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Race Design Thread

Page 121 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Jun 30, 2014
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Aother great stage, I did not expect that the saturday stage would be that tough.
I just don't how I feel about having 2 cosecutive monster stages, the 2nd one could hinder the action on the Aosta stage, they'll probably try to save some energy for the next day.
Yes, believe that's a tunnel on the road from BSM to Moûtiers.

Stage 14: Romans-sur-Isère - Chalet des Alpes-Croix de Chaubouret, 184km



Col de Rouvey (cat.2) 15,5km @ 5,0%
Col de la Charousse (cat.1) 13,5km @ 6,0%
Col de la Republique (cat.2) 11,5km @ 5,1%
Croix de Chaubouret (cat.1) 14,9km @ 5,4%

Intermediate sprint:
Saint-Chamond (Souvenir Andrei Kivilev), 168km

So, I guess I owe you all a bit of an explanation about this weird pacing of the mountain trifecta, since this is the last stage before the rest day. My thinking is that with three consecutive mountain stages, the péloton will be liable to soft-pedal the first in fear of those to follow. That's why I made the first stage such a long stage, so that even if soft-pedalled, attrition will make it selective; even if the heads of state come in together, domestiques will be absolutely destroyed for the stages to come, so that its effects will be being felt in the stages that follow. Then the final mountain stage is by far the easiest of them - so therefore there should not be a fear factor in it, and there are far better opportunities to gain time in the earlier stage... BUT the final stage is the one with the full-size MTF. So the riders have to do a balancing act. They can't afford to leave everything to this stage because the stage isn't as hard as the ones before it, so they have to make the race hard in the Aosta and Oz stages; however this stage becomes a potential banana skin because of the seeming ease in comparison, but that the riders have done over 450km of brutal mountain stages in the last two days. It's an attempt to shake up the formula by trying to dissuade riders from leaving their efforts until the last day before the rest. Also the type of climbs in this stage will suit a wholly different style of climber from those in the previous stages.

But you did read this right - only two days in the Alps and only one in France, because now we're crossing the Rhône and heading into the Massif Central for what is somewhere in between a medium- and high-mountain stage. I was a little disappointed to find that in between my posting the start of this race and getting to this point, I've been pre-empted in my mountaintop finish by Paris-Nice, although it appears they are taking a different - easier - route to the summit. Either way, this is part of my attempt to spread the stages out, as well as a nod to history.

After heading out of the Alps, the riders will overnight probably in Grenoble, Romans or Voiron, then they will set off on a northwesterly route to the banks of the Rhône. At Saint-Vallier the riders will turn west and cross over the river before heading for the mountains; the Ardêche end of the Cévennes and the Pilat Massif to be precise, two areas that the Tour doesn't really use at all and that we only sparingly see major races entering... until Paris-Nice 2015 of course! Our first port of call is a long but very gradual climb. The village of Lalouvesc, picturesque spot that it is, has been passed just once in the Tour's history, in 1977 when Joaquim Agostinho took the points en route to the stage win in St-Etienne, although the stage win was later rescinded after a positive test. However, the road can continue to climb if you don't turn off of it for another five kilometres after that (although some is flat), up to the Col de Rouvey. It's not a challenging climb - almost rigidly between 5 and 6% all the way but for the short kilometre of flat. Hence the 2nd category status despite the length.

After the first couple of kilometres, the descent is extremely straight and fast into Villevocance, before we start the next climb of the day. The Col de la Charousse - not to be mistaken for the far tougher Chamrousse - is noticeably tougher than Rouvey (we are skipping the flat first 7km of that profile). The last 9km, from the picturesque village of Vanosc to the summit, even include a kilometre at over 9%. After this, there is a two stepped descent, with a small rise to Tracol inbetween; this then leads into a lengthy gradual descent which is somewhat twistier than the Rouvey descent but once more only includes tough technical tests early in the route. The riders thus arrive in Bourg-Argental.

Then it's time for something truly historic. Although earlier in the race I paid tribute to the first major mountain of the Tour by climbing (the wrong side of) Le Grand Ballon, here I climb (the wrong side of) what is arguably the first mountain pass that the race ever crossed (some debate as to what constitutes a full-scale mountain pass can ensue, as some maintain there were mountains prior to the Col de la République that day, others maintain that it was only with 1905 and Le Grand Ballon that mountains came, still others maintain that as it's the first one over 1000m that the Col de la République earns the title; the sign at the summit declares as much anyhow), all the way back in the first ever edition, in 1903. The legendary pass and the monument to Paul de Vivie (aka Vélocio) at the summit remain famous spots to the sport even though it has been a long time since Le Tour has seen it. Paris-Nice still uses the climb periodically, but for obvious reasons from the north, as in 1903. Here we climb from the south, the slightly harder side owing to the steeper first three kilometres, however after that it is mostly 4-5% all the way; hardly a killer. With just over 40km remaining at the summit it's not going to break anybody who wouldn't be broken anyway in ordinary circumstances, however with the last two stages in the legs this kind of constant mild climbing could be underestimated.

