Race Design Thread

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First stage of my Tour de Pologne is in the north-west point of Poland in the island of Uznam which is shared with Germany. This stage will be mostly held in Germany. On first sight it looks like a typical flat and straightfoward ITT but it has a tiny snag. You don't see cobbles in ITT every day.

Tour de Pologne - library: link.


Świnoujście.

Tour de Pologne - stage 1. Świnoujście ITT, 20km, ~50m asc



Start: Świnoujście, Plac Rybaka, Wybrzeże Władysława IV
Finish: Świnoujście, Plac Rybaka, Armii Krajowej
Time check: Korswandt, Dorfstraße, Campingplatz Korswandt

Poland doesn't have many island, i would even call they don't have any island as Wolin and Uznam are hardly islands. Świnoujście (but i've seen it wrote as Świnioujście so i'm not sure if it's just a typo or an alternative name) has this distinctive feature that it's theoretically located on 44 islands with main ones being Wolin, Uznam and Karsibór. However most of these islands are in the suburbs, not in the downtown like in Venice. These islands belong to the Świna delta which is an extension of Odra river – second in longitude and importance river in Poland. History of this place reaches close to 3000 years BC. First mention of this place goes as far as XII century when it was an important military harbor in Baltic Sea which protected bigger neighbor – Szczecin. After WW2 Świnoujście transitioned from a mainly military to a trade port. Because of strategic importance at the entrance to Szczecin and Odra river Świnioujście was heavily fortified but to this day only three forts remained.


Angel fort in Świnoujście.

First stage of this Tour de Pologne is a straightforward 20km ITT with only a couple of significant turns, lots of straights and an interesting obstacle in the second half. It will start and end on Plac Rybaka (Fisherman's Square). Start will be on the south side of this square on Wybrzeże Władysława IV street while finish on the north side on Armii Krajowej street.



Riders will then go alongside the coastline of one of Świna canals to then turn inlands into Grunwaldzka and then into 2km straight to Germany. In first 3kms there are only 3 turns. In Germany they go as far from Poland as village of Zirchow, 5km from the border. Then they'll turn right to town of Ahlbeck on the Baltic coastline. Half-way through Ahlbeck there will be a time check in a colorful village of Korswandt sandwitched between Wolgastsee and Gothensee lakes. It's located in the middle of small hills up to 50m a.s.l. known as Baltic Hills. Those hills are not big enough to be categorised but if this stage would go the other way then maybe the ascent from Ahlbeck up to Korswandt could be a borderline cat. 3. It would be roughly 1km at 5%. All of the previously used roads are wide, 2-lane and on a very good surface.

After short descent to Ahlbeck riders turns right back to Poland in what is a 4,5km straight. Actually in span of these last 5km left there are only 2 turns but those kms are most propably the most difficult ones in the stage. First 2km from Ahlbeck to the German-Polish border are a continuation of these wide roads on good surface but when race reaches the broder it turns into cobbles. This section on Wojska Polskiego street lasts 1,5km and is on not difficult cobbles (they seem to be mainstream city cobbles) but still cobbles doesn't compile well with ITTs. The road is still 2-lane wide though. As this stretch ends there are only like 1,3km left with two turns in last 400m.


Cobbles on Wojska Polskiego street.


Kościół pw. Chrystusa Króla (King Christ Church) in Świnoujście.

Why this stage wouldn't work? First – cobbles and ITT, second – i will need to cross a recreational rail track in Ahlbeck which looks often used. Still i think a possible Pologne start in Świnioujście with a prologue (maybe including Karsibór island) can be relatively realistic with next stage being held in Szczecin, Wolin or Kamień Pomorski.

Next stage will be held entirely in Western Pomerania and will most propably be the most important stage of this race as it will include a number of difficult roads in the last 100km. It won't be as hard as Paris-Roubaix (no way!) but it still will be very difficult and could generate big time differences that would be hard to next-to-impossible to take back.

If nothing will change then i will post the remaining stages on daily basis. Have a good day/night/whatever.
 
Just added the end of the 2008 stage (Sella's second victory) to tomorrow's stage, since it will be the first time the Giau/Valparola combination is used since then..



Started a fantasy Giro before the real one started, but only got about halfway through. Inadvertently used a similar opening to the 2013 race, and went to Sicily and Sardinia like they will next year. Ends with Valle d'Aosta/Piemonte/Genoa with Superga on the penultimate stage but when I finish the middle 6/7 stages I will post it.
 
2008 was Giau-Falzarego rather than Giau-Valparola, the summit at Valparola is a km or so after they've turned left to descend to the base of Fedaia (Fedaia!!!).

I'm a bit intimidated by railxmig's finish in Przemyśł because I had a Tour de Pologne route which goes in practically the complete opposite direction with a finish in the town early on, so am concerned it'll be the same one :p
 
May 20, 2016
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I wanted to post here a Vuelta route i've made recently. Had to re-sign up with a different username becouse whatever, something somthing happened to my password and I didn't remember the email I used to sign up the first time. As my route was a PDF, i posted the link, got reported to the mods as Spam, and seems it didn't get aproved (or maybe is still waiting).

Will try again.


It's been a while (kinda like two years) since I made my last Vuelta route complete by myself and I think this is the best design I’ve came up by A LOT. It's hard, because there are no easy days, but it isn't ridiculously hard with big mountains everywhere. It's kind of a Greatest Hits with my favourite climbs, places and stage profiles.

I've paid as much attention (if not more) to choose beautiful places, villages, sceneries and so on as on the actual profile of the stage.

It's a PDF, kinda like a Garibaldi or Road Book. It's in Spanish, but there's little text and a lot of images (maps, profiles os stages and climbs, photos...). Link below.

Hope you enjoy it and share your opinion :)

LA VUELTA 2016 DE @Visko_

 
So one day too late I finally start with my first giro on this thread (not my first giro though, since I posted another one in the race design challenge and even before that I did another one which I never posted)

Giro d'Italia stage 1: Vienna(Schloss Schönbrunn) - Vienna(Heldenplatz) (11km ITT)



First of all if some of you think, "hey thats almost the same TT you have posted a few weeks ago in you Österreich Rundfahrt" that might be because its almost the same TT I have posted a few weeks ago in my Österreich Rundfahrt. I know thats strange but let me explain.
I wanted to make the start of this giro in Austria because I would personally like it if a grand tour would start in Austria. Therefore I had this start in my mind for quite some time, and it was nothing I came up with only for this race. So also don't be surprised if the next stage seems similar to you.

Anyway I think from a racing perspective my first 3 stages actually make sense. The start of my route is located in front of the beautiful Schloss Schönbrunn, which was inspired by the even more famous castle in Versailles and also was the residence for the Austrian peers. There is a big square in front of it, it's an extremely beautiful location, and generally one of Austrias most famous sights --> probably the perfect spot to start a grand tour.


The route is completely flat and the first half is also mostly straight. Only when the riders enter the Ringstraße there are a few 90° turns but still always on wide streets. The Ringstraße is used in most editions of the Österreich Rundfahrt usually as a lap course for a Champs-Élysées like parade on the final day but for example last time as the route for a TTT. The riders enter this street at it's probably most famous spot, directly after the Museumsquartier and directly before the Parlament, the Rathaus and the Burgtheater.


Then the riders have to ride one lap on the Ringstraße before they reach this place again just this time they will make a sharp right turn and ride onto the Heldenplatz. The Heldenplatz is the square in front of the Hofburg, the residence of the president of Austria. However it is regularly used for events like the "Tag des Sports" (where in 2008 the only autograph I've got from any Austrian athlete was the one from Bernhard Kohl :eek: ) or the finish of the Vienna City Marathon. Therefore I think it should be a pretty good location for the finish of a gt opening TT.


