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Race Design Thread

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Tour touristique de France - stage 19: Montmorillon - Blois (173km)

The peloton is nearing Paris, and this flat stage passes some of the most impressive architectural gems of France.

From the quiet town of Montmorillon it goes north to the plain of the river Loire. After 16km the peloton crosses Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, known for its abbatial church, said to be the romanesque Sistine chapel. The 800 year old frescoes on the ceiling of the nave netted it a spot on unesco's world heritage list.



Further north, the picturesque medieval town of Loches, dominated by the castle and the romanesque Saint-Ours church will please many occasional cycling spectators, as the action on the road will probably be underwhelming.



We're nearing the river Loire, and will join it in the town of Amboise, famous for its renaissance castle.



We will follow the banks of the Loire, recognised as unesco wolrld heritage, upstream to the city of Blois. This city is so steeped with historical edifices that it's difficult to name just one.

 
Tour touristique de France - stage 20: Fontainebleau - Paris (173 km)

The final stage is a bit longer than usual, just to show the palaces of Fontainebleau and Versailles to the public.
The stage ends with 8 laps on the Champs Elysées.

phew, finally finished this tour touristique.
It contained a prologue and two other long time trials, a flat one and a hilly one. There were 4 really flat stages, 1 cobbled stage and 3 stages with at least some hills in the final. 4 Stages went through medium mountains, one of them finished on a 2nd category climb. Of the 6 high mountain stages, 3 finished on a climb. 1 of these mtf's was a genuine tour climb: not to steep and quite long, the second mtf was a very steep climb on a gravel road and the final mtf was rather a long piece of false flat.
There were 9 climbs hors catégorie, 13 1st category climbs and 14 2nd cat climbs.

Personally, I like the design of stages 8 and 9 most.



Time for a new race... :)
 
Oct 30, 2011
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So, I just started to try and make an alternative Tour of Britain, and was starting to make a prologue, but immediately ran into trouble when bikeroutetoaster didn't recognise a pedestrianised cobbley bit as existing.
 
Oct 30, 2011
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Caruut said:
So, I just started to try and make an alternative Tour of Britain, and was starting to make a prologue, but immediately ran into trouble when bikeroutetoaster didn't recognise a pedestrianised cobbley bit as existing.
Designed a few stages so far, mainly based on stuff I know personally.

Prologue: Cambridge. A short tour of the old city centre, taking in some of its most famous sights, including King's College. The narrow twisty roads typical of old English towns will favour specialists.

Stage 1: Cambridge - Brighton. Leaving the flat county of Cambridgeshire, the route powers into London, where the short but steep Muswell Hill is tackled, which should allow some riders to try and create a few gaps. It then wanders down into central London, past Hyde Park, and joins the London to Brighton (a well-known annual leisure ride) route. The finish sits atop Ditchling Beacon, just outside Brighton, and should be one for the puncheurs.

Stage 2: Brighton - Winchester. The stage starts along the seafront at Brighton, heading past the town's university campus, before meaning through the hilly South Downs into the ancient cathedral city of Winchester. The finish is fairly flat, though the day's rolling hills could give a breakaway a chance, and take out some of the less able sprinters.

Stage 3: Southampton - Reading. A fairly nondescript stage tours several towns in the south before a stage finish up a short, steep hill in Reading.

Stage 4 (ITT): Reading - Reading. A 30km ITT sees riders start outside the University of Reading, heading out into the surrounding villages, before heading through Wokingham (part of the same metro area) and back into Reading, past the university, to finish on the wide main shopping street of the town - the aptly named Broad Street.

That's as far as I've got. Planning next to head over to Bristol, do a mountain stage or two in Wales, then a few flat stages in the Midlands, before tackling the Yorkshire Dales. After that, head up into the Northeast, around Newcastle and a few circuits of hilly, cobbly Durham, before going into Scotland for some more mountains, then finishing in Edinburgh.
 
Dec 30, 2011
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Caruut said:
Designed a few stages so far, mainly based on stuff I know personally.

Prologue: Cambridge. A short tour of the old city centre, taking in some of its most famous sights, including King's College. The narrow twisty roads typical of old English towns will favour specialists.
.
That would be really special.
 
Oct 30, 2011
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Froome19 said:
That would be really special.
Glad you think so - this would be the route. No need for a profile as Cambridge is pan-flat. Passes by a lot of the old colleges - Pembroke, Corpus Christi, Trinity, St. John's, Magdalene, before going over the river, and going past the back of a lot of them. There's 50m or so of light cobbles outside the old Great St. Mary's church.

