Race Design Thread

Page 199 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Nov 18, 2015
Pacific Tour Stage 18: Olympia- Mt. Rainier National Park 163 km


The riders head out from Olympia for the first of the final four stages to decide the Pacific Tour. This stage winds its way around the main metropolitan area of Washington state to finish in Mt. Rainier National Park in the Cascade mountain range. The finale is a combination of two climbs which make the final 28 kilometers either uphill or false flat. The first climb of Mowich Section Road has an average of 5.1% which should thin the peloton out. Between the two climbs is a small section of false flat and then the final climb up to the line for 6.3 km with an average of 5.5% grade. Both of these climbs are quite regular in nature and the peloton should be between 15-30 riders of strength in the final kilometers of the stage. The false flat between the two climbs should let a few dropped riders get back into the group but the second climb is harder, so they will be spat out again. Due to relative ease of the climbing, expect small time gaps or even the day's break to make it to the line.

Mt Rainier
Nov 18, 2015
Pacific Tour Stage 19: Puyallup- White Pass 164 km


This is the last day for the pure climbers. The stage starts out in Puyallup and heads south on the road that the peloton took north yesterday. At Eatonville they turn off and head east to the first climb of the day. They then climb the southern road of Mt. Rainier National Park. This includes the climb of Stevens Canyon and Backbone Ridge, a 1st and 4th category respectively. This brings the riders to the final first category climb of the race, White Pass. The first 7.5 km have an average of 5.3% grade and after a small section of false flat the final 8.8 km have an average of 4% while the entire climb is 18.8 km with a 4.5% average. The steepest grade is 4 kilometers after start of the climb so to gain time, one must go early then hope they can time trial better than the chasers for the flatter top section. If a strong time trialist is in contention for the overall win after today's stage, the next two days should play into their hands.

Southern Entrance of Mt. Rainier National Park

White Pass ski area with Mt. Rainier in background

White Pass
Nov 18, 2015
Pacific Tour Stage 20: Yakima- Chinook Pass 192 km


This is the last road stage of the Pacific Tour, given the final in Seattle is a time trial. I see this as being a day for the breakaway for multiple reasons. First, is that this is the last chance for victory for all but the best time trialists. Second, is that the final climb doesn't suit a GC battle and third is that the favorites will be trying to rest for tomorrow. The stage starts out in the Yakima Valley and the only difficulty is the climb of Toppenish Ridge which can be seen from miles away. From the 110 km point the race is uphill all the way to the line, granted that the grade for most of it is only around 1%. At this stage in the Grand Tour, this will tire already tired legs. Chinook Pass has an average of 5.2% and 10 kilometers in length. The gradient is very consistent at around the 5% mark for the entire climb which means that it will be easy to pick a pace at the bottom and not have to change it all the way up the climb which means that staying on wheels will be easier for riders who aren't the cream of the crop in climbing. I won't be surprised if the peloton is whittled down to around 30 riders by the top of the climb.


Toppenish Ridge

Chinook Pass
Jun 30, 2014
Tour of the Mountain States stage 19: Park City - Ogden; 154km


The stage starts in Park City, a town mostly known for the Park City ski resort that hosted Alpine Skiing events (Slalom and GS) durning the 2002 OG in Salt Lake City.
The resort was owned by the Talisker Corporation (no, they don't have anything to do with the great Talisker Whisky, I really like Talisker 10, it's an awesome Whisky and not very expensive, a litte bit peated andd has a lovely chili catch that makes it unique, if you like good scotch you should try it, I'd go for Talisker 10 and not for the new trendy NAS, it stands for No Age Statement, stuff) but it was purchased by Vail Resorts in 2014 and combined the resort with neighboring Canyons Resort and to create the largest ski area in the United States. Utah is known for it's legendary powder snow, they even call it "the greatest snow on earth", so Tommeke should love it. :D
Park City used to be a mining city, but it almost became a ghost town before the Mountain Resort was founded in 1963.

