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Race Design Thread

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Feb 12, 2010
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Right, well now I'm just about done creating an eight stage tour situated in Norway. What kind of software should I use to make profiles etc? I'm going through a couple of tunnels (both undersea), how does this affect the software?

Also I'm wondering what you feel the more appropriate lenght for a TT in a race with two mountain stages, one of them a MTF, around 30km or 50km? Should be 3 flat stages, 2 stages with a smallish climb at the end, 2 mountainous stages and a time trial.
 
Feb 12, 2010
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I'd like to say they're quite difficult, one stage from Stryn up the old road over Strynefjell, down through Ottadalen, then turn in Bøverdalen and up the road towards Galdhøpiggen (Juvasshytta) for a MTF.

Should be about 12km at 7.8% for the first climb and 12km at 10% for the second climb. It's not a very long stage though.

The second stage starts at Gaupne, Luster and goes through Fortun over the mountain towards Øvre Årdal, then towards Tyin, down towards lærdalsøyri, and finally over the mountain for a final downhill finish to Aurlandsvangen. This is a longer stage at around 230km.

The first climb: 16.6km at 7.4%
The second climb: 21.1km at 5.1%
The third climb: 15,4km at 7.7%
 
Apr 18, 2011
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cartman said:
I'd like to say they're quite difficult, one stage from Stryn up the old road over Strynefjell, down through Ottadalen, then turn in Bøverdalen and up the road towards Galdhøpiggen (Juvasshytta) for a MTF.

Should be about 12km at 7.8% for the first climb and 12km at 10% for the second climb. It's not a very long stage though.

The second stage starts at Gaupne, Luster and goes through Fortun over the mountain towards Øvre Årdal, then towards Tyin, down towards lærdalsøyri, and finally over the mountain for a final downhill finish to Aurlandsvangen. This is a longer stage at around 230km.

The first climb: 16.6km at 7.4%
The second climb: 21.1km at 5.1%
The third climb: 15,4km at 7.7%
That`s some serious climbing in a 8 day race. Stryn + 14-15km gravel over the tree line and a Finish @ Jyvashytta. The second day isn`t that much easier. I like that:) Add a stage to folgefonna summer ski and you would have more climbing then the tour:p
 
As long as we get lots of photos I don't mind one bit. I'd say a 40-45km ITT given the difficulty of the climbing (especially considering Juvasshytta). I totally demand a final stage into Oslo that loops up and around Holmenkollveien though!

Hopefully if all goes well for them, the Glava Tour of Norway can catch on and we get a proper high level race in the country, because it could easily be one of the toughest and most beautiful one week races in the world.
 
Feb 12, 2010
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Bubban said:
That`s some serious climbing in a 8 day race. Stryn + 14-15km gravel over the tree line and a Finish @ Jyvashytta. The second day isn`t that much easier. I like that:) Add a stage to folgefonna summer ski and you would have more climbing then the tour:p
Hah, we aim to please. :D Thought I'd include one of the climbs near Folgefonna in another edition, but I'm not quite sure how the road conditions are there. There's a couple of good climbs in that area.
 
Those are nice climbs and a nice structure of the stages.

I would say 30km is better but if possible you can make it slightly longer, say 35 or even 40 of you want to make the climbers really go for it.

Dauphine which is similar in structure but has 1 or 2 high mountain stages more (that are easier than the stages you propose) usually has between 40 and 55km TT.
 
Feb 12, 2010
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Libertine Seguros said:
As long as we get lots of photos I don't mind one bit. I'd say a 40-45km ITT given the difficulty of the climbing (especially considering Juvasshytta). I totally demand a final stage into Oslo that loops up and around Holmenkollveien though!

Hopefully if all goes well for them, the Glava Tour of Norway can catch on and we get a proper high level race in the country, because it could easily be one of the toughest and most beautiful one week races in the world.
Damn, going to have to be another edition then, I set this one to run from Molde to Bergen, with quite minimal stage transfers required (should suit smaller budget teams). Not quite sure if I'll have the TT through Bergen the second to last day and have them transfer there, or have them race to Bergen and have the TT the last day as I originally planned. How do people feel about ending with a TT? The last two days are not quite set in stone yet.
 
Apr 18, 2011
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cartman said:
Hah, we aim to please. :D Thought I'd include one of the climbs near Folgefonna in another edition, but I'm not quite sure how the road conditions are there. There's a couple of good climbs in that area.
I made a 7 day race starting in Stavanger ending in Bergen with Folgefonna on stage 6 (Sauda-Folgefonna) but the road to Folgefonna is probably to narrow for a professional bike race. To bad because those last 10 kilometers are super hard.

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=sv&ll=60.229201,6.431551&spn=0.023184,0.077162&t=m&z=14&vpsrc=6&layer=c&cbll=60.228928,6.431644&panoid=Duys51jlosMydgujDxjW2Q&cbp=12,19.62,,0,2.6
 
Feb 12, 2010
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roundabout said:
Those are nice climbs and a nice structure of the stages.

I would say 30km is better but if possible you can make it slightly longer, say 35 or even 40 of you want to make the climbers really go for it.

