Race Design Thread

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Jun 11, 2014
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Tour of Western Balkans

Welcome.
My first design - but a very curious reader here over the last 4 years.

You can't really miss of of Europe's former countries - except for in sports, where it could have blown away in most of the teamsports! But is also has great opportunity for doing a wellrounded cycling tour with a fair share of stages on each possible type of terrain.
Since before 1990 the amount of highways was close to 0 - this leaves us with unique opportunities to create a fair race on main roads that is not hit by the "autostrada disease" (sorry Spain)

I have a connection to this area - and we are basically doing a Tour de Yugoslavia here.

https://www.google.dk/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRxqFQoTCK2t9sPGxsgCFQbeLAodKrUJ_Q&url=https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FSocialist_Federal_Republic_of_Yugoslavia&psig=AFQjCNFag76KU1XdX1DEnaXjytj6NKZoPw&ust=1445069767508928

Rules for this design. Starting in Belgrade and going "around the clock". Visiting ALL of the former Yugoslavian entities: also Kosovo, Vojvodina, Macedonia - but without having crazy transfers around...

We assume that unlike the tour nobody has the money to influence starts/finish town.
And in case of using MTF's with no real station/village on top - the finish line will be 500 m from the top to cater for infrastructure.

We will do a 15 day + 1 one restday (sat week 1 to Sun week 3) format with:
1 TTT
1 ITT
~4-5 flat
~3-4 hilly
~4-5 mountains
stages

Since I will post a stage approx every 36 hours - and only the OVERALL route directions are set - the forum are more than welcome to share ideas for climbs, towns that must be here in the design

*********************************************
Here we go:
Stage 1 - TTT - Belgrade-Belgrade
DISTANCE: 22.5km
ELEVATION GAIN: 231m
ELEVATION LOST: 203m

GPS MAX ALTITUDE: 184m

The profile (note emp of 100 is used instead of the normal 25) is almost pancake flat - one rolling gentle climb in the beginning and one in the end with a few minimal stretches of 4% on the whole route.
This will keep teams on their marks. The red/green jersey will be distributed at the two controlpoints during the stage. A big urban centrum built on the danube riverbanks will ensure a hectic environment for the teams.



The route




Start
http://www.beograd.rs/g/images/eng_3187_trgrep.jpg

End: http://previews.123rf.com/images/andreyshevchenko/andreyshevchenko1405/andreyshevchenko140500136/28272845-House-of-the-National-Assembly-in-Belgrade-Serbia-Stock-Photo.jpg
 
Aug 21, 2015
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Okay time for me to finally get started on my Tour de France. As I mentioned back a few weeks ago, my grand depart will be from the beautiful city of St. Malo shown here.



The starting point will be right at the foot of the walls in the parking lot on the right in the image. So now that we have the starting point all set, it is time to give you the info on the stage itself which will be an ITT.

Stage 1, St. Malo - Mont Saint Michel 67.9km (ITT)





As you can clearly see with this very long ITT right at the start of the race, I won't be pulling any punches just because it is the first day of the race. This time trial is pan flat and follows the coast for most of the route meaning it could be a very long day for some riders if there is any wind coming in. This is great news however for the riders who can time trial and there could be some significant gaps that will show up today. The pure climbers shouldn't worry too much though as they will have their time to shine, the fact that I made this time trial so long is more a reflection of the amount of mountains I have lined up in this tour than anything else.

As mentioned, the route will follow the coast for the most part besides when it goes inland to Pontorson for the turn onto the road to Mont Saint Michel and the final time check. There should be some nice shots of the riders along the coast and of course shots at St. Malo and Mont Saint Michel will be nice in the event the time trial itself gets a bit boring as it is a long one. We have a finish at the beautiful Mont Saint Michel monastery. I know it is a fairly popular spot for the Tour with a Grand Depart there this year and them having just visited in 2013 but it is such a beautiful place that I don't care.