I like openings like in the tdf last year or the giro this year because the TT's are neither too crucial nor completely pointless. They already give you an indicator how the shape of some favorites could be but don't cause huge time gaps which already decide the gc after day one. And since many complained about the two boring stages on the opening weekend in the giro this year, this should also be more interesting to watch, and who knows, maybe stage 2 will be interesting too :rolleyes:
 
visko said:
I wanted to post here a Vuelta route i've made recently. Had to re-sign up with a different username becouse whatever, something somthing happened to my password and I didn't remember the email I used to sign up the first time. As my route was a PDF, i posted the link, got reported to the mods as Spam, and seems it didn't get aproved (or maybe is still waiting).

Will try again.


It's been a while (kinda like two years) since I made my last Vuelta route complete by myself and I think this is the best design I’ve came up by A LOT. It's hard, because there are no easy days, but it isn't ridiculously hard with big mountains everywhere. It's kind of a Greatest Hits with my favourite climbs, places and stage profiles.

I've paid as much attention (if not more) to choose beautiful places, villages, sceneries and so on as on the actual profile of the stage.

It's a PDF, kinda like a Garibaldi or Road Book. It's in Spanish, but there's little text and a lot of images (maps, profiles os stages and climbs, photos...). Link below.

Hope you enjoy it and share your opinion :)

LA VUELTA 2016 DE @Visko_

Link doesn't work.
 
Well, the first thing I thought was "omg awesome, visko's posted another race". I couldn't get the link to work as it just auto-redirected to miarroba so I went to reply with quote and copied the url into the taskbar to bring it up.

Definitely like the innovation with the sterrato, I think it's an area the Vuelta could explore given the time of year. I put a long tramo of sterrato in a stage a while ago, but that was before the Puerto de La Borriqueta so it wouldn't be anything like as potentially decisive as your stage. When I saw a Vielha stage I figured we'd see Mirador d'Arres and Pla de Batalher - I've seen those options on PRC before and always wanted to see the Vuelta on its rare trips to France utilize that to make a killer stage, although I had been thinking about having an MTF somewhere like Luz Ardiden (to go back to the 90s Vueltas) then having a multi-mountain stage which went over either Balès or Azet-Peyresourde, Portillón, Mirador d'Arres and then with the long and gradual climb up to Pla de Beret to try to create something with the multiple tough climbs then the valley to the final ascent along the lines of Pajáres 2005, or a roided out Fuente Dé 2012 stage. That wouldn't work in week 1 where you have it though, so the finish in town seems far more sensible. The only question on the first week I guess is about how optimistic you are for action on the sterrato on stage 8 given that the Vuelta typically goes conservative with big mountain stages on each weekend. I'm also a bit miffed by stage 9 (and the recent feature on the Puerto de Herrera at PRC) because I've been working on a Vuelta al País Vasco as it's my favourite race and it's a long time since I've had a go at it, and I have used it similarly, although not finishing in Haro of course for obvious reasons :p

In week 2, I have also had a stage in a Vuelta I never completed which finished with Pico del Águila as the final climb, though it went from a different direction entirely (was a less interesting stage than yours) and finished in Arganda del Rey with some repechos in the final few km around the town. I really like the finish at Tetica de Bacares from that side, simply because while the finish is steep enough to guarantee some gaps, it's not at the Bola del Mundo/Cuitu Negru level where it will kill earlier action because of fear of the finale, plus of course Cálar Alto from Gergál is FAR tougher than any preceding climb that can be put as close as that to the finish of either of those two.

If stage 16 isn't a repost of one you've done on PRC before it's very similar, as I remember linking that as an example of what the Vuelta could be doing with the stage in this year's route - a far superior finish to Unipublic's "climb the climb by an easier side" finish. Stage 18 is the absolute monster; I love Vegarada in 19 but do you not think it might need some work doing? Some stretches are fine, Finestre-style, but other parts are in pretty horrendous condition last I knew. Overall though, a really cool route with some far more interesting stages than Javier Guillén is putting out (not that that's surprising from an APM stalwart such as yourself), and also some ideas, areas and climbs that I've not really considered in my many attempts at the race.
 
visko said:
I wanted to post here a Vuelta route i've made recently. Had to re-sign up with a different username becouse whatever, something somthing happened to my password and I didn't remember the email I used to sign up the first time. As my route was a PDF, i posted the link, got reported to the mods as Spam, and seems it didn't get aproved (or maybe is still waiting).

Will try again.


It's been a while (kinda like two years) since I made my last Vuelta route complete by myself and I think this is the best design I’ve came up by A LOT. It's hard, because there are no easy days, but it isn't ridiculously hard with big mountains everywhere. It's kind of a Greatest Hits with my favourite climbs, places and stage profiles.

I've paid as much attention (if not more) to choose beautiful places, villages, sceneries and so on as on the actual profile of the stage.

It's a PDF, kinda like a Garibaldi or Road Book. It's in Spanish, but there's little text and a lot of images (maps, profiles os stages and climbs, photos...). Link below.

Hope you enjoy it and share your opinion :)

LA VUELTA 2016 DE @Visko_

After opening link as LS did,awesome route,Visko.Chapeau!
 
Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
2008 was Giau-Falzarego rather than Giau-Valparola, the summit at Valparola is a km or so after they've turned left to descend to the base of Fedaia (Fedaia!!!).

I'm a bit intimidated by railxmig's finish in Przemyśł because I had a Tour de Pologne route which goes in practically the complete opposite direction with a finish in the town early on, so am concerned it'll be the same one :p
I used this hill. If it's this hill consider it as a payback for those tiny wikipedia gifs ;) . I've actually went way overboard with the description to this particular stage with like 6000 words which of most are cycling related, so i cannot cut them off.

@visko, i think you should change the link. I think this should work. I do recognize the format of your presentation. Was it something like CRC or PRC, who were specializing in Vueltas?
EDIT: Nevermind.

So i'm worried that my version of Tour de Pologne turned out to be a weaker version of LS Pologne. Nevermind i guess... This stage below is most propably the deciding stage of this race. Sorry for that but i decided to use today a couple of your old ideas in usage of the Central Pomerania region. I hope there's no problem with that.

Tour de Pologne - library: link.

Tour de Pologne - stage 2. Kamień Pomorski – Koszalin, 176km, ~150m asc, flat (difficult roads)



Start: Kamień Pomorski, Bałtycka, Stary Rynek
Km 0: Kamień Pomorski, Gryficka, 1,9km from the start
Start – km 0: Bałtycka (Stary Rynek) - Basztowa - Mikołaja Kopernika - Mieszka I - Bolesława Chrobrego - Dziwnowska - Gryficka
Finish: Koszalin, Zwycięstwa, Rynek Staromiejski, 850m straight
Sprint 1: Gryfice, Wojska Polskiego, 600m straight
Sprint 2: Kołobrzeg, Kamienna, 250m straight
Feed zone: Ustronie Morskie, National Route 11

Difficult roads:
102-105km - 3km - Gąski - sterrato
107,3-108,6km - 1,3km - Sarbinowo - sterrato
133-135,5km - 2,5km - Osieki-Rzepkowo - plattenwagen
139-141km - 2km - Iwęcino-Bielkowo - plattenwagen
142,3-144,3km - 2km - Glęźnówko-Dobiesław - sterrato
152-154,2km - 2,2km - Grabówko-Pekanino - sterrato/cobbles
160,7-164,7km - 4km - Karnieszewice-Sianów – sterrato

Climbs:
Góra Chełmska - 4km, 2,9%, 3 Cat. 122M

Western Pomerania (or Pomorze Zachodnie) was for a long time outside Poland as part of Germany or independent like in the Middle Ages. It's quite renown for it's beaches and countless amount of lakes. This stage begins in Kamień Pomorski which has it's name after a stone in Chrząszczewska island (try to spell that; in english i guess it's Beetle Island) just west of the city. It's a relatively small city, port and spa located on the east bank of Dziwna river („Strange” river!?) which separates Wolin island from the main land. It was one of the biggest settlements in Western Pomerania in the Middle Ages. From XII to XVII c. there was now defunct episcopate which was 2nd in Western Pomerania after short lived Kołobrzeg one in early XI c. The remainings of this episcopate are cathedral of St. John the Baptist and a Bishop's castle.


Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

Stage will start on the west side (called Bałtycka street) of Stary Rynek (Old Square). Then riders will turn west into Basztowa where they will pass close to Brama Wolińska (Wolin Gate) which is a leftover of city's walls from Middle Ages. It houses a „stone museum” which has fossils of various extinct species like dinosaurs and some of the rare stones ranging from amber with fossils to meteorites. Km 0 is on Gryficka street, basically just outside Kamień Pomorski, 1,9km from the start.




Brama Wolinska with stone museum inside (sign in front of the gate) and Basztowa street in the foreground.

Riders will now go alongside route 103 to Gryfice where the first sprint of the day is located. Gryfice is located 30km east of Kamień Pomorski. It was one of the most important cities in Middle Age Western Pomerania. It's known since X c. It was propably one of the political centres of a local duchy and a business center while Kamień Pomorski was a religious centre. It did get city rights in 1262 and city walls around year 1300. These walls are mostly history with only a couple of stretches and two gates preserved (Brama Wysoka – High Gate, Brama Kamienna – Stone Gate). Both of these gates are available to traffic and i think riders will go through both of them.


Brama Wysoka (High Gate) in Gryfice.


Brama Kamienna (Stone Gate) in Gryfice.

Riders will turn north and go through the centre of Gryfice. Beginning from the High Gate they will go alongside Wojska Polskiego street which in most of it's length – 500m – is cobbled (typical city cobbles). This section in the downtown lasts around 1km and it culminates in the first sprint of the day before the Stone Gate. Next stop is Trzebiatów, 17km north of Gryfice.

Trzebiatów is yet another city with long history going as far as Middle Ages when it was a business center competing with Gryfice and Kołobrzeg (our next stop). Before that there was a Slavic fortified settlement from IX c. Trzebiatów's downtown is actually pretty well preserved with most of apartments being from XVII to XIX c. There are well preserved city walls and massive St. Mary's Maternty Church. Outside downtown there is a castle from XII c. (reconstructed in XVIII c.) which belonged to Pomerania's dukes.


Trzebiatów's colorful town square with apartments from XVII to XIX c.


Castle (looks more like a mansion) in Trzebiatów originally from XII c.

After Trzebiatów riders will leave the main road to Kołobrzeg (route 102) and turn into a local route 109 to a coastal town of Mrzeżyno and then east back to Kołobrzeg through a spit located between Baltic Sea and Przymorskie Lake (Coastal Lake?). Pomerania is well known for lots of spits with the ones close to Łeba, Mielno and Dąbki most known (to the Mielno one i'll come back later). Mrzeżyno has one of the better preserved sand dune coasts (or however you call it) in Poland. After Mrzeżyno road goes east to Kołobrzeg first through Reska spit between Baltic Sea and Resko Lake, then a quite popular coastal spa of Dźwirzyno and then through coastal forest before reaching the outskirts of Kołobrzeg. The road here is 2-lane and on a good surface.

Kołobrzeg is one of the oldest and history rich cities in Pomerania. It was a very important baltic harbor in X c. Later in years 1000 to 1007 it had an episcopate which was liquidated because Western Pomerania left Poland and came back to pogan religion. Later in the Middle Ages city expanded to the point of being one of the biggest Baltic harbors and became a member of Hanseatic League. After being overtaked by Branderburg it became more of a stronghold rather than just a trade port. Now it's mostly a spa and one of the bigger summer destinations in Poland.


Basilica of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary from XIV c. Destroyed many times through history, last reconstruction after WW2. It has a gothic candelabrum, one of the only five remaining in the world.


An alley in Kołobrzeg.

In Kołobrzeg riders will go just south of downtown where the second sprint of the day is located. It's on Kamienna street after 250m straight. Then they'll go into national route 11 which goes to Koszalin. After 12km they will reach a quite well known coastal spa of Ustronie Morskie where a feed zone will be located. They will keep going with route 11 until the village of Tymień halfway to Koszalin where they'll turn left into a coastal village of Gąski. In Tymień there is one of the bigger wind power plants in Poland. Actually Central Pomerania is literally packed with these wind power plants with the one in Cisowo (just east of Darłowo) being the biggest.


Tymień's Power Plant.

After Tymień this stage begins to unravel the painful mystery it has. I could get easy and end in a short sprint stage in Koszalin with two or three laps around a hill just outside Koszalin (i will come back to it later) but it would be a bit too easy for my liking. So far roads were mostly 2-lane on a good surface but this time riders will turn into a smaller, but still asphalted road into Kładno village and then to Gąski but they will slightly detour just before Gąski to find the first obstacle of the day.

75km from the finish, just before Gąski they will turn left into the first section of dirt road (sterrato). This section is 3km long and it can be divided into half. First half is through plains, second half is on a coastal Kolobrzeg – Darłowo track of varied quality. Sterrato lasts as far as the intersection with the Tymień road on where riders were a couple of minutes before. After this intersection they are back on the asphalt and enter Gąski. As you can see below this dirt road isn't the easiest one as it has quite an amount of potholes on the road. The first half seems to have more sandy, soft surface while second half is more stony, firm.


Sterrato outside Gąski.


Sterrato just outside Gąski on the Kołobrzeg – Darłowo coastal track.

Gąski is a seaside village. It's a relatively big tourist destination in Poland thanks to closeness to much bigger Baltic spa's of Sarbinowo and Mielno and a still functional lighthouse.


Gąski's Lighthouse from XIX c.

In Gąski there are around 2,3km of asphalt before it comes back to dirt. The road now goes to Sarbinowo. There are around 2 to 3km between Gąski and Sarbinowo and these in between kms are on sterrato. This stretch of dirt is 1,3km long on a quite sandy, soft surface.


Sterrato between Gąski and Sarbinowo.

Sarbinowo is a small coastal fishing village in other parts of year besides summer when it turns into one of the bigger summer destinations in Poland – just look up at the amount of people on streetview. Dirt ends at the entrance to Sarbinowo where it comes back as an asphalted, but still relatively narrow road. After bursting through Sarbinowo (in early august propably overcrowded) riders will reach a wider road and the outskirts of Mielno.


Beach in Sarbinowo.

Thankfully this stage is mostly on the Baltic coastline in the middle of summer so this stage will propably be overcrowded. Maybe not like 2014 Tour in Yorkshire or Basque country in 2011 Vuelta but not that far from them. 5 km from Sarbinowo are the outskirts of Mielno. Mielno is one of the most known and visited Baltic spa in Poland. Crowds might be bigger than in Sarbinowo as like there riders will burst through the centre to reach Jamneńska (Jamska) spit. Mielno is known since XIV century when it was a fisherman village. It has a church from XV century which is known as The Transfiguration of Jesus Church (church names in Poland are much more interesting than the french counterparts where most are just Notre-Dame). Now it's a coastal spa town basically all year long.

In Mielno there is an intersection between a road back to Koszalin (route 165) and road through Jamneńska spit to another Baltic spa – Łazy. Riders will go alongside the road to Łazy which is practically 2-lane on a good surface. They'll burst through the centre of Mielno and then reach the adjacent coastal town of Unieście. Unieście lies in a spit between Baltic Sea and Jamno Lake, it's basically united with Mielno and is similarly popular amongst tourists. The terrain between Unieście and Łazy is forested and it belonged to Polish army up to 1995. Now the abandoned army installations are a local tourist attraction.



Next stop is a medium sized coastal village of Łazy which is squeezed in between Baltic Sea north, Jamno Lake west and Bukowo lake east. It's not as popular as Mielno or Sarbinowo but it's much more quiet. Between the village and adjacent Bukowo lake there is a protected forest and peatbog with some rare plant species. In the village riders will turn right into Koszalin on a quite wide, fine surfaced road which goes alongside east coastline of Jamno lake. 3 km after Łazy riders will reach a village of Osieki. It's a quite old village with history reaching as far as XIV c. It has a St. Antoni Padewski's Church from XIV century which in XV century was a popular pilgrimage destination because of a supposed bleeding host. In a park between Osieki and Jamno lake there is a mansion from 1924 builded by Hildebrand family.


