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Race Design Thread

Page 163 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.

w52

Aug 2, 2015
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Volta a Portugal: Stage 2: Matosinhos - Ponte de Lima (127.5km)

Volta continues and the secound stage will bring riders from Matosinhos to Ponte de Lima in a flat and short stage, only 127,5km. This stage don't present any uphill difficulties, but wind could have a major role since the stage will be ride near the coast in the majority of time. Howerver, it's expected a chance for the sprinters to shine.

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Ponte de Lima

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Gigs_98 said:
Two questions:
1.) The colle di Tenda from the south isnt usable, right?
2.) Do you think Sampeyre is big enough to host a giro stage (I mean the town not the pass)

1.) Tende, French side, is paved until around the 30th hairpin from the tunnel road. And it's not that good a tarmac, still has bits of loose gravel and nevermind it's tighter than the Lacets de Montvernier. I still think it's logistically possible to use if you find a way to shred the peloton before that. Forget not it was used twice already in the past coming from Italy, likely one of the most technical descents around. So it's really a shame organisers are not courageous enough to employ it.

Obviously, the steep downhill and even crapier sterrato of the 50's were no match for the Farfadet de la lande Bretonne and his infamous lead bottles.
 

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This will be the last stage i post today but i expect to post all stages until tomorrow night. Please give me some feedback :)

Volta a Portugal: Stage 3: Braga - Senhora da Graça (197.5km)

Stage 3 brings the first mountains and also the first uphill finish...and what a finish. If the previous stage was short and flat, this one will be an almost 200km hell for the riders. All begins in the city of Braga and with only 10km we have the first of five mountains with the climb to Sameiro a 2nd category climb, after that the stage goes on to Guimarães where the riders will clim the Penha a short but hard 2nd category climb. After that the stage goes through Felgueiras, Mondim de Basto and finnaly arrives to the Serra do Alvão where we have the 3rd climb of the day and also the third 2nd category climb in Pardelhas. Some km's after riders arrive to Vila Real where they will star the 4th climb of the day to the Barragem do Alvão a 1st category climb that will create a lot of difficulties to the remainder peloton, after the descent riders will reach Mondim de Basto for the secound time and will start the last climb of the day: Monte Farinha or Senhora da Graça as it is known, a mythical place of portuguese cycling where big gaps are expected and some of the main candidates to the GC can lose the race.

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Senhora da Graça

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Gigs_98 said:
Two questions:
1.) The colle di Tenda from the south isnt usable, right?
2.) Do you think Sampeyre is big enough to host a giro stage (I mean the town not the pass)
1) The one with at least 40 hairpins does not look usable. To fit fans and riders onto that would be chaos.

2) Probably the reason no answers have come to you for this one is because its like putting your hand up in an exam and asking for the answer. You'll have to use your own judgment on this one.
 

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Volta a Portugal: Stage 4: Vila Real - Gouveia (144.1km)

Race continues now to stage 4 that will connect Vila Real and Gouveia in a uphill finish in the village nearby Serra da Estrela. The 144.1km stage will be a tricky one with a continuous up and down that will cause some problems to the fastest man of the peloton. There will be 3 climbs all 3rd categories, being the last one coincident with the finish a long but not very sheer climb, being expected a win of a break or a reduced sprint. Another point of interest of this stage will be the landscape since the route will include passages in the Douro vineyards zone and should provide magnificent images for tv transmitions.

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Gouveia
Gouveia_Cidade_CMG.png


Douro landscape
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w52

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Volta a Portugal: Stage 5: Gouveia - Torre (Seia) (207.5km)

Stage 5 is synonymus of queen stage. It will begin in Gouveia and will finish in Torre after 207.5km of pure hell, besides the distance riders have to face 5 categorized climbs (two 2nd, two 1st and one hors category) being the last one coincident with the finish in Torre. Hostility starts right in the beggining with the climb to Penhas Douradas, followed to the climb of Penhas da Saúde from Manteigas side after a technical downhill, both climbs are 1st categories. The remaining peloton will go next to Covilhã and will have ~50km of false flat terrain, to start then the climb to the village of Piodão a tough 2nd catogory. After the descent another climb Santa Ovaia a short but very hard climb with 2 of 4km with a medium of 11% that will break even more the small group of the main candidates. Riders have now 20km of flat terrain to start the massive clim to Torre from Seia a 28km climb that can decide the race although we are still in the middle of the race.

