Race Design Thread

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Apr 19, 2010
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Pictures

Road is clearly in bad condition



A view from the road under the top towards High Tatras:
 
togo95 said:
Stage 5: Spišská Nová Ves - Kráľová hoľa (1946), 190km

This time we go through Slovak Paradise (Slovenský Raj) and finish is in mountain range Low Tatras (Nízke Tatry), the second highest in Slovakia. Whole stage is filled with climbs which aren't so challenging, at least compared to what lies at the end of this stage.
This only real mountain stage in this tour is finishing on the highest paved road in Slovakia. On the top of the climb Kráľová hoľa (King's Bald Mountain), next to the TV transmitter, without any doubt the hardest climb in Slovakia.
This mountain is also one of the most legendary mountains in Slovakia, and one of informal Slovak national symbols.

Climbs:
Sedlo Grajnár(cat.2 at km 17) - 10km; 4,3%
Dobšinský kopec(cat.2 at km 73) - 7,3km; 5,5%
Sedlo Súľová(cat.3 at km 91) - 4km; 5,8%
Sedlo Hrádok(cat.3 at km 134) - 4km; 6,4%
Muránska Huta(cat.2 at km 168) - 5km; 7%
Sedlo Javorinka (cat.2 at km 172) - 2,6km; 8,5%
Kráľová hoľa(special category at km 190) - 13,5km; 8,5%






Šumiac, base of the climb to Kráľová hoľa:
This, my friends, is why the Peace Race needs to come back.
 
Of course, what the north of Spain is known for is providing a number of long hills and short mountains, so that's what's on the menu for today.

Stage 2: Reinosa - Cueva el Soplao, 156km



We start near yesterday's finish and head back down towards the coast on a long gradual descent, before tackling four categorised climbs as we cross back westward, three of these in quick succession culminating in the final climb up to the finishing line.



Climbs:
Puerto del Escudo (cat.3) 3,3km @ 4,4%
Puerto de Anievas (cat.2) 6,1km @ 5,8%
Collado Carmona (cat.2) 4,8km @ 7,5%
Collado de Ozalba (cat.2) 5,8km @ 6,7%
Cueva el Soplao (cat.2) 7,0km @ 6,1%

The closing phases of this stage should be fun for those that enjoy races like the Vuelta al País Vasco and Paris-Nice, with a number of medium mountains placed end to end. The final climb has all of its toughest gradients at the bottom, with the first 2 kilometres at over 9%, as shown here:
http://climbbybike.com/profile.asp?Climbprofile=Cueva-el-Soplao&MountainID=9288

This climb, up to the dramatic and incredible caves at El Soplao (really worth a visit), was used as the finale of the 2009 Spanish national road race, won by Rubén Plaza. You can view the closing kilometres here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ7MqmCnQ5o

Reinosa:


Cueva el Soplao:
 
May 24, 2010
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Ah well....first draft of the Tour of Scotland failed miserably, need a massive rethink none of the stages were less than 110 MILES bar the TT even it was over 20 miles....I'll keep playing!
 
May 6, 2009
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What an awesome Tour of Slovakia we have there, and not suited to Peter Sagan either. I've been to Bratislava and there are some solid hills around there from what I can remember At least on the side of the Danube River that I was on.

Alright Libertine, I want you to try and make an interesting TDU or even Volta ao Algarve :p:p
 
Apr 19, 2010
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Tour of Slovakia - 6

Stage 6: Heľpa - Popradské pleso, 159km

It wouldn't be a Tour of Slovakia without going to High Tatras. So here it is. In fact there aren't that many tough climbs in High Tatras (there is one with 12km at 7,5% with last 6km at almost 10%, but I decided not to include it, only first 6km - Tatranská Polianka).
First half of the shortest stage is in Low Tatras. Then we head to High Tatras with three not very steep climbs and finish next to Popradské pleso (Poprad Glacier Lake - 1500 meters above sea).

Climbs:
Sedlo Čertovica(cat.1 at km 55) - 12,3km; 5%
Štrbské pleso(cat.2 at km 103) - 9,3km; 4,7%
Tatranská Polianka(cat.3 at km 129) - 4,4km; 5%
Popradské pleso(cat.1 at km 159) - 14,3km; 4,8%

^last 18km of the stage





Popradské pleso:

This valley reminds me Rifugio Gardeccia a bit, altough there isn't a lake. The road is also similiar, but here it is more wide (I've been to both places).
 
Apr 19, 2010
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Tour of Slovakia - 7

Stage 7: Liptovský Mikuláš - Čremošné, 199km

Penultimate stage and last chance to do something with the GC. We have another hilly stage, but this time it finishes at the top of a climb. As we move to the west, the altitude is lower.