Mansion in Osieki.

In Osieki riders turn left into a road that was featured in Libertine's Tour de Pologne. It's a „two-lane” plattenwagen road from Osieki to the village of Rzepkowo. Lanes are separated by a patch of grass. This road isn't in the best of shapes as these slabs of concrete aren't evenly put. This road is 2,5km long and it's in a very open area so there can be a bit windy. I'm not sure but i think this road (and another one later on) belongs to the EuroVelo Route 10 which is an international bike track which goes around Baltic Sea.


Road between Osieki and Rzepkowo.

In Rzepkowo riders will turn right into an asphalted road which after a 1km or so comes to a much wider Koszalin – Darłowo route 203. They won't have much time to relax because after 2km they'll enter Iwięcino where a next obstacle awaits. Iwęcino is a relatively big village with a church and an old cemetery from XIV c. in the middle. The road to Darłowo turns right but riders will keep going straight. This road they'll take is at first a quite narrow asphalted road but when the village ends it turns into a plattenwagen road similar to the Osieki – Rzepkowo one. This road can be a part of the earlier mentioned Route 10 bike track. It lasts 2km and it ends just before first buildings of Bielkowo where it turns into a narrow asphalted road to then reach the Koszalin – Darłowo route 203.


Road between Iwięcino and Bielkowo.

Riders will stay on the Koszalin – Darłowo road for roughly 1km where in a small village of Glęźnówko they will turn right into Dobiesław. This road is on sterrato which at first glance looks rather smooth and firm but in a small forest between these villages it changes into a cavalcade of potholes and 4x4 wheel tracks. This type of road lasts for close to 1km. When reaching first buildings of Dobiesław it changes into a narrow asphalted road and after close to 1km it changes into a wider road. This road should be unbearable in rainy conditions so if it'll be rainy then i think riders will use an asphalted Bielkowo - Dobiesław road known from Libertine's Pologne.


Road between Glęźnówko and Dobiesław.

Dobiesław is a quite big, lengthy village with another antique church from XV c. Here i had a dilemma as there are a couple of possibilities. I've decided to be easy after Glęźnówko – Dobiesław stretch and stay with asphalted roads for another 7,5km. In the plains east of Dobiesław there are two interesting roads.

1. First one turns left of the main road roughly in the middle of Dobiesław. It's a plattenwagen road similar to Osieki – Rzepkowo one and it goes to the village's cemetary. It then continues as a fine, soft dirt road before turning right where a power plant station is and then continues like that for roughly 500m before changing back into plattenwagen and 300m later coming back to asphalted Dobiesław – Wiekowo road. This whole stretch is 2km long.

2. Second possibility is to turn into this cemetary road like in the first possibility but just after 200m turn right into a quite firm dirt road which goes just east of the village and after roughly 1,2km reach the Dobiesław – Wiekowo road at the end of the Wiekowice village. This road seems to be easier than the first one.

3. Third possibility and propably the hardest one is to continue on asphalt to Wiekowice, then on intersection not turn left but continue straight on a narrow village road (asphalted) for around 3km before reaching a big forest (after tunnel under the Koszalin – Słupsk rail tracks) where the surface changes. Here a Flanders like hell awaits as the road is... i don't know what it is. I know it's unraceable and it's up a cliff. It's like 300m on propably more than 10%. Luckly after this short stretch of dirt combined with potholes, debris and remains of cobbles it changes into a regular plattenwagen where it continues in the forest like that as far as Karnieszewice 4km later. It would be propably by far the hardest obstacle in this stage.

I've decided to go easy alongside the asphalted Dobiesław – Wiekowo road. In Wiekowo there is a rail cross (this rail track from Koszalin to Słupsk is quite busy). After Wiekowo riders will continue with asphalt for another 2,5km before reaching the village of Grabówko. This easy stretch as a whole lasts for 7,5km.

In Grabówko riders turn right into Pękanino from the asphalted road into a soft dirt road. This stretch ahead is propably the hardest one on this stage. This road has a lot of small rock debris and a slightly grassy field in the middle. Later after roughly 500m quite a chunk of potholes comes to play. It continues like that as far as first buildings of Pękanino where the road turns into cobblestones for next 500m. They seems to be quite rough and because the road here has a slight uphill tendency, like 3 to 5%, it can be treated as a small Oude Kwaremont. This whole obstacle is 2,2km long and it's 20km from the finish line. Pavement on the right side in the picture below propably will be out of reach for the riders as it will be for the spectators.


Dirt section of the Grabówko – Pękanino road.


Cobbled section of the Grabówko – Pękanino road.

This cobbled road ends on the intersection with national route 6 Szczecin – Gdańsk road where riders will stay for next 5,5km. As a nationale it's wide, two-lane on a perfect surface. After 5,5km they will reach the outskirts of Karnieszewice where they will turn right into a smaller but asphalted road through the village. Before this turn they will pass by a quite lengthy forest where they will be near (but not in) a protected area of fir trees which are very rare on this kind of terrain.

In Karnieszewice they will turn left into last and longest sterrato stretch of this stage. It doesn't seem to be as hard as Grabówko – Pękanino one, not sure about Glęźnówko – Dobiesław one. I don't know how many potholes are there but in span of roughly 4km there must be some. This road goes from Karnieszewice to Sianów's outskirts between the town and nearby village of Skibno. After this road ends there are only 10km of this stage left where riders will turn left through Sianów (close to 8km north-east of Koszalin) where they'll come back into national route 6 for roughly 1,3km over the rivers of Polnica and Unieść and then in the adjacent village of Kłos turn left into a road that was recently modernized.

After passing Kłos there are still 7km left. Now we're in the forest surrounding Koszalin from east. This road we're taking now is known from Tour de Pologne. It was used quite extensively at the beginning of this millenium, just before TdP went world tour back in i think 2004. I guess if there will ever be an edition where TdP will begin in Gdańsk and end on Orlinek then Koszalin may get back into cycling map with it's little suprise.

This road we're taking is going through a forest east of Koszalin. This forest is on a little massif which is known as Góra Chełmska (Chełmska Mountain). The highest point, close to the road, is known as Krzyżanka (136m a.s.l). Krzyżanka could be an early Middle Age pogan cult site before it turned out into a chapel or even a monastery in XII c. which was destroyed in XVI c. It was supposed to be a quite busy and popular place at the time thanks to an early gothic triptych on the gloryfication of Virgin Mary. Nowadays a new sanctuary on the remainings of last one was build in 1991 which of course functions to this day.


Sanctuary on top of Krzyżanka, highest point of Góra Chełmska.

This hill, on profile as Góra Chełmska, is 4km at 2,9% and it's a cat. 3 hill. First over the top here will obviously wear the KOM jersey which if i remember is gray (or pinkish). This hill is very shallow, mostly flase-flat with only a short 100m stretch at max 7%. Regulary such hill shouldn't even be seen by sprinters but after many stretches of bad roads riders are propably very tired at this point so this hill may be more difficult than it is (Aprica case). I don't think it would be hard enough to make any selection but it could wear out some of the legs for the final dash into finish line. This hill have much more punch from the other side (descended one) where it's 1,3km at 5,5% with a 500m stretch at 7%. Top of this hill is roughly 4km from the finish line.


Profile of Góra Chełmska.

After the descent ends there are 2,7km left in the city. Run-in (Piłsudzkiego & Zwycięstwa streets) is not complicated as there is only one 90deg right turn 850m from the finish line, rest is on a straight, wide road. Finish is located on Zwycięstwa street on the city's main square – Rynek Staromiejski after 850m straight line.




Koszalin's main square – Rynek Staromiejski.

This stage is most propably the hardest stage of this Tour de Pologne. I don't think any of the short but sharp polish hills (maybe with exception of Gubałówka and some of those monstrosities in Karkonosze like Stóg Izerski or Przełęcz Karkonoska) will generate such big time differencies this stage could generate. Most of such stages will be used to generate a couple of seconds at best unless somebody will bonk hard.