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Torre
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P.S: i know this stage is a bit irrealistic due to the distance and the amount of difficulties but it would be something interesting to see
 
lemon cheese cake said:
Gigs_98 said:
Two questions:
1.) The colle di Tenda from the south isnt usable, right?
2.) Do you think Sampeyre is big enough to host a giro stage (I mean the town not the pass)
1) The one with at least 40 hairpins does not look usable. To fit fans and riders onto that would be chaos.

I think it can be used. The road is wide enough for peloton and caravan. There is enough gras on the side for those that want to watch
 
I work with cronoescalada for quite some time but I always design the races on openrunner (and then redesign the route for the good cronoescalada profile) because you have so much more options to make your route. Maybe I do something wrong but on cronoescalada I have only two option which are adding a new finish of my route and an undo option, while on openrunner I can also delete points in the middle of the route, I can add a new way point between two already existing ones,...
The problem is that making every race twice needs a lot of time, so does anyone of you know if there is any chance to import the route I designed on openrunner directly to cronoescalada so I don't have to design every stage again.
 
Gigs_98 said:
I work with cronoescalada for quite some time but I always design the races on openrunner (and then redesign the route for the good cronoescalada profile) because you have so much more options to make your route. Maybe I do something wrong but on cronoescalada I have only two option which are adding a new finish of my route and an undo option, while on openrunner I can also delete points in the middle of the route, I can add a new way point between two already existing ones,...
The problem is that making every race twice needs a lot of time, so does anyone of you know if there is any chance to import the route I designed on openrunner directly to cronoescalada so I don't have to design every stage again.

Sure, export as GPX from openrunner and then import to Cronoescalada using the Upload feature on the top right corner of the page next to the social media icons.
 
Jul 26, 2015
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Stage 9 : Oyonnax - Le Bourget-du-Lac, 180km.

Oyonnax received a stage start, and it was not long ago (2014).
But i think that the Tour did not give Jura the credit it deserves.
Like the Vosges, its been too often neglected, if not just ignored.

But that ends right meeeow.

chat.jpg


Even though we're actually very close from Lyon and Geneva, the six climbs riders will have to take care of today have seen the Tour for the grand total of...twice. Combined.
And thats only because the Grand Colombier made its debut in 2012. Thats simply atrocious.


The combination Sentier-Bérentin is perfect to start the race, with the ascents being done right after the exit of Oyonnax. Controlling the race should be very difficult and will tire the teammates very quickly.
They're not necessarily mega steep but with already over 20k climbing, that will tire everyone, although i should say the Bérentin is slightly harder than the Sentier (this one being 8km long with an average slope of 5%).

BerentinNE.gif


After 15km of valley, close to the Rhône, we then have the Col de la Biche, brand new on the Tour. Which is a joke.
13km long, with a gradient over 7% in average...thats an average.
Because we have a long part over 9.5% between the 3rd and 8th kilometer, that will surely hurt.

BicheE.gif


And thats far from over, since after the descent, we go right up again with the Grand Colombier. On his harder side.

GrandColombierW.gif


Nasty ascent, largely considered as one of the toughest of all for non-Alpine/Pyrenean mountains.
Irregular, with a poorly surfaced road at times, the gradient can be as high as 19% at one point.

3670.jpg


The fact that we have yet to see this combination Biche-Grand Colombier is mind-boggling, as they're perfectly connected to each other.

grand_colombieraline_perier.jpg


After the descent (which may prove to be harder than expected as there is often some tricky gravel on the asphalt), we end up on the other bank of the Rhône, alongside the Lake Bourget. For the legs, it will be awful, but at least, there is something for the eye.

