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Race Design Thread

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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
 
Dec 16, 2011
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I couldn't help adding a last change to the route. I was not really satisfied with the last mountain stage (Including the Souloir, Tourmalet, Lançon, Azet and Peyragudes). The last climbs were hard, but I was not sure whether they were hard enough to create huge differences. Which in my opinion is necessary in the last mountain stage. Therefore I've replaced the Souloir and the Lançon with the Col du Portet. You don't need to look back, because here I've copied the stage description:

Another_Dutch_Guy said:
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!
By the way, I'm very curious about the continuation of the West Coast Tour. I really like this project; it's probably the best shot of a possible grand tour outside Europe. Very good job!
 
I've done the clockwise version of the Tour, time to do the counterclockwise one.

P: Nantes 6km
1: Nantes-Poitiers
2: Chateroux-Circuit de Charade* (Mont Miel) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95702
3: Riom-Station Mont-Dore (Saint-Anastaise) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95636
4: Tulle-Cahors
5: Agen-Castelsarrasin ITT 53km
6: Blagnac-Dax
7: Bayonne-Arette Pierre St Martin (Otxondo, Ahusquy) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95652
8: Pau-Arreau (Bales, Peyresourde, Azet, Ancizan, Aspin) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95698
9: Tarbes-Limoux
10: Perpignan-Mazamet (Portal de Nore) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95734
11: Narbonne-Nimes
12: Avignon-Gap (Manse) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95735
13: Gap-Lac de Bellecombe (Montgenevre, Mont-Cenis) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95657
14: Modane - Grenoble (Glandon, Luitel, Laffrey) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95667
15: Grenoble - Mont Revard (Montaud, Mouilles, Marcieu, Granier) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95693
16: Annecy - Pontarlier http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95737
17: Besancon-Cernay (Ballon d'Alsace, Grand Ballon) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95701
18: Strasbourg-Metz http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95740
19: Metz-Thionville ITT 35km
20: Paris

Uphill or MTF

*2km downhill from the summit
 
Red Rick said:
I've got a question, how do you post profiles from mapmyride, cause i've some really brutal stages coming up
you can't post direct from there. I've just gone with print selection on screen (Cmd+Shift+4), then uploaded to tinypic.
roundabout said:
I've done the clockwise version of the Tour, time to do the counterclockwise one.

P: Nantes 6km
1: Nantes-Poitiers
2: Chateroux-Circuit de Charade* (Mont Miel) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95702
3: Riom-Station Mont-Dore (Saint-Anastaise) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95636
4: Tulle-Cahors
5: Agen-Castelsarrasin ITT 53km
6: Blagnac-Dax
7: Bayonne-Arette Pierre St Martin (Otxondo, Ahusquy) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95652
8: Pau-Arreau (Bales, Peyresourde, Azet, Ancizan, Aspin) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95698
9: Tarbes-Limoux
10: Perpignan-Mazamet (Portal de Nore) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95734
11: Narbonne-Nimes
12: Avignon-Gap (Manse) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95735
13: Gap-Lac de Bellecombe (Montgenevre, Mont-Cenis) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95657
14: Modane - Grenoble (Glandon, Luitel, Laffrey) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95667
15: Grenoble - Mont Revard (Montaud, Mouilles, Marcieu, Granier) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95693
16: Annecy - Pontarlier http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95737
17: Besancon-Cernay (Ballon d'Alsace, Grand Ballon) http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95701
18: Strasbourg-Metz http://tracks4bikers.com/tracks/show/95740
19: Metz-Thionville ITT 35km
20: Paris

Uphill or MTF

*2km downhill from the summit
Very nice to see the Vosges get the headline treatment at the end of the race. I'm a sucker for the Circuit de Charade too - that was a great motor-racing circuit because of the gradients and twists and turns, and could be great for bike racing.
Red Rick said:
http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/91087121

Fantasy queen stage for the Vuelta. Whole bunch of climbs i don't know, with a finish on the weak side of Alto de Gamoniteiro

Alternative route for this stage
http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/91318687

With 2x cordal, Cobertoria a whole bunch of unknown stuff to me, and finish on the hard side of Alto de Gamoniteiro. More mountain's than in 3 normal Vuelta queen stages combined.
Can't view these, I'm afraid - you have your privacy settings so only your MMR friends can see the rides. But a Gamoniteiro finish sounds good in theory at least.
 
I'll continue with the transalp, slowly but surely.