The time trial itself is very long and would need to be approved by the UCI before being raced but in the event that doesn't happen, the length can be cut down by just staying inland as opposed to going around the coast. This is my only stage that violates the rules like this as I don't have any stages over 240 km with my longest being 238.1 km although I do exceed the 3500 km overall limit by around 150 km.



After this stage we will have a short transfer to Avranches for our first road stage.
 
Aug 21, 2015
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Re: Stage 2

Stage 2, Avranches - Le Mans - Circuit de la Sarthe 208.8 +/- 1 km





Time to get the first road stage going in my tour. It is going to be a flat one for the most part even though 4 categorized climbs is more than one of my mountain stages. I tried to go over as much as I could to try to keep things somewhat interesting and give the riders a chance to earn the polka-dot jersey. You may also notice that I am not the best when it comes to naming these lower climbs and Cote de ___ will become a fairly common name for a lot of the lower level climbs. If any of you guys have actual names for any of the climbs that I could use then feel free to let me know and I can update the profile.


Cathédrale Saint-André d'Avranches

With that out of the way, we depart Avranches on our way to Le Mans in what should be a fairly uneventful stage until the end. As you will notice, we do not finish in downtown Le Mans but rather at the home of the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race. This should be a nice arena for our sprinters to go at it for the first road stage win and there should be plenty of room for a finish in front of a big crowd to cheer them on.


Circuit de la Sarthe

You may also notice that I did not give a definitive measurement on the distance for this stage as the routing software did not allow me to follow the exact route that I wanted to do. Basically I will enter the circuit at the start of the very long Mulsanne straight(Chicanes included although they do not appear on the routing information) and just follow the circuit from there back to the finish line. As you can tell, the routing software didn't like that option much and decided to follow the main road to an access point in order to enter the track. That is no fun but it is mainly flat lands anyways so the difference on the profile should be negligible.

The riders will have no transfer from Le Mans
 
52520Andrew said:
Okay time for me to finally get started on my Tour de France. As I mentioned back a few weeks ago, my grand depart will be from the beautiful city of St. Malo shown here.



The starting point will be right at the foot of the walls in the parking lot on the right in the image. So now that we have the starting point all set, it is time to give you the info on the stage itself which will be an ITT.

Stage 1, St. Malo - Mont Saint Michel 67.9km (ITT)
[...]
Do I really see a 68km TT on the first stage or do I need to check my glasses?


Max Rockatansky said:
Please... Closeup on Tony's wretched butt, "Virginia is for lovers", rainbow jersey and skinny outfits... ;)
 
After a short pause its time to make a comback of my DACH Rundfahrt

DACH Rundfahrt stage 5: Leipzig - Steinkreuz (233 km)

difficulty: ***
So already 4 stages and only one single categorized climb? Some of you might already ask what the hell is wrong with me, or as the residents would say "Wat n dat für ne Kacke, ey". Well, I'm happy to show you that the flat part of this race has already ended. From now on the route will be above average hard, in terms of climbing.



As you can see the stage starts in Leipzig, the home of the most disliked football club of Germany...and the town itself is actually nice. The biggest part of the stage is still more or less flat. Its always a little bit up and down, but no serious climbs until the last one. The first two highlights are an intermediate sprint in Altenburg and then the first climb of the day, up the "Steile Wand von Meerane". Yes thats the same climb used by Lemon Cheesecake in his last Deutschland Tour stage. Ofc, this short (but cobbled and steep) bump wont make any difference but the fact that its used in many races in this area already shows that this climb is pretty famous, so it should be included in a completely new race in Germany. Shortly after the first climb there is another 4th category climb on the Callenberg, and again only shortly after this the riders can get some points again. However this time not for the mountain but for the points jersey in a sprint in Chemnitz. After the riders pass the city they will make a 180° turn and return to Meerane where they will climb the "Steile Wand von Meerane" again. I know thats kind of a strange design, but maybe its not too bad if this climb is included in the TV coverage too. (Tbh, in a reyl route, or in a Race Design Challenge, where realism is important I wouldnt add this long extra lap to Chemnitz, but I just don't like rather flat stages which are only 150 k's long)