Prologue route
 
A couple of years ago I read about the Transalp, an amateur mtb contest from Garmisch partenkirchen to Riva del Garda, crossing the Alps in 8 days. This made me think about the equivalent of it on road bike: the Transalp challenge: Vienna-Nice, about 2000km in 10 days, maximum 300km of transfers.



Stage 1: Vienna - Graz (212 km)

first 15km are flat and not on the profile



climbs:
Semmering: km 92, 7.3km @ 5.3%, 2nd cat
Eiweg Sattel: km 147, 6.4km @ 5.6%, 2nd cat
Frieenkogel: km 164, 7km @ 7,9%, 1st cat
Buchberg: km 182, 2km @ 8.6%, 3rd cat
Schökelkopf, km 189, 6.5km @ 5.3%, 2nd cat
 
Transalp Challenge stage 2: Graz - Villach (191 km)



Probably the easiest stage of the race. There are only two easy climbs, before the halfway point. I expect a mass sprint.

Mauthnereck: km 68, 11km @ 5%, 924m, 2nd cat
Lamprechtsberg, km 82.6, 3.3km @ 7.9%, 1347m, 3rd cat
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Stage 11: Ashland - Crescent City (209 km)

After the MTF at Crater Lake yesterday, riders drive back to Ashland, where they start again today. Today we leave Oregon for good and finally enter California, the last but also the longest chapter of this 3 week Tour. We will again get to see lots and lots of wilderness today as the riders ride most of the day along the Redwood Highway. Another transitional, rather easy stage but again quite long. Likely sprint arrival right by the beach in Crescent City.





Crescent City:

 
Mar 13, 2009
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Stage 12: Santa Rosa - Sacramento (207 km)

Also the second stage in California is one for sprinters or breakaways. It takes us from Santa Rosa to Sacramento, the 3rd and last State Capital that we visit in this Tour.





Sacramento:

 
Mar 13, 2009
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Stage 13: Sacramento - San Francisco (205 km)

The first hard stage of the third week, with a lot of steep short hills and a finishing circuit in San Francisco. Riders will come in over the Golden Gate Bridge. I tried to design the finishing circuit as close as possible to the San Francisco Grand Prix which is unfortunately not held anymore, but was won by Fabian Wegmann for example. It was not possible to do the exact same parcours since they were doing laps and since this is a stage race I couldn't do that. I have unfortunately not been to San Francisco so this is probably not the best route (I wanted to have a steep uphill finish for puncheurs), so if you have any suggestions please contribute! To look up the circuit of the San Francisco Grand Prix click here: http://www.sanfrangrandprix.com





The finishing circuit in San Francisco:



 
I always thought that, when they were looking at major urban centre finishes in 2010, rather than the LA ITT the AToC would have been better served putting a puncheur finish in San Francisco, that would have made a great finish. Lots of great short hills there.

BTW who's Fabian Gerdemann? You're getting your Leopard Trek Germans mixed up I think - do you mean Wegmann?

edit:
also, when I was updating the library I realised - the San Francisco stage is by my reckoning Stage 13?
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
BTW who's Fabian Gerdemann? You're getting your Leopard Trek Germans mixed up I think - do you mean Wegmann?
Lol yes Wegmann of course my bad :D

Libertine Seguros said:
edit:
also, when I was updating the library I realised - the San Francisco stage is by my reckoning Stage 13?
Yes it is, fixed it
 
Dec 16, 2011
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This morning I have designed a rather pretentious event: A tour de France!

Yes, It's done several times already, so it doesn't seems really special. However, this will be a tour with a mission! I will only make use of the start and finish locations of the 2012 tour, thereby showing what could have been the route for next july.

I must admit that sometimes I have smuggled a little by starting on a finish locations and vice versa. Besides I have interpret one location a little different to allow a finish on a HC mountain. But overall, I believe this route I a good shot of a possible Tour de France.

Stage 1: Liége - Seraing (13,5 KM ITT)

The race will kick off with a short technical time trial. Just like the Tour de France prologue, the start will be at the famous Place Saint Lambert. After 2 flat kilometres the riders will face the first "climb" of this Tour: la Rue rue de Gilles. This 1 kilometer 7,5% climb will bring the riders to an iconic place in cycling history; the district of Saint Nicolas. After descending this famous climb, the riders will pass the Meuse river along the Standard Liege stadium.

Immediately the riders will have to "climb" again, since this time trial will have the same finish as the original Tour stage. Eventually, after 4 Kilometers of dragging the riders arrive at the finish line nearby the Sport Centre.


 
Here's a very slight reroute of the 2009 Tour keeping the original start and finish towns.