After the nod to history, we will descend the north side of the Pilat Massif to the outskirts of St-Étienne, before turning northeast towards St-Chamond. Here, we will have our belated intermediate sprint, just 16km from the end of the stage. It's an odd stage to put it so late, but there are reasons. Firstly, it's quite a large town which will give better reason to have the sprint there; secondly, as with Paris-Nice a few years ago, there is the opportunity to honour Andrei Kivilev, the Kazakh rider who died following a crash on the streets of the town in Paris-Nice in 2003. Following this minor tribute, we turn to the south once more to climb into the Pilat again, on another storied, although somewhat less historic, climb (it was first climbed in 1950, but perhaps most famously in the brutal St-Étienne time trial stage in 1997). Perhaps the last time the climb was seen in a meaningful role in a major race would be in this 2008 Paris-Nice stage, though it has shown up since, such as in this stage from 2011. From this side the wick is gradually increased, until the final 10,4km @ 6,4% with the toughest gradients coming inside the last 5km. Let's be clear: it's a relatively easy mountaintop finish, for the reasons I enumerated earlier. Riders cannot possibly leave their attacking to this stage because the time that can be won in the Aosta and Oz stages is so much more than in this one, but then if they do tear the race to shreds in the 200km+ Alpine megaliths, there will be some seriously tired legs in the Massif Central.

After the stage the riders will head down the mountain to Saint-Étienne, where they will rest their weary legs on a day off.


Croix de Chaubouret:
Libertine Seguros said:
...Although earlier in the race I paid tribute to the first major mountain of the Tour by climbing (the wrong side of) Le Grand Ballon,... , others maintain that it was only with 1905 and Le Grand Ballon that mountains came,...

Wasn't Ballon d'Alsace the "first major climb" to be climbed in the Tour instead of Grand Ballon?

I know, I know,... just nitpicking again...

btw, you wrote "Ballon d'Alsace" as finish location in the title of that stage description, although it is Grand Ballon.
DR Stage 18 Illmenau - Oberhof





Today the race starts in Illmenau for stage 18. The riders will head south for the first Prime at Herschdorf. Then the riders will head for the first climb, of Oberweissbacherberg then the riders will head for Steinheid. Then on to the next climb the riders head, which is the Wurzelburg. Then the riders will have the final Prime at Goldisthal, home of a massive Hydroelectric Power Plant. Then the race will have a rolling profile as they complete the rest of the stage to Oberhof. Once the riders ride through the town, they will pass the Bobsleigh track and the indoor XC Skiing and Biathlon tunnel. Then the riders will head into the DKB Arena and finish Opposite the Biathlon shooting range


Finish (that wont be on snow):
DR Stage 19 Aschersleben - Sankt Andreasberg





Today the riders will start in the town of Aschersleben for the final mountain stage of the race. The route is an shorter version of a one day race that I have made. The race will head for the Steinkopfe and the
Huttenrode climbs, before getting to the Prime at Wernigerode. Then they will head back into the Harz mountains for the climbs of the Rodeburg and the
Elenderburg. Once they have been peaked the riders will get to the second Prime of the day at Tanne. Then they will climb the Hohegeiss. After descending down to the final climb of the day, the riders will climb to MTF town of Sankt Andreasberg. Once in the town, the riders will ride up the Herrenstrasse. This is the steepest urban road in Central Europe. After this hard day in the saddle, the riders will be looking forward to the final day of the race in Berlin


Jun 30, 2014
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I think my next stage race will be a one week long Tirolrundfahrt that also includes Südtirol, someone has to use some od the great climbs the both the Österreichrundfahrt and the Giro tend to ignore.
Jun 30, 2014
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Prologue Innsbruck; 4,6km


The Tirol-Rundfahrt will consist of a Prologue and 7 other stages.
The first 3,6km of this Prologue are flat but you have to be careful, the corners are tricky.
Then the riders will ride through the Höttinger Gasse, 900m at 7,7% with an over 15% steep final ramp, a 100m long descent and a short over 15% steep final ramp.
The start of the Höttinger Gasse

