Grand Tours 2010: Stage of the year.

What was the best Grand Tour stage of 2010?

  • Vuelta a España Stage 20- San Martín de Valdeiglesias to Bola del Mundo, 172.1 km

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EDIT: YOU CAN VOTE MORE THAN ONCE. Dont just vote for Strade Bianchi. You can do that in the final. Right here is a semi final and more than 1 stage needs to go through.
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I intend to do one of these for stage races and one of these for one day races. One day races will have to wait till after Lombardy. This is a semi final so to speak. the top 4 from this list will go through to the grand final of "Greatest day race of 2010".

Anyway here are the options for the Gt section. Multiple choice is on so you can choose more than 1 option.

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Giro d'Italia Stage 5- Novara to Novi Ligure 168 km

When we were heroes:

Heroic effort from break no hopers on pan flat stage to deny sprinters by mere seconds. Nail biting stuff to see whether they would stay away. It would have been an epic stage had they failed. It was even more epic because they succeeded.

Giro d'Italia Stage 7 Carrara to Montalcino, 215 km

Mud sweat and tears:

Entire liquigas high command (pink jersey white jersey and team leader) taken out on one corner. Remenants dont know whether to wait or not. Eventually they keep going. Evans Vino and Cunego excel. WC champion wins but you wouldnt know it by looking at his jersey.

Giro d'Italia Stage 15- Mestre to Zoncolan, 218 km

Ivan conquers the Terror:

The Greatest mountain in gt history will never disapoint. Its Steep gradients = no slipstream = like 180 itts at once.

Giro d'Italia Stage 19 – Brescia to Aprica, 195 km

The return of the King. Basso on the passo ( di mortirolo)

After multiple climbs Liquigas set a high tempo on the Mortirolo. one by one they crack their challengers. Big gaps at the top. Basso has the Giro in the bag. But as they descend truimphantly, a faint sound is heard in the distance. There is hope yet. Arroyo displays heroics. He gets back but then loses again his advantage. Eventually evil truimphs. Basso gets the Pink. Scarponi the stage win.

Tour de France Stage 3- Wanze (Belgium) to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, 213 km

Carnage and Cancellara on the cobbles.


Frank sacrifices himself to block contador and give junior a advantage. About 10 groups appear on the road. Favourites scattered in all of them. Schleck and Evans in the main group. Cancellara does what he does best and gets back the yellow. Hushovds gets revenge on the self appointed general director of the tour.

Tour de France Stage 9- Morzine-Avoriaz to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, 204.5 km

The Al Andy Astana Caise and Cassar show.

col de La Madeline summit 30km from the finish. Several cats before it. Break do a lot of work. Riders drop off one by one from both break and peloton. Astana set the pace. Al and andy attack. Help from Voigt. Samu just misses on the descent. Al and Andy catch break, but Cassar wins. Favourites come in in groups.

Tour de France Stage 12 Bourg-de-Péage to Mende, 210.5 km

Purito beats Bertie as "Vino crush Saxo".


The little ramp at the end was always going to make this exciting. Vinos presence in a break made this perhaps the only stage of the Tour worth watching from 60k out. Saxo were exhausted but needed to give it everything to limit his gains. What made the stage great was the fact that the break had just enough time and just the right riders to make it nailbiting whether they could win. Purito won, Contador gained time but made a very big mess of it.

Vuelta a España Stage 11 Vilanova i la Geltrú to Vallnord (Andorra), 208.4 km

"Reports of my demise are slightly premature". But only slightly.

Mosquera attacks on the climb. Takes with him Nibali and Rodriguez. Cracks them both. Doesnt even care that they are in his slipstream. Real balls on display. Anton looks to be struggling at the back. Seems to have cracked as he cant follow the pace. But the attacking trio fall off one by one and are caught by others. Anton takes the stage just ahead of Mosquera. He celebrated as if this was to be the greatest victory of his year. Little did he know how true that would be.

Vuelta a España Stage 17 - Peñafiel (ITT), 46 km

Anything is possible:

A good tt with fights for both the gc and stage win. No big surprises to start as the general director of the tour sets the fastest time. but surprises are plenty. Underperformances - Plaza, Larrson and overperformances - Sastre, Eze, are present throughout. the stage becomes great as Menchov tops Cancellara. No one saw this coming. A Nibali puncture thrown in for fun. But the best was yet to come. Peter Velits comes from nowhere to beat the great tters. On the other hand Purito collapses As Hrotha said before, Rodriguez couldnt possibly lose 4 minutes. Couldnt he?

Vuelta a España Stage 20- San Martín de Valdeiglesias to Bola del Mundo, 172.1 km.

A star is born, on the stairway to hell.

