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Tour de France 2016 route prediction

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May 19, 2010
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What I would like to see in a Tour de France is to have stages that resemble all the monuments. A couple reasons for this:
1. The monuments for me tend to Be the best race days of the year. So naturally having similar stages could produce similar results.
2. It is good for the sport as during that stage the commentators will be referencing the monument. Therefore if it is an epic stage, July only fans might think "you know what I will watch MSR next year".
3. I want the Tour de France to incorporate all aspects of road cycling.

Along with stages that resemble the monuments it should have stages such as
1. Flat stages
2. Crosswind stages
3. Downhill finish
4. Mountain stages
5. TT's

Now I believe the key is mixing up all the stages and keeping it fresh. For example some years you can have a really hard cobbles stage other years an easier stage. By the same standard we need to mix up the order a lot more. At the moment we follow a very predictable template. For instance why not throw a couple mountain stages in the first week??? Or why not put a cobbles stage as stage 20.

Without going into to much detail (as I don't know France well enough to create the route):

Stages 1-4: western France on the coast somewhere heading south. Including crosswinds, flat stage, possible short TT or prologue, stage finish with a 1-2km up hill finish.

Stages 5-8: Pyrenees. Variety of mountain stages including downhill finish, MTF, multi mountain. Also could have a rest day.

Stages 9-11: South France along the coast. Flat stage, long TT, a long MSR style stage. Preferably the MSR style stage followed by a flat stage followed by the TT. (That way the mountain stage and MSR stage could be utilised to its capacity.

Stages 12-15: alps. Same as Pyrenees. Except maybe include a MTT.

Stages 16-17: flat stage heading north out of alps. Rest stage.

Stages 18-19: 2 well designed hilly stages like Ardenne classics. One a hill finish like AGR and the other a LBL style finish.

Stage 20: cobbles. Either Flanders or pr style.

Stage 21: paris

it is different and might not work but at least do something different.
 
richo36 said:
What I would like to see in a Tour de France is to have stages that resemble all the monuments. A couple reasons for this:
1. The monuments for me tend to Be the best race days of the year. So naturally having similar stages could produce similar results.
2. It is good for the sport as during that stage the commentators will be referencing the monument. Therefore if it is an epic stage, July only fans might think "you know what I will watch MSR next year".
3. I want the Tour de France to incorporate all aspects of road cycling.

Along with stages that resemble the monuments it should have stages such as
1. Flat stages
2. Crosswind stages
3. Downhill finish
4. Mountain stages
5. TT's

Now I believe the key is mixing up all the stages and keeping it fresh. For example some years you can have a really hard cobbles stage other years an easier stage. By the same standard we need to mix up the order a lot more. At the moment we follow a very predictable template. For instance why not throw a couple mountain stages in the first week??? Or why not put a cobbles stage as stage 20.

Without going into to much detail (as I don't know France well enough to create the route):

Stages 1-4: western France on the coast somewhere heading south. Including crosswinds, flat stage, possible short TT or prologue, stage finish with a 1-2km up hill finish.

Stages 5-8: Pyrenees. Variety of mountain stages including downhill finish, MTF, multi mountain. Also could have a rest day.

Stages 9-11: South France along the coast. Flat stage, long TT, a long MSR style stage. Preferably the MSR style stage followed by a flat stage followed by the TT. (That way the mountain stage and MSR stage could be utilised to its capacity.

Stages 12-15: alps. Same as Pyrenees. Except maybe include a MTT.

Stages 16-17: flat stage heading north out of alps. Rest stage.

Stages 18-19: 2 well designed hilly stages like Ardenne classics. One a hill finish like AGR and the other a LBL style finish.

Stage 20: cobbles. Either Flanders or pr style.

Stage 21: paris

it is different and might not work but at least do something different.

Bad idea...Recovery will not matter in this case.Ardennes stages can't create havoc.Yeah, they're fun to watch but the gaps are minimal in 90% of cases.

I'll go for:
Stages 1-4 ...prologue, flat, flat but with possible crosswinds, cobble/steep hilltop finish.
Stages 5-6 ...transition into the mountains...(medium mo stages)
7,8,9 - easy MTF finish(a climb like Montevergine), hard MTF and descent finish
10 - flat
11 - hill top finish(like Mende)
12 - flat ITT(40-50.Never more in this days)
13 - flat stage with a little climb at the end(like Rodez this year)
14,15 - big mountain stages
16 - hilly stage with a descent(Gap or Pra Martino like)
17 - flat stage but with some difficulties(a short but steep climb at 10km for the finish)
18 - hilly ITT - 25-30km
19 - MTF
20 - something like Vuelta 20th stage this year
21 - classic Champs finish

So, we'll have - 1 prologue, 1 flat ITT and 1hilly ITT...perfect balance for me
- 3 certain bunch sprints
- 1 stage with possible crosswinds to create chaos in peloton
- 1 cobble / or steep hilltop finish for fun
- 2 stages in the first week who can be really fun or really boring(5-6)
- that "Rodez" stage for the like of Sagan, Gilbert, GVA
- 1 stage who can be won by an attacker or by a sprinter(that stage in the final week)
- 1 steep hilltop finish for Purito
- 3 descent finishes (2 after big mountains)
- 5 MO finishes with an easy-one for the mountain sprinters like Valverde.