700px-Bourget_lac_panoramic-3_2007-08-17.jpg


The Côte d'Ontex allows us to not give any big rest to the riders. Just a 3rd category climb, but still, thats not flat.
There should not be big groups left at this stage, and the group of leaders should be seriously small at this point.
The Abbaye of Hautecombe is right there and thats the right time to pray.

sitraEVE951060_355745_abbaye-hautecombe_2392.jpg


Because something terrible awaits.
The Mont du Chat. Unseen on the Tour since 1974.

ChatW.gif


We're using the slightly easier side, but there is no easy side. This one will leave some marks on the bodies.
Slightly longer than the Grand Colombier. Once we're past Meyrieu-Trouet, thats hell on wheels. Never under 10% for the last 8km. There is no hiding possible.

5635122136_af5aa626c2_b.jpg


For some high-profile names, this will be ugly.

The finish will take place at the Bourget-du-Lac, which is at the bottom of the descent.
The road is not perfect, but its not a overly technical one with the classical combo straights/hairpins.

However, i must say that there is an unknown factor : rain.
As it is in the forest, if it rains, it may be very adventurous. (And thats also the case for the Biche and the Grand Colombier done earlier).

0Gihp5S.png

vo5TBbP.png


The rest day is coming next, we can expect some fireworks on this stage, with over 5.000m in elevation gain.
 
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Steven Roots said:
Stage 9 : Oyonnax - Le Bourget-du-Lac, 180km.

Oyonnax received a stage start, and it was not long ago (2014).
But i think that the Tour did not give Jura the credit it deserves.
Like the Vosges, its been too often neglected, if not just ignored.
[...]
Even though we're actually very close from Lyon and Geneva, the six climbs riders will have to take care of today have seen the Tour for the grand total of...twice. Combined.
And thats only because the Grand Colombier made its debut in 2012. Thats simply atrocious.

The combination Sentier-Bérentin is perfect to start the race, with the ascents being done right after the exit of Oyonnax. Controlling the race should be very difficult and will tire the teammates very quickly.
They're not necessarily mega steep but with already over 20k climbing, that will tire everyone, although i should say the Bérentin is slightly harder than the Sentier (this one being 8km long with an average slope of 5%).

After 15km of valley, close to the Rhône, we then have the Col de la Biche, brand new on the Tour. Which is a joke.
13km long, with a gradient over 7% in average...thats an average.
Because we have a long part over 9.5% between the 3rd and 8th kilometer, that will surely hurt.

And thats far from over, since after the descent, we go right up again with the Grand Colombier. On his harder side.

Nasty ascent, largely considered as one of the toughest of all for non-Alpine/Pyrenean mountains.
Irregular, with a poorly surfaced road at times, the gradient can be as high as 19% at one point.

The fact that we have yet to see this combination Biche-Grand Colombier is mind-boggling, as they're perfectly connected to each other.

After the descent (which may prove to be harder than expected as there is often some tricky gravel on the asphalt), we end up on the other bank of the Rhône, alongside the Lake Bourget. For the legs, it will be awful, but at least, there is something for the eye.

The Côte d'Ontex allows us to not give any big rest to the riders. Just a 3rd category climb, but still, thats not flat.
There should not be big groups left at this stage, and the group of leaders should be seriously small at this point.
The Abbaye of Hautecombe is right there and thats the right time to pray.

Because something terrible awaits.
The Mont du Chat. Unseen on the Tour since 1974.

We're using the slightly easier side, but there is no easy side. This one will leave some marks on the bodies.
Slightly longer than the Grand Colombier. Once we're past Meyrieu-Trouet, thats hell on wheels. Never under 10% for the last 8km. There is no hiding possible.

For some high-profile names, this will be ugly.

The finish will take place at the Bourget du Lac, which is at the bottom of the descent.
The road is not perfect, but its not a overly technical one with the classical combo straights/hairpins.

