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The art of cronoescalada

Since it is winter and it's time for threads like this, I wondered how you guys think about mountain time trials? When to put them into a GT or stage race? Or never put them into a GT, because it's always better to have a proper mountain stage instead?

What "cronoescaladas" did you like most and where do you think there should be one in future GT's? I decided to list the mountain itt's from the GT's.

Feel free to add more from other races.

As you can see, we have three different kind of "cronoescaladas". First there is the climb alone. A time trial that only consists of one single climb. That's the most common form.
Then we have the combination of a flat/rolling terrain followed by a final climb.
And then there is the combination of climbing and descending. Maybe the hardest form of them all?

Which one do you consider the best form?

Single climb mountain time trial
Giro d'Italia 1993 - Pinerolo › Sestriere (55.0 k) 1:36:29
Giro d'Italia 2015 - Bassano del Grappa › Monte Grappa (26.8 k) 1:05:37
Tour de France 1958 - Bédoin › le Mont-Ventoux (21.5 k) 1:02:09
Tour de France 1965 - Aix-les-Bains › le Mont-Revard (26.9 k) 59:50
Giro d'Italia 1936 - Rieti › Monte Terminillo (20.0 k) 55:12
Giro d'Italia 1957 - Verona › Bosco Chiesanuova (30.0 k) 55:04
Tour de France 1979 - Bagnères-de-Luchon › Superbagnères (23.9 k) 53:59
Giro d'Italia 1938 - Rieti › Monte Terminillo (19.8 k) 53:26
Giro d'Italia 1937 - Rieti › Monte Terminillo (20.0 k) 52:35
Tour de France 1996 - Bourg-Saint-Maurice › Val-d'Isère (30.5 k) 51:53
Tour de France 1962 - Bagnères-de-Luchon › Superbagnères (18.3 k) 47:23
Giro d'Italia 2013 - Mori › la Polsa (20.6 k) 44:29
Giro d'Italia 1939 - Rieti › Monte Terminillo (14.0 k) 43:22
Giro d'Italia 2010 - San Vigilio di Marebbe › Kronplatz (12.9 k) 41:28
Tour de France 1983 - Clermont-Ferrand › le Puy-de-Dôme (15.6 k) 40:43
Giro d'Italia 2006 - San Vigilio di Marebbe › Kronplatz (12.9 k) 40:26
Tour de France 2004 - le Bourg-d'Oisans › l'Alpe-d'Huez (15.5 k) 39:41
Vuelta a España 2001 - Ordino (AND) › Arcalis (AND) (17.1 k) 36:38
Tour de France 1959 - Clermont-Ferrand › le Puy-de-Dôme (12.5 k) 36:15
Tour de France 1983 - Morzine › Avoriaz (15.0 k) 35:09
Vuelta a España 1985 - Andorra la Vella › Pal (16.0 k) 34:54
Tour de France 1977 - Morzine › Avoriaz (14.0 k) 33:49
Giro d'Italia 1997 - Santarcangelo di Romagna › San Marino (SMR) (18.0 k) 31:42
Tour de France 2016 - Sallanches › Mégève (17.0 k) 30:43
Giro d'Italia 2011 - Belluno › Nevegal (12.6 k) 29:29
Giro d'Italia 2007 - Biella › Oropa (12.6 k) 28:55
Giro d'Italia 2016 - Castelrotto › Alpe di Siusi/Seiser Alm (10.9 k) 28:39
Giro d'Italia 1989 - Mendrisio (SWI) › Monte Generoso (SWI) (10.7 k) 28:37
Giro d'Italia 1975 - Piano di Coreglia › Il Ciocco (13.0 k) 28:01
Vuelta a España 2003 - San Lorenzo de El Escorial › Alto de Abantos (11.2 k) 25:08
Giro d'Italia 1958 - San Marino (12.0 k) 23:49
Giro d'Italia 1959 - Boscoreale › Vesuvio (8.0 k) 22:46
Vuelta a España 1988 - Oviedo › Alto del Naranco (6.8 k) 14:41
Vuelta a España 1974 - los Angeles de San Rafael (5.0k) 10:04
Giro d'Italia 1956 - Bologna › San Luca (2.6 k) 6:56
Vuelta a España 1978 - Barcelona › Alto de Montjuic (3.8 k) 4:57
Giro d'Italia 1960 - Carrara › Cave di Carrara (2.2 k) 4:50