For me it's perfect.
 
The issue France has compared to Italy and Spain is geography; the major mountains are concentrated in a couple of areas. If the Vuelta starts up in the northwest and has to pass through Asturias where a lot of the most famous mountains are early in the race, it's not a problem, they can have one mountain stage and then focus their queen stages in the Sierra Nevada or the Pyrenees. The Giro always has the options of climbs like Blockhaus further south or Etna on Sicily to use if they don't want to focus all the mountains in the north, or the route would have them in the south and they need a mountain stage to help the flow of the race. The biggest and baddest Tour mountains are all in either the Alps or the Pyrenees. They have, in fact, in recent years done a reasonable job of coaxing good stages out of the Vosges to change things up, and though good use of what it has to offer is lagging behind, the Super Lioran stage in the Massif Central is arguably the best week 1 intermediate stage the Tour has offered since Super Besse in 2008. The big problem from that point of view is simply that the Chalmazel station isn't ready to pay for a Tour finish just yet (Col du Béal after Col de Chansert would be a perfectly acceptable mountain stage at any point in the race) and the rack railway has rendered Puy de Dôme unusable.

I would still argue that if they can MTT Kronplatz, they can MTT Puy de Dôme, by using all of the bonkers Zomegnan methods, riders going in waves, motorcycles being helicoptered down. However, it's a logistical headache and with the Tour's general propensity for playing it safe (the 2016 route is quite exciting in that respect, as it does look to be trying some new things, even if some of the painfully dull same old same old is rearing its ugly Tourmalet-loving head) I can't see them taking on a task of that magnitude. I did have it as stage 20 of an experimental Race Design Thread Tour, but removed it for that reason. I wanted it to be experimental but achievable.

The other thing is that the Pyrenees and the Alps actually cover a comparatively small area of the country. I'd say four Pyrenean stages is too much, in fact, given the way they use them. Also the French West Coast really doesn't give you much scope for a hilly finish unless you go pure flat stages with a small incline at the end like the Mont-des-Alouettes stage of the 2011 Tour. One of the reasons we like an early GC shakeup is that it means some teams no longer have something to protect if their leader has been found out, and so they can shift goals to stagehunt etc., and it means a less nervous and crash-prone péloton and fewer riders to sabotage or chase breakaways and give us a sterile spectacle. The problem is, if you're looking for hilly stages in the west of France near the coast, it almost has to be Brétagne, which means some mighty long transfers (Brétagne is also one of France's strongest hubs of cycling and would probably like multiple stages). The other option would be to go inland and have some hilly stages around the Limoges, Brive-la-Gaillarde and Tulle area.

I like your thinking with regards to putting hard stages to control in week 3 after all the major mountain stages to give a "last chance saloon" type slog for the riders along the lines of that Tirreno-Adriatico stage a couple of years ago when Froome lost the leaders' jersey and Nibali and Sagan went ballistic. Perhaps the best place for this would be the intermediate climbs around Mâcon or the hills around Dijon given that in your route you'd have to do the Alps from south to north. You could, however, forgo an Alpine stage for a Jura intermediate stage and move northwards to the Vosges and do something like a La Mauselaine finish; finding climbs of a comparable nature to LBL around northeastern and east-central France without having a full Vosges mountain stage is quite difficult, as opposed to Amstel Gold, which you could definitely ape. Stage 20 cobbles I find difficult to incorporate because either the transfer to get up to the north for a Roubaix stage will be a nightmare or it will ruin the flow of the previous week's stages transitioning out of the Alps as it will limit what you're capable of doing with your suggested hilly stages, or if you went for a rouleur stage closer to Paris the cobbles aren't as likely to be capable of being decisive unless you do circuits. Plus you have the issue that the route then only contains one ITT, which is part of what people have found disappointing about the recent trends in GT design.

On the other hand, an MSR type stage design in the south more or less forces you to be going all the way over to the Côte d'Azur otherwise there aren't enough hills to make it work; if so that would mean coming through Alpes-Maritîmes to do the Alps, which is excellent news as this much maligned region hasn't seen the Tour in ages and has many great climbs. You could ease the burden of repetition on the Pyrenean stages by perhaps having one in Haut-Languedoc, e.g. on the Pic du Nore, I guess.
 
