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fantasy doping draft

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ciranda said:
fdd TDF stage 20: Modane-Alpe d'Huez 110,5 km

Yesterday's stage changed nothing in GC. Indurain leads with 3'50 to Berzin and 4'05 to Armstrong. Sagan has the green jersey, Tonkov the mountain jersey, Menchov leads combativity prize and Jalabert best French guy jersey.
If that's where we're at beginning stage 20, Evgeni can't make up that kind of a deficit. so all we need to do is to "Valverde" Wonderboy, with the help of Alejandro himself and defend our second place. :cool: .
Right, time to unleash upon you all the race route. The route is an attempt at distilling the Tour de France from 1990 to 2014 into one big, messy whole, with a number of tributes to classic moments in extraterrestrial cycling, known as METRE points ("Monuments to Extra-Terrestrial Racing Events"). However, with just 21 stages and the wide range of options we could never hope to cover the full scope of insanity in the period, and therefore I've looked at times to different approaches; sometimes a location with vast doping history is omitted in favour of one that is more notorious for a single achievement, but where that location is essential in the understanding of doping history. The most egregious omission, in my opinion, is Pla d'Adet, site of the hilarious 1993 obliteration when Rominger and Jaskuła (with Indurain just a couple of seconds behind) destroyed the previous record on the climb by four minutes despite a 230km multi-climb stage, and the even more hilarious George Hincapie win in 2005. Also missing are the cities of Blois and Tours, between which a number of TTs, both individual and team, were run including one that broke a record referred to in the route. Two stage hosts have little in the way of importance to the Tour in the period covered by the race and aren't even in France, but have important roles to play in the understanding of doping in the time frame. The route visits six countries other than France, including one for perhaps the most legendary spot of doping exploits of them all.

Let's go!!!

Stage 1: Calais - Eurotunnel, 9km (ITT)

The Channel Tunnel has been in the press a bit recently due to problematic happenings. Opened in 1994, it hosted a TTT at the Tour which was won by GB-MG Maglificio. No real METRE points, but as an iconically 90s creation, it coincides with the beginning of peak EPO years.

Stage 2: Amiens - Évreux, 158km

METRE point: 1993 Tour stage 6 ran from Évreux to Amiens over the same distance, and was won by Johan Bruyneel, who took the victory solo in what was, at that time, the fastest mass start stage in Tour history, averaging 49,5km/h. The preceding stage, finishing in Évreux, was also won by confessed (undrafted) doper Jesper Skibby.

The stage is flat and short so should be fast, with just three cat.4 climbs to break it up.

Stage 3: Mayenne - Alençon, 66,2km (TTT)

METRE point: Gewiss-Ballan sets the TTT speed record in the 1995 Tour, completing an almost identical course at an average of 54,93km/h. The record stood for ten years, until US Postal beat it on a slightly shorter route from Blois to Tours.

What EPO throwback Tour would be complete without a long, hard and fast TTT for the teams to showcase their comically doped engines? Team Netserk and La Vie Pas Claire will be favourites to duke this one out. The transfer is a little much, but I wanted the TTT to not be the second stage in a row to pay tribute to a classic stage but run in the wrong direction.

Stage 4: Vitré - Les Sables d'Olonne, 246km

A long (first UCI-baiting length, but a péloton filled with as much juice as this should have no problems) and completely flat stage to pay tribute to The Lion King himself, Mario Cipollini, who won over 50 GT stages in the era, and has the highest Grand Tour stage win count in the timeframe of the draft. It has no categorized climbs, so that he won't drop out, although with a special bonus sprint on the Passage du Gois, famous for the incidents in 1999 that cost Zülle so dearly, and long periods exposed to the coastline, side on to the wind, this could be brutal. Vitré hosted three Tour finishes in the time period, '95 (Cipo), '00 (Wüst) and '06 (McEwen). Les Sables d'Olonnes in 1993 was where Super Mario won his first Tour stage. Vitré was where he won his second.

Stage 5: Le Puy du Fou - Futuroscope, 153km

METRE point: Le Puy du Fou has hosted two Tour Grand Départs, in 1993 and 1999. Both times it hosted a prologue won by the eventual Tour winner - Miguel Indurain and Lance Armstrong. In Lance's case, it was the first stage of his reign of terror, which makes it a significant moment in doping history. Not at all coincidentally, one of the attractions at Le Puy du Fou is called "Secrets of the Lance". Futuroscope, also a theme park, hosted the Grand Départ in 1990 and 2000, with the first three stages being around the park in 1990 and the 2000 "too long to be a prologue" prologue being won by David Millar.