As good a gt ending as there could ever be. The Bola del Mundo is innaugurated with a gc showdown as 50 seconds seperates Nibali and Mosquera going into this hellish mtf. Mosquera had to attack. He did. Nibali repeatidly looked like cracking. He eventually got back to his rival. Mosquera got the stage win, but Nibali showed climbing form the experts ;) said he would never have.

Write in candidates:

Lucera to L'Aquila, 256 km

The best layed plans of mice and men...

A breakaway of about 50 riders is formed including many danger men. By the time the peloton realise it, it is too late. They work hard to get the gap down but it ends at 13 minutes. The GC is flipped on its head. New favourites emerge. The best climbers need monster efforts now. And all this, just before the fiersome 3rd week is about to start.
 

Barrus

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Apr 28, 2010
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The obvious winner for me, and probably a few leagues in front of the rest, is Montalcino
 
Mar 8, 2010
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For me, it clearly was the TdF TT (Stage 19) with it's Contador-Schleck battle.
Just thrilling and pure emotion.

But Montalcino got my vote here. Second option, because this TT can't be voted.
 
roundabout said:
A write-in vote for a stage to L' Aquila
I loved the outcome too but did you think the stage itself was exciting? Were you sitting at the edge of your seat the whole stage thinking omg this is so unpredictable what will happen next? ;)

All i saw was pictures of Astana pulling in the rain, pictures of Liquigas pulling in the rain, pictures of BMC pulling in the rain, then switch cameras to people in the break pulling in the rain. Pretty much this for the whole stage. The gap was way over 10 minutes the whole time, never any chance of break getting caught.

Sure it had huge implications for the gc but the stage itself wasnt really exciting. But if implications on gc decide how great a stage is then Bagnères-de-Luchon would have been one of the greatest stages of all time. In reality the stage was as dissapointing as all the other Pyraneen stages.
 
roundabout said:
Just to explain

For a stage to L'Aquila

My expectations <<<<< actual stage

not quite the same for the rest of the choices
That is what i thought of Giro stage 5. The flat one guranteed to be a bunch sprint, where 3 no hopers in the breakaway never had a chance. Their chances of doom increased exponentialy throughout the stage.T
hey didnt have a chance with 4 minutes and 60km they didnt have much of a chance with 2 minutes and 20km to looked to have no chance with 20 seconds and 5km on a flat dual carriageway. But slowly as the stage progressed you began to think maybe just maybe. The final km were gripping as they went through narrow allyways and kicked on the final roundabout.

Now this was the stage where 20 seconds of excitement in bunch sprint was all that was expected. For expectation to reality ratios, i think this trumps everything.
 
The Hitch said:
I loved the outcome too but did you think the stage itself was exciting? Were you sitting at the edge of your seat the whole stage thinking omg this is so unpredictable what will happen next? ;)
Yes, i was actually. I expected a small break to get a few minutes and not 56 riders to get 20. Will the break work together? Who will chase behind? How far ahead will the break be at the finish? Will the favorites get desperate and drop the domestiques? How the blame game will be played (;))?
 
Mar 11, 2009
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roundabout said:
Yes, i was actually. I expected a small break to get a few minutes and not 56 riders to get 20. Will the break work together? Who will chase behind? How far ahead will the break be at the finish? Will the favorites get desperate and drop the domestiques? How the blame game will be played (;))?
Agreed. The great thing about that stage was the incredible amount of realistic scenarios that would destroy the entire GC, just thinking about what was going to happen in reaction to that stage made for a great afternoon :)

Also agree with Hitch about stage 5.

But IMO Montalcino stood far above anything else this year in GT stages.
The cobbled TDF stage was also good, but too little too late :)
 
Sep 2, 2009
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sadly I didn't have the opportunity to see all of these interesting stages, I did however follow the Giro d'Italia stage 19 from start to finish and it was epic, so my vote goes for this one.

Obviously stage 7 was awesome but I Didn't follow it that intensively.

Of course the tour de france stage 9 is among the stages I rate highest, but again didn't follow it that intensively.
 
Aug 1, 2009
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I have to vote for Montalcino, that was truly epic. Also have to mention that afternoon during the giro, when I came home and turned on Eurosport to see most of the GC team leaders taking turns in the front of the peloton trying to catch a breakaway of 50+ riders, including several almost whole teams. It was awesome because it was so unusual and unexpected, and it changed everything.
 
Jan 11, 2010
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Since it's apparently not the final yet, I voted for the Strade Bianche, Zoncolan, and Paris-Roubaix stages. But ultimately there's just no competition, of course.

And it was won by the world champion, which adds another dimension. But as others have pointed out, the stage with the 50 rider break deserves a special mention too. Unheard of, and probably won't happen again.
 