Flat/rolling terrain followed by a climb
Tour de France 1979 - Evian-les-Bains › Avoriaz (54.2 k) 1:33:35
Tour de France 1978 - Besse-en-Chandesse › le Puy-de-Dôme (52.5 k) 1:25:51
Vuelta a España 1965 - Mieres › Puerto de Pajares (41.0 k) 1:17:38
Giro d'Italia 1968 - Cesenatico › San Marino (49.3 k) 1:14:47
Giro d'Italia 1969 - Cesenatico › San Marino (49.3 k) 1:14:15
Giro d'Italia 1987 - Rimini › San Marino (46.0 k) 1:11:39
Vuelta a España 1981 - Granada › Alto de Sierra Nevada (30.5 k) 1:11:02
Tour de France 1987 - Carpentras › le Mont-Ventoux (36.5 k) 1:09:44
Tour de France 2001 - Grenoble › Chamrousse (32.0k) 1:07:27
Vuelta a España 1985 - Sabiñánigo › Balneario de Panticosa (38.0 k) 1:05:25
Vuelta a España 2004 - Granada › Alto de Sierra Nevada (29.6 k) 1:02:29
Giro d'Italia 1952 - Roma › Rocca di Papa (35.0 k) 1:01:26
Giro d'Italia 1994 - Chiávari › Passo del Bocco (35.0 k) 59:52
Giro d'Italia 1990 - Gallarate › Sacro Monte (39.0 k) 58:04
Vuelta a España 1989 - Ezcaray › Alto Cruz de la Demanda (23.4 k) 53:22
Vuelta a España 1990 - Ezcaray › Alto Cruz de la Demanda (24.1 k) 52:14
Vuelta a España 1991 - Ezcaray › Alto Cruz de la Demanda (24.1 k) 50:29
Giro d'Italia 1979 - Rimini › San Marino (28.0 k) 45:46
Giro d'Italia 1951 - Rimini › San Marino (24.0 k) 45:05
Giro d'Italia 1988 - Levico Terme › Vetriolo Terme (18.0 k) 42:37
Vuelta a España 1993 - Segovia › Puerto de Navacerrada (24.1 k) 41:59
Vuelta a España 2008 - La Granja de San Ildefonso › Puerto de Navacerrada (17.1 k) 33:06
Vuelta a España 1984 - Lugones › Alto del Naranco (12.0 k) 22:17
Vuelta a España 1986 - Oviedo › Alto del Naranco (9.7 k) 18:28


Combination of climbing, descending, rolling, flat
Tour de France 1939 – Bonneval-sur-Arc › Bourg-Saint-Maurice (64.5 k) via Col de l'Iseran 1:55:41
Vuelta a España 1968 - San Sebastián/Donostia › Tolosa (67.0 k) via Pico de Ezcurra & Pico de Urto 1:45:30
Vuelta a España 1966 - Vitoria › Haro (61.0 k) via Puerto de Herrera 1:35:28
Giro d'Italia 2009 - Sestri Levante › Riomaggiore (60.6 k) via Passo del Bracco & Passo del Termine 1:34:29
Giro d'Italia 1991 - Broni › Casteggio (68.0 k) via Valico del Carmine & Montalto Pavese 1:33:17
Tour de France 1994 - Cluses › Avoriaz (47.5 k) via Côte de Châtillon & Côte des Gets 1:22:59
Tour de France 1997 - Saint-Etienne › Saint-Etienne (55.0 k) via Col de la Croix-de-Chaubouret 1:16:42
Tour de France 1989 - Gap › Orcières-Merlette (39.0 k) via Col de Manse 1:10:42
Vuelta a España 1996 - El Tiemblo › Ávila (46.5 k) via Puerto de la Paramera 1:10:20
Giro d'Italia 1995 - Cenate di Sotto › Selvino (43.0 k) via Colle del Gallo 1:05:59
Vuelta a España 1967 - Laguardia › Vitoria (44.0 k) via Puerto de Herrera 1:05:08
Vuelta a España 1999 - El Tiemblo › Ávila (46.5 k) via Puerto de la Paramera 1:04:57
Tour de France 1975 - Morzine › Châtel (40.0 k) via Col du Corbier 1:03:15
Tour de France 1988 - Grenoble › Côte 2000 (38.0 k) via Côte d'Engins 1:02:24
Giro d'Italia 2000 - Briançon › Sestriere (34.0 k) via Col de Montgenèvre 59:49
Tour de France 1990 - Fontaine › Côte 2000 (33.5 k) via Côte d'Engins 56:52
Tour de France 2013 - Embrun › Chorges (32.0 k) via Puy-Sanières & Reallon 51:33
Giro d'Italia 1971 - Desenzano del Garda › Salò (28.0 k) via Serniga di Salò 43:10
Tour de France 1984 - les Échelles › la Ruchère (21.6 k) via Côte de Berland 42:11

