it was after Landa was involved in a crash but i think even without that crash Contador would have a go. Besides it could be interpreted as a payback after Aprica.

Tour:
Luz Ardinen 2003. Propably the best stage of the 2003 edition. It was the first race (besides a particular local one which i've watched since 2000) i've watched and it made me into cycling. The rivarly between Beloki, Ullrich, Armstrong and shocking Vinokurov was tense and very memorable. This rivarly was what made me into cycling. Bust in last couple of years i've kind of lost some interest in it in favor of designing which is for me more interesting. Mayo's antics were interesting too and of course this edition was the first installment of Haimaru-sensei saga.

Mulhouse 2005. This one is technically a medioum mountain stage but this amazing solo of Chicken needs to be mentioned in this thread. Besides Dario Cioni was in the break with Rasmussen and Voigt get the yellow while Moreau (then still a GT threat) went with Voigt to gain 3 minutes (!) on the bunch.

Courchevel 2005. This one is because of two guys - Valve and Chicken. Besides it's allways nice to see Jan the Beast trying to snatch Kloeden for breakfast. This face, those teeth... Crazy times, Chavanel and Jackshe vere considered as future GT contenders while McGee was a leader for FDJ.

Aubisque 2007. Sastre trying and failing a long range (he loved going from far but most of the time with less success and than Contador). Contador trying over and over but Rasmussen keeping his cool. Leipheimer yoyoing around them and sudden bonk by Contador in the last km. Next time he would be clearly dropped in Tour would be in 2011. It were very tense last 5-10kms.

All of the Alpine stages in 2011 thanks to Contador and sudden outburst of Andy in Galibier stage. I think objectively Galibier stage should have a slight edge here because it was a definition of amazing team tacticts.

Interstingly i didn't find that many Tour stages interesting. Thankfully i've missed most of 2006 edition as i would propably kill myself courtesy of Landis. 2012 to 2015 editions didn't generate much of interest for me in mountains department. Sky and Nibali were killing them while any short-lived long range tries were too anemic to hold. Hope 2016 edition will be better in this department.

Vuelta:
This one is actually hard. First edition i've watched was in 2007. I prefer to forget the 2010 edition even if it had a lot of tension a change in leadership. Sadly my man Ezequiel lost. I somehow don't remember much from Vuelta, so think i would go with only two stages here and those are so known that they doesn't need any introduction.

Fuente De 2012 - propably most emotional and most succesful Contador trademark racing plus sneaky and very intelligent Valve and Cercedilla 2015 - Astana putting hammer down on shocking Dumoulin.

Actually i could go with Lagos de Covadonga 2014 because of Contador having problems with Purito and Valve. He just wanted to drop Froome once and for all while those two prefered to hang out on Alberto's wheel and then outsprint him gaining 3 to 5 sec. Other great factor was Froome's style of racing in this Vuelta. He raced most of this Vuelta like Ullrich on crack yoyoing back and forth, dropping and then coming back and even attacking (La Camperona). I think it was in this particular stage when he had his head down so much that he almost rode into Dani Moreno which was just hilarious. I don't remember correctly but i think it was after this stage when Contador gave his opinion on Valve's and Purito's wheelsucking behaviour and concerns about Froome who then was looking like a shadow of himself to turn into Froomebot on next stage.
 
CheckMyPecs said:
railxmig said:
Fuente De 2012 - propably most emotional and most succesful Contador trademark racing
It was Riis who came up with the plan.
I actually wasn't writing about the plan itself, it was just such Contadoresque thing to do to go along with such a plan and deliver. Andy Schleck under Riis protection did the same on Galibier year earlier but he did it only once (but Grand-Bornard 2009?) unless i've forgotten about someone while Contador did it a couple of times which became like his pistolero salute trademark. I guess it's just a matter of opinion so nevermind.

Miburo said:
Schleck wasnt under riis in 2011
Yes of course he wasn't. He was up to 2010. My memory is bad and my form today not better so i better just shut my mouth.
 
Re: Re:

Netserk said:
burning said:
Tonton said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Giro 2010 Aprica
Vuelta 2005 Pajáres
Giro 2005 Sestriere
Tour 2006 Morzine
Giro 2011 Gardeccia
Giro 2004 Pfalzen
Vuelta 2002 Angliru
Tour 2011 Galibier
Giro 2007 Tre Cime
Vuelta 2012 Fuente Dé
Giro 2005 Zoldo Alto
Giro 2003 Pontechianale
Vuelta 2015 Cercedilla
That's a superb list. Just wish you had '15 AdH in it tho' ;) . I would have put the Giro '07 Zoncolan stage in it: Simoni-Piepoli and arguably the best Andy ever...Rolland dropping Bertie at l'AdH was cool too. Not GG relevant tho'. Landis and the Chicken deserve mentions...Ricco. The issue here is that the most memorable feats are the most likely to end up in The Clinic :D . Riblon? The course was unique, the back from the dead resurrection against TJVG was brutal. Any orange jersey winning in the Pyrenees was special. I'll go with '07 Zoncolan.

Well, that only happened twice. :p

E20061101-3b9f3.jpg

Well played :D
 
Mar 14, 2016
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ice&fire said:
CheckMyPecs said:
railxmig said:
Fuente De 2012 - propably most emotional and most succesful Contador trademark racing
It was Riis who came up with the plan.
With a plan Contador had already tried on those same roads 10 years earlier.
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/contadors-fuente-de-attack-history-repeating-itself/
Are you kidding me? In 2002 had no teammates up the road, no genius plan, nothing at all. He just happened to attack at the same place.
 
Re:

Pantani Attacks said:
Today's race doesn't come anywhere close to Tuesday's or last Saturday's stages
Tuesday was good. The Giao stage, last saturday, wasn't anything extaordinary. If not for the fantastic pictures of the Sella Ronda, the stage was quite a dull affair until Valparola. Today was extraordinarily memorable. It is not impossible to feel sorry for Kruijswijk while still appreciating a great mountain stage.