Rate the 2024 Tour de France Route

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Rate the 2024 Tour de France Route


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Interesting take on the TdF route from Sean Kelly -
https://cyclinguptodate.com/cycling...lls-on-uci-to-limit-difficulty-of-grand-tours

"From a UCI point of view, maybe they need to restrict the amount of metres climbed in the first few days of a Tour because, if not, are we not going down the danger of pushing riders to the limit and doing bad things again,” Kelly told GCN, referencing the growing difficulty of Grand Tours following the reveal of the profiles and routes of the 2024 Tour de France.
"The guys who want to survive in the Tour de France, and who are struggling… for them if you make the race so, so difficult, and all the races are doing it, I’d be concerned with that," he continues. "I think that the UCI should take on more control when it comes to limiting how hard a Grand Tour can be. The riders are professional but they’re only human, and they’re not robots."

("doing bad things again" - clinic warning!)
 
Kelly's comments followed on from the Cav's comment about it being so hard, and as Kelly explains for pure sprinters it's not getting easier -

https://cyclinguptodate.com/cycling...endishs-decision-to-return-was-the-right-call

Following the announcement of the route of the 2024 Tour de France, Cavendish admitted it would be a tough challenge. "It's so hard. I am actually in a bit of shock," was the Astana Qazaqstan Team rider's initial reaction to the profile of the race. “From a sprinter’s point of view it’s not nice. It’s horrible,” Kelly explains, giving his opinion of the route.

“As we’ve been hearing from a number of sprinters, it’s so difficult, but that’s nothing new. These races now seem to have something against these sprinters and in the latter years the pure sprinters don’t really have much of an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities. One event wants to be better than the other, and that just makes it harder and harder," he continues. "In the future, the pure sprinters coming through will have to adjust the way that they train because if they can’t get over hills they’ll win nothing. If you go back a few years in the Tour you’d have the first week with stages guaranteed for the sprinters, with three or four for the sprinters but that’s all changed. The organisers now want to create hype but where’s it going?"
 
Interesting take on the TdF route from Sean Kelly -
https://cyclinguptodate.com/cycling...lls-on-uci-to-limit-difficulty-of-grand-tours

"From a UCI point of view, maybe they need to restrict the amount of metres climbed in the first few days of a Tour because, if not, are we not going down the danger of pushing riders to the limit and doing bad things again,” Kelly told GCN, referencing the growing difficulty of Grand Tours following the reveal of the profiles and routes of the 2024 Tour de France.
"The guys who want to survive in the Tour de France, and who are struggling… for them if you make the race so, so difficult, and all the races are doing it, I’d be concerned with that," he continues. "I think that the UCI should take on more control when it comes to limiting how hard a Grand Tour can be. The riders are professional but they’re only human, and they’re not robots."

("doing bad things again" - clinic warning!)

you mean having 3 of the 4 Alpine stages be shorter than a women's Alpine stage is too hard for the peloton?
 
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I wouldn't call myself an experienced expert when it comes to professional cycling.

However, I observed the Tour route when it was announced and since saw all the stage profiles on La Flamme Rouge. My initial reaction was that this was an easier Tour than the last few.

I was incredibly surprised to hear these interviews highlighting how hard the race has become???

Am I missing something or is there a case to be made for this Tour being unreasonably hard??
Perhaps it's because the sprinters miss out on the finish in Paris which is the first time since 1903.
 
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Time limits are much more easier now, there's less tappones now in the Tour, even if there's more mountain stages than in the past.
The race is hard because now the speed is more high than in the past, but that's nothing to do with a lot of vertical meters.
I would think the sprinters from Kelly’s day and Cav’s early years would look at the recent Tour profiles and think they were easier because there aren’t any true Tappones/Queen stages that combined 5 HC & Cat 1 climbs over 220 Km, especially with the gearing they had in those days.
 
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"the amount of metres climbed in the first few days of a Tour" was the bit that Sean Kelly was getting at. Stage 1 has 3,800 metres of climbing and stage 2 of course finishes up the San Luca climb then stage 4 is up in the Alps. I suppose that as the Alps and the Pyrenees are the normal week 2 and 3 highlights then next year will be tougher then normal for pure sprinters. As next year is unusual because of the Olympics it would seem unlikely that it will be a permanent trend as 2025 is rumoured to start in Lille so it should be more flat stages and maybe cobbles in the first week (and if we're really lucky maybe Super Planche des Belle Filles).
 