There are a few Vuelta itt's in the early days running for 2 hrs. From the distances it could be possible that there were mountains in them. But I don't know about those.
 
One I liked most was the 2003 Vuelta one. With a road stage ending on Abantos we probably would have had Nozal as the Vuelta winner *shudder*.

Should there be one in future GT? Probably not with the way the routes and race dynamics are evolving.

Best form? I don't know. Depends on the climbs used as going over the Paramera is different propostion to climbing la Ruchere or Avoriaz.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Re:

roundabout said:
One I liked most was the 2003 Vuelta one. With a road stage ending on Abantos we probably would have had Nozal as the Vuelta winner *shudder*.

Should there be one in future GT? Probably not with the way the routes and race dynamics are evolving.

Best form? I don't know. Depends on the climbs used as going over the Paramera is different propostion to climbing la Ruchere or Avoriaz.
It depents, I wouldn't mind seeing a longer climb with shallow gradients like Montevergine as a MTT with 10-15km of flat before it, those gradients would actually favour the TT specialists among the gc contenders, it would be a solid 2nd ITT and a good way to use a rather boring MTF.
 
I'm all for them, as gaps between riders tend to be less and less now due to team strength etc, they really separate the men from the boys. i say go crazy and have something next years short TDF stage, however to counter this you then need to include enough flat TT to ensure fairness.
 
I'm okay with MTT's as long as there is at least one long flat ITT as well. Otherwise it makes the race completely unbalanced. And in any case a MTT should imo never be as hard as for example the Monte Grappa TT in the 2014 giro. The Megeve TT in last years tour was quite good and I like the Kronplatz as a climb for a MTT as well since that climb is just so unique.
Of the ones listed in the op I also like the 1996 tdf time trial to val d'isere, which started with a hard climb and ended with a few flat kilometers. I think that could lead to an exciting stage since some climbers who might lead after the climb will have a hard time hanging on against guys like Froome or Dumoulin on the last kilometers.

Another thing I'd like to see one day is a TT where the riders don't only climb but also descend a big pass. Something like a MTT from Cluses to Morzine over the Joux Plane. I didn't read through the whole op so maybe TT's like that have already taken place in the past but at least in recent history I think that would be something new.
 
Re: Re:

Mayomaniac said:
roundabout said:
One I liked most was the 2003 Vuelta one. With a road stage ending on Abantos we probably would have had Nozal as the Vuelta winner *shudder*.

Should there be one in future GT? Probably not with the way the routes and race dynamics are evolving.

Best form? I don't know. Depends on the climbs used as going over the Paramera is different propostion to climbing la Ruchere or Avoriaz.
It depents, I wouldn't mind seeing a longer climb with shallow gradients like Montevergine as a MTT with 10-15km of flat before it, those gradients would actually favour the TT specialists among the gc contenders, it would be a solid 2nd ITT and a good way to use a rather boring MTF.
Yeah thats a great idea.

That said something like Monte Grappa is always pretty amazing..

Edit: On the top of my head, the time trial in the 2013 Tour was probably my favourite. That was such a nice route.
 
Jul 6, 2016
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I'd rather see three of them each GT than one. But that has everything to do with the procession racing we see nowadays in the proper mountain stages. And I still think: the more TT-heavy a race is, the less of a procession you get. But that depends also on everyone's goals. Even in the sprint stages everyone is happy to let their teams pull all day for a top 6 placing. The same goes for some men who'd sell their mothers for being capable of never getting dropped by the yellow jersey.

So, procession racing or not, give us back some proper man to man fighting.
(Moreover, with more TT'oing being added, some co-leaders/luxury doms will have the opportunity to better their captains. Won't that be intruiging?)
 
