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A couple of news for future Giros:

*Yesterday they tested with some male and female riders (including Caruso) the sterrato road that from Piano Provenzana goes to the Osservatorio Etneo for the already rumored full Etna MTT.

*The mayor of Grosio is working to have a passage on Passo di Verva, sadly here they want to go a la ASO and pave everything instead of keeping the sterrato because the idea is to have a touristic high mountain bike lane.
 
Going up to over 2,800m of altitude at the start of May on an unpaved road sounds totally unrealistic.
The highest realistic finish would probably be the ski station above rifugio sapienza at around 2500m and even that would be hard to do at the start of May.
Sicily would have to be willing to pay for the last 3 stages of a Giro and finding other places in southern italy that are willing to pay for 3rd week mountain stages is probably not that easy.
That said, a real Etna tappone with 3 or 4 different sides of the vulcano would be pretty good, put another climb before it and you get +5,000m of altitude gain.
 
Four consecutive climbs is impossible without a loop around the volcano that means a lot of flat/rolling/hilly terrain in between because there are only two "passes" available (at località Mareneve on road to Piano Provenzana like in 2011 and at Rifugio Sapienza). The hardest stage possible would be start on the north coast with some climbs in the Madonie/Nebrodi/Peloritani (the range known as Appennino Siculo) then approach Etna from north, climb to località Mareneve, climb to Rifugio Sapienza and MTF at the dead end Osservatorio Astrofisico (the climb used in 2018).

Anyway I think the idea of the full climb MTT is for a second or third week stage, but because a 30+ kms MTT it's madness at the beginning of the race not for the weather that in Sicily could be an issue only in a very but very extreme scenario even if you go at 2.800 meters.
 
Four consecutive climbs is impossible without a loop around the volcano that means a lot of flat/rolling/hilly terrain in between because there are only two "passes" available (at località Mareneve on road to Piano Provenzana like in 2011 and at Rifugio Sapienza). The hardest stage possible would be start on the north coast with some climbs in the Madonie/Nebrodi/Peloritani (the range known as Appennino Siculo) then approach Etna from north, climb to località Mareneve, climb to Rifugio Sapienza and MTF at the dead end Osservatorio Astrofisico (the climb used in 2018).

Anyway I think the idea of the full climb MTT is for a second or third week stage, but because a 30+ kms MTT it's madness at the beginning of the race not for the weather that in Sicily could be an issue only in a very but very extreme scenario even if you go at 2.800 meters.
Portella Madrazzi, then Etna from north and Sapienza like in 2011, descent to Nicolosi on the western road, then the central ascent to Sapienza that starts on Via San Nicola before another descent on the western side and a finish at the Osservatorio like in 2018, I'll post the stage a bit later.
Edit: Here it is, just under 190kms
 
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Velon now trying to claim sexism is behind the rejection of Hammer Colombia or adding a women's race to Hammer Stavanger.

I don't think I've even ever heard Velon mention women's cycling before. This is all just an excuse to try to get fans on their side in a battle with the UCI. I'm not sure the biggest thing women's cycling needs is Velon being its champion - being entirely reliant on a self-interested cartel of men's teams trying to persuade UCI to let them introduce more races which are designed to make things easy for the riders (one day's riding in a three day race) because that's the only thing they've got in their arsenal other than some shaky camera footage does not sound like my idea of progress. Especially as a lot of the Velon campaigning revolves around people like Jonathan Vaughters, and the idea of anybody selling HIM as being a champion of women's cycling after the crap he pulled on Cervélo is absolutely repugnant.
 
Libertine, There was an article a few weeks ago where they had been wanting to add a women's event to one of their series events in hopes of it being successful. However, that was the first time I'd heard about. I don't think it's a bad idea per say, just not sure how good of an idea it is. I'm still not sold on the Hammer Series as it is and think the TTT course still needs a lot of work.
 
No, they're just using the rejection of the women's race as a bargaining pawn in buying people's hearts and minds in their game of trying to bargain more power against rival organisation groups. Velon don't care about the women's teams, and they have people like Vaughters on board who have been more damaging to women's cycling than ASO's conservatism in his deliberately killing off the elite team that he'd had the terrible fortune to have to inherit, taking money out of their budget to sign Thomas Dekker and abandoning the team after less than a year. But seeing as Velon have contributed very little to cycling other than the Hammer Series - which is something that really needs euthanizing - they have to seek other means to get people on-side with their power grab, and think that appealing to a younger more inclusive audience and painting the UCI as old and out of touch men is the way to do that.

The UCI may well be largely made up of old and out of touch men, but I want no part of any revolution Velon is organising. I'd rather have a women's Tour des Fjords, the race that was killed to let Hammer Stavanger survive, than another race which is essentially a crap version of a madison on the road.
 
Tour des Fjords - a crap little three-day bike race, that wasn't televised anyway - was merged with Tour of Norway in order to create a reasonably-length six-day bike race, which - unfortunately - still isn't televised outside of Norway.
Tour des Fjords was a FIVE day bike race until 2017. It was shortened to make room on the calendar for Hammer Stavanger in 2018.

There was a five day Tour des Fjords and a five day Tour of Norway = 10 race days.

Then Hammer Stavanger came along - three days with a total distance of 220km.

Now Tour des Fjords has merged with Tour of Norway, to create a six day race. So don't try to justify that the Hammer BS hasn't negatively impacted the calendar. Quite demonstrably in Norway we have lost four days of actual racing, and added three days with one stage's worth of racing divided into three complete dog and pony shows.

