Race Design Thread

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Tour of California 17

Tour of California stage 17: Los Angeles - Lake Sherwood; 186 km

The third week could be considered easier at first sight with the highest point only 1190 meters high. However, the medium mountain and hilly stages placed in the last week are by no means easy and with the GC battle culminating they could prove to be legbreakers. First of these is stage 17 starting in Los Angeles and then heading through Holywood towards the Santa Monica mountains and finishing at Lake Sherwood near Thousand Oaks.

First serious climbing of the day starts after 40 km with the Tuna Canyon ascent. It starts nasty, averaging 11% over 3.5 km and then eases up. Similar profile has the next climb as well, the Saddle Peak. Latigo Canyon, the next climb starting from the town of Malibu is an easier one but the one after is again very steep. Most of the climb to Barley Knob is at around 10%. From the top there are nice views of the surrounding mountains.

After the descent there is a short section along the coast before we turn right to the hills again. This next ascent through Deer Creek is very painful, over its length of 3.5 km it never goes under 10% in gradient. It crests only 30 km before the finish so we could see the decisive moves happening here. The last climb up Triunfo Pass is not as hard but with the bunch likely to be shattered to pieces a lot could happen here too. From here there is 12 km of a double stepped descent and 3 km of flat before final 500 meters at 10%.

Los Angeles:

Lake Sherwood:
Tour of California 18

Tour of California stage 18: Thousand Oaks - Brush Peak; 176 km

Stage 18 is the last one with mountains close to the finish. The first 110 km from Thousand Oaks to Santa Barbara are mostly flat, but the rest of the stage has no flat whatsoever. It starts with the last HC climb of the race - La Cumbre Peak. The road here is in pretty bad condition in places and it offers spectacular views. Altitude of almost 1200 meters is not very impressive, but the start is at sea level. First 13 km of the ascent average 8% and are followed by a short downhill to Angostura Pass and final dig up to the top of La Cumbre Peak with panoramic views of the Santa Barbara Channel and Santa Ynez Mountains (of which La Cumbre Peak is the highest point). The descent is fairly technical albeit not steep (with a short uphill too) while we are still on the ridge of Santa Ynez Mountains. At San Marcos Pass the road becomes wider and the rest of the downhill is very easy.

Right after entering Santa Barbara we turn back towards the mountains again, climbing by the North San Marcos and Painted Cave road to Laurel Springs. At one point this road crosses the previously descended San Marcos Pass road so anyone who's still before this point will have to wait and this waiting time will be added to the time limit on the stage. At the top of Laurel Springs climb we rejoin the previously used East Camino Cielo road to descend to San Marcos Pass and continue west along the ridge towards Brush Peak. This last rise shouldn't be decisive, but can amplify any differences already made. The West Camino Cielo road that leads here is in good condition, only the last 50 meters inside the Winchester Canyon Gun Club need to be paved.

Thousand Oaks:

Finish area at Winchester Canyon Gun Club:
Re: Re:

Eshnar said:
Gigs_98 said:
TheGreenMonkey said:
I am trying to use cronoeslada and it keeps either not giving a profile or giving a profile for half the stage.
Welcome to Cronoescalada :eek:
Seriously if the profiles of this side wouldn't be that good it would be absolute B*******. Stuff like no or only half profiles happen to me too often. Sometimes you just have to press "view profile" for one or two minutes if the profile just doesn't appear.
:confused: I never had any problems whatsoever... And I use it, like, everyday. :eek:

Thank you for the replies, I have been a bit slow getting back to the thread. I am glad I am not the only one having problems but I would much rather be having the success Eshnar is having.
Jul 26, 2015
Re: Tour of California 18

togo95 said:
Tour of California stage 18: Thousand Oaks - Brush Peak; 176 km

I sometimes wondered how to make a GT with the US, as the coasts are so far away from each other.
But as you're showing us, some states are largely interesting enough to have a 3 weeks-GT themselves !
Obviously, California is slightly better for that than Florida, but still, thats a nice route.
Re: Tour of California 18

Steven Roots said:
togo95 said:
Tour of California stage 18: Thousand Oaks - Brush Peak; 176 km

I sometimes wondered how to make a GT with the US, as the coasts are so far away from each other.
But as you're showing us, some states are largely interesting enough to have a 3 weeks-GT themselves !
Obviously, California is slightly better for that than Florida, but still, thats a nice route.