Out of the climbs rated 2nd category and above gone are Col de Port, Aspin, Tourmalet, Platzerwasel, Firstplan.

Agnes is now a smaller climb from the east.

New climbs are Braus, Castellon, Madone, Lers, Latrape, Core, Croix des Moinats, Grosse Pierre, Linge, Planches, San Carlo

The total number of climbs of 2nd category and above is up from 20 to 23.

71.5 km ITT. 0 km TT.

Stage 1. Monaco-Monaco, 121km

http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/94265

Braus-Castellon-Madone (summit with 22km to go).

First stage is now a road stage. As one of the boring breakaway stages in the Pyrenees is eliminated completely in favour of a very short flat stage this is the natural substitute. One thing to keep in mind, with the first ITT on stage 4 GC contenders would want to make a selection already so as not to be caught out by any weather changes during the ITT.

No changes for stages 2 and 3.

Stage 4. Montpellier-Montpellier, 31km.

http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/94276

First ITT of the race instead of the TT.

No changes for stages 5, 6 and 7.

Stage 8. Andorra-Saint-Girons, 200km

http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/94267

Envalira-Lers-Agnes-Latrape-Core (last summit with 30km to go)

Stage 9. Saint-Gaudens-Tarbes, 100km approximately.

Very short, flat. It's only about 70km between the start and the finish so there would have to be a few extra km added somewhere.

No changes for stages 10,11 and 12.

Stage 13. Vittel-Colmar, 178km

http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/94270

Croix des Moinats-Grosse Pierre-Schlucht-Linge (summit with 24km to go)

A very different stage in the Vosges dropping an pretence of GC relevance.

No change for stage 14.

Stage 15. Pontarlier-Verbier, 215km

http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/94272 (last 40km)

Planches-Verbier

Extra few km for a bit of extra difficulty

Stage 16. Martigny-Bourg-Saint-Maurice, 164km

http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/94274

San Carlo is included but with over 50km to go it is quite far to be of huge relevance even if there are only about 2km of flat in the distance.

No changes for the remaining stages.
 
Dec 16, 2011
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Cool stuff, Roundabout. Indeed, the 2009 Tour is another example of a race that could have been so much better. I especially like what you did with the first stages.

But let's move on to the current year.

Stage 2: Visé - Tournai (217 KM)

I feel a bit sorry to Phil for removing the first stage through the Ardennes. However, I give him another opportunity to shine in Belgium. While on paper this stage does look exactly the same as the original one; this is not the case.

The first addition is that this route allows for a small visit to the Flemish Ardennes; the first mountain sprint of this Tour will be located at the famous Hotond climb in Ronse. However, more important is that I've removed the finish location out of the finish center. The new finish is at the top of the Mont Saint Aubert; a 1,8 km at 6,7% climb.



Stage 3: Orchies - Boulogne sur Mer (197 KM)

I really like the design of the original stage (Yes, not everything is bad about the 2012 Tour), so I have decided to keep this stage unchanged. Remember, this is the profile of the last kilometres.



Edit:Ferminal informed me about this climb. It can be included just before the Mont de Herquelingue. So, let's do that, because this climb is awesome!

Stage 4: Abbeville - Rouen (214 KM)

I haven't changed anything again. I'm quite OK with a sprint stage after 3 uphill finishes.

Stage 5: Saint Quintin - Epernay (163 KM)

This new stage should lead to a nice battle between the sprinters and the puncheurs. The course is quite hilly, but the finish is flat. Already after 45 kilometers the riders will face a spectaculair mountain sprint in the center of Laon. However, the real fun starts after the passage through the city of Reims. Not less then 5 climbs have to be challenged in the national park of "Montagne de Reims". The last one is only located at 6 Kilometers before the finish. This "Mur de Hautvillers" leads the riders through the scenic vineyards while reaching gradients over 10%. Will this be enough to beat the sprinters?

 
Dec 16, 2011
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Let's continue with stages 6 until 10. In first instance I didn't want to change a thing about these ones. I was quite ok with the level of difficulty, because I already knew that there would be no moment of rest for the next days. However, first (thanks to Roundabout) I've found out that the ITT in Becançon was not that spectacular as I hoped. And later, I've found a way to create some "air" between these and the Alpine stages. This allowed me to make the Vosges stage somewhat more spectacular.

Stage 6: Epernay - Reims (210 KM)
A pancake flat stage exactly the same as the original one. I've been looking for some climbs in the suburbs of Reims, but these were all on very small roads. Therefore this will be the second (or the third?) sprint stage of this Tour.