Before the riders arrive in Jena where the decisive last climb starts there is another little bump up to Bad Köstritz, which is once again a 4th category climb, an intermediate sprint in Gera and ofc. a Goldener Kilometer. Maybe worth mentioning that at this point of the race a good cobbles rider or sprinter could already have a decent gap because of bonus seconds and cobbles. That means, there could still be an interesting fight for the leaders jersey without climbers getting the jersey too simple only because stage 5 has an uphill finish. Talking about this uphill finish. Its the first 3rd category climb of the whole race and I think in terms of difficulty and time gaps you can compare it to the Mur de Huy. However the climb is still completely different, because its almost 4 k's long but not very steep. As always its impossible to say how this climb will be ridden. It will mostly depend on the situation in the gc and the riders who are in the race. If the gc is close and a climber has the chance to get the yellow jersey he will probably set a high pace and if a rider like Rodriguez is in top shape and rides the stage he will probably also go for it. Otherwise maybe an attack on the last 500 meters, but not much more. However the gc should still be sorted after this stage because pure sprinters will definitely loose some time, so the gc favorites should already be somewhere in the top 20 of the gc.

Leipzig:


Steinkreuz (finish area):
 
We are back with the Deutschland Tour:


Deutschland Tour Stage 3: Zwickau - Karlsbad (157km) (Mon)





Climbs:
Hefekloß
Pass Mühlleithen
Bublava Hora
Rolava Hora
And?lská Hora

Sprints:
Eiberstock
Klingenthal

Feed Zone:
Kraslice

After yesterday's first GC shake up (hopefully!) we start to head for the hills. And we shall escape to the border (and cross it aswell). The stage starts in the average sized town of Zwickau and head south towards the first prime at Eiberstock home of a rather large dam. It is then on to the climb of the Hefekloß. This isn't the toughest of climbs today but is the first long test this race. The riders will then proceed to tackle the Pass Mühlleithen. This is the last climb in germany today, before the border crossing to the Czech Republic is made. However the final prime of the day will still be in german territory in the town of Klingenthal. This will be the first (and definately not the last) town with a (winter) sports facility, with an FIS standard Ski Jump here. Once in the Czech Republic, they will have the feed zone at Kraslice. The riders now hit the first climb on this side of the border. This is the Bublava Hora, into and through the town of Bublava(pictured). Then the Rolava Hora. After a major gap of catorgorised climbs, we have the And?lská Hora. This is followed by a plateau then a short descent to the town ofKarlovy Vary (Karlsbad).

Zwickau:


Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary):
 
Nice work by lemon cheese cake to get in a German wintersports facility I've yet to include in one of my races, with the Nordic Combined World Cup site of Klingenthal ;)

As threatened, here is another Vuelta, long-delayed but about time I got round to posting it properly. This is a more experimental Vuelta than usual; there is only one cat.1 uphill finish, no cat.ESP finishes, and medium mountains are the order of the day, while there are three individual time trials, none of which are mountainous. This is nevertheless a climber's race, taking some of the Vuelta's recent directions to heart and yet still only having six genuine uphill finishes of any kind (one of which is uncategorized too) and including many mid-stage ascents. Yet I still think that if this race happened for real, Joaquím Rodríguez would still think it worth targeting, and it could well keep Javier Guillén happy. As per my self-imposed rules, no summit finishes previously used can be used, I have also tried to vary things considerably and therefore my Vuelta routes are having to take a few different turns, since the likes of Covadonga, Angliru and Xorret del Catí are off the table as options. However, Spain is a very versatile country in terms of its options for climbs, despite Unipublic's efforts to show the contrary until recent years, and so there are still myriad options for me.

Oh yes, and there are quite a few gradients of the kind that Unipublic love so dearly... just not at the end of the stage where Unipublic love them so dearly to be.