This is a short and mostly flat stage which will be another chance for the riders to challenge the stage speed record.

Stage 6: Limoges - Tulle, 144km

METRE points: One of my favourite moments in doping history this: Djamolidine Abdoujaparov's solo hilltop win was in Tulle in '96, arguably the most doped of all Tours. A hilly stage that started in Limoges was also the scene of the final career win of Richard Virenque.

This stage has a tougher run-in than that '96 stage, and will be a stage for the more hill-adept riders to try to pressurize the diesels. Watch out for the likes of Vandenbroucke, Cunego, Bettini, Valverde, Bruyneel and di Luca here.

Stage 7: Brive-la-Gaillarde - Saint-Émilion, 176km

METRE points: it was after a stage into Brive-la-Gaillarde in 1998 that the Festina team were unceremoniously removed from the race and the whole pantomime saga around the race kicked into overdrive. Saint-Émilion is a host of starts and finishes to TT stages around Bordeaux and as a result in 1996 played host to Jan Ullrich's first ever Tour stage win.

This is predominantly a flat stage, though the final kilometre is slightly uphill and on cobbles so this isn't going to favour the pure sprinters, but it might be on the easy side for the hilly riders. With the likes of Vandenbroucke around of course this could be one for a late attack but if not, the more versatile sprinters such as the likes of Sagan, Jalabert and Zabel could be potential favourites here.

Stage 8: Pau - Hautacam, 179km

METRE Points: no self-respecting Tour de Dopage is complete without Hautacam, because Bjarne Riis' 1996 exhibition on that climb is perhaps the most straightforward encapsulation of exactly what doping can do. Pau also hosts the Tour most years so there are countless examples of stages of great doping provenance starting or finishing there (save for an embarrassing blip in 2012 when the widely purported to be clean Pierrick Fédrigo won there). The stage also adds the Col d'Aspin before the classic Tourmalet-Hautacam duo in order to pay homage to Riccardo Riccò's spectacularly blatant 2008 Tour win; speaking of 2008, Leonardo Piepoli's stage win on Hautacam in front of teammate Cobo is worth mentioning as well.

This is the first major mountain stage and should see all hell break loose as the team leaders try to break their power meters for the first time.

Stage 9: Saint-Girons - Andorra Arcalis, 229km

METRE Points: following on from an iconic doping performance of 1996, when Riis toyed with the opposition with his changes of pace, we move on to a similarly iconic doping performance a year later, when Ullrich toyed with the opposition without changes of pace, just riding everybody off his wheel and grinding them to dust. Andorra loves to host the Tour, the Volta and the Vuelta; Arcalis also hosted a Vuelta MTT which was annihilated by José María Jiménez (in his last career win) and a stage won by Denis Menchov, while other Andorra MTFs have seen wins for the likes of Valverde, Contador and Rincón, plus that hilarious stage in 2008 when Alessandro Ballan won the first Vuelta mountaintop.

A long and brutal mountain stage, I've taken a typical Andorra stage of the era and added Port de Pailhères before it. This should be tricky.

Stage 10: Andorra-la-Vella - Girona, 219km

METRE points: It's the last day before the first rest day. The rest day is in Girona. Enough said.

After the tough days in the Pyrenées, it's a long transitional stage which should be perfect for the break, but also includes a potential GC banana skin with the final climb, over-categorized as 2nd category, just 15km out. Who dares sneak away given the nature of this péloton?
Stage 11: Girona - Montpélier, 258km

After a refreshing refill day, the riders set off back into France on a very long stage. Montpélier doesn't really have any true doping heritage in the timeframe, but it did host the notorious 2009 TTT which more or less set the GC and paved the way for Astana's utter domination of the race with Doping Draft favourites including Contador, Armstrong, Leipheimer and Klöden. It is a regular Tour host in recent years.

Stage 12: Alès - Saint-Étienne, 239km

One of the few stages with no REAL METRE points (well, Saint-Étienne does, but more on those in a minute), this is that long intermediate-mountain stage without a mountaintop finish that every great GT needs in the middle somewhere to really put the hurt in the legs and give the break something to work with. And finishing with the Col de la République is a Tour history shout-out. Saint-Étienne is a classic stop-off for the Tour, the Dauphiné AND Paris-Nice and as a result has been the site of as many doping triumphs as you care to imagine.