You could make a good GT including the east coast and appalachians.
Re: Tour of California 18

TMP402 said:
Steven Roots said:
togo95 said:
Tour of California stage 18: Thousand Oaks - Brush Peak; 176 km

I sometimes wondered how to make a GT with the US, as the coasts are so far away from each other.
But as you're showing us, some states are largely interesting enough to have a 3 weeks-GT themselves !
Obviously, California is slightly better for that than Florida, but still, thats a nice route.

You could make a good GT including the east coast and appalachians.
I think Christian did one down the West Coast.
Jul 26, 2015
Im fairly new here, but i've been reading you for a long time.
One thing that keeps bugging me is the always disappointing route of the Tour.
Maybe because i am a perfectionnist of some kind, more probably because i'm never satisfied by their choices and i often have some ideas that i think about in my head instead of working and doing productive things.
And it seems i am not the only one here to think about that kind of stuff.

Since you're never better served than by yourself, i tried to design a Tour de France for 2016 that will be as difficult as i think a Grand Tour should be.
Well, i'm saying this, but i tried to make it difficult to me, too.
We already know several facts for next year, and they both really trapped me into some decisions.

The first two stages are already designed.
Stage 1 will very likely be a sprint finish with the stage starting in Mont Saint-Michel and ending in Utah Beach.
Why do they decide to honor and commemorate a famous WWII spot one hundred years after Verdun (WWI) is troubling to say the least.
To fix that, the city of Verdun must be on the course i have to design.
The second stage will be pedaled between St-Lô and Cherbourg and will feature some (or at least one) hills in the finish, with the line being at the top of the Côte de la Glacerie, steep enough (reaching gradients of 15% at one point) to get rid of the fatter sprinters.

Other condition i have to respect, Andorra have already announced that they will receive a stage finish, have a rest day and then the stage start for the following day.

Considering these three problems, plus the UCI regulations, i think i made it as difficult yet realistic as possible.
No smurftown (except one but as it is a very touristic venue, there will be no issue, and i am not talking about Juzcar) will receive the Tour, there will be only one long transfer, we're complying as much as we can to UCI regulations (well, we're just slightly over 3.500km overall, but i think thats allright) and Ooghe will go, rightfully, nuts with his chopper and the landscape we'll see on the route.
Of course because of that, we will miss some attacks against the yellow jersey.

But i think we have an interesting route, and thats done without any of the most-used cols in the history of the Tour.

So, we'll directly start with Stage 3 :

Stage 3 : Granville (already announced, not my choice) - Le Mans, 232 km.



Even though the rotation between mountain chains is not mandatory, i feel like i need to respect some of the ASO trademarks.
So now, we will basically do the opposite of the Village People. Let me get this straight. We will "go east".
The last time Le Mans received a stage finish, the U.S.S.R was still there, Mandela was still in jail, and the fashion sense of the masses was...questionable. I mean, mullets were still common.
That stage was won by Jean-Paul van Poppel, who despite winning 4 stages in 1988, did not finished the Tour with the green jersey, which sounds oddly familiar.

This stage will feature several familiar names of the french calendar.
First, we'll go through Saint-Martin-de-Landelles, theater of the Polynormande, but the main part of the race will take place in the Mancelles Alps.
To be clear, they're kind of a poor man's Alps, or even a broke man's Alps, since the highest point of the armorican massif, in which they are, goes as high as 416m, and the average height of the massif is barely higher than 100m above sea level.
That highest point is the Mont des Avaloirs (also seen in the Circuit de la Sarthe), and it will be on the route, just after the second climb of the day for the polka dot jersey competition, la Côte de Villepail. All of them are 4th category climbs.

Those two are in fact quite far from the finish, around 70km, but the next 50 are going to take place in the countryside with small roads, and a lot of cows, which may cause trouble to some Giant climber.
And its quite the hilly terrain. Not Ardennes-like, not even Ardennes-lite, but relatively favourable to a breakaway.
Until the last 20k, and then a massive straight will bring us to Le Mans for a likely sprint finish where a fat german is probably going to win.
Re: Re:

malakassis said:
Gigs_98 said:
Dadc1994 said:

I would like to see this stage in a future Tour

relatively long and hard
fixed that for you :p

:eek: lol you guys are crazy. but maybe fair to compensate 60k flat ITT.how many hours would it take the gruppetto here? 130% win time?
Hahaha, believe me, I am not one of the crazy guys here who think this could really be raced in a tour but thinking about it is quite funny. the original stage however was really good and absolutely possible
Tour of California 19

Cheers for the kind words guys, here is the longest stage of the tour.