However, i must say that there is an unknown factor : rain.
As it is in the forest, if it rains, it may be very adventurous. (And thats also the case for the Biche and the Grand Colombier done earlier).

The rest day is coming next, we can expect some fireworks on this stage, with over 5.000m in elevation gain.
Just a random, friendly remark. I sometimes like to refer to the overused TdF climbs as Kardashian climbs. They are popping out everywhere at any time. i think I need to start a term of Race Design Thread's Kardashian Climbs. Biche, Grand Colombier & Mont du Chat (at least for me) are definitely here, with Sampeyre, Fauniera/Esishie etc.

Bérentin is a quite nice climb. It was used on the 2nd stage of this year's Dauphine (from the Bellegarde-sur-Valserine side). The descend you have chosen is pretty tricky and narrow. Could work pretty fine with a finish in Bellegarde with eg. Côte d'Échallon, small but beautiful Col de Matafelon with some hills west of the Ain river.

Now to the question. I have a question about logistics and i'm not sure where to find the answers. I hope, that i don't spam this thread with a dumb trivia.

Below is a possible stage finish. I've choosen Aix-en-Provence.
6P7oKji.jpg


The finish line is where the sign "47 Boulevard de la République" is. Before the finish guys are doing almost a full lap as shown by the blue dots. The parking sign is where the team buses are. Riders that finished the stage normally go to their buses. Now, what if the route that riders need to do to go to their buses (the red, or whatever the colour it is, line) is crossing with the actual stage route? Is it logistically possible in an actual WT race? Is such a scenario parallel with the lap finishes?
 
Jul 26, 2015
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No problem, you're welcome !

In fact, i think in a way, we're just complaining, and rightfully so, i think, considering the abnormally low number of times we've seen these climbs.
If they were deep in the mountains, away from the civilization, its understandable, but there is absolutely no logical explanation about why these 3 have never been featured in more than one single Tour.

As it is a thread designed for our own designs, i feel its obvious that eventually there will be a sort of consensus about several names, especially ones that stands out from the vicinity.
As you said, though, around Bellegarde-sur-Valserine there is a nice playground, and the horror that was the 2012 stage just pushes the forgotten ones even more to the spotlight.

For your problem, i feel that given the length of the loop (under 6km), crossing it would cause trouble.
But there might be a solution : the trainstation is just nearby your finish line. You'll likely have some parking space there.
 
Also, it's worth noting that as many of us share the same opinions of what makes a good route AND what is underappreciated and/or underused, you will end up with certain climbs that are "overused" in traceurs' projects. We also often share opinions on what is overused and what we therefore are seeking to avoid because of it being predictable, which often sends us in the same directions trying to avoid them!

Spandelles is another one you could point out, and possibly Bagargui as well. The other thing is that for the most part a lot of the traceurs have moved away from the "test the limits of possibilities" approach (although it is still fun to find out occasionally what crazy climbs or hell-pavé is out there) towards less extreme approaches that tend to focus more on what would actually be viable for real-life race organizers, with finishes in towns and/or at mountain locations such as sanctuaries and ski stations large enough to host at least some level of bike race... therefore we can see some repetition on what can be done as people seek out usable finishes for real-life underused climbs that they want to see and often come to the same conclusion. I mean, at one point I published a Vuelta stage, and when searching for a profile of a climb I'd used in a different stage came upon a fantasy route designed by visko (who occasionally posts here) at PRC which had an identical stage to mine (over Collado Canseco, Haza del Lino - another traceur's favourite - and Conjuros to finish at Motril). There's also the issue of anybody who tries to design a Deutschlandtour (which has included a number of goes at a GT as well as the shorter version that ties in to the real event) trying to work with the Berchtesgadener Land because it has the hardest climbs on German soil, for example.
 

w52

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Volta a Portugal: Stage 6: Fundão - Abrantes (164.5km)

After Torre painfull stage, the 164.5km beetween Fundão and Abrantes will be a relief to the cyclists. Stage 6 route is mostly flat with only two short and not difficult climbs in the begining, however there could be small traps like false flat sections that can surprise some tired riders. The final meters of the stage are not flat (~4%) and a powerfull sprint will be needed in case of a bunch sprint, a break is also expected to result.