Climbs:
Sedlo Malý Šturec(cat.2 at km 87) - 7,8km; 5%
Kremnické Bane(cat.3 at km 162) - 5km; 5%
Čremošné - 1 lap to go(cat.3 at km 183) - 3km; 6,6%
Čremošné - finish(cat.2 at km 199) - 3,9km; 6,7%

Last 22,5km:






Liptovská Mara, dam near Liptovský Mikuláš:
 
Jul 30, 2009
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sublimit said:
Good thread, I'd have a 1 day classic on the Isle Of Wight, semi off road for WT points - kind of like Strade Bianchi but with smaller hills and crosswinds.


;)
+1

I've thought about this quite a bit, as I have a mate who lives there and I go there riding and windsurfing quite often.

I think it would be more like Strade Bianchi meets Fleche Wallone - there are some sick hills in most of the bigger towns, inc one horrible twisty 1 in 4 wall in Ventnor which would have Purito drooling if it was the finish.

There is a big cycling festival in IoW every September, if people thought about it they could put it on at same time as ToB and have a stage over there when there are already loads of cyclists on the island.

A more Gilbert friendly finish than the one I am thinking of:



EDIT: great thread this - loving finding out about places I dont know much about - well done Libertine
 
Apr 19, 2010
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Tour of Slovakia - 8

Stage 8: Turčianske Teplice - Bratislava

Last stage of the tour is the only real chance for sprinters. We will celebrate the winner in the capital of Slovakia - Bratislava. At first glance this is a stage without any difficulty, but in the final 5 kilometers there are several cobbled stretches which may disrupt the smooth end of thi stage race. But they are in good condition therefore I expect that favorites will watch over situation in the end.





Bratislava:


Finish is in front of the old National Theatre:
 
Winterfold said:
There is a big cycling festival in IoW every September, if people thought about it they could put it on at same time as ToB and have a stage over there when there are already loads of cyclists on the island.
Actually, what I think might be an even better idea is to utilise that cycling festival at around the time of the ToB, but crown it with a professional one-day race that precedes the Tour of Britain by two or three days, the same way as the Subida al Naranco preceded (until this year when due to funding problems it was incorporated into) the Vuelta a Asturias, or the GP Miguel Indurain is for the Vuelta al País Vasco, or the Cancer Council Classic is for the TDU. Maybe it might have to be .2-rated and not have the WorldTour guys in it, but they could show up to bring some attention to the cycling festival or enter it to stretch their legs ahead of the ToB.



togo - I'm liking the closing stages of your race, that finish in stage 7 is especially nicely planned with the opportunities for attacking. The mixture of short climbs and the queen stage using some long and gradual ones makes me think of the Tour de Romandie a little (or maybe it's the view at the summit finish).
 
craig1985 said:
Alright Libertine, I want you to try and make an interesting TDU or even Volta ao Algarve :p:p
Haha. Given that we've had all those debates in here about where the TDU should be held and what it should do or what it could be if it were held at another time of year, or at the same time but the teams were more willing to go climbing, I'd like to see some of the Aussies on here showcase what their country can offer.

As for the Algarve, I've been considering having a go at the Volta a Portugal, but can't decide whether I should have a go at the 2-week or 3-week version. 2 weeks I think is more sensible, but doesn't use so much of the south of the country.
 
Triple-post alert!

Anyway, I'm moving forward with my Vuelta a Cantabria, with a long stage traversing the region, starting in the very west and finishing in the very east, close to the border with País Vasco.

Stage 3: San Vicente de la Barquera - Castro Urdiales, 190km



This is less of a mountain challenge than the previous thread, staying as it does fairly close to the coast, but there are still four categorised climbs and a number of uncategorised ones too for the riders to deal with, with the final climb, the Puerto de la Granja/La Jaya, cresting just 11km from the finish, with a descent to the coast and then a short, flat run-in to Castro Urdiales. If nobody is able to or willing to get away on the Puerto de la Granja then expect this to suit the likes of Peter Sagan.



Climbs:
Alto de Hijas (cat.3) 3,1km @ 5,1%
Alto Fuente las Varas (cat.2) 5,6km @ 4,7%
Campolayal (cat.2) 8,2km @ 4,8%
Puerto de la Granja (cat.2) 7,0km @ 5,2%

The descent shouldn't make it too difficult for the climbers to get away, but the low gradient of the final climb could well mean that puncheurs and even the more versatile sprinters can hold on; it's a similar climb in profile and role to Jaizkibel in the Donostia Classic. A good, light puncheur should still be in contention at this point, but they'll need all the strength they can summon up for tomorrow.

The pretty town of San Vicente de la Barquera:


Our finish today, also by the coast, at Castro Urdiales:
 
May 6, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
Haha. Given that we've had all those debates in here about where the TDU should be held and what it should do or what it could be if it were held at another time of year, or at the same time but the teams were more willing to go climbing, I'd like to see some of the Aussies on here showcase what their country can offer.