May 19, 2010
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Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
The issue France has compared to Italy and Spain is geography; the major mountains are concentrated in a couple of areas. If the Vuelta starts up in the northwest and has to pass through Asturias where a lot of the most famous mountains are early in the race, it's not a problem, they can have one mountain stage and then focus their queen stages in the Sierra Nevada or the Pyrenees. The Giro always has the options of climbs like Blockhaus further south or Etna on Sicily to use if they don't want to focus all the mountains in the north, or the route would have them in the south and they need a mountain stage to help the flow of the race. The biggest and baddest Tour mountains are all in either the Alps or the Pyrenees. They have, in fact, in recent years done a reasonable job of coaxing good stages out of the Vosges to change things up, and though good use of what it has to offer is lagging behind, the Super Lioran stage in the Massif Central is arguably the best week 1 intermediate stage the Tour has offered since Super Besse in 2008. The big problem from that point of view is simply that the Chalmazel station isn't ready to pay for a Tour finish just yet (Col du Béal after Col de Chansert would be a perfectly acceptable mountain stage at any point in the race) and the rack railway has rendered Puy de Dôme unusable.

I would still argue that if they can MTT Kronplatz, they can MTT Puy de Dôme, by using all of the bonkers Zomegnan methods, riders going in waves, motorcycles being helicoptered down. However, it's a logistical headache and with the Tour's general propensity for playing it safe (the 2016 route is quite exciting in that respect, as it does look to be trying some new things, even if some of the painfully dull same old same old is rearing its ugly Tourmalet-loving head) I can't see them taking on a task of that magnitude. I did have it as stage 20 of an experimental Race Design Thread Tour, but removed it for that reason. I wanted it to be experimental but achievable.

The other thing is that the Pyrenees and the Alps actually cover a comparatively small area of the country. I'd say four Pyrenean stages is too much, in fact, given the way they use them. Also the French West Coast really doesn't give you much scope for a hilly finish unless you go pure flat stages with a small incline at the end like the Mont-des-Alouettes stage of the 2011 Tour. One of the reasons we like an early GC shakeup is that it means some teams no longer have something to protect if their leader has been found out, and so they can shift goals to stagehunt etc., and it means a less nervous and crash-prone péloton and fewer riders to sabotage or chase breakaways and give us a sterile spectacle. The problem is, if you're looking for hilly stages in the west of France near the coast, it almost has to be Brétagne, which means some mighty long transfers (Brétagne is also one of France's strongest hubs of cycling and would probably like multiple stages). The other option would be to go inland and have some hilly stages around the Limoges, Brive-la-Gaillarde and Tulle area.

I like your thinking with regards to putting hard stages to control in week 3 after all the major mountain stages to give a "last chance saloon" type slog for the riders along the lines of that Tirreno-Adriatico stage a couple of years ago when Froome lost the leaders' jersey and Nibali and Sagan went ballistic. Perhaps the best place for this would be the intermediate climbs around Mâcon or the hills around Dijon given that in your route you'd have to do the Alps from south to north. You could, however, forgo an Alpine stage for a Jura intermediate stage and move northwards to the Vosges and do something like a La Mauselaine finish; finding climbs of a comparable nature to LBL around northeastern and east-central France without having a full Vosges mountain stage is quite difficult, as opposed to Amstel Gold, which you could definitely ape. Stage 20 cobbles I find difficult to incorporate because either the transfer to get up to the north for a Roubaix stage will be a nightmare or it will ruin the flow of the previous week's stages transitioning out of the Alps as it will limit what you're capable of doing with your suggested hilly stages, or if you went for a rouleur stage closer to Paris the cobbles aren't as likely to be capable of being decisive unless you do circuits. Plus you have the issue that the route then only contains one ITT, which is part of what people have found disappointing about the recent trends in GT design.

On the other hand, an MSR type stage design in the south more or less forces you to be going all the way over to the Côte d'Azur otherwise there aren't enough hills to make it work; if so that would mean coming through Alpes-Maritîmes to do the Alps, which is excellent news as this much maligned region hasn't seen the Tour in ages and has many great climbs. You could ease the burden of repetition on the Pyrenean stages by perhaps having one in Haut-Languedoc, e.g. on the Pic du Nore, I guess.


Thanks for the info. So much I need to learn around French geography.

Main point of my route was im sick of seeing the 3rd week be the focal point of the TDF and it just being high mountain stages with maybe a TT thrown in. It creates a atmosphere where the top GC riders just try to survive the first 2 weeks to be in a good position for the last week. I would love to see a route where all the high mountains and TT's are in the first 2 weeks of the race and the last week is filled with stages that have the potential to cause havoc if a team/rider wants to attack.

