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Race Design Thread

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Jul 22, 2011
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I can't afford the time investment anytime soon, but man, looking at all of these and particularly at Libertine's Circuito do Porto, I almost feel like learning the tools for the sole sake of making a Volta stage (or one day classic) that would use the brutal climbs in the heart of Lisbon. I reckon few of them would be practicable, but well, minor details.

Then again, they've unearthed the fantastic Elevador da Gl
 
Jul 22, 2011
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I can't afford the time investment anytime soon, but man, looking at all of these and particularly at Libertine's Circuito do Porto, I almost feel like learning the tools for the sole sake of making a Volta stage (or one day classic) that would use the brutal climbs in the heart of Lisbon. I reckon few of them would be practicable, but well, minor details.

edit: oh ****'s sake, can't even do 3 paragraphs without getting cut halfway.
 
Piemont with its superb climbs is also used rarely. How about this short Pyrenean like stage in the Alps:

epic_alps_piemont_png_750x750_q85.jpg


Lombarde 21.5km@6.9%
Fauniera 24.7km@7%
Sampeyre 16.2km@8.2%
Agnel 22.4km@6.5%

Four huge HC climbs - 6000 meters of climbing packed in less than 160 kilometers. And finish on the steepest Agnel sections would be brutal. Too good to become reality ;)
 
I love those climbs, I designed a lot of stages there for my fantasy Giro and Tour routes. Since the summit of the Agnello probably doesn't have the necessary space to host a stage finish, my favourite solution has always been Sampeyre - Agnello - Izoard, with the stage finishing in Briançon.
The killer version of the stage include Fauniera at the beginning of the stage. Another one has Sampeyre-Agnello-Izoard, but with the stage finishing on the Col du Granon.
 
Netserk said:
For that area I'd LOVE to see something like this, but it will never happen...

kFTL3Fv.png

Well, the Isola 2000 stage of the 1993 TdF featured a similar ending (Bonette + Lombarde, except they finished at Isola 2000, a bit lower than the Lombarde), but with Izoard and Vars before Bonette. Davide Cassani, when he commented for Rai, said it was the hardest stage he's ever ridden.
 
Matt92 said:
Well, the Isola 2000 stage of the 1993 TdF featured a similar ending (Bonette + Lombarde, except they finished at Isola 2000, a bit lower than the Lombarde), but with Izoard and Vars before Bonette. Davide Cassani, when he commented for Rai, said it was the hardest stage he's ever ridden.
I know, but the finish will never happen like that, since only the Giro will have a stage finish there, but that won't be with Bonette and Lombarde before.
 
Netserk said:
I know, but the finish will never happen like that, since only the Giro will have a stage finish there, but that won't be with Bonette and Lombarde before.

Unfortunately, it is rumored that people in Sant'Anna di Vinadio no longer want to host the Giro after the 2001 controversy. The weird thing is that there's a rumor going the exact opposite way, saying the 2015 Giro will finish in Turin after a terrific 1-2 punch of Alpine stages in Piemonte: a finish in Sant'Anna di Vinadio on Friday, and a Finestre + Sestriere combo on Saturday.
 
Jun 24, 2013
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Tour of Ireland

I've had this laying around for sometime. If there are any Irish people on this forum I'd love to hear their opinion on how well I'm using the country. Since my girlfriend is going to study for half a year in Waterford this felt like a good starting point for me.

Stage 1: Waterford - Dungarvan

FIOQEgu.jpg


We start in Waterford, "Ireland's first city", established by Vikings back in the day as a port for their ships. It is thus only suitable for us to start at the waterfront. We leave to the Southeast, visiting the coast and the Irish countryside (it would be hard not to) before riding through Waterford again on our way to the West. There the riders meet something Ireland apparently likes: Farmer tracks wit asphalt on them, meaning we have grass in the middle of the road, which should make for really weird racing. The first hill is immediately a steep one, albeit short, which is followed by a longer, less steep and rural hill before descending into Carrick-On-Suir.