I predict that this stage will end in a resistance based sprint of a very selected group, maybe 5 to 10 riders with another slightly bigger group close to 1 minute behind. It should be won by a nord classics specialist which won't be at Eneco Tour. I wonder if Kwiatkowski wouldn't try something on the last climb to have a chance at winning the stage, take bonifications and maybe even a couple of second on rest of the pack. Maybe some french flahute with some punch known from breakaways like Senechal, Vachon, Delaplace, Roy or Ladagnous (Tonton propably know 'em better) could be a fine dark horses for this stage (and GC?) or now reborn Erviti. I doubt about much better known Alaphillipe because he'll most propably be in San Sebastian.

I was wandering around Koszalin a bit and this terrain isn't bad for hardcore cycling. The easiest idea i can think of is a 28km hilly TT through Węgorzewo with two easy cat. 3 hills of Maszkowo – 2km at 3,3% and mentioned Góra Chełmska – 4km at 2,9%. Other idea is to try and idolize a narrow, 4km long first plattenwagen then sterrato road from Wyszebórz to Maszkowo through Policko. If i remember this road is very difficult and quite hilly too. It could be linked with Góra Chełmska by a 10km long Węgorzewo road. Next idea would be to try and make use of some sterrato roads north of Kędzierzyn (a village close to Koszalin) maybe with a 1km long cobbled road in the forest between Wierciszewo and Karnieszewice.
 
May 20, 2016
15
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I posted a long response to this thread but the spam filter *** me over and/or the moderators aren't doing their job, it's supposed to be up for moderation for 6 hours now... sorry Libertine.
 
Re:

visko said:
I posted a long response to this thread but the spam filter **** me over and/or the moderators aren't doing their job, it's supposed to be up for moderation for 6 hours now... sorry Libertine.
Wow, three posts and so close to a ban? visko, you are amazing. FYI, the mods have to deal with a ton of posts, threads, and are doing so for free on their own time. Show a little appreciation and respect, if you don't mind. Thank you.
 

Irondan

Administrator
Moderator
Re: Re:

Tonton said:
visko said:
I posted a long response to this thread but the spam filter **** me over and/or the moderators aren't doing their job, it's supposed to be up for moderation for 6 hours now... sorry Libertine.
Wow, three posts and so close to a ban? visko, you are amazing. FYI, the mods have to deal with a ton of posts, threads, and are doing so for free on their own time. Show a little appreciation and respect, if you don't mind. Thank you.
Not to mention that there's no post awaiting moderation. :rolleyes:

Whatever you posted didn't clear the spam/swear filter, I would say that's on you for not posting according to forum rules.

Angry members don't last very long on this forum and you just rose to the top of our "watch" list.

I would advise taking a deep breath and thinking about the next comment you post.
 
Noooooooo, having Visko around would be great for this thread :(

If anything, they've probably fallen foul of the new posters thing, where a post with multiple links etc. for a poster with next to no posts will automatically be flagged as spam, same as you see posters using the intro thread to bolster post counts to be able to participate in forum games and things that need links posting.
 
Stage 6: Yerevan - Yerevan, 138km





The final stage in Armenia is a traditionally circuit-tastic UCI Asia Tour finish which, following the high mountains yesterday, has the opportunity to take advantage of tired legs (this is usually the stage of a race when the Iranians really go ballistic, but here it's the final day so that we can at least hope for some suspense, rather than the often tame finishes to these races when The Mighty Mirsamad Pourseyedi has a big advantage from the mountain stages and can manage the race).

The stage consists of four laps of a 34,5km circuit around Yerevan which includes two "real" climbs and two ramps, beginning and ending on Yerevan's central thoroughfare, Mesrop Mashtots Avenue, named after the early Christian missionary, scholar, theologian and linguist who created the Armenian alphabet, codified much of the language, and strengthened the Christian faith and, given the region at the time, Armenian national identity which has led to his becoming something of a folk hero to the nation.



The first part of the course is doubling back on ourselves to pass through Republic Square, where many of the ceremonies will likely take place.



This leads via some uphill false flat to our first climb of the day, up to the Vazgen Sargsyan Military Institute, which sits atop a hill overlooking the city and is named after the former Armenian Defence Minister and military leader who was assassinated in 1999. The climb is 5,4km long at an average of around 5,7%, so a cat.2 kind of climb, but most of it is between 4 and 5% with one seriously tough kilometre at around 11% in the middle. This tops out at around 7,5km into the circuit, so the last time over this climb will be with 27km remaining and is where the main selection of the race will be made.



There is then a long and fast, but mostly straight, descent into the southern suburbs of the city, twisting past the English Gardens to Russia Square and City Hall - after all, don't these stage races of this kind like to show off all of the sights of their hometowns?



After crossing the Victory Bridge there is a short, sharp uncategorized dig of around 400m at 8%, as we do a short loop north of the Hrazdan river to take in the national sporting stadium, recently rebuilt and quite imposing, before descending into the Hrazdan Gorge to pass beneath the national museum and genocide memorial where stage 1 began, and follow the scenic road by the riverside.



We exit the gorge via our final categorized climb, which crests 26km into the circuit and around 8,5km from the line. It's not a super tough one - just 1,6km @ 6,8% - but it has steepest ramps of 13% so this has the possibility of allowing decisive moves to be made.



Descending back into town via the imposing Barekamutyun Square, there's just one final, touristic obstacle to take on; while if we continued one block further we could turn an easy right at the opera onto Mesrop Mashtots Avenue, instead we head via a couple of easy lefts on wide roads to pass the Cascade Complex, a giant Soviet era staircase filled with fountains, sculptures and originally intended to house a large museum complex.



As you can see, there's little need for a giant staircase without a hill, so there is a bit of uphill to do, in the form of a final uphill drag, an uncategorized 1,5km at around 3,5% to give a final opportunity to attack before a straight descent before a sharp right at the Katoghike Church and then a sharp left at the Opera House on Freedom Square, onto our final finishing straight, with the final corner 600m from the line.



This should be a short but fast, hard to control, mess of a stage with plenty of opportunities to make time gaps up given the mixed level of the peloton, likely smaller teams and yesterday's tough stage. And it should finish the Tour of Armenia in style, yet utterly realistically achievable style as well.
 
Re: Re:

Irondan said:
Tonton said:
visko said:
I posted a long response to this thread but the spam filter **** me over and/or the moderators aren't doing their job, it's supposed to be up for moderation for 6 hours now... sorry Libertine.
Wow, three posts and so close to a ban? visko, you are amazing. FYI, the mods have to deal with a ton of posts, threads, and are doing so for free on their own time. Show a little appreciation and respect, if you don't mind. Thank you.
Not to mention that there's no post awaiting moderation. :rolleyes:

Whatever you posted didn't clear the spam/swear filter, I would say that's on you for not posting according to forum rules.

Angry members don't last very long on this forum and you just rose to the top of our "watch" list.

I would advise taking a deep breath and thinking about the next comment you post.
It happened to me too.It doesn't have anything with the forum rules :rolleyes:
It just deletes the posts of the new members if it is a long post or if they have a long time posting that post.
 