So no, we haven't just added Hammer Stavanger without it having a significant impact on proper races. Hammer Stavanger has killed the Tour des Fjords, and trying to merge Fjords with the Oslofjord-based Tour of Norway geographically resulted in a stage race consisting of six flat stages, so it ruined what little intrigue there was in both races too (both were guilty of misuse of terrain in the aim of having home success for Kristoff and EBH).

And as for the issue of coverage, wasn't there one point in Hammer Stavanger where there were as many people actually in the race as watching the official stream?

Velon literally haven't mentioned women at all until they suddenly decided to use them as a pawn to get people mad with the UCI for not affording them more opportunities to run roughshod over the calendar with their Hammer crap, because the riders would love to get the same pay for 1/3 the work (so would I, by the way, but the main reason teams and riders come out publicly supporting Hammer is because teams feel it succeeding helps them increase the power they hold, and riders like not having to do as much work).
 
There was a five day Tour des Fjords and a five day Tour of Norway = 10 race days.
But why the need to have a Tour des Fjords and a Tour of Norway? It would be like having a Tour of Jutland and a Tour of Zealand.

And as for the issue of coverage, wasn't there one point in Hammer Stavanger where there were as many people actually in the race as watching the official stream?
Dunno… some of us watched on actual television, so guess that wouldn't reflect on the official stream viewers.

Honestly, sometimes you act as if the Velon wants nothing more than replacing every race with Hammer-style racing. When they start threatening the big races, then we can talk.
 
When they start threatening the big races, it's already too late. They wanted TEN of these. TEN.

Not because they even think it's a good idea, but because they want a bigger slice of the pie as a stakeholder in the sport, and shaky onboard camera footage and the Hammer Series is all they've got, so they have to push it hard to try to lobby for more attention from UCI, ASO, RCS, Flanders Classics etc., who have largely ignored Velon's demands, because Velon have little to offer them.
 
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But why the need to have a Tour des Fjords and a Tour of Norway? It would be like having a Tour of Jutland and a Tour of Zealand.



Dunno… some of us watched on actual television, so guess that wouldn't reflect on the official stream viewers.

Honestly, sometimes you act as if the Velon wants nothing more than replacing every race with Hammer-style racing. When they start threatening the big races, then we can talk.
My worry wouldn't be the big races but the small and medium ones who rely on local pros or up and comers from big teams to join to keep the sponsorship and fans.

I'm not saying that Hammer is directly responsible but it eats up race days for riders from big teams all to feed a gimic.

I think it's much better for cycling for a team like Ineos to send some big names to Tour of Britian rather than Hammerwherever . I know ide be annoyed ide be pissed if they sent Dunbar half way across Europe over the streets of UK where me and many other Irish could see him race live
 
But why the need to have a Tour des Fjords and a Tour of Norway? It would be like having a Tour of Jutland and a Tour of Zealand.
Why the need to have a Tour of Catalunya, Pais Vasco, Castilla y Leon and Andalucia?

Why the need to have Paris-Nice, Criterium du Dauphine and Route du Occitanie?

Why the need to have Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour of the Alps?

Why the need for Milan-Sanremo and Lombardia?

Why the need for Flanders and Liege?

Two different races in the same country but different regions serve entirely different racing.
 
Why the need to have a Tour of Catalunya, Pais Vasco, Castilla y Leon and Andalucia?

Why the need to have Paris-Nice, Criterium du Dauphine and Route du Occitanie?

Why the need to have Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour of the Alps?

Why the need for Milan-Sanremo and Lombardia?

Why the need for Flanders and Liege?

Two different races in the same country but different regions serve entirely different racing.
Right, chief, but Tour des Fjords and Tour of Norway were essentially similar racing-wise. And almost but not quite similar to the Arctic Race of Norway.

I really can't get that worked up that two races fused into one. I don't know why LS keep acting like it's the end of the world, because obviously those Hammer events will never extend to much more than they are now.

They are by the way transmitted on TV at least in Denmark, so the viewing numbers she keeps referring to (because that was the amount of viewers on one random online video) are completely off.
 
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Do you read my mind, or something?

But, no. We don't need those races. We don't need the Tour de France. Heck, as we've recently found out; a race that literally has Three Days in its name, doesn't actually need to be three days.
Just... give the Hammer Series a chance, it's fun. The riders seem to think it's fun. Sure, sometimes I don't understand what the *** is going on, but... isn't that just life?
 
Geeez, LS. How did you get into your head that the Hammer Series is going to replace traditional racing? It's something extra.
Reason #1: Because the people responsible for introducing it told us they intended to introduce 10 of them.

Reason #2: Because a year after the introduction of Hammer Limburg, the Ster ZLM Toer, run since the 80s, was reduced from a four day pro race to a one day NC race, and a year after the introduction of Hammer Stavanger, the Tour des Fjords ceases to be (becoming a "merged" race with the Tour of Norway that turns two five day races into one six day race).

Reason #3: Because Velon teams are neglecting big races, or redirecting stars, in the aim of making Hammer a success, such as the Tour of Belgium - run since 1908 - having to go without the biggest Belgian pro team because they had races in the World Tour coterminous with it, and prioritised Hammer over their home race. Many smaller and medium-sized races depend on those pro teams enthusing the home audience for sponsorship and support, and withdrawing that in favour of a race which doesn't benefit from the presence of those stars therefore harms smaller races, many of which have long-standing and illustrious histories of their own as well as providing fertile grounds for development of younger riders and lesser talents, which is only possible through Hammer if you've managed to already get onto a big team.

Reason #4: Because for Velon's power lobby to work, which is what this is, it not only needs their bargaining power to strengthen, but that of ASO, RCS, Flanders Classics et al to weaken, so they need Hammer to succeed (because it's the only bargaining chip they have), and also others' races to not be able to hold sway over their races either (because that will perpetuate their position of weakness relative to the other lobbies).
 
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