Stage 13: Saint-Étienne - Saint-Étienne, 55,5km (ITT)

METRE points: this is a carbon copy of the ITT won by Lance Armstrong while wearing the maillot jaune in 2005, his final Tour victory and also his final individual victory (the only win in comeback 2.0 was the 2009 Tour TTT). That itself was based on and very similar to the stage 12 ITT in the 1997 Tour, won in the maillot jaune by Jan Ullrich. Two difficult hilly TTs won by two of the most iconic doped up cyclists of the era, so while it's late for the first long ITT, there are few better locations that could have been chosen.

As the first long TT, this should see some nasty gaps given the stages that preceded it. It may soften the racing on stage 12, but the length of that stage will mean that it will be felt in the legs of the GC contenders today.

Stage 14: Grenoble - Sestrières, 239km

METRE points: Grenoble's position at the foot of the Alps has led to its involvement in a few notable doping exploits - perhaps most notably Armstrong's destruction of the 2001 Chamrousse ITT. But really its contributions to doping pale compared to Sestrières, the grand daddy of them all. Perhaps no site sums up the excesses of the EPO era better than Sestrières. In the Tour, it has played host to three of the most legendary doped performances of them all; Claudio Chiapucci's epic solo of 1992, Bjarne Riis' jet-fuelled short stage of 1996 and Lance Armstrong's explosion over the mountains in 1999. In the Giro, it was where Big Mig demolished the field in a 1993 ITT, Berzin underscored his triumph behind Richard's stage win in 1994, Stefano Garzelli stole the maglia rosa at the final moment in 2000 and Savoldelli saved himself in 2005.

The stage is the first of three brutal days in the Alps; it is the easiest of the stages which would normally mean more conservative racing but given the racing to date and the prestige of winning at the Grand Cathedral of Doping, this could be more active than you expect... especially with several of those who've made history here such as Chiapucci, Armstrong, Indurain, Berzin and Riis all on the startlist...

Stage 15: Briançon - Les Deux Alpes, 185km

METRE points: this stage is the one dedicated to Il Pirata, Marco Pantani. It starts from Briançon, just as we did on the day of his final career triumph, and finishes in Les-Deux-Alpes, site of his most legendary triumph of all, which set into motion his 1998 Tour win, making him the last man to do the double. Briançon is also where Danilo di Luca won the time that gave him his 2007 Giro win and Vino won a Tour stage. Thanks to the 2013 Tour's planning giving us Sarenne as an option, after going through the tunnel (somewhat unrealistically) from Bardonecchia to Modane to go over the Galibier, rather than going straight to Les-Deux-Alpes like in 1998 we can add in another iconic doping spot, L'Alpe d'Huez. It would have been heresy to omit it, with a glorious history of winners including, alongside Pantani twice of course, Bugno, Armstrong, Mayo, Fränk Schleck and Sastre.

This should be a brutal slaughter of a mountain stage from Modane onwards.

Stage 16: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - Morzine, 200km

METRE points: a carbon copy of perhaps the most epic single ride in the entire time frame, Floyd Landis' legendary solo to reclaim a Tour that was seemingly lost. Sure, there are other moments of doping history on these climbs, but Floyd is all you need, really. This stage is included unaltered as a tribute to the insanity of that victory.

In this race, it serves as the final Alpine stage and as such, after the preceding stages, could be carnage. Especially with Floyd himself on hand, along with the likes of Chiapucci who surely won't be shy of a long mountainous exploit, and Piotr Ugrumov will be looking at the run-in, familiar to him from his epic 1994 ITT, and surely like the look of this too.

Stage 17: Annecy - Besançon, 240km

METRE points: this stage is a monument to full *** ITT performances. Annecy is where Alberto Contador won the ITT in 2009, beating Cancellara; Besançon hosted the Sky 1-2 in the first ITT in 2012, but most notably it hosted the final ITT in the 2004 race, when Lance went all in to humiliate the opposition. After three weeks of controlling the race, US Postal put 5 riders in the top 11, onto which CSC added 3 and T-Mobile 2 (in 2nd and 3rd) with only Vladimir Karpets (!) interrupting their procession. And Lance still won by over a minute.

In this race, this will be a transitional stage; the first half is quite tough but the second half is easier, with a few bumps but nothing too close to the finish. The likelihood is that the break takes this.

Stage 18: Besançon - Le Planche des Belles Filles, 187km

METRE points: nothing proven as of yet, but this was the spot where we first saw the Train Template For The New Generation as Sky ripped the péloton to shreds on the climb, then brand new. Since then its second use saw the bunch shredded by Vincenzo Nibali. However, for being the first Tour stage win of Chris Froome, the next generation Terminator, and for introducing us to the New Clean Era's dominant force for the first time it deserves a shout out.