There isn't a lot to say about the stage, it features 4 categorized climbs, but it's rather short and not hard enough to have an impact on the gc, the final 13km are false flat on pretty large roads, it should go to the breakaway.
[img=http://www.sfvincent.fr/voyages/Etats-Unis/Journal_USA_2013/BigMountainPass.jpg]Big Mountain Pass[/img] is a decent climb, just like North Ogden Divide, but it's still a breakaway stage.
The stage finishes in Ogden, a town originally named Fort Buenaventura that was the first permanent settlement founded by people of European descent in todays Utah.

With a finish in Odgen you can probably guess that stage 20 will be the final MTF of the race.


Aug 2, 2015
Tour de France

Stage 13: Nimes - Mazamet (215.7km)



Tour de France continues with stage 13 between Nimes and Mazamet, being the longest stage of the race with 215.7km. This stage can be a tricky one, the route is very ondulated until the only categorized climb of day in the Col du Therondel (there is an error in the profile where is therondeles). This climb is a cat.1 and, if attacked, can eliminate some of the remaining sprinters. After the climb there are 40km in descent or flat terrain, being the last km uphill with an average gradient of 6%

There have been some time since I last posted something in this thread, but with a lot of free time this christmas, I've created a new stage race. Originially I was planning to make a version of Tour of Germany, but there have been so many versions of this the last six months, so I decided to go for something else. So I ended up with a version of Paris - Nice:

Paris - Nice: Stage 1: Troyes - Vittel, 189 km

No prologue in this version of Paris - Nice. The race starts in Troyes, about 150 km southeast of Paris, and the riders heads east towards the Vosges department. The stage is mainly flat and would probably end in a mass sprint. There are no categorized climb on the stage. Vittel hosted a stage finish in Tour de France in 2009, and this stage ended in a breakway win by Nicki Sörensen.



Paris - Nice: Stage 2: Epinal - Gerardmer, 175 km

As many would probably guess from the direction of stage 1, the riders are now heading into the Vosges mountains, an area rarely used in Paris - Nice, perhaps due to the climate there in early march. Anyway, this stage includes some of the lower and steeper part of the Vosges, and not any of higher climbs like Grand Ballon or Petit Ballon.

From the start in Epinal, the riders heads south the first 60 km before turning east. Even though there is some hilly terrain the first 40 km, the first categorized climb doesn't start until 65 km with the 3.cat climb to La Grand Saucy. After this climb, it's fairly easy terrain again until 35 km remains.

In last 37 km, the riders will have to tackle 4 more or less back-to-back climbs with almost no flat between them. The last climb is to the stage finish in La Mauselaine in the outskirts of Gerarmer. Here the suprise man Blel Kadri won the Tour stage in 2014 while Contador and Nibali finished in 2th and 3rd place. The climb is barely 2 km, but averages over 10 % and it should be possible to gain some time, especially as the riders have 3 climbs in their legs the last 35 km.


72 km: Le Grand Saucy: 6,6 km, 4 %
144 km: Col de la Croix des Monats: 7,5 km, 6,1 %
155 km: Col du Brabant: 4,2 km; 6,8 %
164 km: Col de Grosse Pierre: 5,6 km, 5,7 %
175 km: La Mauselaine, Gerardmer; 1,8 km, 10,3 %



Paris Nice: Stage 3: Belfort - Lons Le Saunier, 196 km

Stage 3, and probably the last chance for the typical sprinters to win a stage. The stage starts in Belfort in the southern outskirts of the Vosges mountains. The whole stage heads in a southwestern direction to the stage finish in Lons Le Saunier. There are 3 categorized climbs on the way to Lons Le Saunier, but the last one is 60 km from the stage finish which makes it most likely that the stage will end in a mass sprint.


72 km: Passavant: 8,8 km, 3,4 %
115 km: Chantrans: 6,6 km, 4,3 %
136 km: Nans Sous Sainte Anne: 3,3 km, 4,7 %




Paris - Nice: Stage 4: Bourg en Bresse - Lyon, 154 km

The stage is short, only 154 km but with 2 diffcult climbs the last 30 km and a downhill finish, stage 4 is perfectly suited for aggressive riders who loves to attack. The first three quarters of the stage towards Lyon is flat. But instead of heading straight to Lyon, they will have to pass the hilly terrain in the northern outskirts of the city.