Is it possible to have good cobble stage in the tour with it not being in the first couple stages? Or is it just a logistical nightmare to get back to the north.
 
Re: Re:

richo36 said:
Thanks for the info. So much I need to learn around French geography.

Main point of my route was im sick of seeing the 3rd week be the focal point of the TDF and it just being high mountain stages with maybe a TT thrown in. It creates a atmosphere where the top GC riders just try to survive the first 2 weeks to be in a good position for the last week. I would love to see a route where all the high mountains and TT's are in the first 2 weeks of the race and the last week is filled with stages that have the potential to cause havoc if a team/rider wants to attack.

Is it possible to have good cobble stage in the tour with it not being in the first couple stages? Or is it just a logistical nightmare to get back to the north.
Backloading is a bane to many of us, it's just that the way the Tour loops around now it seems unless they give us some week 1 intermediate stages like these:
tdfs6.gif

tdfs7.gif


you're unlikely to see much in the way of GC gaps from mountains early on. As such, the 2016 stage to Le Lioran is as good as it gets, unless they go for something like this from the 2014 Dauphiné:

PROFIL1.png


You could produce a harder run-in to Béal, as this fantasy route demonstrates. Ignore the first part of the stage as it's coming from the south, but the Chansert-Béal combination is doable. Maybe even after Baracuchet if the Grand Départ was in an appropriate position to be coming westwards in week 1 but not wanting to do the Alps too early.

Even when Monaco, at the foot of the Alps, paid for the Grand Départ in 2009, they spent a week along the south coast before going to the Pyrenées. An exception would be 1992, when they opened up the race in the Basque Country which led to no Pyrenean mountain stages at all, an intermediate stage on the opening weekend and then heading up to the north in week 1 with the Massif Central at the end of the race.

As for fitting the cobbles in other than early in the race, maybe they could go at the end of week 1 if you started in Brétagne and worked across the north, however unless you looped south of Paris to incorporate the climbs around Charleville-Mézières and then had a huge rest day transfer to prevent doubling back on yourself after them, you would have the problem that there would likely be no climbs tougher than the Mûr-de-Brétagne, in which case most of the GC men would still have their goals intact, and a nervy péloton would result in mass crashes like we saw in 2011 - a prime example of what you're complaining about, because it was an amazing Dauphiné, but with a weakened field thanks to two weeks of crashes on a very flat route beforehand.

The one alternative for putting them late in the race would probably mean you MUST have the Vosges as the last mountain range. As a rough guide, you could start in Brétagne or Vendée, clip the western Massif Central for a hilly stage around Aurillac or Brive-la-Gaillarde around stage 5 or so, first long ITT, two Pyrenees stages on the second weekend, have your south coast San Remo day to somewhere like Cannes (Col du Tanneron?) around stage 11, work your way up through the Alps on 12-13, Jura on 14, work your way to the Vosges on 16-17, hilly stage to somewhere like Luxembourg, Charleville-Mézières or even into Belgium on 18, cobbled stage into somewhere like Cambrai, Douai, Denain or Lens on 19, closing ITT somewhere like Amiens on 20. Laon is another option for a hilly stage if you don't want too many hills, but with the cobbles the following day and the closing TT it might neuter racing a bit.
 
As far as "mountains early is a bad idea", the '77 TdF is a perfect example that it can be done with great success.

Libertine Seguros (as always) brings the big point into this discussion: geography. three sides of the hexagon have no mountains. The TdF usually goes 9 stages, rest, 6 stages, rest, 6 stages. So the best way to cover a lot on the map is a start in the north and work counter clockwise, or a start in the west and go clockwise. Otherwise, big chunks on the map are left blank, so to speak. The rest is a matter of complacency hiding behind the facade of tradition: AdH finish, Aubisque-Tourmalet, blablabla. When in reality, the Tour could very well be decided for example on stage 19 in the Vosges, with climbs such as the two Ballons, the Markstein, and the Champ du Feu for example . BTW, the Brioude-Aurillac stage reminds me of something: did you hack into my computer :eek: ?
 
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-Where to place ITT, thats a good question.
Given that fear is the major problem here, i think that the for the previous stage, either you make it as easy as possible, so a pure flat stage, or you make it too hard to crap on, so a massively difficult one.

-The LS's suggestion for big stages on weekends is perfectly valid, but i have that same consideration (how to deal with the fear ?) about medium mountain stages.
I think that they cant be as efficient if they're right before an ITT or a mountain stage. Ours are usually harder/trickier than ASO's, but that reduces the number of options in order to have two GC-relevant stages on weekends. And there is the geography, too.

-The presence of a mountain stage as early as possible : Yes, yes, and again, yes.
I believe thats much better for the race as it shifts the behaviour of a lot of riders from a defensive behaviour to an offensive one.
A grand tour is 21 days long. Not 12 or even 8.
And it usually means properly using a third area.