As the final mountain stage (and only medium mountains at that) this one should be fought out especially aggressively, even more so given that its steep gradients shouldn't suit the tempo grinding GC candidates like Ullrich, Basso and Indurain. The pure climbers need to make this count.

Stage 19: University of Freiburg - Metz, 234km

METRE points: the race's brief trip into Germany for a stage start harks back to the T-Mobile team's trip across the border attested to by Sinkewitz and subsequently removed from investigation by Andreas Klöden paying to make it go away. With a number of Freiburg phantoms on the startlist, this is key. Metz is another Lance spot, after his 1999 destruction of the field in the Metz ITT.

This stage again includes a few climbs early for the KOM specialists to feud over - they're the last ones of the race. After that it's a long and flat run-in for any sprinters who've managed to survive.

Stage 20: Luxembourg - Luxembourg, 65,0km (ITT)

METRE points: Lance won a prologue here in 2002. Only joking, this is all about Indurain. Like the Landis stage, the TTT and the St Étienne ITT, we're copying a course wholesale in tribute to a famous performance, and this one is a carbon copy of the 1992 Tour ITT. Has there ever been a more dominant time trial than Indurain in Luxembourg '92? It's unlikely. The time gaps that day were herculean. I have tried to avoid being biased too much in favour of my own team leader in setting this course, but think that as Armstrong, Cipollini, Riis, Pantani, Landis and Ullrich are all getting something in tribute to them, it's only fair that Miguelón should have something to remember his domination by too.

This is the last moment of GC pressure, and for the stage win obviously the main candidates other than Big Mig would be the likes of Ullrich, and should give us the final moments of competition in the race. Unless...

Stage 21: Corbeil-Essonnes - Paris Champs Elysées, 144km

...the only Champs Elysées stage of the era covered by the draft that anybody remembers with any fondness can be duplicated... hence why I've copied it wholesale...

Dec 24, 2012
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The amount of effort by some of the posters in this thread to produce something great is immense.
Whenever I find the time to visit this forum -and I mostly lurk-, I go to see what happens here first. It's as if it's an imaginary comedy show on wheels. Just like reality.
I'd like to thank you all for setting up such a beautiful game.
Sorry if my post-race criterium team derailed anything; I didn't mean to.

I love the parcours.

The only place I miss is Ventoux. Preferably with Vaughters as a commentator when the record time is being shattered. By everybody. And good old Johnny still trying to say something about racing clean.
@Libertine Seguros

When I started reading your Tour route, I felt as if I was whisked back to a classic 80s teen movie. As I went though each stage, I felt a classic slow clap building until the 21st stage when the entire clicic erupted into full applause. Beautiful.
Jun 30, 2014
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Everyone forgets that Piepoli has an even better Hautacam performance, when he was 24 years old he was 5th in the iconic Bjarne stage, 2 seconds faster than Pantani in 1994 and 1:48 faster than 2014 Nibali, pure 90ies madness.
Beautifully done, LS. Bravo.
Since every single rider is super charged, it's hard to pick a lanterne rouge for this race.
Crashes are bound to occur, so I'm gonna go with a rider who broke multiple bones but couldn't feel a thing and still had the courage to carry on.
OK so let the games begin shall we? Rules: how do we determine winners and time gaps?

Note: I will unleash Vino on stage 17. It is my home stage. La Cote de Cinquetral is one that my family has had to put up with since at least 1405. The stretch from Champagnole via Salins (where my grand parents are resting) and la cote de Cernans, I know them quite well indeed. BTW there is a way from Salins northwards to climb la cote de By from its much tougher side, then back towards Salins to climb la cote de Cernans but the distance of the stage would have increased by 20K or so. Just me nitpicking here. That stage is the one race I would want to win if it was to be my only pro win. Chapeau LS ;) .

Supimilian said:
Someone should run this with a custom db and stages in PCM and put it on youtube (stage by stage) with some commentary.
Would pay to see.
At Spanish forum Parlamento Ciclista, one of the best things to ever happen was the Cannonball Run, a hilarious, lunatic and completely over-the-top PCM mod and official forum narration with a custom DB and stages regularly going above 500 km. This could be similar. It would be glorious.
Re: Re:

hrotha said:
Supimilian said:
Someone should run this with a custom db and stages in PCM and put it on youtube (stage by stage) with some commentary.
Would pay to see.
At Spanish forum Parlamento Ciclista, one of the best things to ever happen was the Cannonball Run, a hilarious, lunatic and completely over-the-top PCM mod and official forum narration with a custom DB and stages regularly going above 500 km. This could be similar. It would be glorious.
Read through half of that, it looks amazing! We need to do the same for this.

Edit: Who has enough time to do this?