Stage 1: Sevilla - Sevilla, 7,5km (CRI)





The opening stage of the Vuelta is pretty straightforward, a nice short prologue through the streets of Sevilla, although unlike in 2010 I don't think we'll be doing this in the evening. Being a Team Time Trial, the 2010 route took on mostly wider roads and major ones, encircling the city, whereas here with an individual time trial, we are better able to enjoy the scenic centre of the city and its UNESCO World Heritage sites that we will be riding past.



Plaza San Francisco (above) is the site of the start ramp, where the 7,5km time trial will begin; it's a long prologue but still within the tolerance length of a prologue. The first kilometre is mostly on cobbles and also features some technical corners as we circle the mighty Catédral de Sevilla and the mighty Giralda. This leads us to another UNESCO site along with the Catédral and the Archivo de Indias, the Moorish palace that is the Real Alcázar de Sevilla, the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe and one of the most dramatic examples of Moorish architecture in Spain.



After this first, eye-catching stretch, however, the technical corners are, for the most part, over, and it's a more conventional short time trial, first encircling the Universidad de Sevilla before a long stretch to the west of the Guadalquivir in less historic setting, albeit crossing the Puente de San Telmo and encircling Parque de los Principes.

The last thing the riders will do is cross Puente de los Remedios back to the east of the river, and head directly to the stunning Parque María Luisa, the former palatial gardens of San Telmo which hosted the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition, with the grand finale being at the neo-Renaissance mock-Mudéjar Plaza de España, an iconic and insanely dramatic site seen in films from Lawrence of Arabia to the Star Wars prequels for its otherworldly, ornate and imposing style. Hosting the finish and the podium ceremonies at a site like this really puts the Grand into Grand Tour.

 
Stage 2: San José de la Rinconada - Córdoba, 148km





GPM:
Alto del Catorce por Ciento (cat.2) 8,9km @ 5,1%

The first road stage of the Vuelta is short, but already introduces the first potential banana skin for the GC contenders, as it's a flat stage that has a slight obstacle to overcome. And it's also something of a Vuelta classic, of course. The stage is not all as classic, starting in a little-heralded barrio in the north of the metropolitan area of Sevilla.



A straightforward modern development, the stage starting here allows for easy access to the roads along the foothills of the Sierra Norte de Sevilla, which serves as the backdrop for most of the day. An early intermediate sprint in Lora del Rio is designed to try and entice some racing of interest, but for the most part my fear is that this will be one of "those" Vuelta stages, with a small lame duck breakaway (in days of yore it would of course have been somebody like José António López Gil or Jesús Rosendo on their own) gaining time to suffer in the baking heat of Andalucía - this is likely to be 40º plus, so the likes of Scarponi are already unhappy. However, this is the Vuelta, and this is a weekend stage, so we couldn't allow it to be totally flat, featureless and drab. So instead, we're going to try to inject a bit of fun.

The stage passes through the historic centre of Córdoba after 125km. While the stage is short, that's a bit excessive. Oh, and while we were talking about classic Moorish architecture in Spain, of course we cannot mention Córdoba without talk of its fabulous Mezquita.



We do not, however, pass the Mezquita directly in this stage (unlike some of my previous Córdoba stages), instead the finish is, like a number of Vuelta stages to Córdoba, on Avenida de las Americas, just before the Palácio de la Merced, in front of which the ceremonies will take place. Instead of finishing here, however, we have a loop around the town for a Vuelta classic.

