Great "unknown" climbs

Inspired by the discussion of potential routes for the Tour and Giro, I looked at a lot of what was mentioned and thought about a lot of the roads that we know of, and a lot of the roads that are out there that are just begging to provide us with entertainment. In the last decade we've seen a lot of new climbs added to the pantheon of stage racing.

But there are many others out there, ripe for discovery. This is a thread to promote and discuss your favourite obscure climbs, or those that have never hosted top level racing, or may never do, or those that would host top level racing if they were better located.

I want to put some parameters on this; no already well-known climbs that we see in less major races but still well known World Tour races (so no Lagunas de Neila or Grand Colombier from Burgos or Ain), and no climbs that we see in major races from time to time that you simply feel are underused... unless we are talking such a long time that you feel it is more or less completely forgotten (so maybe Mont du Chat, last seen in 1974, could be a viable candidate). This is for those climbs that are almost forgotten to racing, or that you feel racing should hurry itself up and discover, even if it has to re-route, revive or invent new races to use.

The other parameter is that it has to be reasonable to ask for racing there; sure, we can climb somewhere in the Caucasus or Greece or somewhere in the US that doesn't have a stage race, because if there were to be a race they could climb it, and sure, maybe we can have a fair bit of sterrato here and there, we've seen that climbed in various major races, and demand for race inclusion can see places resurfaced, but places like Scanuppia, Großer Speikkogel and Nebelhorn should be out of the question.

I think it would be nice for us to have, where possible, a couple of photos, and a bit about where the climb is, and if any races could feasibly use it.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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One obvious climb for the TdF is Puy de Dome, but I don't think that can even be an option any more.

EDIT: Cannot recall what year, but the racers had just finished in the Alps and then next day had a Cat 4 climb in the middle of a hilly stage. Seemed innocuous, but it was a *lot* steeper than the riders were expecting and a bunch had to get off and walk because they were grossly overgeared.

IIRC, it started with an "R."
 
Right...

First up, I present you with the Higa de Monréal (8,1km, 9,5%):


Starting from Monréal, this little leg-destroyer climbs 763m, to a grand total of 1280, over just over 8 kilometres. The climb starts with 3 relatively benign kilometres, but for the last 5 it never goes beneath 9,9%, including two whole kilometres at 12%.



It is the site of a running race, which demonstrates the route here:



The location is Navarra, not far from Pamplona, which makes it an ideal route into the Pyrenées on a clockwise Vuelta route, or a route out of them on an anti-clockwise one. You could feasibly run a stage from Jacá or Huesca, both relatively common Vuelta stop-offs, to finish there, while it's possible from Burgos (though a long distance) or Soría in the opposite direction, unless you go through the Basque country of course.

As surface goes, parts of it are sterrato, and/or in pretty poor condition, which extends the difficulty. Here's a pretty cool picture from near the summit:


It's not the easiest climb to connect to other challenging climbs, but could easily be difficult enough to break things apart on its own, in my opinion. There's not a huge amount of space, but it doesn't look like there's much less space than at the summit of Peña Cabarga or Bola del Mundo.
 
Jul 28, 2010
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These aren't really "new" climbs, since the Everest Challenge uses them every year, but the Tour of Cali could definitely give these climbs a shot! It's about 175 miles south of South Lake Tahoe, where they tried to start this year. It would definitely be a different path to take for Cali!




Mosquito Flat: 22 miles long, average grade 5%, max grade 12%, elevation gain 5825'.



Pine Creek: 8 miles, average grade 7%, max grade 11%, elevation gain 3000'



http://www.tourofcalifornia.org/2006/09/everest-challenge.html
http://windinmyface.diglloyd.com/index_topics.html#EverestChallenge
 
Jul 28, 2010
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Jul 27, 2009
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One of the posters had a mockup of his wish -- a Scanuppia circuit race.

Forumites could collect donations to help get it paved and voila -- instant carnage. :D:D:D
 
Alto de São Macário, Portugal (9,2km, 9,1%):



Wearing most of its' most evil grades at the bottom end, but never really letting up, this climb is one I've been campaigning for the Volta a Portugal to use for some time. It looks like a killer, especially when you consider that riders would be undertaking this climb in the blistering heat of Portugal in mid-August.

The views are incredible; looking up it looks like this:


And when you get to the top you have this rather fetching chapel alongside the radio mast:


In comparison to the Higo de Monréal, the roads are in good condition:


For me, it's a real travesty that the Volta a Portugal hasn't taken advantage of this climb. The scenery is tremendous, the challenge is immense, and it isn't far from Viséu so access isn't a problem. There is enough room at the top, and it would be a truly glorious addition to the race. It is perhaps too far to suggest a trip in one of the Vuelta's incredibly rare forays into Portugal (Torre on the other hand would be feasible, albeit from Covilhã), but that its national tour ignores it is a real shame.
 
Dec 21, 2010
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UpTheRoad said:
One of the posters had a mockup of his wish -- a Scanuppia circuit race.

Forumites could collect donations to help get it paved and voila -- instant carnage. :D:D:D
I would pay a ****load to see that.

Sod riding to the summit for the finish though :D
 
Sep 8, 2010
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Signal de Bisanne, France (14,4 km, 8,5%):



Nothing for a mountain top finish, but a hard climb to make things really difficult. You can combine it with Cormet de Roselend or descend to Beaufort to finish there.



The road conditions are okay, nothing to worry. A little bit like in the Pyrénées. The descent is short and hits Col des Saisies after a few kilometres.
 
Now, Bergstation Fellhorn, Germany (8,8km, 9,7%).

This one I couldn't find a profile for. But it's hella steep. Especially when you look at how much flatter the last km or two are in comparison to what precedes them. This is nasty.
http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/43253670

Pretty much all paved, though in various states.

Here's a picture of the station at just over a km from the top, which could be used as the summit for a shorter finish:


Here's a picture of the summit:

(sorry could only find a winter shot that fit!)

Now, the Bayern Rundfahrt likes to be more of a sprinter's race, wasting potential great climbs like this.

It would be worth resurrecting the Deutschlandtour for this alone.
 
Apr 14, 2011
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I'll try again with a modest contribution.

I would like to see a Tour of Britain stage finish with a climb of Draycott hill and a descent down Cheddar Gorge. Draycott hill is a similar climb to something like Stockeu from LBL. The middle section is a wall.



The descent of the Gorge:

 
Apr 14, 2010
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I love seeing them on short steep ones like the one they used the past 2 years in Pais Vasco. Love seeing pro riders get stonewalled and have to get off.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Col du Parpaillon: I'm unsure of space requirements at the summit, but this climb could put the Finestre to shame. The TDF and Prudhomme would never go for something like this, but I can dream.









It could also easily be connected with the Vars, Allos, Cayolle, and the Champs.
 
Sep 8, 2010
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Parpaillon can't be compared to Finestre. The gravel is really nasty and the tunnel is hell. Full of frozen potholes, wet and slippery like on an ice field. But the scenery is stunning.
 
Mar 26, 2009
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Passo Coe, the climb which Evans probably rememeber from Giro 2004, but from the other side.
It might be not as steep but 10km longer if starting from the bottom.
Unluckily couldn't find any file online.
 

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