-Like previously said, the Pyrenees are a geographical problem. They're as far as possible from the Vosges and the Jura, and the number of connecting passes there is relatively limited, as history shows you.
I think its only 6 different passes being done more than 50 times in Tour's history. 5 are from the Pyrenees...
And to make it worse, as LS said, the Atlantic Coast has almost no cycling interest whatsoever (i dont mean to be rude or anything to the locals) and you got a good blackhole of 100-150km of flat from the ocean between Brittany and Pau with the very occasional hill to spice things up.
The Poitou region, in the area, is waiting for a proper stage since 2003...(only one ITT in 07 since then).

-Massive approval with the boobytrap stages in the very last part of the race, already said that in the race design thread, but i like it.
And its not really that hard to do when you see the routes.

-Cobbles after week 1 ? Im not a fan.
I think its the only environment that really needs to be placed as early as possible, as the nervosity and the russian roulette part of what is actually the attraction.
If you do that stage in Week 3, the gaps are usually too big, the pressure is much lower on the leaders, which are anyway not more than 5 or 6 at this point to be really concerned, against the double or even three times that in Week 1.
As a forgotten alternative, you can try the ribins in Brittany. I think its perfectly fine, even though the prestige is not the same.

I got some more unlikely alternative, but those still need some studying about the practicability.
 
Steven Roots said:
-Where to place ITT, thats a good question.
Given that fear is the major problem here, i think that the for the previous stage, either you make it as easy as possible, so a pure flat stage, or you make it too hard to crap on, so a massively difficult one.

-The LS's suggestion for big stages on weekends is perfectly valid, but i have that same consideration (how to deal with the fear ?) about medium mountain stages.
I think that they cant be as efficient if they're right before an ITT or a mountain stage. Ours are usually harder/trickier than ASO's, but that reduces the number of options in order to have two GC-relevant stages on weekends. And there is the geography, too.

-The presence of a mountain stage as early as possible : Yes, yes, and again, yes.
I believe thats much better for the race as it shifts the behaviour of a lot of riders from a defensive behaviour to an offensive one.
A grand tour is 21 days long. Not 12 or even 8.
And it usually means properly using a third area.

-Like previously said, the Pyrenees are a geographical problem. They're as far as possible from the Vosges and the Jura, and the number of connecting passes there is relatively limited, as history shows you.
I think its only 6 different passes being done more than 50 times in Tour's history. 5 are from the Pyrenees...
And to make it worse, as LS said, the Atlantic Coast has almost no cycling interest whatsoever (i dont mean to be rude or anything to the locals) and you got a good blackhole of 100-150km of flat from the ocean between Brittany and Pau with the very occasional hill to spice things up.
The Poitou region, in the area, is waiting for a proper stage since 2003...(only one ITT in 07 since then).

-Massive approval with the boobytrap stages in the very last part of the race, already said that in the race design thread, but i like it.
And its not really that hard to do when you see the routes.

-Cobbles after week 1 ? Im not a fan.
I think its the only environment that really needs to be placed as early as possible, as the nervosity and the russian roulette part of what is actually the attraction.
If you do that stage in Week 3, the gaps are usually too big, the pressure is much lower on the leaders, which are anyway not more than 5 or 6 at this point to be really concerned, against the double or even three times that in Week 1.
As a forgotten alternative, you can try the ribins in Brittany. I think its perfectly fine, even though the prestige is not the same.

I got some more unlikely alternative, but those still need some studying about the practicability.

Dealing with the fear about medium mountain stages is somewhat solved by putting a couple of them in week 3, like the Vuelta this year. "The last chance saloon" that LS speaks of. Maybe an ITT at the end of week 3 isn't even the way to go? You could have one at the end of week 1 and end of week 2.

Given that GT's have recently tried almost everything that is ridiculous such as cobbles in back to back editions of TDF, more uphill finishers than not in the Vuelta, a 59km ITT in the Giro, hugely backloaded GT's that focus almost everything important in week 3, 13km of ITT....

13km of ITT!

And let's not forget trips to the beach :D

Given all of that, why hasn't a GT given us a serious mountain stage on the first weekend of the race? Why is this considered impossible?

Given the location of the Pyrenees, should the TDF always have them before the Alps? By the sounds of it, it seems that if you have the Pyrenees around stages 14-16 then it is more difficult to create interesting stages on the route towards Paris.

I don't agree with cobbles in week 3 either. Imagine if someone had a GC lead of over three minutes and then came a cropper on such a stage? I think that the cobbles - used sparingly - are better kept in week 1.
 
gregrowlerson said:
Given all of that, why hasn't a GT given us a serious mountain stage on the first weekend of the race? Why is this considered impossible?