Re: Re:

railxmig said:
Tour de Pologne - stage 2. Kamień Pomorski – Koszalin, 176km, ~150m asc, flat (difficult roads)



Start: Kamień Pomorski, Bałtycka, Stary Rynek
Km 0: Kamień Pomorski, Gryficka, 1,9km from the start
Start – km 0: Bałtycka (Stary Rynek) - Basztowa - Mikołaja Kopernika - Mieszka I - Bolesława Chrobrego - Dziwnowska - Gryficka
Finish: Koszalin, Zwycięstwa, Rynek Staromiejski, 850m straight
Sprint 1: Gryfice, Wojska Polskiego, 600m straight
Sprint 2: Kołobrzeg, Kamienna, 250m straight
Feed zone: Ustronie Morskie, National Route 11

Difficult roads:
102-105km - 3km - Gąski - sterrato
107,3-108,6km - 1,3km - Sarbinowo - sterrato
133-135,5km - 2,5km - Osieki-Rzepkowo - plattenwagen
139-141km - 2km - Iwęcino-Bielkowo - plattenwagen
142,3-144,3km - 2km - Glęźnówko-Dobiesław - sterrato
152-154,2km - 2,2km - Grabówko-Pekanino - sterrato/cobbles
160,7-164,7km - 4km - Karnieszewice-Sianów – sterrato

Climbs:
Góra Chełmska - 4km, 2,9%, 3 Cat. 122M

Western Pomerania (or Pomorze Zachodnie) was for a long time outside Poland as part of Germany or independent like in the Middle Ages. It's quite renown for it's beaches and countless amount of lakes. This stage begins in Kamień Pomorski which has it's name after a stone in Chrząszczewska island (try to spell that; in english i guess it's Beetle Island) just west of the city. It's a relatively small city, port and spa located on the east bank of Dziwna river („Strange” river!?) which separates Wolin island from the main land. It was one of the biggest settlements in Western Pomerania in the Middle Ages. From XII to XVII c. there was now defunct episcopate which was 2nd in Western Pomerania after short lived Kołobrzeg one in early XI c. The remainings of this episcopate are cathedral of St. John the Baptist and a Bishop's castle.


Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

Stage will start on the west side (called Bałtycka street) of Stary Rynek (Old Square). Then riders will turn west into Basztowa where they will pass close to Brama Wolińska (Wolin Gate) which is a leftover of city's walls from Middle Ages. It houses a „stone museum” which has fossils of various extinct species like dinosaurs and some of the rare stones ranging from amber with fossils to meteorites. Km 0 is on Gryficka street, basically just outside Kamień Pomorski, 1,9km from the start.




Brama Wolinska with stone museum inside (sign in front of the gate) and Basztowa street in the foreground.

Riders will now go alongside route 103 to Gryfice where the first sprint of the day is located. Gryfice is located 30km east of Kamień Pomorski. It was one of the most important cities in Middle Age Western Pomerania. It's known since X c. It was propably one of the political centres of a local duchy and a business center while Kamień Pomorski was a religious centre. It did get city rights in 1262 and city walls around year 1300. These walls are mostly history with only a couple of stretches and two gates preserved (Brama Wysoka – High Gate, Brama Kamienna – Stone Gate). Both of these gates are available to traffic and i think riders will go through both of them.


Brama Wysoka (High Gate) in Gryfice.


Brama Kamienna (Stone Gate) in Gryfice.

Riders will turn north and go through the centre of Gryfice. Beginning from the High Gate they will go alongside Wojska Polskiego street which in most of it's length – 500m – is cobbled (typical city cobbles). This section in the downtown lasts around 1km and it culminates in the first sprint of the day before the Stone Gate. Next stop is Trzebiatów, 17km north of Gryfice.

Trzebiatów is yet another city with long history going as far as Middle Ages when it was a business center competing with Gryfice and Kołobrzeg (our next stop). Before that there was a Slavic fortified settlement from IX c. Trzebiatów's downtown is actually pretty well preserved with most of apartments being from XVII to XIX c. There are well preserved city walls and massive St. Mary's Maternty Church. Outside downtown there is a castle from XII c. (reconstructed in XVIII c.) which belonged to Pomerania's dukes.


Trzebiatów's colorful town square with apartments from XVII to XIX c.


Castle (looks more like a mansion) in Trzebiatów originally from XII c.

After Trzebiatów riders will leave the main road to Kołobrzeg (route 102) and turn into a local route 109 to a coastal town of Mrzeżyno and then east back to Kołobrzeg through a spit located between Baltic Sea and Przymorskie Lake (Coastal Lake?). Pomerania is well known for lots of spits with the ones close to Łeba, Mielno and Dąbki most known (to the Mielno one i'll come back later). Mrzeżyno has one of the better preserved sand dune coasts (or however you call it) in Poland. After Mrzeżyno road goes east to Kołobrzeg first through Reska spit between Baltic Sea and Resko Lake, then a quite popular coastal spa of Dźwirzyno and then through coastal forest before reaching the outskirts of Kołobrzeg. The road here is 2-lane and on a good surface.

Kołobrzeg is one of the oldest and history rich cities in Pomerania. It was a very important baltic harbor in X c. Later in years 1000 to 1007 it had an episcopate which was liquidated because Western Pomerania left Poland and came back to pogan religion. Later in the Middle Ages city expanded to the point of being one of the biggest Baltic harbors and became a member of Hanseatic League. After being overtaked by Branderburg it became more of a stronghold rather than just a trade port. Now it's mostly a spa and one of the bigger summer destinations in Poland.


Basilica of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary from XIV c. Destroyed many times through history, last reconstruction after WW2. It has a gothic candelabrum, one of the only five remaining in the world.


An alley in Kołobrzeg.

In Kołobrzeg riders will go just south of downtown where the second sprint of the day is located. It's on Kamienna street after 250m straight. Then they'll go into national route 11 which goes to Koszalin. After 12km they will reach a quite well known coastal spa of Ustronie Morskie where a feed zone will be located. They will keep going with route 11 until the village of Tymień halfway to Koszalin where they'll turn left into a coastal village of Gąski. In Tymień there is one of the bigger wind power plants in Poland. Actually Central Pomerania is literally packed with these wind power plants with the one in Cisowo (just east of Darłowo) being the biggest.


Tymień's Power Plant.

After Tymień this stage begins to unravel the painful mystery it has. I could get easy and end in a short sprint stage in Koszalin with two or three laps around a hill just outside Koszalin (i will come back to it later) but it would be a bit too easy for my liking. So far roads were mostly 2-lane on a good surface but this time riders will turn into a smaller, but still asphalted road into Kładno village and then to Gąski but they will slightly detour just before Gąski to find the first obstacle of the day.

75km from the finish, just before Gąski they will turn left into the first section of dirt road (sterrato). This section is 3km long and it can be divided into half. First half is through plains, second half is on a coastal Kolobrzeg – Darłowo track of varied quality. Sterrato lasts as far as the intersection with the Tymień road on where riders were a couple of minutes before. After this intersection they are back on the asphalt and enter Gąski. As you can see below this dirt road isn't the easiest one as it has quite an amount of potholes on the road. The first half seems to have more sandy, soft surface while second half is more stony, firm.


Sterrato outside Gąski.


Sterrato just outside Gąski on the Kołobrzeg – Darłowo coastal track.

Gąski is a seaside village. It's a relatively big tourist destination in Poland thanks to closeness to much bigger Baltic spa's of Sarbinowo and Mielno and a still functional lighthouse.


Gąski's Lighthouse from XIX c.

In Gąski there are around 2,3km of asphalt before it comes back to dirt. The road now goes to Sarbinowo. There are around 2 to 3km between Gąski and Sarbinowo and these in between kms are on sterrato. This stretch of dirt is 1,3km long on a quite sandy, soft surface.


Sterrato between Gąski and Sarbinowo.

Sarbinowo is a small coastal fishing village in other parts of year besides summer when it turns into one of the bigger summer destinations in Poland – just look up at the amount of people on streetview. Dirt ends at the entrance to Sarbinowo where it comes back as an asphalted, but still relatively narrow road. After bursting through Sarbinowo (in early august propably overcrowded) riders will reach a wider road and the outskirts of Mielno.


Beach in Sarbinowo.

Thankfully this stage is mostly on the Baltic coastline in the middle of summer so this stage will propably be overcrowded. Maybe not like 2014 Tour in Yorkshire or Basque country in 2011 Vuelta but not that far from them. 5 km from Sarbinowo are the outskirts of Mielno. Mielno is one of the most known and visited Baltic spa in Poland. Crowds might be bigger than in Sarbinowo as like there riders will burst through the centre to reach Jamneńska (Jamska) spit. Mielno is known since XIV century when it was a fisherman village. It has a church from XV century which is known as The Transfiguration of Jesus Church (church names in Poland are much more interesting than the french counterparts where most are just Notre-Dame). Now it's a coastal spa town basically all year long.