Stages into Córdoba have long been a part of the Vuelta's folklore, as it is one of the race's most loyal cities, and along with Ávila, Jaén, Burgos and Gijón it can be seen in the race's route at least every few years. I have included it in the past with an ITT, but as a sample of its loyalty to the race, this century we have seen Córdoba host stage finishes in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2014. In addition to this, it has also hosted stage starts in several of these years and also 2015; 2002 in fact saw two stages which both started and finished in the city, first a road stage and then an ITT. Stages into Córdoba typically follow one of two patterns; either a stage which is flat before one or more laps of a circuit including the climb of the Alto de San Jerónimo... or a stage which is flat before one or more laps of a circuit including the climb of the Alto del Catorce por Ciento, which translates quite perfectly as "14%" after the supposed max gradient on the climb. It either takes the form of a breakaway-favouring week 3 stage before heading for the Sierra de Madrid, or an early feel-out process for the main riders as today. In 2014, in fact, Unipublic experimented with using both of these climbs, but that is not the stage to which I have turned (though it could have been). Instead, I have done something perhaps a little surprising, and taken inspiration from the first Grand Tour stage win of the rider I despise more than any other in the péloton, Peter Sagan.



In that 2011 stage, Liquigas, with their leader and the defending champion Vincenzo Nibali, fearless second-year pro Sagan and Nibali's loyal lieutenant Valerio Agnoli, took the race to the field, putting on a descending clinic that left only Movistar's veteran all-rounder Pablo Lastras able to follow. The latter had already won a similarly-designed stage solo, and though Nibali was looking to maximise his gains, the Liquigas trio were unable to shake the experienced Lastras and thus to prevent the kind of embarrassment reserved for Etixx-Quick Step in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2015 Sagan had to take the win from the Spaniard, with to add insult to injury Agnoli forgetting to sit up and stealing eight potentially vital seconds from his team leader. Of course, we later found out that actually the more important thing to happen on that stage was that Juanjo Cobo was in the second group on the road (at 17") rather than the third (at 23"), gaining six seconds on Froome, but at that point nobody knew that either would be the GC threats that they became or that Nibali, like Purito, would join Antón and Scarponi in the ranks of those who wilted at the race.

Stages ending in Córdoba can end in reduced sprints - winners in the city include Tom Boonen and Óscar Freire - however solo victories and small groups ahead of a reduced bunch sprint would seem to be more common, albeit more likely on stages with the Alto del 14% than the Alto de San Jerónimo. This is probably to do with the steep kilometre at nearly 11% average close to the summit, which serves as an ideal platform for attacks with only a technical descent to follow.



With the summit of the climb just 14km from the line, the GC boys will have to be vigilant here, though this will also serve as the first of many Worlds tune-up stages here... and also this is the first of a great many cat.2 climbs the riders will have to contend with in the next three weeks.
 
Stage 3: Córdoba - Valdepeñas de Jaén, 165km





GPM:
Puerto del Castillo (cat.3) 5,6km @ 5,0%
Portillo de Alhucema (cat.2) 2,2km @ 12,6%
Hoya de Charilla (cat.3) 2,5km @ 8,1%

The first uphill finish of the race is a really tough puncheur's race; the closing stretches of the race would have you forgiven for thinking it was País Vasco, except that we're at the complete opposite end of the country and the likelihood of traditional Basque euria is minimal, whereas the risk of 40º+ heat is massively increased. On the plus side for the riders, zero transfer from yesterday as we're starting in Córdoba, where yesterday's stage finished. On the minus side, precious little flat, as there's a lot of undulating terrain here and those classic uncategorized "bonus bumps" you often find in Spanish short stage races.

The first noteworthy one of these is the 4km at 4% that leads into Porcuna, but it is far from the only ascent - just the most notable uncategorized climb here. The break should therefore be a bit stronger than yesterday, as they will have more chance of being able to stay away to fight out at least some of the mountains points on offer along with some useful points for that classification, though it will be an extremely impressive sprinter who wins the points jersey at this Vuelta. We also visit some of the rolling terrain around Alcaudete, which you will remember from the 2014 stage won by de Marchi from the break. At that point the riders sweep over a hillside to view Castillo de Locubín, and the important part of the stage begins.