Given the location of the Pyrenees, should the TDF always have them before the Alps? By the sounds of it, it seems that if you have the Pyrenees around stages 14-16 then it is more difficult to create interesting stages on the route towards Paris.

I don't agree with cobbles in week 3 either. Imagine if someone had a GC lead of over three minutes and then came a cropper on such a stage? I think that the cobbles - used sparingly - are better kept in week 1.
stage_2_Pontevedra_Baiona-Alto-Do_Monte_Da_Groba.png


Yes, I know it's hardly a "proper mountain stage" but remember we're talking the recent Vuelta editions here. In 2012 they had an MTF at Arrate on stage 3 as well but obviously that's not the opening weekend. The Tour has had a couple of puncheur stages on stage 1 in recent year (Plumelec 2008 and Mont des Alouettes 2011) as well as a well-designed hilly stage to produce some genuine gaps (Sheffield 2014) but no "serious mountain stages", then again unlike the Vuelta, the Tour hasn't started anywhere to make this feasible in recent years other than in 2009 (Monaco) where they deliberately made the race as non-decisive as possible to keep Lance in contention as long as possible.

The Giro not doing it is perhaps the biggest shock. Another frustration is that the 1992 Tour, which bypassed the Pyrenées almost entirely, had the stage around San Sebastián on the opening weekend, but apart from Jaizkibel didn't include any serious ascents. Part of me is tempted to have a go at a 1992-style Tour from País Vasco and omitting the Pyrenées for the Race Design Thread, part of me looks at that race and thinks "damn, that was a baaaad route".
 
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Libertine Seguros said:
Yes, I know it's hardly a "proper mountain stage" but remember we're talking the recent Vuelta editions here. In 2012 they had an MTF at Arrate on stage 3 as well but obviously that's not the opening weekend. The Tour has had a couple of puncheur stages on stage 1 in recent year (Plumelec 2008 and Mont des Alouettes 2011) as well as a well-designed hilly stage to produce some genuine gaps (Sheffield 2014) but no "serious mountain stages", then again unlike the Vuelta, the Tour hasn't started anywhere to make this feasible in recent years other than in 2009 (Monaco) where they deliberately made the race as non-decisive as possible to keep Lance in contention as long as possible.

Don't forget Corsica in the 2013 Tour. There were some decent climbs in stages 2 and 3 of that race but they could have done so much more with that terrain. Both stages had fairly large groups finishing together.

PROFIL.png


PROFIL.png
 
Oct 27, 2015
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Hello,

First post here but I'm a long time lurker ...


Indeed, it comes down both to the city who hosts the Grand Depart and ASO will to get early gaps.

It seems that they think that there should be suspens until the last (actual) day of racing (see the recent MTF on day 20) and that early gaps would not help.
But it does not actually work. And I do not see how it would kill suspens to have tough stages early on. If someone is able to go berserk on day 1 or 2, then he needs to remain strong for 3 weeks.

I've designed a Tour which I will wait a bit to post in the Race Design Thread as there is one currently being posted, but here is the plot of my day 2 :

Ib4WE7.png


(and day 3 is also a mountain stage).
 
Oct 27, 2015
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You're *too* knowledgeable ;-)

Even when hiding all names of the route you can correctly guess the last two climbs.

Actually it's a Grand Depart in Strasbourg, and day 2 starts from Kehl on the Rhine and ends in Freiburg.


With a Depart in (North-)Eastern France (Nancy, Strasbourg, Mulhouse, Colmar, Belfort are, I guess, all big enough to host it), it's not that difficult to get to the Vosges or Jura in two days.
 
Re: Re:

bassano said:
hrotha said:
What's ridiculous about a 59 km ITT? :confused:

Yeah, I do not understand what is wrong of it
especially when everyone screaming that there is lack of 50+ km ITT on TDF

Apologies for the misunderstanding, I didn't mean to diss the lengthy ITT! In fact that Giro stage might be my favourite GT stage from recent memory. I'd be delighted with a 79km ITT....I'm very much in Bavarianriders corner here :D

So "ridiculous" to me can be a positive or a negative conotation, but either or either it's to mean that it's an extreme of the sport. So I could add the fad to have the final two high mountain stages be under 150 kms as also "ridiculous".
 
Libertine Seguros said:
gregrowlerson said:
Given all of that, why hasn't a GT given us a serious mountain stage on the first weekend of the race? Why is this considered impossible?

Given the location of the Pyrenees, should the TDF always have them before the Alps? By the sounds of it, it seems that if you have the Pyrenees around stages 14-16 then it is more difficult to create interesting stages on the route towards Paris.