First after about 120 km, the climb to Mont Verdun. After that, there is a 3 km uncategorized climb to Mont Thoux with the top of the climb at 132 km. A 7 km descent follows, before the last climb of the day to Mont d'Or. With an average gradient of almost 8 %, there should certainly be possible to attack at this climb. At the top there is 12 km to the stage finish in Lyon. First some kms descent, then short hill of about 50 height meters before the last 3 km to the stage finish.


124 km: Mont Verdun: 5,1 km, 5,9 %
142 km: Mont d'Or: 2,7 km, 7,8 %




Paris - Nice: Stage 5: St.Etienne, 29 km ITT

Stage 5 is the only TT of this version of Paris-Nice. To balance the rather large amount in climbing, the ITT has to be longer than ~10 km. It takes place in the hilly terrain west of St.Etienne with both start and finish in St.Etienne. Although the profile looks rather flat, there is over 500 height meters on the stage. Except the last kms, there is very few flat sections on the stage. It's up and down the whole time with short hills of 30-70 height meters and one longer hill from 4 to 9 km with an average gradient of perhaps 3 %.




Paris - Nice: Stage 6: Avignon - Mont Faron, 208 km

From St.Etienne the riders move south to the old papal seat of Avignon where this stage starts. The first half of the stage towards the Mediterranean is mostly flat. The first categorized climb starts at 107 km, the 10 km long climb to Col de l'Espigoulier. But the real difficulties of the stage doesn't start until 146 km. Here, from the small seaside resort of Cassis, the very steep climb to Mont de la Saoupe starts. 2,5 km and over 10 % average slope. The steepest km of the climb is 13 %.

After a few flat km and a steep descent to La Ciotat the next climb to La Grand Caunet starts. With about 25 km of the stage, the last part follows the same route as the last times Mont Faron was used in Paris-Nice in 2003 and 2005. From Le Camp over Cote de Beausset, Cote de Evenos and Col de Corps du Garde, where only Evenos is a categorized climb. With 5 km to go, the last climb to Mont Faron starts. 5,5 km and 9 %. This could be the decisive point in this version of PN.


117 km: Col de l'Espigoulier: 10,2 km, 4,5 %
149 km: Mont de la Saoupe: 2,5 km, 10,1 %
167 km: La Grand Caunet: 4,6 km, 6,8 %
190 km: Cote de Evenon: 2,3 km, 6 %
208 km: Mont Faron: 5,5 km, 9 %





Profile of Mont Faron:


Mont Faron

Paris - Nice: Stage 7: Toulon - Nice, 209 km

Stage 7 is a tradionational Mediterranen stage from Toulon to Nice. The first half of the stage is flat, while the last half has 4 categorized climbs. The climb to and descent from Col de Vence will probably be the decisive point of the stage. The top of Col de Vence is 38 km from the stage finish in Nice, and is followed by an 15 km descent and a last flat section of 13-14 km to Nice.

The stage will almost certainly end up in a breakaway and the last 30 km of descent/flat makes it possible for good descenders and time trialists to catch up with stronger climbers who got away in the last climb to Col de Vence.


106 km: Col de Testanier: 4,6 km, 5,5 %
139 km: Grasse: 3,4 km, 6,5 %
149 km: Gourdon: 3,6 km, 5,1 %
171 km: Col de Vence: 7,7 km, 5,7 %




Paris Nice: Stage 8: Nice - Nice, 161 km

Last stage in this version of Paris - Nice, and perhaps the queen stage (along with the Mont Faron stage). The stage isn't very long, only 161 km, but it is definitely the stage with most height meters and most climbs; 2 cat. 1 climbs, 3 cat. 2 climbs and 2 cat. 3 climbs.

The stage both starts and finishes in Nice, working it's way through the mountains surrounding Nice in a clockwise circle. After the first climbs to Aspremont, Chateauneuf and Berres les Alpes, the highest point of the tour is reached at Col de Braus with 1002 m. After descending to Sospel, the route goes south over Col de Castillon down to the Mediterranen again.

From Menton they start the perhaps toughest climb of this years PN, the 12 km climb to Col de la Madone. If there is riders who are fighting in the GC, this is the place to make a move by attacking or keeping a high pace to soften the other riders legs before the last climb to La Turbie. After a 20 km descent from Madone, the last climb to La Turbie starts. It's rather short, only 4 km, but steep. From the top it's 15 km to the stage finish in Nice.