Tour of California stage 19: San Luis Obispo - Monterey; 243 km

Starting from San Luis Obispo it heads further north(west) along the beautiful Californian coast. First touch of it comes after 20 km at Morro Bay, but soon after the route does a detour with the first categorised climb perhaps helping to establish the break. After this point the height never rises above 300 above sea, but it is by no means pancake flat stage. Especially from Ragged Point onwards the Cabrillo Highway (California State Highway 1) goes up and down all the time. There is certainly a lot to admire along the route - like the McWay Waterfall of the Bixby Bridge - in case the racing is boring.

The terrain gets flatter as we approach Monterey but two hills await in the close proximity of the finishing city. These are not the steepest averaging 6% and 5% respectively. However, after three weeks of racing and over 200 km in the legs on that day it is hard to imagine a big pack arriving at the finish line together.

Tour of California 20

Tour of California stage 20: Santa Cruz - San Francisco; 201 km

Let's finish this off, here is the penultimate stage and the last one to change the GC. Due to large number of uncategorised climbs here is the full list of ascents and statistics:

Felton (at km 16) - 15 km, 4% avg, cat 3
Ben Lomond Mountain (37) - 8 km, 9%, cat 1
Big Basin Way (52) - 3.5 km, 5.5%
China Grade (62) - 6 km, 4%
Saratoga Gap (79) - 10 km, 4%, cat 2
Kings Mountain (116) - 7 km, 7%, cat 2
Bunker Hill (137) - 1 km, 8%
Black Mountain (141) - 1.8 km, 9%, cat 4
Macadamia Drive (146) - 0.5 km, 12%
Burl Burl Ridge (152) - 1.6 km, 9%, cat 4
Clearfield Drive (154) - 0.4 km, 11%
Larkspur Drive (156) - 1 km, 10%
Manor Drive (170) - 1.7 km, 10%, cat 3
Gellert Boulevard (172) - 0.7 km, 11%
Edgewood Park (179) - 2 km, 8%, cat 4
Casitas Avenue (187) - 3 km, 5%
Dalewood Way (188) - 0.3 km, 22%
Twin Peaks (191) - 1.5 km, 5%
Mount Sutro (194) - 1.2 km, 9%, cat 4
Buena Vista Avenue (200) - 0.8 km, 7%

It's a long list as you can see and this is a hard stage to conclude the GC battle. No high mountains but medium mountains in the first half and lots of short steep hills without respite in the second. This could be carnage. Riders will have to cross tram tracks twice (fortunately perpendicular to the track both times) so hopefully there is no rain on the day.

Santa Cruz:

Finish line at Buena Vista Park with natural tribune on the left side:
Tour of California 21

Tour of California stage 21: San Francisco - San Jose; 140 km

The last stage heads north across the Golden Gate bridge first and after the last categorised climb of the race goes back again and through the Silicon Valley towards San Jose where there are 4 laps to be done on a circuit in the downtown.

San Francisco:

San Jose:

lemon cheese cake said:
Togo you are harsh! Two stages during and just before the final weekend that are over 200kms, both with a lumpy finish!

Yeah, since I decided to put mountains mostly in the second week and didn't want to have the GC decided too early I had to think of something else ;)

And since it took me so damn long to post the whole race, here are all the profiles combined together: link
Jul 26, 2015
Stage 4 : Vendôme-Orléans, 75km, ITT.

Despite having more than 15.000 inhabitants, Vendôme has never received the Tour.


Yes, this is an ITT, not a TTT. I hate TTT. Even more than brussels sprout.
We havent seen that long since 1987. But i feel like a Grand Tour needs to be really 3 weeks long, and not just 8 or 10 days.
Since we're just too far away from the mountains, the easiest way to shake things up is the ITT.
Its also a plus for the route as it allows us to get rid of a stage that was going to be as flat as a pancake.

The favourites are going to be under a lot of pressure there. Especially the little and agile climbers who are going to suffer a lot. Now, they're going to have a very convincing incentive to attack with the minutes lost today. And you can certainly hope that they wont wait until the very last climb to do so.

The route is almost perfectly flat, and may be exposed to the wind, not unlike Paris-Tours which takes place in the area too.

Orléans, due to his awfully central and uninteresting cycling-wise position, has never received a stage finish since 1974.



Chambord, where you can see this cute little house, was considered, but we're actually going to follow the Loire rather than crossing it.


We'll be much closer to this one, in Meung-sur-Loire, in the last kilometers.


barmaher said:
I am trying to design my Giro and having difficulty avoiding a sprint stage on the first weekend.

I assume this will be looked on unfavourably by the judges.
Its surely not perfect but I think one lame weekend stage isnt such a problem. I have basically the same problem and I will also make a sprint stage on the last day so I have 2 of those. :(