As for the Algarve, I've been considering having a go at the Volta a Portugal, but can't decide whether I should have a go at the 2-week or 3-week version. 2 weeks I think is more sensible, but doesn't use so much of the south of the country.
Given that ACF is adamant that Victoria should get a go at hosting the TDU on the basis of 'Melbourne >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> everywhere else, and Adelaide is ****', I would like to see him put his money where his mouth is and come up with a better course. I don't mean go to the extent that some people have in this thread, but try to come up with some interesting racing, because IMO it will be just like Adelaide where all the riders stay at one hotel in Melbourne and all the races venturing not that far from Melbourne. I mean it's not like they will go up Mt Baw Baw.

Also Libertine, I reckon you could design a pretty awesome Tour of Poland, and a pretty good Tour of Austria (shouldn't be that hard mind you).
 
Jun 16, 2009
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craig1985 said:
Given that ACF is adamant that Victoria should get a go at hosting the TDU on the basis of 'Melbourne >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> everywhere else, and Adelaide is ****', I would like to see him put his money where his mouth is and come up with a better course. I don't mean go to the extent that some people have in this thread, but try to come up with some interesting racing, because IMO it will be just like Adelaide where all the riders stay at one hotel in Melbourne and all the races venturing not that far from Melbourne. I mean it's not like they will go up Mt Baw Baw.

Also Libertine, I reckon you could design a pretty awesome Tour of Poland, and a pretty good Tour of Austria (shouldn't be that hard mind you).
I accept your challenge.
 
Jul 30, 2009
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ACF - The Victoria tourist board will be wanting you to make sure it includes the coast road west from torquay - 12 apostles and all that
 
While we wait to see what the Aussies could offer if we had a proper international racing calendar down under, I will press ahead with further congesting the European calendar with the queen stage of my Vuelta a Cantabria.

Stage 4: Santoña - Peña Cabarga, 150km



Though this is the shortest road stage of the race, it's also undoubtedly the toughest, with a saw toothed profile that sees the teeth become sharper as the stage goes on. I was tempted when originally drawing this race up to include a finish on the region's previous most well-known MTF, Fuente del Chivo, but felt that over 20km at 5% might be overkill, plus the convenient location of the current belle of Cantabrian climbing swayed me in its favour.



Climbs:
Alto del Ajo (cat.3) 2,6km @ 5,5%
Fuente las Varas (cat.2) 6,4km @ 5,2%
Alto de la Cruz de Usaño (cat.3) 3,2km @ 6,6%
Rehoyos (cat.2) 6,1km @ 5,0%
Collado de Asón (cat.1) 9,9km @ 4,1%
Puerto de Alisas (cat.1) 9,5km @ 5,4%
Peña Cabarga (cat.1) 5,6km @ 9,4%

It's going to be a tough day in the saddle for the péloton today, with seven categorised climbs, the last three all being category one. Who will have the strength left in their legs to tackle the gradients of up to 18% on the final climb?

Luckily for me, I don't really have to introduce you to the finish today; instead I will allow Chris Froome and Juanjó Cobo to make my arguments for me. I was up there on the climb, and it was not much fun to get up there.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orW9IQqyH1M

Today's start town is close to the Atlantic, with fresh sea breeze to keep the riders cool and calm ahead of the pain to come:


And, viewed from Santander, the summit of Peña Cabarga looms large over the city:
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Tour Down Under Stage 1: Apollo Bay to Bells Beach, 127.6km

Under a wise move by the race organisers and with the support of the Victorian State Government, the Tour Down UNder has been moved to Victoria. The first stage has some tough climbing during the 1st half but flattens out in the 2nd half. A nasty hill near the finish gives the opportunists a chance to win but the sprinters could still take the honours as well.


Apollo Bay to Bells Beach, 127.6km
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Tour Down Under Stage 2: Geelong to Ballarat, 118.6km

The 2nd stage of the Tour Down Under should provide a good chance for a bunch sprint today though riders will be have to be very careful as the chances for crosswinds are high as the roads are very open and exposed. A good stage for the sprinters before the climbs really start to come.

Geelong to Ballarat, 118.6km
 
Nice to see that the TDU has stayed close to its successful format of short stages as well... anybody got any ideas what Aussie races could look like if they weren't hamstrung by the spot in the calendar?

I'm going to finish off the Vuelta a Cantabria today.

Stage 5: Santander - Santander (ITT), 16,5km



Finishing off, after our exploits in the hills and mountains of Cantabria, we have a race of truth around the regional capital. This is a rolling time trial; very little of it is truly flat, but the general gradients are low enough that we aren't going to be seeing the likes of Igor Antón and Andy Schleck winning.



It should be noted, however, that Santander is not flat by any stretch of the imagination, and on the way back into the finish, at 2km from home, the riders will be asked to ride up Calle de la Cuesta, an unpleasant short steep dig before the gradual downhill into the finish:



Santander:
 

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