Transalp stage 5: Bolzano - Davos (165km)



2 climbs today:
Ofenpass: 25.8km @ 4.5%; 2149m; km 110; 1st category
Fluelapass: 12.8km @7.8%; 2383m; km 148; HC

Transalp stage 6: Chur - Grindelwald (186km)



5 climbs:
Flims: 10.5km @4.6%; 1110m; km 20; 2nd category
Oberalppass: 20.4km @ 4.4%; 2044m; km 81; 1st category
Furkapass: 13km @ 7%; 2431m; km 112; HC
Grimselpass: 5.4km @ 7.3%; 2165m; km 128; 2nd category
Grosse Scheidegg: 16.4km @ 7.4%, 1962m; km 174; HC

Transalp stage 7: Spiez - Pila (225km)


(first 25km aren't shown on the profile)

Again a day with five climbs:
Hohenegg: 7.9km @4.4%; 1275m; km 40; 3rd cat
Col des Mosses: 14km @3.7%; 1445m; km 71; 2nd cat
Col de Champex: 13.9km @7.2%; 1500m; km 135; 1st cat
Col de Grand Saint-Bernard: 24.2km @ 6.2%; 2469m; km 170; HC
Pila: 16km @ 7.7%; 1800m; km 225; HC

Transalp stage 8: Aosta - Rifugio Barbara Lowrie (199km)



The stage with the least altitude gain and only one climb:

Rifugio di Barbara Lowrie: 9.3km @ 11.2%; 1753m; km 199; HC
 
I <3 Col de Braus.

I'm going to start another stage race here... after all, when the Dauphiné route was announced, I was scathing, perhaps even vitriolic, about how lopsided and unbalanced it was, and what an appalling use of the climbs it was considering how much ITT mileage there was. I was assured that this was no problem given that it is a Tour de France preparation race, so therefore it doesn't matter if the parcours is utter garbage as it is good preparation for the similarly dreadful Tour de France route.

This got me thinking, if the Dauphiné's parcours is decided partially by being designed to prepare people for the flavour of the Tour to come, what would the Dauphiné look like when designed to be a preparation race for my Tour de France? The one with long cobbled stages, a French Basque mountain stage with climbs averaging 12% in it, summit finishes at Mantet, Mont Faron, Méribel-Mottaret and Le Mont du Chat, and a brutal Alpes-Maritimes stage too?

Hence, here we have it: The Critérium du Dauphiné designed as a companion piece to my Tour de France. Similarly to my Tour, I've tried to use some less well known areas, whilst also including a few familiar spots to honour some of the traditions of racing.

And it is to one of these familiar spots that we head for the start.

Prologue: Briançon - Briançon (ITT), 4,0km





Climbs:
Briançon (Citadel)(cat.4) 1,4km @ 8,1%

A bit of a strange place to start the race, right in the middle of some of the area's most famous climbs, as of course we are not likely to tackle the Galibier or Izoard on stage 1. However, the city of Briançon has been tied to cycling for all of living memory, given its prime location amongst legendary passes. It is also one of the most popular stage towns around given its interesting, tricky finish in some stunning architecture.

The town was last used as a finish in a major race in the 2009 Dauphiné, which you can see here (skip to 1'15 in for Briançon itself). This allows you to see what we're dealing with. The first half of the TT is gradually downhill, but with few corners so it's not really a technical test, and the gradient isn't too extreme. It's the final third, after the time check, where the road turns skywards and you see what was shown in that video. A long, uphill straight drag followed by cobbles and narrow paved streets inside the fortifications mean that whoever is fastest from the timecheck to the line will win the first inverted polka dot jersey - it's approximately one and a half kilometres at around 8%, but the steepest 600m in the middle are at 11,5% - so this one won't be one for the typical prologue specialists.

The entrance to Vieille Ville Briançon with the streets we're about to be climbing above:


Briançon:


(bonus: if you didn't want to sift through old Dauphiné coverage, then click here for Grand Rue, which the riders will suffer their way up...)
 
Libertine Seguros said:
you can't post direct from there. I've just gone with print selection on screen (Cmd+Shift+4), then uploaded to tinypic.

Can't view these, I'm afraid - you have your privacy settings so only your MMR friends can see the rides. But a Gamoniteiro finish sounds good in theory at least.
I changed them to public, can you see them now?