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Abrantes

Abrantes.JPG
 
Jul 26, 2015
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Stage 10 : Beaufort - Col du Granon, 245km.

I hope you are actually rested after the break.
Because you'll need that as that stage might tire you just by looking at it.
In fact, i've basically tried to fit as many horrible climbs as possible in there. I'm just mean.

Its without a question the hardest of the Tour. I would like to see the queen stage, sometimes, earlier than Day 18 or 19, as riders are too often prone to wait for it before considering alternative tactics.

Anyway, there will be blood. There will be tears.

We start that stage from Beaufort, famous for its cheese.

0995.jpg


It never received the Tour for a stage start/finish, but its big enough. (Over 2.000 inhabitants.)
Its in fact the starting point of the Cormet de Roselend, first ascent of the day.

RoselendW.gif


Not a regular climb, and very long (20km).
It will be followed by an horribly, horribly long one. L'Iseran, coming from Bourg-Saint-Maurice. That's 48km.
It could be split in two parts, before and after Val d'Isère. In fact, the Iseran has been climbed entirely only one once in 50 years.

IseranN.gif


With such a length, legs will be burning soon enough.
Lungs wont be forgotten, because of the altitude, the Iseran reaching 2764m of elevation.

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The second part is the hardest with the last 2 kilometers being the worst (over 9%). The road also changes, the view and the surroundings being much nicer after Val d'Isère.

After 20km of descent, we reach the Mont-Cenis. Yes, we're going to visit Italy. That climb is not the biggest of the day, but its quite a nice one with the lake on the top.

MontCenisN.gif

mont-cenis.jpg


We're then in Susa. And we're going to jump through the window.

The mighty Finestre awaits. One of the brillant decisions of Zomegnan. The main group should already be torn apart at this point and reduced to a small number of men.
And now, its time to separate men from boys, good from greats.


FinestreN.gif

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As usual, the Finestre is followed by the painfully long climb to Sestrieres.

SestriereE.gif

(We're reaching the road from Usseaux, about 1/3 of the distance from the finish)

Im not really in favour of finishing in Italy, since we already should go to Andorra, so Montgenevre, here we go.
Like Sestrieres, not that hard, but we're past 200km and thats the sixth climb of the day.

MontgenevreE.gif


Im not forced to comply to this kind of things, but the word is that Briançon and ASO are not exactly in a friendly situation. So, we cant finish there. Thats just too bad.
So we are forced by the fate to add a seventh climb. Thats so sad. Some might say that this is not an accident. Unfortunately for the poor fellas suffering, its a big one.

Granon.gif


The Col du Granon, climbed only once in the Tour's history.
A great way to crown a queen stage.
It is unfortunately ignored by ASO, and its unfair.

That climb is arguably harder than say, l'Alpe d'Huez, who has been done over and over again in the last 20 years.
After 6km of flat, on a road shared with the ascent to the false pass of the Lautaret, we reach le Villard-Laté, and now, you're in trouble.
After that point, the gradient never gets under 8.5%. You still have 10km to go.

dernier-lacet-col-du-granon.jpg


It will even be as severe as 11.5% for an entire kilometer, and it comes after 6 climbs and 230km of racing.

This is going to be a very long day.
There is more than 125 km of climbing to be done, with an elevation gain registered over 8000m.

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Jun 29, 2015
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This is going to be a very long day.
There is more than 125 km of climbing to be done, with an elevation gain registered over 8000m.

tM2yEgN.png


is this race design stuff somehow meant to be realistic or just some random chains of HC climbs? have you ever ridden 4000D+ in a race tempo? or 5500 like the otztaler radmarathon? 9000D+ in a 3 week stage RACE is humanly impossible. think about the sprinters. whats the sense in this? cut roselend and iseran and it looks interesting finish but hardly aso would do.
 

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