I don't agree with cobbles in week 3 either. Imagine if someone had a GC lead of over three minutes and then came a cropper on such a stage? I think that the cobbles - used sparingly - are better kept in week 1.
stage_2_Pontevedra_Baiona-Alto-Do_Monte_Da_Groba.png


Yes, I know it's hardly a "proper mountain stage" but remember we're talking the recent Vuelta editions here. In 2012 they had an MTF at Arrate on stage 3 as well but obviously that's not the opening weekend. The Tour has had a couple of puncheur stages on stage 1 in recent year (Plumelec 2008 and Mont des Alouettes 2011) as well as a well-designed hilly stage to produce some genuine gaps (Sheffield 2014) but no "serious mountain stages", then again unlike the Vuelta, the Tour hasn't started anywhere to make this feasible in recent years other than in 2009 (Monaco) where they deliberately made the race as non-decisive as possible to keep Lance in contention as long as possible.

The Giro not doing it is perhaps the biggest shock. Another frustration is that the 1992 Tour, which bypassed the Pyrenées almost entirely, had the stage around San Sebastián on the opening weekend, but apart from Jaizkibel didn't include any serious ascents. Part of me is tempted to have a go at a 1992-style Tour from País Vasco and omitting the Pyrenées for the Race Design Thread, part of me looks at that race and thinks "damn, that was a baaaad route".

Very informative as always LS. Funnily enough the best first 'stage' in recent memory is from '09 Monaco. Not that they impressed with the days that followed....

Broken Leg; is this a Contador reference? :D

Nice German stage design by the way. And welcome to the forum.

Regarding the not having of a truly huge GC GT stage on the first weekend, I think it would be good to have this once in a while for one, the surprise. And two, for the fact that you make the GC riders have to hold their peak for longer. Many have questioned this ability with Froome, and it could also be questioned with Contador from the Giro, so why not force these riders to have peak - or close to peak - form for virtually three weeks (rather than ten days as is common practise)?

And LS; you must have got straight A's for Geography in school!
 
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Broken Leg; is this a Contador reference? :D
If it is, I'm not aware of it - my cycling culture has huge gaps ... sorry.

Regarding the not having of a truly huge GC GT stage on the first weekend, I think it would be good to have this once in a while for one, the surprise.
I fully agree. Throwing some banana skins under the rider's wheels from day 1 (or 2) might only help creating chaos ... And I'm firmly convinced that chaos leads to very entertaining races.

the GC riders have to hold their peak for longer.
It's indeed the main point. We nowadays have fully prepared athletes (not necessarily a clinic reference), who optimize their preparation given the schedule... Why not give them a tougher problem to solve ?

And welcome to the forum.
Thank you.
I'm not here as a fan of this or that rider, but I'm very interested in race design. I'll try my best to be on par with the level of the forum.
 
Broken_Leg said:
Broken Leg; is this a Contador reference? :D
If it is, I'm not aware of it - my cycling culture has huge gaps ... sorry.

Regarding the not having of a truly huge GC GT stage on the first weekend, I think it would be good to have this once in a while for one, the surprise.
I fully agree. Throwing some banana skins under the rider's wheels from day 1 (or 2) might only help creating chaos ... And I'm firmly convinced that chaos leads to very entertaining races.

the GC riders have to hold their peak for longer.
It's indeed the main point. We nowadays have fully prepared athletes (not necessarily a clinic reference), who optimize their preparation given the schedule... Why not give them a tougher problem to solve ?

And welcome to the forum.
Thank you.
I'm not here as a fan of this or that rider, but I'm very interested in race design. I'll try my best to be on par with the level of the forum.

I am a fan of race parcours too, though don't design anything myself; I imagine it would be very difficult for me to get my head around, but one day I might try it.

I am somewhat of what you would call a "fanboy". Not as much now as my favourite rider has retired (Kloden), but I still have interests and biases in the current peleton. Contador is my favourite rider now, and "broken leg" was a possible reference to what happened to him (or didn't) prior to winning the 2014 Vuelta.

Yes, asking riders to hold their peak for longer....seems we're on the same page here.

With race design you'll find all sorts of amazing stage creations on here, and in smaller stage races, not just the GT's. There are many members who are avid fans of race design. There were seven or so who recently competed to create the best 100th anniversary Giro.

The GIRO is VERY popular on here. The TDF not so. Words of warning :D

I did 'create' a hypothetical TDF course based on Kloden's career once, but it wasn't exactly checked geographically! Maybe I will ask LS to help me out with that one day, though I'm sure he has much better things to do with his time. Though firstly, how far is it from Tignes to Le Grand Bornand? I'd probably need a five day stretch through the Alps, particularly if I want to also include Verbier....
 
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gregrowlerson said:
Though firstly, how far is it from Tignes to Le Grand Bornand? I'd probably need a five day stretch through the Alps, particularly if I want to also include Verbier....
They're actually relatively close (about 130km via Aravis/Saisies/Roselend). And Verbier isn't too far either.
 