A short video that shows the first part of the climb through the narrow Höttinger Gasse
Onto the final day of the Deutschland Rundfahrt

DR Stage 20a TT Berlin Tempelhof - Berlin Brandenburg Gate

None (TT)


Today we have a double stage for the final day of the race. We start on the runway of the disused Tempelhof Airport. Now the Tempelhofer Park. The riders will then have more than one kilometre of straight before a curve round the top. Once they have left the park the riders will ride along the virtually straight Tempelhofer Strasse. They will ride along the Stresemannstrasse to the Potsdamer Platz. Then they will wiggle behind the back of Brandenburg Gate and then head up to the Torstrasse. Once they have riden along that road, they shall head straight up the Friedrichstrasse before heading straight back down. They will ride onto the Invalidenstrasse. For most of the TT so far they have been on the former DDR side of Berlin, but on this street they will cross back onto the West side of the city.Once they have rode onto the Alt-Moabit, they will loop onto the Strasse des 17 Juni. From here on in they will have it all straight, apart from the Siegesaule Monument roundabout until they reach the hairpin with 300 metres to go infront of the Brandenburg Gate. The stage will finish in front of the Soviet war memorial


Jun 30, 2014
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Stage 1 Fiecht - Innsbruck; 158km


A short first real stage, the first small climb that ends between Roppen and Karres is 2km at 5,2%. After riding through Imst the next climb is the Holzleitensattel from Mieminger Straße, 7km at 4,5km, but it's an irregular climb with a few ramps that are at least 9% steep.
The final climb of the day is the Möserer Sattel 4,2km at 9%. The first 10km of the descent are just false flat, but the last 2,7km are 10% steep, even if the whole descent isn't very technical. The final 12 km are flat an will bring the riders back to Innsbruck, after the prologue this will be the 2nd stage that finish in Innsbruck.
The last climb should be to hard for the pure sprinters, so a rouleur with a decent sprint should win this stage.
Jun 30, 2014
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Stage 2 Schwaz- Wörgl ITT; 34,8km

A flat ITT, the "climb" in the middle is just a tunnel.
I know, it's a little bit long for a one week race, but i there are enough hard mountain stages, you need a longer ITT to balance things out.
Jun 30, 2014
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Stage 3 Brixlegg - Ried im Oberinntal; 138km

A short easy stage for the sprinters without any relevant climbs, i wanted to have an easier stage between the ITT and the next 2 stages that will be hard.
Don't worry, it will be the only stage for the pure sprinters, on the other stages they'll have to fulfill their duty as bottle carrier:D
Jun 30, 2014
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Stage 4 Landeck - Penser Joch/Passo Pennes
The first MTF of the Race.


The race starts in Landeck, the first climb of the day is the Reschenpass, 15,7km at 3,2%, an easy climb that is nothing more than a nice warm-up, but the Vinschgau is known to be pretty windy, so we could get some crosswinds.
After a long false flat descent that will bring the riders to Meran/Merano and another 20km of false flat, the next climb of the day, the Jaufenpass/Passo Monte Giovo, 19,9km at 7,1% a really tough climb. After the descent and 4km of flat the final climb of the day starts Penser Joch/Passo Pennes 14,7km at 8,7%, a very hard climb.
I don't think that we'll see some GC action before the final climb, but someone with a strong team could already do some damage on Jaufenpass/Passo Monte Giovo and the final climb could create big gaps.
Penser Joch/Passo Pennes:
I'd argue that 33km isn't too long for a one-week race - the length has to depend on the balance of the race. The Dauphiné, for example, can easily sustain a 40-45km ITT if the mountain stages are tough enough, while the Eneco Tour would ideally have a TT of around 15km. I'm more surprised by the TT being just one road stage after the prologue than by its length.
Jun 30, 2014
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Libertine Seguros said:
I'd argue that 33km isn't too long for a one-week race - the length has to depend on the balance of the race. The Dauphiné, for example, can easily sustain a 40-45km ITT if the mountain stages are tough enough, while the Eneco Tour would ideally have a TT of around 15km. I'm more surprised by the TT being just one road stage after the prologue than by its length.
I thought about making it even longer, 38km long because the 3 mountain stages are hard enough.
I know it's a little bit unusual, but stages 4 and 5 are hard mountain stages, stage 6 is for the breakaway and stage 7 is another mountain stage with a MTF at high altitude. I want action on stage 5, so I don't want to have the ITT istead of stage 4 or 6, you could have the ITT on the last day, but maybe the result of that could be that they softpedal the high altitude MTF that would be on the penultimate day.
But making the ITT a little bit longer is a good idea, i think I'll change the stage and edit the post.
Jun 30, 2014
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Stage 5 Chiusa/Klausen - Lienz; 200km
This stage should be fun.