BTW, i would like to announce i'm working on my own TdF too with two long tt's, 3 medium mountain stages and 7 high mountain stages, with attacking possibilities on all of them
 
Stage 1: Guillestre - Die, 180km





Climbs:
Puy Sanières (cat.3) 5,0km @ 5,9%
Le Longuet (cat.4) 2,6km @ 6,2%
Côte des Brès (cat.4) 2,6km @ 5,4%
Col de la Sentinelle (cat.3) 5,5km @ 5,5%
Côte de la Selle (cat.4) 4,4km @ 4,5%
Col de Cabré (cat.3) 5,4km @ 5,6%
Lesches-en-Diois (cat.3) 6,4km @ 4,2%

The first road stage is a taste of the Tour - my Méribel stage starts in Guillestre. We're heading back out of the heights of the Alps towards the Rhône valley, over a series of small, punchy climbs. None of these are particularly difficult, but there are enough of them to disorganise the chase, and we could well have an interesting break as a result. Pure sprinters will probably be cursing their showing up, while most cycling fans will look at the profile, then look at each other, and mouth the words "Peter Sagan". And indeed, with the final climb cresting 34km from the finish and not being especially steep, the chances that this one comes back together are high. The real question is, if a couple of teams really force the pace, how big will the péloton be at the end to duke out the sprint in the wonderfully-named town of Die?

Guillestre:


Die:
 
Red Rick said:
I changed them to public, can you see them now?

BTW, i would like to announce i'm working on my own TdF too with two long tt's, 3 medium mountain stages and 7 high mountain stages, with attacking possibilities on all of them
Yup, can see them now.

Just a note - I'm not sure about all the climbs and the status of tarmac there - I can see that you're descending the Trobaniello side of the Puerto de la Ventana in the first version (the last climb before Gamoniteiro) - that's gravel. On the second version, you're climbing the gravel side and descending the tarmac side. Not sure why you've gone with four short circuits in the middle of the stage - can imagine that'll get confusing when you have an autobus created by four times up a short steep climb and the gravel side of Ventana several minutes down...
 
Libertine Seguros said:
Yup, can see them now.

Just a note - I'm not sure about all the climbs and the status of tarmac there - I can see that you're descending the Trobaniello side of the Puerto de la Ventana in the first version (the last climb before Gamoniteiro) - that's gravel. On the second version, you're climbing the gravel side and descending the tarmac side. Not sure why you've gone with four short circuits in the middle of the stage - can imagine that'll get confusing when you have an autobus created by four times up a short steep climb and the gravel side of Ventana several minutes down...
Yeah, i need to work on my logistics:D. But for stuff like the Gamoniteiro i assume they will resurface the road if they want to use it as a MTF
 
Sep 8, 2010
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Libertine Seguros said:
I'm going to start another stage race here... after all, when the Dauphiné route was announced, I was scathing, perhaps even vitriolic, about how lopsided and unbalanced it was, and what an appalling use of the climbs it was considering how much ITT mileage there was. I was assured that this was no problem given that it is a Tour de France preparation race, so therefore it doesn't matter if the parcours is utter garbage as it is good preparation for the similarly dreadful Tour de France route.
It got pretty bad, when ASO took this race. Same with Paris-Nice. Fignon, who organized P-N for a few years wrote about this in his book. He wanted to make a real exciting and difficult race, but was financially crushed by ASO. Dauphiné had great stages before that time. Also great hilly and moutaineous tt by the way.

Like your prologue. Reminds a bit of the Utah prologue last year.

I'm hoping for the scandalously overlooked Col Luitel.
 
Stage 2: Valence - Givors, 178km





Climbs:
Côte Sainte-Épine (cat.3) 3,2km @ 7,7%
Crus des Pins (cat.3) 3,0km @ 7,6%
Côte de Brunieux (cat.3) 3,2km @ 6,5%
Col d'Œillon (cat.1) 20,0km @ 5,4%
Croix du Planil (cat.3) 4,2km @ 5,4%

Now firmly outside the Alps, this second road stage heads north towards Lyon, mostly over a series of small climbs, but with one big climb to break the pack down. The Col d'Œillon is far from the toughest climb the world of cycling has ever seen, but at 20km in length it will be more than enough to trim the bunch down in a stage such as this. Its long, gradual drag was first conquered by Federico Bahamontes in 1956, and it has never been topped by a rider from anywhere other than Spain or Colombia (Lucho Herrera was the last to win the climb, in the 1985 Tour). Here, however, 70km from home, it isn't as likely to create any GC action, but the fight among the break could be entertaining.

Profile-wise, this could be another one for Sagan, as top sprinters are unlikely to have made it over the Œillon in the bunch, however, there are two uncategorised climbs around the village of Echalas on the way down into Givors, both cresting inside 15km to go, so this could be one for a puncheur or a well-timed attack, as the chase could suffer from a lack of cohesion on these slopes. I would expect the bunch to be fairly small at the finish.

Valence:


Givors:
 

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