Castillo de Locubín acts as a stopping point after the first ramps of the Alto del Castillo, the first categorized climb of the day. It's unthreatening, in fact the ramps into the town itself at the bottom are the only threatening ramps it has to offer; however it would perhaps normally lead to a continued climb up to the Puerto de Locubín, and eventually to the Collados Frailes, which led to the same finish I'm using. In the 2013 Vuelta stage to Valdepeñas de Jaén the Alto del Castillo was used as an uncategorized ascent, then a flat period led into the ascent of Frailes. Today we're not doing that, because I have a new monster for you... two in fact. Here come the Muritos.



Plataformarecorridosciclistas often suggests cat.1 for this side of Frailes despite the overall stats (7,8km @ 5,6%) looking pretty ropy for the categorization (that would normally say cat.2 to me, but this is not a normal climb). I have, however, broken it up into two ascents, first Portillo de Alhucema, just over 2km but at some absurd gradients including ramps of over 20%, and then Hoya de Charilla, 2,5km at 8% with one ramp at 20% and a few more at around 12-13%. After the brief descent from Hoya de Charilla you will note the asterisk marking a junction with a road toward Valdepeñas de Jaén - we take that, and it joins us up with the final 15km of the 2013 stage linked above.

This is a proper Vuelta road - a single lane goat track which is mostly fine but will probably need a lick of asphalt in some places. Road stages to Valdepeñas de Jaén have traditionally been all about the final kilometre Murito despite the best efforts of Rigoberto Urán in 2010 to make it more than that; however with those two garage ramps backing into each other and cresting 15km out, it's quite possible that earlier moves will be made here. This is a País Vasco type bit of climbing, which should keep Javier Guillén happy.



Riders will be ecstatic enough to learn that the descent is on nice wide main roads, which will make it fast and some of the gaps opened up by the goat tracks will be brought back before the final repecho, the 900m at around 9% that is Valdepeñas de Jaén, with its 20%+ max gradients (24% and 28% quoted by different sources). Introduced to the Vuelta in 2010, it was an instant hit and returned in 2011 and 2013. The three winners to date? Igor Antón, Joaquím Rodríguez and Daniel Moreno. Each time the top 20 has been split by around 30"; slightly more in 2010 and slightly less in 2011. That tells you something about what to expect.



But if it didn't, you can rewatch the 2010 finish, when the greatest Igor Antón the world ever saw climbed to victory. And if that's not enough, here's the 2011 edition and the 2013 version as well. Damn, I miss those orange jerseys. Frustratingly, a detailed altimetry of the climb is hard to come by, so the videos will have to do, however while the climb has typically followed off the back of other climbs in the past, the lead-in climbs have never been as tough as the one-two punch of Alhucema and Charilla, so this could make a more intriguing stage than usual here, especially with the tough opening to this Vuelta.

Plus of course, finishing here now means that we can preserve La Pandera as an option for a future Vuelta.
 
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Aug 21, 2015
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Re: Stage 3

Stage 3, Le Mans - Circuit de la Sarthe - Tours 210.2 +/- 1





Time for the next stage for my Tour de France. This one is going to be pan flat the entire way with no categorized climbs and should be contested by the sprinters. I hate to have stages like this but it is early in the race and this is the only stage besides my opening ITT with no categorized climbs so please forgive me for this. I will at least try to keep it interesting as we pass through the city of Angers for a sprint on our way to Tours. Other than that it is a pretty uneventful stage getting us further south and to more interesting stages.

We do start at the starting line of the Circuit de la Sarthe and follow the circuit out to the Mulsanne Straight before turning off midway through to head towards Angers thus completing the lap we started on the previous stage. Again the routing software does not like that I did this so they decided to go out through the access road again so that is why there is still a +/- 1 km.


The Jardin du Mail, the site of the sprint point in Angers. The route will be along the road in the rear of the picture.

The finish will be at the Place Jean Jaures in Tours, it works fairly well as it is a dual sided road so I would probably close both sides and use one for parking everyone and the other for the route. We will be approaching there from the west along the Boulevard Beranger just for reference and it should be a nice long straight for the sprinters as well. We would finish short of the light rail tracks to avoid an incident similar to the TGV stopping riders at the Paris - Roubaix.