The race starts in Klausen/Chiusa and after 13km the first small climb of the day from Brixen to Natz already starts, 5,4km at 5,8% but with a few short 9% steep ramps. The next climb is the hardest climb of the day, Kiener Alm from Mühlbach/Rio di Pusteria 14km at 7,8%, but 1km in the middle of the climb is flat and the final 2,5km are almost constatly over 10% steep and the descent is technical.
The next climb will bring the rider on the Pustertaler Sonnenstraße, 6,8km at 7% but the second part of the climb is flat, the first part features a few 15% steep slopes.
The next few km are a long descent down to Bruneck/Brunico on the Pustertaler Sonnenstraße. A few km of false flat and the next climb begins the Gostestraße up to Taisten, 4km at 9%, a short descent and the climb to Scandole/Schindelholz from Taisten starts, 3,8km at 6,5% with a short part in the middle that is 14% steep, followed by a speed descent down to Niederpichl.
The a false flat descent down to Welsberg/Monguelfo and 4 flat km that will bring the rider to Niederdorf, where the famous Dolomiti Superbike starts, the short climb up to Aufkirchen, 2km at 7%, a short descent to Toblach/Dobbiaco and the short Haselsberg climb, 2km at 4,7%.
The next 2km are flat on the Haselsbergstraße a short descent will bring the riders to Innichen/San Candido. They'll pass tenuta Valcastello that is owned by the nobel Acquarone family, they shouldn't be relatet to the other Aquarone. :D
The next climb is the Innichberg from west, 3,6km at 9,7% with multiple 15% steep ramps. The descent is very technical and on steep, narrow and twisty roads.
After 3,5km another short climb on the Jaufenstraße to Winnebach, 1,6km at 5%.
The next climb is the Villgratner Höhenstraße, 3,5km at 12,6% a short brutal climb that Purito would love. After 2 hilly km on top of the Jaufenstraße and descent, the first part is technical and on narrow roads, the Tessenberg climb, 4,6km at 5,3% but 1km in the middle is totally flat, the rest is between 9 and 10% steep.
The final climb of the day is the Pustertaler Höhenstraße with a final steep descent that brings the Riders to Leisach, only 2km away from the finish line in Lienz.
Pustertaler Höhenstraße :

This should be a great stage to watch, many steep ramps and technical descents on narrow twisty roads.
You could make the stage even longer and start from Bozen/Bolzano and use the Climb up to Klobenstein/Collalbo, that would make the stage 238km long but I think I'll use that stage or something similar in my next Giro.
The first part of that stage would look like this:
Jun 30, 2014
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Stage 6 Lienz - Brandenberg; 163km


A nice transitional stage before the final mountain stage.
Today the race starts in Lienz and the first Climb of the day is Febertauern, 16,2km at 4,3% with the long tunnel that messes up the profile of the climb on the Map.
The next 50km of the race take place in Salzburg, the next climb of the day also starts in Salzburg, Gerlospass, 12,7km at 6,2% but the first 2km are 8,5% steep and a short ramp at 17%, it's a very irregular climb with 1km at 10,5%.
After the descent the rider will ride through Zillertal, famous for the Zillertaler Höhenstraße that has multiple monster climbs, but today is not the day to explore them, maybe I'll do that in my next Giro.
The final climb of the day starts in Kramsach 3,8km at 9,8%, but after the climb there are still 2,5 flat km until the riders will reach the finish line in Brandenberg.
It should be a stage for the breakaway, i don't think that anyone will be eager to chase them after 2 hard stages and with the final mountain stage on the next day.
Jun 30, 2014
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Stage 7 Wörgl - Kaunertaler Gletscherstraße; 207,9km


This is the last stage of the Tirol-Rundfahrt and the last chace to attack..
We start with a few small hills, then the Kühtaisattel, 22,7km at 6,2% with a max. gradient of 16%. After the descent and 15km of false flat the next climb, Piller Höhe, 16,4km at 5%.
Then we'll start the final climb of the Day, Kaunertaler Gletscherstraße (2750*m), 38,5km at 4,9%, a brutal lonn climb with a finish at high altitude. With the stage being nearly 208km long and 2 decent climbs before Kaunertaler Gletscherstraße we should get sizeable gaps on the final climb, this is the last stage of the race so the riders should go for broke.
Kaunertaler Gletscherstraße:
Jun 30, 2014
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I'd like to ask those who often post in this thread one question: What are some of the stages that you haven't used in your own races, but that you'd love to see in a GT or in any other stage race?
DR Stage 20b Berlin Brandenburg Gate - Berlin Brandenburg Gate