The Hitch said:
I loved the outcome too but did you think the stage itself was exciting? Were you sitting at the edge of your seat the whole stage thinking omg this is so unpredictable what will happen next? ;)

All i saw was pictures of Astana pulling in the rain, pictures of Liquigas pulling in the rain, pictures of BMC pulling in the rain, then switch cameras to people in the break pulling in the rain. Pretty much this for the whole stage. The gap was way over 10 minutes the whole time, never any chance of break getting caught.

Sure it had huge implications for the gc but the stage itself wasnt really exciting. But if implications on gc decide how great a stage is then Bagnères-de-Luchon would have been one of the greatest stages of all time. In reality the stage was as dissapointing as all the other Pyraneen stages.
I dunno, the implications on GC on the Bagneres stage were piddling compared to L'aquila... would Sastre make it back in the fold? Would Tondo's form hold him above the others? Would the unkown factor of Richie Porte be able to do anything to hold on? Would the solid Arroyo find enough form to hold off the other contenders? Any other surprises? The fact that I could spend 2 hours watching the stage and wondering all of these scenarios was awesome. There was nothing but that stage that caused it.

And it represented what I love most about cycling - attrition in a very difficult sport, and tactical considerations against the clock. Aside from the GC speculation, it was a goddamn 260km stage. The ending was super exciting, aside from that russian guy's victory, to see what time people would come in at. It's not like all 56 riders arrived at once, we waited 12 minutes, and then the favourites arrived. People bled in one by one over minutes. And the whole chase, you were wondering what could happen, not only with the time gap, but with the implications for the previous GC favourites, who were now taking turns in the wind and rain all day because there was simply no one else, their group had less people than the front group... having to chase for 200km would not be the best thing for their legs for the rest of the 3 weeks of racing.

And, another of my favourite things about it, was that sure, it was designed to be a good stage with the length and the hills, but it wasn't predictably as epic as it was just from looking at the parcours. It took the spontaneous events of the day's racing to turn things on it's head.

Anyway, it was one of the most memorable things I've seen in cycling and, for me, could be put up right beside Montalcino, for different reasons.
 
Mortirolo = Montalcino
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Zoncolán
Bola del Mundo
Col de la Madeleine
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Valdepenas de Jaén
Monte Grappa
Xorret del Catí
Andorra
Arenberg
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the Giro stage where Evans started punching people
L'Aquila
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everything else
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Pau
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every flat stage of the Tour.
 
May 14, 2009
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Strade Bianchi was great and I also liked the TDF with the cobblestones.

Unfortunately I missed a lot of the Vuelta to have an informed opinnion.


EDIT:Also TDF to Gap. Go Paulinho.
 
1.Carrara to Montalcino
2.Mestre to Zoncolan
3.Brescia to Aprica
4.Morzine-Avoriaz to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
5.Revel to Ax-3-Domaines
6.Vilanova i la Geltrú to Vallnord Sector Pal (Andorra)
7.Peñafiel ITT
8.Rodez to Revel
9.Wanze (Belgium) to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut
10.Lucera to L'Aquila
11.Bordeaux to Pauillac ITT
12.Ferrara to Asolo (Monte Grappa)

pretty good grand tours this year except last week of vuelta after anton's crash.
 
May 24, 2010
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I go with the 20th stage of the Vuelta to Bola del Mundo. While the Montalcino stage was extraordinary, the Bola del Mundo stage was an epic mano a mano. Steep, poorly paved with hordes of fans all over the place screaming into the ears of the riders. It had to be a soul searching ride for Vincenzo Nibali as Mosquera climbed off into the distance, as the chances for his first major title could have been slipping away. As he gnashed his teeth, was he going to be chewing on his own words? Words that described how he was not worried about Mosquera. The time gap lengthened then shrank. Nibali hunched over his Handlebars, he gritted his teeth, then he rose out of the saddle, rocking side to side with every ounce of will and power he had left inside of him. Then in a titanic reversal, in the final few meters, Mosquera seemed to be running out of steam! Nibali, who had been closing, pulled right up along side of his rival, and almost passed him for the Mtn. top victory. But Mosquera held on with a final surge, and took the stage win. Winning the battle, but losing the war. But fought out in the most epic of ways, leaving everything on the Mountain side. To me, that was what Grand Tour battles are all about. Holding back nothing, and giving it your all. A Great stage. Both men are winners in my book!
 
Jul 8, 2010
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Moltacino was just epic, +1 vote.
Bulo del Mundo was also something special, as the Paris-Roubaix like stage in TdF.
 

ttrider

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Apr 23, 2010
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For me its Zoncolan, but there were so many to choose, stage 4 of the vuelta and Mende are also right up there for me
 

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