In Mielno there is an intersection between a road back to Koszalin (route 165) and road through Jamneńska spit to another Baltic spa – Łazy. Riders will go alongside the road to Łazy which is practically 2-lane on a good surface. They'll burst through the centre of Mielno and then reach the adjacent coastal town of Unieście. Unieście lies in a spit between Baltic Sea and Jamno Lake, it's basically united with Mielno and is similarly popular amongst tourists. The terrain between Unieście and Łazy is forested and it belonged to Polish army up to 1995. Now the abandoned army installations are a local tourist attraction.



Next stop is a medium sized coastal village of Łazy which is squeezed in between Baltic Sea north, Jamno Lake west and Bukowo lake east. It's not as popular as Mielno or Sarbinowo but it's much more quiet. Between the village and adjacent Bukowo lake there is a protected forest and peatbog with some rare plant species. In the village riders will turn right into Koszalin on a quite wide, fine surfaced road which goes alongside east coastline of Jamno lake. 3 km after Łazy riders will reach a village of Osieki. It's a quite old village with history reaching as far as XIV c. It has a St. Antoni Padewski's Church from XIV century which in XV century was a popular pilgrimage destination because of a supposed bleeding host. In a park between Osieki and Jamno lake there is a mansion from 1924 builded by Hildebrand family.


Mansion in Osieki.

In Osieki riders turn left into a road that was featured in Libertine's Tour de Pologne. It's a „two-lane” plattenwagen road from Osieki to the village of Rzepkowo. Lanes are separated by a patch of grass. This road isn't in the best of shapes as these slabs of concrete aren't evenly put. This road is 2,5km long and it's in a very open area so there can be a bit windy. I'm not sure but i think this road (and another one later on) belongs to the EuroVelo Route 10 which is an international bike track which goes around Baltic Sea.


Road between Osieki and Rzepkowo.

In Rzepkowo riders will turn right into an asphalted road which after a 1km or so comes to a much wider Koszalin – Darłowo route 203. They won't have much time to relax because after 2km they'll enter Iwięcino where a next obstacle awaits. Iwęcino is a relatively big village with a church and an old cemetery from XIV c. in the middle. The road to Darłowo turns right but riders will keep going straight. This road they'll take is at first a quite narrow asphalted road but when the village ends it turns into a plattenwagen road similar to the Osieki – Rzepkowo one. This road can be a part of the earlier mentioned Route 10 bike track. It lasts 2km and it ends just before first buildings of Bielkowo where it turns into a narrow asphalted road to then reach the Koszalin – Darłowo route 203.


Road between Iwięcino and Bielkowo.

Riders will stay on the Koszalin – Darłowo road for roughly 1km where in a small village of Glęźnówko they will turn right into Dobiesław. This road is on sterrato which at first glance looks rather smooth and firm but in a small forest between these villages it changes into a cavalcade of potholes and 4x4 wheel tracks. This type of road lasts for close to 1km. When reaching first buildings of Dobiesław it changes into a narrow asphalted road and after close to 1km it changes into a wider road. This road should be unbearable in rainy conditions so if it'll be rainy then i think riders will use an asphalted Bielkowo - Dobiesław road known from Libertine's Pologne.


Road between Glęźnówko and Dobiesław.

Dobiesław is a quite big, lengthy village with another antique church from XV c. Here i had a dilemma as there are a couple of possibilities. I've decided to be easy after Glęźnówko – Dobiesław stretch and stay with asphalted roads for another 7,5km. In the plains east of Dobiesław there are two interesting roads.

1. First one turns left of the main road roughly in the middle of Dobiesław. It's a plattenwagen road similar to Osieki – Rzepkowo one and it goes to the village's cemetary. It then continues as a fine, soft dirt road before turning right where a power plant station is and then continues like that for roughly 500m before changing back into plattenwagen and 300m later coming back to asphalted Dobiesław – Wiekowo road. This whole stretch is 2km long.

2. Second possibility is to turn into this cemetary road like in the first possibility but just after 200m turn right into a quite firm dirt road which goes just east of the village and after roughly 1,2km reach the Dobiesław – Wiekowo road at the end of the Wiekowice village. This road seems to be easier than the first one.

3. Third possibility and propably the hardest one is to continue on asphalt to Wiekowice, then on intersection not turn left but continue straight on a narrow village road (asphalted) for around 3km before reaching a big forest (after tunnel under the Koszalin – Słupsk rail tracks) where the surface changes. Here a Flanders like hell awaits as the road is... i don't know what it is. I know it's unraceable and it's up a cliff. It's like 300m on propably more than 10%. Luckly after this short stretch of dirt combined with potholes, debris and remains of cobbles it changes into a regular plattenwagen where it continues in the forest like that as far as Karnieszewice 4km later. It would be propably by far the hardest obstacle in this stage.

I've decided to go easy alongside the asphalted Dobiesław – Wiekowo road. In Wiekowo there is a rail cross (this rail track from Koszalin to Słupsk is quite busy). After Wiekowo riders will continue with asphalt for another 2,5km before reaching the village of Grabówko. This easy stretch as a whole lasts for 7,5km.

In Grabówko riders turn right into Pękanino from the asphalted road into a soft dirt road. This stretch ahead is propably the hardest one on this stage. This road has a lot of small rock debris and a slightly grassy field in the middle. Later after roughly 500m quite a chunk of potholes comes to play. It continues like that as far as first buildings of Pękanino where the road turns into cobblestones for next 500m. They seems to be quite rough and because the road here has a slight uphill tendency, like 3 to 5%, it can be treated as a small Oude Kwaremont. This whole obstacle is 2,2km long and it's 20km from the finish line. Pavement on the right side in the picture below propably will be out of reach for the riders as it will be for the spectators.


Dirt section of the Grabówko – Pękanino road.


Cobbled section of the Grabówko – Pękanino road.

This cobbled road ends on the intersection with national route 6 Szczecin – Gdańsk road where riders will stay for next 5,5km. As a nationale it's wide, two-lane on a perfect surface. After 5,5km they will reach the outskirts of Karnieszewice where they will turn right into a smaller but asphalted road through the village. Before this turn they will pass by a quite lengthy forest where they will be near (but not in) a protected area of fir trees which are very rare on this kind of terrain.

In Karnieszewice they will turn left into last and longest sterrato stretch of this stage. It doesn't seem to be as hard as Grabówko – Pękanino one, not sure about Glęźnówko – Dobiesław one. I don't know how many potholes are there but in span of roughly 4km there must be some. This road goes from Karnieszewice to Sianów's outskirts between the town and nearby village of Skibno. After this road ends there are only 10km of this stage left where riders will turn left through Sianów (close to 8km north-east of Koszalin) where they'll come back into national route 6 for roughly 1,3km over the rivers of Polnica and Unieść and then in the adjacent village of Kłos turn left into a road that was recently modernized.

After passing Kłos there are still 7km left. Now we're in the forest surrounding Koszalin from east. This road we're taking now is known from Tour de Pologne. It was used quite extensively at the beginning of this millenium, just before TdP went world tour back in i think 2004. I guess if there will ever be an edition where TdP will begin in Gdańsk and end on Orlinek then Koszalin may get back into cycling map with it's little suprise.

This road we're taking is going through a forest east of Koszalin. This forest is on a little massif which is known as Góra Chełmska (Chełmska Mountain). The highest point, close to the road, is known as Krzyżanka (136m a.s.l). Krzyżanka could be an early Middle Age pogan cult site before it turned out into a chapel or even a monastery in XII c. which was destroyed in XVI c. It was supposed to be a quite busy and popular place at the time thanks to an early gothic triptych on the gloryfication of Virgin Mary. Nowadays a new sanctuary on the remainings of last one was build in 1991 which of course functions to this day.


Sanctuary on top of Krzyżanka, highest point of Góra Chełmska.