38 km: Aspremont: 6,6 km, 4,6 %
48 km: Col de Chateauneud: 3 km, 6,3 %
62 km: Berres les Alpes: 6,5 km, 6,2 %
76 km: Col de Braus: 9,4 km, 6 %
94 km: Col de Castillon: 5,8 km, 5,6 %
121 km: Col de la Madone: 12 km, 7,1 %
146 km. La Turbie: 4 km, 7,8 %




Summary Paris-Nice

Stage 1: Troyes - Vittel, 189 km
Stage 2: Epinal - Gerardmer (La Mauselain), 175 km
Stage 3: Belfort - Lons le Saunier: 196 km
Stage 4: Lons le Saunier - Lyon: 154 km
Stage 5: St.Etienne - St.Etienne: 30 km ITT
Stage 6: Avignon - Toulon: 208 km
Stage 7: Toulon - Nice: 209 km
Stage 8: Nice - Nice: 161 km

Total: 1322 km

1 mountain stage (Nice-Nice)
2 hilly stages with uphill finish
2 hilly stages
2 flat stages
1 TT

3 cat. 1 climbs (Mont Faron, Col de Braus, Col de la Madone) and 13 cat. 2 climbs

3 of the stages (to La Mauselaine, Mont Faron and Nice-Nice) plus the ITT should be decisive for the GC. The first uphill finish to La Mauselaine is probably too short to create any big gaps, but both on the stage to Mont Faron and the last Nice stage it should be possible to gain more time. I've tried to create a balanced, but tough, PN which uses some of the traditional elements like the stage to Mont Faron (supringsly not used since 2005) and the final stage in Nice. In addition I've added a tough stage to Gerardmer with an uphill finish at La Mauselaine.
I know you've extended it out because the route is more mountainous than a typical Paris-Nice in recent years but personally I actually think your TT is too long here, because with the Nice-Nice stage being so hard and the big guns all knowing Madone so well, there's no way anybody's going to be willing to do anything in the penultimate stage unless you finished somewhere like Tourettes-sur-Loup like in 2010. As a result you have 30k of TTing to balance a puncheur climb, a 5km one (Mont Faron is a good MTF for Paris-Nice though) and that final stage; 20-25 should suffice imo.
Jun 30, 2014
Tour of the Mountain States stage 20: Ogden - Powder Mountain; 162km


The final MTF of the race.
The stage starts in Ogden, so no transfer after stage 19, the riders should appreciate that.
After the first 9km of false flat the riders will reach North Odgen for the first time.

The the riders will have to ride 3 laps a 42.5km long cicuit that contains the North Ogden Divide climb, 6km at 8.2% with the final 4km at 9.9% and 15% steep ramps, the rest of the circuit is mosty downhill/false flat.
The riders will ride alongside the shores of Pineview reservoir, it's pretty stunning for a reservoir that was created by a Dam.


On the 3rd lap on the circuit we have an intermediate sprint near Eden.
After 3 laps on the circuit the riders will have to climb North Ogden Divide for the 4th time, after the descent we only have 8km of false flat, then the final climb of the day starts, Powder Mountain 9.7km at 9.9% with a max. gradient of 20%.
The lack of real hairpins makes this climb even harder.
When you think about Powder Mountain you have to think about Tommy D destroying Papi Horner and the rest of the field on this climb in 2014, even if you don't like the guy...

This one should create big gaps, it's a short stage, but such a hard MTF at that altitude after climbing North Ogden Divide 4 times should create big gaps.
This is the final MTF, but the final stage won't be your classic parade stage, the Ardennes specialists should love it.


Aug 2, 2015
Tour de France

Stage 14: Carcassone - Thuir (182.4km)



Stage 14 in the TdF will be raced near the Pyrenees between Carcassone and Thuir in a medium mountain route that can be dangerous to the GC favourites.