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52520Andrew said:
Don't forget Corsica in the 2013 Tour. There were some decent climbs in stages 2 and 3 of that race but they could have done so much more with that terrain. Both stages had fairly large groups finishing together.

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PROFIL.png

92 and 90 riders (i checked) is unfortunately more than fairly large.
The problem was that they were stuck in the middle, climbs were hard, but not hard enough, and the stages were too short.
And i believe that medium mountain stages needs some length to be really decisive, especially in Week 1.

I have already said that i am a partisan of a very early mountain stage and i am happy to see that i'm not alone in that.I really believe that, whereas ASO probably think otherwise, it will actually be a good move for the suspens and the interest of the race.

First, its a three-week race. Not 5 days like in 2001.
The fatigue and recovery will be much more important factors. You'll probably have less crashes, and more tries to shake things up as the classification will push out riders much quicker, making this tougher to control.
Anything that can create chaos, really, like said earlier, is a good thing.

Welcome to Broken_Leg, i too, started to think about a potential 2017 route now that we know the 2016 one.
According to what i know, it has to be a german start, though.
 
gregrowlerson said:
I did 'create' a hypothetical TDF course based on Kloden's career once, but it wasn't exactly checked geographically! Maybe I will ask LS to help me out with that one day, though I'm sure he has much better things to do with his time. Though firstly, how far is it from Tignes to Le Grand Bornand? I'd probably need a five day stretch through the Alps, particularly if I want to also include Verbier....
Both could be reached in a stage quite easily, LGB to Tignes could work quite well and include innovations with something like Aravis - Albertville - Mont Bisanne - descend normal side of Saisies - Cormet de Roseland (via Col du Pré?) - Bourg-St-Maurice - Tignes.

Alternatively you could go from LGB to Verbier (preferably including Champex, Planches or the Col du Lein before it), then have a stage from Martigny to Tignes going Martigny - Grand-St-Bernard - Aosta - Petit-St-Bernard (via Colle San Carlo?) - Bourg-St-Maurice - Tignes.
 
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Steven Roots said:
92 and 90 riders (i checked) is unfortunately more than fairly large.
The problem was that they were stuck in the middle, climbs were hard, but not hard enough, and the stages were too short.
And i believe that medium mountain stages needs some length to be really decisive, especially in Week 1.

I have already said that i am a partisan of a very early mountain stage and i am happy to see that i'm not alone in that.I really believe that, whereas ASO probably think otherwise, it will actually be a good move for the suspens and the interest of the race.

First, its a three-week race. Not 5 days like in 2001.
The fatigue and recovery will be much more important factors. You'll probably have less crashes, and more tries to shake things up as the classification will push out riders much quicker, making this tougher to control.
Anything that can create chaos, really, like said earlier, is a good thing.

Welcome to Broken_Leg, i too, started to think about a potential 2017 route now that we know the 2016 one.
According to what i know, it has to be a german start, though.

Yeah that is not good at all. Those stage lengths were way too short as well as there needed to be more length to wear everyone down if they wanted more decisive results. It would be nice to get an early mountain stage in a grand tour, could help with the nervousness that leads to crashes all through the first week. They could have done so much more in Corsica, that is an area I have been looking at hitting when I am done my tour, don't know what I want to do with it yet but there are a lot of fun possibilities.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
gregrowlerson said:
I did 'create' a hypothetical TDF course based on Kloden's career once, but it wasn't exactly checked geographically! Maybe I will ask LS to help me out with that one day, though I'm sure he has much better things to do with his time. Though firstly, how far is it from Tignes to Le Grand Bornand? I'd probably need a five day stretch through the Alps, particularly if I want to also include Verbier....
Both could be reached in a stage quite easily, LGB to Tignes could work quite well and include innovations with something like Aravis - Albertville - Mont Bisanne - descend normal side of Saisies - Cormet de Roseland (via Col du Pré?) - Bourg-St-Maurice - Tignes.

Alternatively you could go from LGB to Verbier (preferably including Champex, Planches or the Col du Lein before it), then have a stage from Martigny to Tignes going Martigny - Grand-St-Bernard - Aosta - Petit-St-Bernard (via Colle San Carlo?) - Bourg-St-Maurice - Tignes.

Not sure why I asked about the closeness of Le Grand Bornand and Tignes since they already did such a stage in 2007 :eek:

I would probably go with the reverse then. Tignes to LGB, and then LGB to Verbier. Oh what the hell, given that the Tour likes to do double climbs, then I could always go back from whence we came and then do a MTT up the col de Romme :D

LS, I know that you have some disdain for Tour areas because they are used too much: What is your opinion of LGB? Seen too often, or mixed up enough in the way in which it is approached to remain interesting?