Site of the finish, the line would be off screen to the left

There will again be no transfer today
 
DACH Rundfahrt stage 6: Jena - Kulmbach (205 km)

difficulty: **



After the first test for the climbers on stage 5 with the first uphill finish, stage 6 is the first stage which is hilly from the beginning on. The start is in Jena very near to yesterday's finish in Steinkreuz. Only 15 kilometers there is already the first intermediate sprint in Kahla. This could maybe mean that the sprint teams will control the race up to this point and because shortly after the sprint the first bump starts and the break might form on this ascent, the break should be rather strong. Well thats the theory, at the end it probably wouldnt work that way anyways :D
However it is still very likely that the break will take this stage, because it is probably too hard for a sprinter but not hard enough that the gc men will try to control the race. Maybe the leader of the race wants to defend the jersey but one team could have a very hard job to control this stage alone. The first half of the stage is probably the harder one but with two 3rd category and one 2nd category climbs. After the first 2nd cat. climb of the tour there is an about 60 k's long section without any serious ascents (only one 4th category climb to Teuschnitz) which still always goes up and down. Then the last two climbs to Kreuzstein and Baumgarten start. These climbs aren't very long but pretty steep and they should cause an interesting battle for the stage, and if the bunch really catches the break the fight between sagan-like sprinters and classics rider like maybe Wellens, would be great to watch too.

final two climbs:
Kreuzstein
Baumgarten

Kulmbach:
 
I do love the 24h du Mans, my first Tour route started with an ITT on the Circuit de la Sarthe. Also I am liking Gigs' most recent Deutschland stage with the bumpy run-in.

In Spain, it's... one of those stages.

Stage 4: Úbeda - Albacete, 200km





After the last two days offered a bit of a Worlds tune-up and time to be vigilant for the GC men, along with some steep ramps and difficult climbing, they will perhaps be happy to see that on today's menu, despite being the longest stage to date, there are no categorized climbs at all.



After overnighting mainly in Jaén, the riders find themselves starting at another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Renaissance centre of the city of Úbeda. This scenic city is close to the border between Andalucía, where we've been thus far, and Castilla-La Mancha, where the majority of today's stage plays out, and is along the top of a mountainous ridge to the west of the Sierra de Cazorla. For the most part towns in this area are at hilltops, which means that the first third of the stage is quite undulating, with a number of uncategorized rises meaning a rhythm will be hard to settle on. However, the second half of the stage features a bit of false flat uphill after the town of Alcaraz with its historic architecture, and then it's a long and extremely flat run-in to Albacete.

In fact, barring a couple of turns in the immediate lead-in to what we would expect to be a sprint, the final corner on the stage is a full 29 kilometres from the finish, as the rest of the stage is on the pan-flat and ramrod-straight N-322.



Yes, it'll be classic Castilian flat stage territory, with scorched earth, distant mountains and, if we're lucky, some swirling winds as, given the riders will be heading absolutely in a straight line for a length of time, this one could be susceptible to echelons if the wind plays ball as there is practically no chance for a rest period. However, if the weather doesn't play ball, of course, the closing stages will be mighty dull, since this is, for the last third of the stage at least, to all intents and purposes the supplanting of a Tour of Qatar stage into the Vuelta - searing heat and the hope that the wind will make the day. However, it's also worth noting that the sprinters will not get many chances at the Vuelta, and so they will have to try to make this one count, especially if we have a relatively flat Worlds where they'll want to test form beforehand, with the sprint finish in Albacete making a perfect opportunity. Back around the turn of the century it was a popular Vuelta stop-off, but it has fallen rather out of vogue with Unipublic, or rather the Vuelta has fallen rather out of vogue with the city; after hosting stages in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003 (in the latter both a sprint stage and an ITT) it disappeared until 2014, when this stage, practically identical to mine only starting in Baeza, the other half of the Jaén province UNESCO site, and with a slightly different run-in in the city, took place and was won by Nacer Bouhanni.