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There have been tour routes which have had early climbing stages due to where they have started (like Nice or the Basque Country) in the past.

I think the general consensus is that stages are "raced harder" than they were in the past though that's not something you can really tell by a stage profile.
 
Aug 10, 2023
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I wouldn't call myself an experienced expert when it comes to professional cycling.

However, I observed the Tour route when it was announced and since saw all the stage profiles on La Flamme Rouge. My initial reaction was that this was an easier Tour than the last few.

I was incredibly surprised to hear these interviews highlighting how hard the race has become???

Am I missing something or is there a case to be made for this Tour being unreasonably hard??
Perhaps it's because the sprinters miss out on the finish in Paris which is the first time since 1903.
It's the final three stages that make this edition much more difficult.
Stage 19 has climbs that don't seem to be that difficult, but check out the altitude. Three mountain climbs that reach over 2000 meters, and the second one tops out at 2700 meters!
Stage 20 is also a brute, even though it is relatively short There are four climbs and not a flat section in the entire stage. The climb to the finish is 15k at 7.3%.
Stage 21 consists of a very difficult time trial with no room for celebration.
 
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"Stage 21 consists of a very difficult time trial with no room for celebration."
But how many guys will be going at 100% on the last stage time-trial? The TT specialists will have a problem with the climbing so they'll not go all in and that just leaves the top few guys on GC. Which makes me think that stage 19 & 20 will not be ridden "full gas" unless Pogacar or someone is minutes down on GC.
 
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It's the final three stages that make this edition much more difficult.
Stage 19 has climbs that don't seem to be that difficult, but check out the altitude. Three mountain climbs that reach over 2000 meters, and the second one tops out at 2700 meters!
Stage 20 is also a brute, even though it is relatively short There are four climbs and not a flat section in the entire stage. The climb to the finish is 15k at 7.3%.
Stage 21 consists of a very difficult time trial with no room for celebration.
2800 no? Otherwise it wouldn't be the highest paved road in Europe (Agnel, Iseran and Stelvio are >2700m).
 
2800 no? Otherwise it wouldn't be the highest paved road in Europe (Agnel, Iseran and Stelvio are >2700m).
Bonette is a peculiar climb. The original pass is at 2715m where the come up from the right here. But they've added a small loop taking the road to 2802m and making it the highest paved pass in Europe (I believe there is a paved road to 2820m at Tiefenbachferner above Sölden in Austria, but the highest point here is inside a tunnel).

 
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Bonette is a peculiar climb. The original pass is at 2715m where the come up from the right here. But they've added a small loop taking the road to 2802m and making it the highest paved pass in Europe (I believe there is a paved road to 2820m at Tiefenbachferner above Sölden in Austria, but the highest point here is inside a tunnel).

I know, I've ridden it myself. That's why I deliberately called it 'paved road' instead of pass to avoid the scorn of the velominati.
 
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Bonette is a peculiar climb. The original pass is at 2715m where the come up from the right here. But they've added a small loop taking the road to 2802m and making it the highest paved pass in Europe (I believe there is a paved road to 2820m at Tiefenbachferner above Sölden in Austria, but the highest point here is inside a tunnel).

Yes, Tiefenbachferner is the highest paved road used in a bike race in Europe.

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Pico del Veleta is the highest paved road in Europe.
 
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I never really understood the complaining about GT routes being too hard. If it's too dangerous, temperatures get too extreme and those kind of things you can at least have an argument, but I never understood how you could complain about the fact that endurance is involved in an endurance sport. I guess if Vingegaard and Pogacar would struggle to finish the Tour it might have become too extreme but that's not what this discussion is about at all. It's about guys who either aren't naturally great endurance athletes or who refuse to improve their endurance because it would hamper other skills of theirs, like their ability to sprint. But how absurd to make those guys the measuring point for whether a race is too hard.

It's like saying we should abolish the marathon distance because Usain Bolt has no shot in that race. Or that LeMans should really shorten its duration because F1 cars aren't durable enough for 24 hours. Of course nobody is saying that because everyone realizes the endurance aspect is what makes those races interesting. But once some people start talking about GTs they completely forget the same is the case here. The whole point of sprinting in stage races is that sprinters need to be able to make it through an endurance race first before being able to sprint. If you want the race to completely revolve around sprinters, watch track cycling.