Stage starts in the beautifull city of Carcassone and it almost starts with the first climb of the day with the cat.3 of La Clauzelle. After this climb there will be a descent and some km of flat terrain that ends with the next climb, also a cat.3 in Bouisse.This climb mark the finish of the flat terrain and the begining of a continuous up and down with 3 climbs and descents until the finish in Thuir. The first climb is the long but easy climb to the Col du Linas


After a long but not steep descent, we reach the secound climb of the last part of the stage Col des Auzines from the easiest side (from Trevillach)(cat.3)


After a short descent to Ille-sur-Tete, riders will start the last climb of the day to Caixas, the hardest of the stage. This cat.2 climb has 8.4km at an average gradient of 5%. The biggest difficulty of this ascent is the road, which is very narrow and someone who is misplaced in the group can have problems to reply an attack. The descent to the finish has the same type of road and can be a bit dangerous.


Finished the descent there is 2km of flat until the finish line in Thuir

Jun 30, 2014
Tour of the Mountain States stage 21: Salt lake City Circuit; 120.4km (6 X 20.069km)


The 3rd week of my Tour of the Mountain States took place in Utah, so it's only fitting to finish the race with a Sal Lake City Circuit.
This one is similar to the Salt Lake City circuit that we sa in the 2015 Tour of Utah, it also has the Capitol Hill climb at the end of every single lap.
This circuit also features a 2nd climb right at the start of every single lap after the short descent, it's the climb up to Greater Avenues on B St and 11th Ave., 4.3km at 4.4% with 450m at 7.7%.
After the climb he have a short descent near the SLC Cemetery.

After that the riders will ride on University St. near the University of Utah.
The rest of the circuit i just flat before the final Climb ut to Capitol Hill on 500 North and West Zane Ave, 1km at 8.5%, with a max gradient of 16%, it should be perfect for the Ardennes Specialists.
This stage isn't the longest, but it comes after 3 hard weeks, so it will be pretty demanding and it's IMO a better way to end a race than a final parade stage, if the city that's hosting the final stage gives you the chance to create a demanding circuit you should go for it (I'm looking at you RCS, you really wasted a huge opportunity in Trieste, shame on you).
Something like this could also be a pretty good WC circuit, maybe you don't finish right on Capitol Hill, but those 2 climbs would create a pretty entertaining WC RR.
Salt Lake City:

Capitol Hill:

This is the end of my Tour of the Mountain states, we had 85km of flat ITTs, crosswinds, unpaved roads, high altitude and really hard mountain stages, I hope you enjoyed it!
Nov 18, 2015
Pacific Tour Stage 21: Seattle- Seattle ITT 25 km


This is the final stage of the Pacific Tour. The individual time trail starts at the base of the space needle and finished on the water front. Between the two points the riders will have to deal with three small climbs which should disrupt the pace of the specialist but the descents and flat along lake Washington should negate the time lost on the climbs.

Space needle

Queen Anne's Hill

Lake Washington

Finish at the piers

Pacific Tour Stages 1- 21 Overview





















Hope you enjoyed it.
My next race is the:*

South East Coast Classic: Dover - Brighton (191km)



Winchelsea Road
Battery Hill
Ditchling Beacon
Burling Gap Road
Ditchling Beacon
Bear Road

This race starts on the sea front of the major port town of Dover. The castle has an important role in Britains history. And of course there are the famous white cliffs. The riders then head on towards Folkestone. They then leave the coast to head further inland. But the riders come south, nearer to the coast and reach Winchelsea and head off to the first climb of the day. This is the Winchelsea Road which has a couple of steep ramps in the middle. Then they head off the Battery Hill which is used for a hill climb event in the autumn. They hed through Hastings, followed by Eastbourne. At this point, the climbs start again. First is the climb to Beachy Head. It was used in the 2014 Tour of Britain. As well as the couple of hills along the way, it may be rather windy as they head round the top and down to the foot of the forth climb (Burling Gap Road). The riders will fly through Newhaven and head north to Ditchling. This is at the foot of the Ditchling Beacon, thehighest point of the London to Brighton bike ride. It is rather steep at some points. The riders then head off to Bear Road to be the final test for riders. A descent into Brightonfollows. They pass the marina and head into the final kilometre along Madeira Drive where the stage of the 2014 Tour of Britain finished and Tao Geoghan Hart had an unfortunate run in with the barrier.



*You may think this race is easy, compred to other one day races (and it is). However this is a warm up race for french and british Pro conti/conti teams for the London - Paris race I designed earlier this year.