The MTT should realistically be something of a change of pace in a race, and functions best when used in one of the following ways:

1) to make logistically possible a climb that may otherwise not have been able to be accommodated by the race (such as the Kronplatz TTs in the 2008 and 2010 Giri or the later Puy-de-Dôme stages when it was becoming progressively more difficult to host the trappings of the race at the summit), providing a spectacle that would otherwise have been unable to be incorporated into the race.

2) to produce time gaps on climbs with fairly low gradient or consistent slopes, to create time gaps of a kind that would have been unlikely had the climb been taken on in a road stage. Time trials such as Arcalis in the Vuelta and/or Volta a Catalunya, Piornos north in the Volta a Portugal, Sierra Nevada by its more conventional sides or Nevegal would count for this, as well as other climbs that riders know like the back of their hands, such as the Puerto de Navacerrada. The Col d'Èze TT in Paris-Nice probably belongs in this category as well, although that also has tradition on its side; nevertheless I personally prefer the 2008-10 method of incorporating it into the race.

3) To refresh climbs that have become stale for that latter reason of overuse, or to offer variety in stages involving climbs with limited stage design options. Lagos de Covadonga would be a prime candidate for this, while Mont Ventoux is also periodically used as an MTT similarly.

4) On the Passo di Fedaia, to give us hours of uninterrupted coverage of the Passo di Fedaia.
 
Re:

roundabout said:
One I liked most was the 2003 Vuelta one. With a road stage ending on Abantos we probably would have had Nozal as the Vuelta winner *shudder*.

Should there be one in future GT? Probably not with the way the routes and race dynamics are evolving.

Best form? I don't know. Depends on the climbs used as going over the Paramera is different propostion to climbing la Ruchere or Avoriaz.

Excellent pick. Nozal was losing 30 seconds to a minute every kilometer. A perfect type of climb for a mountain TT: steep in sections but not too steep, allowing for significant time gaps.
 
Okay...I tried to find my favorites.

Love affair
Tour de France 1997 - Saint-Etienne › Saint-Etienne (55.0 k) via Col de la Croix-de-Chaubouret 1:16:42
m8puds.jpg


I can't go over that. It was probably the classiest performance of all time in a time trial equal to Indurain in Luxembourg. Young Jan Ullrich manhandling everybody like they were juniors, when the juggernaut from Rostock absolutely escalated. On the other hand, when someone is so dominant, then the race is over after something like this.


Zomegan approves
Giro d'Italia 2009 - Sestri Levante › Riomaggiore (60.6 k) via Passo del Bracco & Passo del Termine
SestriLevante_Riomaggiore.jpg


To be honest Don Angelo *** up the 2009 edition for other reasons, but this individual time trial was an absolute killer or pope to be more precisely. The gaps weren't big as well and so the battle between Menchov and Di Luca was on. You need to be at your absolute best to handle a stage like that well.


The legend falters
Giro d'Italia 1993 - Pinerolo › Sestriere (55.0 k) 1:36:29
oropa%2B93%2Bcri%2Bsestriere.jpg


What an absurd idea. Letting them climb a long climb like Sestriere in a time trial with Piotr Ugrumov challenging Big Mig. He would put three minutes into Mig a year later in another great mountain itt in one of the most insane three week performances of all time. Ugrumov took back 8:30 from everyone in only three days.

CRI%20Morzine%20Avoriaz%20tour%201994.jpg



Honorable mention
Tour de France 1939 – Bonneval-sur-Arc › Bourg-Saint-Maurice (64.5 k) via Col de l'Iseran 1:55:41

Must have been awful with no asphalt on the roads. Still this is quite an interesting approach. It was the first mountain time trial in Le Tour and they really went for it. And I would be interested to see this again. Romain Bardet holds the Strava record for the climb with 42:17. And in the descent there are still a few almost flat kilometers. Around 10.


Oh and those 60ies itt's from La Vuelta look very though as well. Spain might be the country where you can create a lot of those mixed mountain time trials.
 
I'm completely in favor of them. I would like to see one in every GT, counterbalanced by one long flat ITT. It doesn't always have to be the toughest climb. A time trial on the Aspin or La Plagne could be great. Nowadays there are so often domestiques controlling even on the final climb, so a mountain time trial is the only guarantee to get an individual competition on a mountain.

One that stuck to mind is the Kronplatz in 2008, when Pellizotti still had his long hair and won in true Samson style.