Here we climb Seskin Hill (1,5 km at 9,2%) which will probably remove the most pure sprinters for a while, although they have plenty room afterwards to catch up. The riders then continue, passing Comeragh Mountain which towers above everything in the vicinity.
96882200.jpg



After this the final starts, which climbs the same mountainside three times before a 10 km flat part to Dungarvan. The climbs are: Ballyknock Climb (around 0,9 km at 11% according to a Strava segment), an unnamed climb (3 km at 2% but with steeper parts) and another unnamed climb (1.3 km at 10.7%). If their steepness doesn't hurt the riders, the constant fight for a good position in these really small roads will. The first one is partly upgraded farmer tracks too.

Dungarvan:
Council-Invites-Bids-for-Dungarvan-Harbour-Dredging.jpg
 
GTs are close to no longer being a test of the best all-rounder. it has become about the best climber.

the vuelta was first (with 13 MTF finishes for $#%&sakes!).

then the giro.

now the tour with only one ITT of 50k.

yes, the mountains are exciting. however the 2012 vuelta was unbelievably boring with the same four riders fighting out each summit finish…

they need to put back more flat and rolling ITT kms and mid-mountain stages. remember that awesome stage in 1990 when lemond recouped 5 mins on chiappucci?

but the over-emphasis on climbing is ruining what the GTs are supposed to crown -- the best all-round rider.
 
Unused Tour options

Tour organizers tend to use the same, legendary cols year after year. But still they don't see some evident options:

epic_alps_madeleine_croix_galibier_png_750x750_q85.jpg


Recently in other thread Linkinito told us about unused monster finish - Val Thorens. But there is a more obvious option. Why not Galibier north as the finish line? They once used Galibier south and Giro tried north but ended a few kilometers lower (because of the weather) so it's definitely doable. The hardest climb in France (when including Telegraphe) is often wasted in the middle of the stage with no peleton action. Epic finish on this side would add a new dimension to this legendary climb. And that combo with Madeleine and Croix de Fer forms three hardest alpine climbs used at the TdF. Simply brutal. But if it's too much you can shorten the stage even more and omit Madeleine or Croix de Fer. I have similar feeling about Pyrenees and Tourmalet:

epic_pyrenees_bales_peyresourde_tourmalet_png_750x750_q85.jpg


Tourmalet is (besides Galibier) the most legendary col at the TdF. And in similar way in the middle of the stage we often have a peleton procession on it. It's sometimes frustrating that cols which used to decide on race outcome aren't that important in todays race. Tourmalet should be a finish line more often like in 2010 when we had that epic Contador-Schleck duel. And the profile I showed is super-hard. Too hard? They can start from Luchon for super-short (100 km) epic stage. I always think that if organizers prepare a very tough mountain stage (with 4000-5000 meters of climbing) then it should be short.
And I also think that these epic cols should be used more often as stage finishes! ;)
 
I agree, especially about Galibier. Tourmalet as a MTF would be great, but it would basically prevent any action before it, whereas you could have Tourmalet and a MTF starting close to the bottom of the descent. I'm talking about Tourmalet from East; if you're coming from the West, finishing the stage on top would be the best solution, as every MTF would have to be preceded by super-easy Aspin West (or Hourquette d'Ancizan, which is similarly easy).

In the case of Galibier North, the closest possible MTF would probably be Les Deux Alpes, which sucks big time. Then you have Alpe d'Huez, but you have some 45 kms from the top of the Galibier to Le Bourg d'Oisans. Also, the descent of the Galibier is techinical only for 8 kms, until the Col du Lautaret; after that, it turns into a highway, which could kill any attack.
The best MTF to follow Galibier North would probably be Col du Granon, which would make for an even more epic combo than the Izoard-Granon we got in 1986, but we know it's unlikely to see the Tour going back there.

Your stages are great, I designed some similar ones for a game I organize on a forum. The Galibier stage was basically the same, except the previous one finished on the Alpe d'Huez, and we made the stage start from Grenoble, in order to avoid a massive transfer. The result was a big loop to start the Madeleine which brought up the kms count to 254 :D .

The Tourmalet stage was also very similar, but we followed those climbs with a MTF in Luz Ardiden.
 