Stage 7: Tomblaine - Planche des Belles Filles (185 KM)
The first real mountaintop finish is always exciting. I really like this new climb, but we all know what will happen in a single mountain stage. The contenders don't know the strenght of their rivals, and will only feel comfortable to attack in the last kilometre. Therefore I've included the well-known Ballon d'Alsace in this stage. Hopefully, this climb will already provide some information about each strenght, so we can watch a nice show at the Planche!


Stage 8: Belfort - Porrentruy (154 KM)
I already liked stage 3 of the original Tour, but this one is even better. Definetely this stage needs to keep unchanged!



Stage 9: Arc en Senans - Becançon (41 KM ITT)

After the opening time trial, the second change for the strong men. As you can see in the next post, the original ITT isn't hilly at all. Therefore I am "forced" to do something about this. My version of the ITT is somewhat longer (41 KM) and as hilly as possible. Especially the last climb nearby the citadel of Becançon should be spectacular.


Stage 10: Becançon - Maçon (206 KM)

This is the first transistion stage of the Tour. These stages should provide some rest, but can be dangerous as well! The stage to Maçon won't be an exception. While the first half of the stage is flat, the second half will provide some small hills. The last one - the Col du Enceints - averages 6,5 % over 4 kilometres. This might be the fourth sprinters stage, but they will definetely need to work for it!



Tomorrow, I will post the next four stages. These are all different as the original Tour, and can all be decisive.
 
Dec 16, 2011
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It's time for the mountains. Because I've "deleted" the Ardennes stage, I can bring you no less than 4 Alpine stages! Ok, fair enough: one is in the Jura and one in the Massif Central.

Stage 11: Macon - Bellegarde sur Valserine (193 KM)
I am quite sure this is the Grand Colombier stage as we all wanted to see it: The Grand Colombier climbed from it's incredibly steep west-side; and the Col de Biche included to make the last kilometres somewhat more spectacular. Just like in the original stage, the last difficulty will be the hump over the Col de Richemond.


Stage 12: Bellegarde sur Valserine - Saint Jean de Maurienne (202 KM)
This stage is insprired by the 2010 Tour stage over the Madeleine; Which was one of the most spectacular Tour stages of this decade. The first 45 kilometres are nearly flat, but this will change after passing through the nice village of Annecy. The Crêt de Chatillon is not used since 1998 (and that was a neutralized stage!), so therefore it is really time to include this wonderful climb again. After passing the top the riders will have some time to rest, because the next 90 kilometres they will face nearly no difficulties. And resting is definitely what they need, because at the end the Col de la Madeleine needs to be conquered! Just like in 2010, the finish will be in Saint Jean de Maurienne.
 
Dec 16, 2011
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After these 12 hard days of cycling, the peloton have really deserved some rest. The riders don't need to travel; because the next stage will start exactly at the same place as last stage's finish: Saint Jean de Maurienne.

Stage 13: Saint Jean de Maurienne - La Toussuire (104 KM)

This is probably the weirdest stage ever, since its goes like an "Amstel Gold Race" through the Montagnes de Maurienne. Besides, it's one of the shortest road stages ever. But don't underestimate this one! Except the first 10 kilometres, this stage is never flat. The riders have to climb the Croix Fer, the Mollard, the Pierre Brune and la Toussuire. While the first two climb are well-known, it is needfull to explain something more about the last two.

About he new "Pierre Brune" climb it is important to know two things. First, it is really steep; the average gradient is 8,5% over 9 kilometres. Second, the top is located just 22 kilometers before the finish line! Therefore this climb screams for an early attack. Also the La Toussuire climb should provide more action as usual. Because I've avoided the nearly flat loop around le Corbier this climb averages 7% over 13 kilometres. This stage should be spectacular!


Stage 14: Albertville - Annonay Davezieux (220 KM)

This stage will be very long, and difficult as well. In the first half of the stage the peloton already have to climb the 2nd category Col d'Epine. However, the real acion should be expected at the Cret d'Oeillon. This climb is not very steep (5,5%), but with 19 kilometres quite long! After passing along the top, the peloton only needs to descend to Annonay. This stage is suited for an outsider to launch an unexpected attack!


Stage 15: Saint Paul trois Chateaux - le Cap d'Agde (215 KM)

Well, after all these mountains, the riders deserve a totally pancake flat stage. Therefore there was no need to change the original stage. Tomorrow it's time for the Pyreneés!
 
Dec 16, 2011
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It's climbing time again! Just like in the Alpes, I've changed each of the Pyreneés stages. Since I've included an extra stage in the first half of the tour, I needed to delete one here. It won't suprise anybody that this is the flat stage between Samatan and Pau.