This hill, on profile as Góra Chełmska, is 4km at 2,9% and it's a cat. 3 hill. First over the top here will obviously wear the KOM jersey which if i remember is gray (or pinkish). This hill is very shallow, mostly flase-flat with only a short 100m stretch at max 7%. Regulary such hill shouldn't even be seen by sprinters but after many stretches of bad roads riders are propably very tired at this point so this hill may be more difficult than it is (Aprica case). I don't think it would be hard enough to make any selection but it could wear out some of the legs for the final dash into finish line. This hill have much more punch from the other side (descended one) where it's 1,3km at 5,5% with a 500m stretch at 7%. Top of this hill is roughly 4km from the finish line.


Profile of Góra Chełmska.

After the descent ends there are 2,7km left in the city. Run-in (Piłsudzkiego & Zwycięstwa streets) is not complicated as there is only one 90deg right turn 850m from the finish line, rest is on a straight, wide road. Finish is located on Zwycięstwa street on the city's main square – Rynek Staromiejski after 850m straight line.




Koszalin's main square – Rynek Staromiejski.

This stage is most propably the hardest stage of this Tour de Pologne. I don't think any of the short but sharp polish hills (maybe with exception of Gubałówka and some of those monstrosities in Karkonosze like Stóg Izerski or Przełęcz Karkonoska) will generate such big time differencies this stage could generate. Most of such stages will be used to generate a couple of seconds at best unless somebody will bonk hard.

I predict that this stage will end in a resistance based sprint of a very selected group, maybe 5 to 10 riders with another slightly bigger group close to 1 minute behind. It should be won by a nord classics specialist which won't be at Eneco Tour. I wonder if Kwiatkowski wouldn't try something on the last climb to have a chance at winning the stage, take bonifications and maybe even a couple of second on rest of the pack. Maybe some french flahute with some punch known from breakaways like Senechal, Vachon, Delaplace, Roy or Ladagnous (Tonton propably know 'em better) could be a fine dark horses for this stage (and GC?) or now reborn Erviti. I doubt about much better known Alaphillipe because he'll most propably be in San Sebastian.

I was wandering around Koszalin a bit and this terrain isn't bad for hardcore cycling. The easiest idea i can think of is a 28km hilly TT through Węgorzewo with two easy cat. 3 hills of Maszkowo – 2km at 3,3% and mentioned Góra Chełmska – 4km at 2,9%. Other idea is to try and idolize a narrow, 4km long first plattenwagen then sterrato road from Wyszebórz to Maszkowo through Policko. If i remember this road is very difficult and quite hilly too. It could be linked with Góra Chełmska by a 10km long Węgorzewo road. Next idea would be to try and make use of some sterrato roads north of Kędzierzyn (a village close to Koszalin) maybe with a 1km long cobbled road in the forest between Wierciszewo and Karnieszewice.
What a great stage. I love that design and the heart you put into it. :cool:
 
May 20, 2016
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Hi Libertine, one of the things I answered to you is that today we were going to put an entry in PRC about Herrera, and that's were the stage in my Vuelta came from. I won't link it so go check it out.

Also that the stage to Chinchón i¡'s just a copy from here (page 76) - https://unavueltamejor.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/desde-la-cuneta-nc2ba3-agosto-20111.pdf - and I've talked to the guy who designed it. He said it could be improve and, as Chinchon has a Parador on its Plaza, maybe we'll do something with it.
 
Giro d'Italia stage 2: Wien - Leopoldsberg (159 km)



What? Gigs is using the Wienerwald in one of his races? What's next? Libertine using Fedaia? :eek:
Yeah not the first time I made a stage in this area, but as I wrote in my opening post, when I created this giro start I didnt think about innovative routes, only about a start which I would like to see which leads to a very difficult, hilly stage around Vienna.

The start of the stage is still in Vienna and before the climbing starts the riders do a big loop around the city, because otherwise the stage would have been too short. Then however the brutal stuff starts. The first climb of the stage, is the only one which gets ridden twice because this is the same ascent which will later be used as the finish. However here its only the connection to the Wiener Höhenstraße, a beautiful cobbled street in the west of Vienna which always goes up and down and is therefore pretty difficult. However it ends with the start of the 2nd categorized climb of the day so it wont be a big factor in this stage. The mentioned 2nd climb is the Exelberg, not a very steep ascent but also not that easy.


After the top the probably easiest part of the stage (besides the first 50 kilometers) starts. There are a few ups and downs and even a short uncategorized climb, the Tublingerkogel, but all in all it's not very difficult. The next real climb is the Dopplerhütte, a beautiful climb, with many switchbacks and a great view on the Tullnerfeld. Here you can see the climb, ridden in the Velothon amateur race, by Austrias all time most hated athlete Bernhard Kohl, in the slipstream of the actually popular Bernhard Eisel.


Shortly after the 4th category climb there is another very hard ascent, up to Oberkirchbach. This maybe doesnt look that difficult on the profile but it is extremely steep(the climb at the beginning of the video). Again nothing crucial since it's still far away from the finish, but this might already hurt some riders. After a long but rather flat descent the next uncategorized climb to Hintersdorf starts which is then followed by a pretty difficult descent. Next up is another short flat section along the danube and then the really interesting part of the race starts.
The next approximately 35 kilometers are always up and down and that on some very serious gradients. The first of this series of climbs goes up to Hadersfeld. Unfortunately I don't have any good profiles of all these climbs so you have to look at the ones I can create with openrunner. And at least I can post more videos from the climbs: Hadersfeld


After the end of the climb there isnt immediately the next downhill section, before that the riders stay on a plateau for a few kilometers but even there the street is never flat. Then however the descent will be extremely fast since its quite steep and doesnt have a turn for over one kilometer. The riders wont have time to rest since the next ramp starts immediately afterwards and it although it is uncategorized the Leopoldsgraben is really brutal.


One kilometer long and over 10% steep with stretches of 20%, this is the kind of climb you would expect in LBL, and like in the Ardennes it of course doesnt take much time until the next climb starts, this time the Haschhof.


As you can see the first kilometer is about as steep as the Leopoldsgraben but where that one ended this ascent goes on for another kilometer, which isnt as steep anymore but will still be hard since the riders are now already relatively close to the finish with only 2 more climbs to go, so the pace will probably be quite high.
The riders then descend into Klosterneuburg, where the probably hardest climb of the stage starts. Yeah 5% average gradient wont look very difficult, but the first 3 kilometers are about 7% steep, the pace will be very high considering that its already very close to the finish AND the climb is cobbled, which should make it even more difficult. This is the point where I would usually complain about the Kahlenberg never being used in any cycling race but this time I wont since the Österreich Rundfahrt will actually finish there this year.



The following descent is pretty technical with a few switchbacks. But the hard part of the stage isnt finished yet since the final climb of the stage starts. As I said earlier, this is the same climb as the first one of the stage. The start is pretty steep with a long section of over 10%. Then however the climb gets completely flat for a few hundred meters before it goes uphill again for 1.5 kilometers at around 7%. No Mur de Huy but a very decent final climb which should definitely cause a few time gaps and an interesting fight for the stage.


The finish will be on the Leopoldsberg which is just under the Kahlenberg so the finish area is the same as it would be if I had finished the stage one climb earlier. This area is famous for its beautiful view on the city Vienna.


To be honest it was a difficult decision if I want to make a stage like this or already use some of the high mountains in Austria was difficult but at the end I decided to make this very hilly stage because a) You don't necessarily have to start in Austria to use big Austrian climbs in the giro b) If I had made a mountain stage on one of the first 3 days I probably should have at least put one flat stage before it which would have meant a flat weekend stage.
Still I think this could turn out to be a very interesting stage, because as we have seen it last year, sometimes a team already wants to put the hammer down in the first few stages, and the Astana carnage tactic of last year would definitely work here too. The climbs aren't very long but some have very steep gradients and all of them are at least two classes better than what we've got in the Netherlands this season. The win would probably go to an Ardennes specialist but the gc guys also shouldnt underestimate the stage and always have to be positioned well because a split peloton can easily happen on hilly stages like this.
 

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