Tourmalet should never be used as an MTF. Ever. I'd rather it were not used for a decade now so that it would actually have some meaning when they use it again. It's a really nice climb that the ASO has saturated to the point where I would gladly pay money to a fund to destroy the land it's built on to donate to the Japanese so they can build another off-shore city, just so I never have to see it again.

Which is a shame, because if it were used sparingly, there are still many things that can be done with it.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
Tourmalet should never be used as an MTF. Ever. I'd rather it were not used for a decade now so that it would actually have some meaning when they use it again. It's a really nice climb that the ASO has saturated to the point where I would gladly pay money to a fund to destroy the land it's built on to donate to the Japanese so they can build another off-shore city, just so I never have to see it again.

Which is a shame, because if it were used sparingly, there are still many things that can be done with it.

No climb should ever again be used as a MTF. Ban them from cycling! Good climbers don't need them and mediocre climbers just wait till there's only a couple of km left. They kill whatever was left of attractive cycling in the mountains. Hilltop finishes (up to 2nd category) are allowed, if there are enough more difficult climbs before.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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trevim said:
What is this? Was this a stage in the Tour?
Who was the sick guy that designed it? :D
1363452647-vizille-val-pelouse.png
That was me. :)
But to be perfectly honest, I didn't find this entirely. Some french traceurs already knew something like that was possible,and they did some sketches. But this is probably the near-perfect version we could come out with (as basically we can go up to Chamrousse instead of going down at Luitel).

Also the Pré Long isn't paved on its last part and the descent of Allevard is very, very narrow.

Don't ever expect a stage like this in the Tour de France - it was done during a fictional "ultra-hard Tour de France" which contains around 100 climbs of 2nd category and more, and was submitted to ASO to make them discover the possibilities in every chain of mountains. Maybe Zomegnan could have done a stage like this!
 
Linkinito said:
That was me. :)
But to be perfectly honest, I didn't find this entirely. Some french traceurs already knew something like that was possible,and they did some sketches. But this is probably the near-perfect version we could come out with (as basically we can go up to Chamrousse instead of going down at Luitel).

Also the Pré Long isn't paved on its last part and the descent of Allevard is very, very narrow.

Don't ever expect a stage like this in the Tour de France - it was done during a fictional "ultra-hard Tour de France" which contains around 100 climbs of 2nd category and more, and was submitted to ASO to make them discover the possibilities in every chain of mountains. Maybe Zomegnan could have done a stage like this!
Well congrats because this is just awesome. It definitely doesn't have a place in a GT but I would love to see this as a one day race with all the best climbers in the world.
Just one year to see how long they would take to do this :)
 
How about short super-hard stage that climbs Gavia and makes (almost) Stelvio double?

GAvia_2xStelvio_png_750x750_q85.jpg


From Ponte di Legno we climb the mighty Gavia and afterwards we descend to Bormio to begin Stelvio climb. However 3 kilometers from this pass we turn left and after a short moment we reach Switzerland and its highest paved pass - Ubrail (elevation 2501 m, from Bormio 19km@6.7%), which is "smaller" brother of Stelvio. I'm not sure if it has ever been used by Giro or any other pro-race. After a steep descent we cross the Swiss-Italian boarder again and approach Prato. From there we begin that epic, mamooth climb to the finish with its 48 hairpins. With 1850 meters of bottom-top elevation difference it's probably the biggest uninterrupted climb in european pro-cycling. Only a few two-phase climbs (Galibier, Val Thorens, Iseran) have slightly bigger elevation difference. If cyclists really wanted to make a race time differences on this stage would be big. But maybe that hard finish would cause cyclists to be more conservative on previous climbs. There is also an option of super-short stage from Bormio with two Stelvio ascents. Maybe in this case some cyclists would go all-out already on the first climb:

2xStelvio.png
 
De Snelle Duif said:
I've had this laying around for sometime. If there are any Irish people on this forum I'd love to hear their opinion on how well I'm using the country. Since my girlfriend is going to study for half a year in Waterford this felt like a good starting point for me.

I'm from Waterford and some things I'd consider in a stage are:

A bit more elevation. the Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford route and this Cycle Ireland Cappoquin-Waterford route

Huge potential for nice views along the coast roads.