Finish line (Laps 2 and 5)

None (No climb rule Doesn't apply)

For the second part of the final day, we start on the Strasse des 17 Juni. They will head through the Brandenburg Gate and on to the Pariser Platz. From there they immediately reach the Unter den Linden and onto the Karl Marx Allee Once they have reached Friedrichshain, they will head on to the Danziger Strasse before riding along the Prenzlauer Allee. Then they will ride along the Torstrasse. Once at the cross roads with the Friedrichstrasse, they will hop onto that road and then onto narrower roads and off the main thoroughfares. Before long they will be back on the Unter den Linden and head round the Pariser Platz and onto the finish straight.


Summary of the race

Orange Jersey:
Leaders GC jersey. Decided on time, with Primes giving 3, 2 and 1 seconds and 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, and 1 at the Finish.

Yellow and Blue stripey Jersey:
Points Classification jersey, awarded by 5 down to 1 points at Primes and 10 down to 1 at the Finish.

Purple Jersey:
KOM Classification jersey points are as followson the next line.
Cat 4: 1 point
Cat 3: 2 and 1 points
Cat 2: 3, 2 and 1 points
Cat 1: 4, 3, 2 and 1 points
Cat HC: 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 points

White and Red stripey Jersey:
Combined Classification is all the points from the Points jersey and all the points form KOM jersey added together.

Green Jersey:
Under 25s Classification decided on time. Primes dont count

The route summary

3 Hard Mountain stages
3 ITT stages
5 medium mountain stages
10 sprint stages

This is a basic outline to what was raced over by the riders
Prologue: Hamburg - Hamburg (An easy fast, flat course around the centre of Hamburg)

Stage 1: Hamburg - Burg auf Fehmarn (A stage that although looks flat and simple, could play into the hands of teams and riders that are good at forming echelons)

Stage 2: Kiel - Lubeck (A simple stage that has two loops around the city of Lubeck)

Stage 3: Lubeck - Hamburg (The first stage on which KOM points will be handed out. It also has several loops with sectors of cobbles in.

Stage 4: Bremen - Hanover (The first stage over 200 kms)

Stage 5: Dusseldorf - Cologne (A stage that ends with loops in and goes along the edge of the Rein)

Stage 6: Koblenz - Nurburg (Nurburgring) (The first mountain stage, which ends at the Nurburgring F1 circuit)

Stage 7: Nurburgring loop stage (Loops around the former and current F1 circuits)

Stage 8: Saarbrucken - Karlsruhe (One of the easier mountain stages)

Stage 9: Stuttgart - Kandel (The first big MTF stage that has cobbled climbs with parts over 15%)

Rest Day 1: Freiburg

Stage 10: Schonau im Schwarzwald - Basel (A flattish stage through the Schwartzwald, followed by loops in the Swiss city of Basel)

Stage 11: (TT) Lindau – Friedrichschafen (Eurobike) (A TT from the Lake Constance town to the Eurobike exhibition place)

Stage 12: Bregenz - Bergstation Fellhorn (A mountain stage that finishes with a MTF just outside Oberstorf)

Stage 13: Oberstorf - Garmisch Partenkirchen (A stage between two Ski jump arenas. It isn’t very challenging)

Stage 14: Garmisch Partenkirchen - Salzberg (A medium mountain stage that finishes outside of Germany in Salzberg

Stage 15: Hallein - Berchtesgaden (A mountain stage that includes three loops with three tough climbs)

Rest Day 2: Nuremburg

Stage 16: Nuremburg - Coburg (A rolling profile with only one categorised climb)

Stage 17: Saalfeld - Chemitz (Another rolling stage, with the famous Steiler wand von Meerane)

Stage 18: Illenau - Oberhof (DKB Arena) (A stage through the Thuninger Wald, finishing in the XC Ski/Biathlon centre)

Stage 19: Asche - Sankt Andreasburg (Mountain stage that finishes with a MTF on Central Europe’s steepest urban road)

Stage 20a: (TT) Berlin Templehof - Berlin Brandenburg Gate (A short, mostly straight, flat TT in Berlin)

Stage 20b: Berlin Brandenburg Gate - Berlin Karl Marx Allee (A circuit race around Berlin)