Dauphine which is similar in structure but has 1 or 2 high mountain stages more (that are easier than the stages you propose) usually has between 40 and 55km TT.
Cheers, I got a TT route set up for slightly above 30 km I think, should suit quite nicely, might add a little loop somewhere.
 
Feb 12, 2010
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Bubban said:
I made a 7 day race starting in Stavanger ending in Bergen with Folgefonna on stage 6 (Sauda-Folgefonna) but the road to Folgefonna is probably to narrow for a professional bike race. To bad because those last 10 kilometers are super hard.
Could be brilliant for a MTT don't you think?
 
cartman said:
Damn, going to have to be another edition then, I set this one to run from Molde to Bergen, with quite minimal stage transfers required (should suit smaller budget teams). Not quite sure if I'll have the TT through Bergen the second to last day and have them transfer there, or have them race to Bergen and have the TT the last day as I originally planned. How do people feel about ending with a TT? The last two days are not quite set in stone yet.
This sounds awesome. Looking forward to see what this is going to look like! Have you thought about starting a bit further north, would be great to see a stage on Atlanterhavsveien (The Atlantic road)? Could bode for some serious crosswind as well.

A couple of pics:




 
Now, to take us from the northernmost parts of Europe back to the southern end, and we're back on familiar Volta territory now, as we finish the first week.

Stage 7: Castelo Branco - Castelo Branco, 30km (ITT)



Starting and finishing at opposite ends of the Praça da Liberdade, the riders' second test against the clock is of medium length, and is for the most part a simple route, taking an out-and-back route to the outskirts of the city, and then a loop to the north. The circuit is pretty much completely flat, and as a result should give the men of power something to take from the race, and give the featherweight climbers something to need to take back in the stages to come.



As I mentioned before, Castelo Branco is a city which is very well-known to the Volta in recent years; usually however it is the site of long road stages, usually ending in a sprint, though it was the site of the race-finishing ITT in 2006. That test was rather longer than today's (39,6km), but then again, in that event they didn't have two weeks of racing still to come.

Castelo Branco:


Praça da Liberdade:
 
cartman said:
Damn, going to have to be another edition then, I set this one to run from Molde to Bergen, with quite minimal stage transfers required (should suit smaller budget teams). Not quite sure if I'll have the TT through Bergen the second to last day and have them transfer there, or have them race to Bergen and have the TT the last day as I originally planned. How do people feel about ending with a TT? The last two days are not quite set in stone yet.
Ending with a TT is no big deal. A lot of good-sized races do it. Tour de Suisse, for example, until 2010 the Volta a Portugal always ended with an ITT, the Deutschlandtour used to finish with one, País Vasco always ends with the TT, and of course the Giro regularly does it.
 
Feb 12, 2010
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Libertine Seguros said:
Ending with a TT is no big deal. A lot of good-sized races do it. Tour de Suisse, for example, until 2010 the Volta a Portugal always ended with an ITT, the Deutschlandtour used to finish with one, País Vasco always ends with the TT, and of course the Giro regularly does it.
Sweet, going to have the Oslo finish you requested in the next edition. Also love your races, what software do you use? I should probably get to posting that damn race now. :p
 
Feb 12, 2010
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kanari said:
This sounds awesome. Looking forward to see what this is going to look like! Have you thought about starting a bit further north, would be great to see a stage on Atlanterhavsveien (The Atlantic road)? Could bode for some serious crosswind as well.
Hehe, first stage is Molde-Kristiansund, could be some crosswinds yup. And the tunnel at the end is quite steep, goes to about 250m below sea level. Hope they don't suffocate :D
 
cartman said:
Sweet, going to have the Oslo finish you requested in the next edition. Also love your races, what software do you use? I should probably get to posting that damn race now. :p
I have been using mapmyride, but be warned that it can be very patchy with Norway - the continuous elevation program isn't fully charted to the north enough to deal with some parts of the country.
 
Right, now that the first week is over, we're starting to head northward, with a piece of the Volta's history next. This is the start of the second weekend of the race, so we're hoping to provide some exciting action on a day with maximum TV audiences available.

Stage 8: Idanha-a-Nova - Gouveia, 183km



The cobbled climb of Gouveia has long been part of the Volta's tradition. Though it isn't particularly steep, it's tricky enough to see some variety in the way the stage ends up; in 2000 a group of 6 contested the win, in 2003 Vitor Gamito and Rui Lavarinhas put two minutes into the field on the Alto da Torre and held on to the finish, 2004 saw Sergio Paulinho win the uphill battle against Cândido Barbosa, but Barbosa went one better in what was pretty much a sprint in 2007, while Patrik Sinkewitz soloed in in 2009. The tradition recently has been to send the riders over Penhas Douradas before a couple of laps, and I am not going to deviate from that policy. However, I am going to add to that policy by adding a further, very hard climb that will put a bit more into the legs, use a slightly tougher route over Penhas Douradas, and perhaps increase the possibility of time gaps emerging on this stage. Certainly, however, there is a wide range of potential outcomes, ranging from an uphill sprint right up the alley of Philippe Gilbert to a genuine GC battle.