Stage 16: Limoux - Foix (187 KM)

I have changed some small things for this stage. First, I've included the Col de Chioula in the first half of the race. This should lead to a better quality early attack group, which might be joined by the favourites in the finale. Second, I've reduced the distance between the Col de Péguère and Foix. Now, it's placed at 26 kilometres from the distance. Will the massive gradients at the 'Mur' do their work now?


Stage 17: Samatan - Luchon (Superbagnéres) (206 KM)

As promised, a Horse Catagory finish! The climb to Superbagnéres has not been used since long time, but the accent have always provided spectacle! Before this, the peloton will need to conquer the Portet d'Aspet, the Menté and the Port de Balés. Since tomorrow will be a rest day; maybe someone will feel free to launch an early attack?


Stage 18: Pau - Peyragudes (204 KM)

This is the last change for the climbers to gain some time. And what a change; Not less than 5 climbs needs to be challenged this day! But that's not all; today is 'Strade Bianche" day. For the first time in the modern history the Tour de france riders will have to conquer an unpaved climb. After a flat first 50 kilometers the riders can use the Tourmalet and the Aspin as a warm up for the main difficulty of the day: the col du Portet. This climb is a real monster: 22 Kilometers over 6,5%, 10 kilometers over 9,5% and 5 kilometers on "Strade Bianche". Here are some pictures of the road. The lake at the background is "Lac de l'Oule"


However, after the passage over the top still 45 kilometers are left. Luckily, the descent is on normal tarmac. After passing Saint Lary Soulan the fun starts again. First with the steep Col d'Azet, and thereafter with the finishing climb to Peyragudes. Just like the original tour stage I use the new road, leading to a finishing climb of 8 kilometers averaging 8%.

The stages to la Toussuire and Superbagneres were already hard, but this is the real queen stage of the Tour!
 
Dec 27, 2010
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Big fan of this project Another_Dutch_Guy, it's something I've been wanting to do for a while. On this forum you get a lot of people saying why didn't they put the finish straight after the last descent or whatever but often organisers are hamstrung into finishing wherever pays the most. So trying to design an improved stage race using only the start and finish from the real race is really appealing to me. Great job!
 
Dec 16, 2011
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It's time to finish the alternative 2012 Tour. I haven't changed anything about these stages. But as a reminder, here are some short descriptions.

Stage 19: Blagnac - Brive la Gaillarde (215 KM)
This rolling stage through the Dordogne region is most likely to end up in a sprint. As I've understood the last metres are slightly uphill, so this should lead to a nice battle between the power sprinters.

Stage 20: Bonneval - Chartres (52 KM ITT)
Unlike the other two time trials this one will be pancake flat. A powerful rider can gain back huge time on this one.

Stage 21: Rambouillet - Paris (130 KM)
We all know this stage, so let's summarize the tour route. In total I've let 7 stages untouched. For 6 stages I've just changed the route, and the remaining 8 stages are all completely new. This tour has included 106 KM of individual time trialling, 8 HC mountains, 10 1st category mountains and 11 2nd category mountains. Thus leading to one of the most difficult routes ever!

In the next image jou can compare both routes. As becomes clear I've used all (and only) the start and finishing places of the original tour. Also notable is that I've needed slightly less of relocations as the original route.



By the way, thank you for your compliments. That climb Ferminal suggested is really appealing indeed! Let's include that one as well!
 
Transalp - Stage 3: Villach - Monte Zoncolan (175km)



With 6 categorised climbs, all under 2000m, but that won't be much of a relief:
Bach: 4km @ 4.2%, 729m, km 34,2; 4th category
Nassfeldpass: 11.3km @ 8.1%, 1552m, km 66.2; HC
Passo Cason di Lanza: 12.5km @ 7.3%, 1552m, km 94.7; 1st category
Forcella Duron: 4.1km @ 9.6%, 1051m, km 113.5; 2nd category
Monte Crostis: 16.2km @ 8.1%, 1876m, km 140.8; HC
Monte Zoncolan: 10.4km @ 11.6%, 1730m, km 175; HC

and...

Transalp - Stage 4: Tolmezzo - Selva di Val Gardena (193km)



With 5 categorised climbs:
Sella di Razzo: 26km @ 4.6%, 1760m, km 43; 1st category
Passo Cibiana: 9.6km @ 7.7%, 1530m, km 96; 1st category
Forcella Staulanza: 17km @ 5.4%, 1773m, km 123, 1st category
Passo di Fedaia: 14km @ 7.5%, 2057m, km 158, HC
Passo di Sella: 11.4km @ 6.6%, 2244m, km 182, 1st category
 

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