 
Last edited:
Aug 21, 2015
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Re: Stage 4

Stage 4, Tours - Limoges 238.1





Another flat stage for the most part today but we start to get a little more hilly with our first 3rd category climb of the route. It may be the only climb of the stage but after a flat first half, some more bumps start to appear. It may be hard to notice it on the profile but the finishing straight in Limoges is actually uphill getting past 4% for a good chunk of the way. This is lead out train territory so it will not have too much of an impact but it could open the door for a more versatile sprinter to get a win. This is also the longest stage of the tour although due to it being flat for the first half and only being a little hilly in the second half, it should not be too hard on the riders.

The site of the finish today is the Place Jourdan in Limoges. As I mentioned earlier, the finishing straight is uphill which could make things interesting in the final sprint. The post race ceremonies will be held in the Place de la Republique which is only a block or so from the finish. The parking for the most part will be at a giant parking lot next to the train station while there are some spaces at the other places and a couple roads in the area can be closed to park cars as well without disrupting things too much.


Place Jourdan


Place de la Republique

If you saw my preview stage then you know what is coming next and we will have our first hilly stage. After that, the fun in the Massif Central and the start of the real GC action. No transfer today for the riders.
 
What's the UCI rules regarding stage races, and especially Grand Tours. I'm thinking about length of stages, maximum transfer distance, etc. It would be nice to know when I'm designing stages so that they are as realistic as possible.
 
Re:

Velolover2 said:
Dear race designers.

Can any of you re-create the Giro's hilly TT with gradients? I need to see what it looks like with gradients.
gradient = elevation gain (or loss) divided by distance (in 0.1 km) in which this gain (or loss) occurs.

f.e.: if you go from an elevation of 400 to 800m in 5km (= 50 * 0.1km), the gradient is (800-400)/50 = 8%

Now take your calculator and enjoy yourself
 
Oct 4, 2015
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@Velolover: I believe you're looking for the Tracks4bikers-style profile, but I don't know how to use that thing... so I made this instead. I hope it's helpful.
 
Deutschland Tour Stage 4: Naila - Oberhof (165km)(Tue)





Climbs:
Neuhaus am Rennweg
Triniussteinberg
Kahlertberg
Ringbergpass
Ruppberg
Grenzadlerberg

Sprints:
Mellenbch Glasbach
Zella Mehlis

Feed Zone:
Gemeinde Katzhütte

For today's stage we are back in Germany after yesterday's (in terms of the race) brief visit to the Czech Republic. We start in Naila. Heading west we reach the first catorgorised climb, of the Neuhaus am Rennweg. However we don't complete the whole climb. It is then on to the first prime at Mellenbch Glasbach. Then onto the feed zone at Gemeinde Katzhütte. Now the riders will tackle the Triniussteinberg. This is followed by the Kahlertberg. This road has a smooth road surface, and is not to narrow. After a bit of rolling terrain, we start the Ringbergpass. It's then on to the second and final prime of the day, at Zella Mehlis. Immediately we start the Ruppberg. A short descent is followed by the final climb up to the Oberhof DKB Arena called the Grenzadlerberg(or atleast the top half of the climb). The DKB Arena has been used in the FIS Tour de Ski and is used in the IBU World Cup. A plateau is followed by the descent into oberhofitself.

Naila:


Oberhof:
 
Aug 21, 2015
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Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
I do love the 24h du Mans, my first Tour route started with an ITT on the Circuit de la Sarthe. Also I am liking Gigs' most recent Deutschland stage with the bumpy run-in.
One of the things that is really cool about that circuit is how a large part of it is on public roads. I made sure to read through a lot of the races on here before getting my tour designed, a lot of really good races from you obviously. This will not be my only stage on here that has something to do with auto racing by the way as there will be another stage that is inspired by another famous race. I won't give too much away on that yet though.
 

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