Climbs:
Piornos (Penhas da Saúde)(cat.1) 13,1km @ 7,5%
Penhas Douradas (cat.1) 11,1km @ 5,2%
Gouveia (cat.3) 5,4km @ 4,3%
Gouveia (cat.3) 5,4km @ 4,3%
Gouveia (cat.3) 5,4km @ 4,3%

Here's a clip of the 2003 stage, which will allow you to see the climb and, in the second part, that most unexpected thing in Iberia: cobbled climbing. Also notable for the first real breakout performance by a young Galician mountain domestique called Ezequiel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2WV2D1ibtY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap7haqJDSQI

That stage was at the end of the first week of a two week Volta; this time, it's at the end of the first week of a three week Volta. We might see it stay a bit more together as a result, but there will be time to be won after yesterday's ITT.

Idanha-a-Nova:


Gouveia:
 
Feb 12, 2010
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Right, it's time for the first stage the tour. We begin in the northwest of Norway with a stage from Molde to Kristiansund. Not a perticulary demanding course at first glance, short and flat, but strong winds from the atlantic ocean could make things quite exciting. We start of with a lap of honour in Molde before heading west and north, making a trip around Jendemsfjellet. Continuing all along frænfjorden. We continue north where we touch through Bud and turn east, heading through Hustad towards the Atlantic Ocean Road. The road, slightly bumpy could be a good launchpad should someone wish to make a move. We continue straight across Averøya and down the tunnel to Kristiansund. The tunnel with a depth of 250 meters give a fairly hard climb up the other side, max 10%. Well out of the tunnel there's not long before the finishline in Kristiansund city centre.

This is the route

We start in Molde



View from Kvannfjellet towards Jandemsfjellet



Runup to Hustad



Distant view of the atlantic road from Håholmen, Averøya.

 
As we head into the first rest day, it's time for the GC men to test their mettle on the longest stage of the race. After this one, we will know who is going to contend for the win, even if it's only by process of elimination. And many hopes and dreams will no doubt be dashed by this one.

Stage 9: Gouveia - Lamego, 214km



As we roll out of Gouveia we have a mostly rolling first half of the stage, only the one categorised climb, but it's up and down almost all the way, no true relaxing flat. Once the riders hit Castro Daire and head along the banks of the Rio Paiva for a while, it starts to get nasty. The first major obstacle is the Serra de Montemuro, which the riders climb by one of its harder sides, before descending down to the banks of the Douro, and turning back on themselves for the long and very inconsistent struggle up Monte São Cristovão. Though the average gradient is low, there are long sections of 12-13% in the climb, which has a maximum of 15%. The climb tops out 28km from the finish, and from there it's a gentle descent into Lamego, where we finish today.



Climbs:
Guimarães de Tavares (cat.3) 5,3km @ 4,3%
Montemuro (Capela do Senhor do Amparo)(cat.1) 12,3km @ 7,1%
Monte São Cristovão (cat.1) 20,3km @ 5,2%

In my original plan for the stage, the riders descended not into Lamego, but the nearby town of Tarouca, whereupon they took on the 8km climb to the Alto da Santa Helena, but for my money there's enough climbing in this race that another MTF was just superfluous. Given that the descent into Lamego is gentle - just 2-3% for much of the way - it could be argued that this will discourage attacking on São Cristovão, but that's why this stage is placed before the rest day - to give riders a chance to recuperate afterward, and justify the attacking from further out. Especially as by far the best place to launch an attack on the climb is about halfway up, after the first flat/descent.

Montemuro:


Lamego:
 
At this point we give the riders a day off, to chill out and enjoy the sights of Lamego (and seeing as this is the Volta a Portugal, perhaps have a refill or two). Because once we get back to work, as it were, on the Tuesday, it's time for the riders to take on one of Portugal's most well-known cycling Meccas, in the first genuine MTF of the race.

Stage 10: Lamego - Mondim de Basto (Alto de Senhora da Graça), 198km



The climbs come thick and fast on this stage, 6 in all being categorised, of which the final 3 are all category 1. If this is anything like 2009 and 2010, strong teams will want to put people on the attack on the Alto Campanhó, as the final climb is relatively short. It often leads to intriguing racing. Please enjoy the final two climbs of the 2010 stage - which similarly finished with Campanhó before Senhora da Graça here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ciy_wM-aXEo



Climbs:
Poiares (cat.2) 7,5km @ 6,0%
Alto de Fontes (cat.2) 8,2km @ 5,5%
Pomarelhos (cat.3) 4,4km, 6,5%
Alto Barragem do Alvão (cat.1) 10,4km, 7,0%
Alto Campanhó (cat.1) 12,5km, 6,2%
Alto de Senhora da Graça (cat.1) 8,2km, 7,1%

If São Miguel and São Cristovão couldn't sort out the GC status quo, this one for certain will. The finish on top of Monte Farinha has been a part of the Volta's history since time immemorial.

Serra do Alvão:


Monte Farinha (Alto de Senhora da Graça):
 

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