Tour de France Tour de France 2022 route rumors thread.

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PR and SB are probably my 2 favourite races, but those roads don't belong in a GT in my eyes. Chances on crashes or mechanicals for 1 of the favourites for GC are too high to make it worth it.
I agree with this. Both those races are very niche compared to most races, and thats why they are also so special.

Favorites are bound to crash, which could make the rest of the race less fun.

If they want a "classics" type of stage in a GT, it would be better with a LBL or Lombardia type of stage.
 
In the past three cobbles stages in the Tour, only Froome and Porte crashed out as far as the main GC threats are concerned and both crashes were on the asphalt. Meanwhile half the GC field disappeared in a single sprint stage in both 2012 and 2021, and in the last year with a cobbles stage (2018) the eight stages before the cobbles stage were the ones where mechanicals caused a lot of problems. I don't see the issue.
 
I think we were just saying that we dont like to see that type of race/stage incorporated into the route.

Not solely because of the risks... that wasnt the main issue.

I, at least, dont need a mini-version or a lesser version of the real thing. That is just an opinion. With that said, it will be an entertaining stage and I will for sure watch it.
 
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I agree with this. Both those races are very niche compared to most races, and thats why they are also so special.

Favorites are bound to crash, which could make the rest of the race less fun.

If they want a "classics" type of stage in a GT, it would be better with a LBL or Lombardia type of stage.

disagree! But I think this discussion took already place 1000 times on this forum.

  1. a lot of big accidents happen during the tour usually happens on big roads as well. I never hear the argument, we should not cycle on big roads anymore, because 90% of all accidents happens there during the tour. I do think riders safety is really important, and route builders should care very much about it, but that doesn't rule out a PR kind of stage once in a while or a gravel stage.
  2. the modern grand tour is at the current moment more a climbing context, and than mostly even a 20 min high power test, than anything else. I don't it's fair to think that tour de france only is climbing mountains. It would be a blessing if team strenghts would be more equally divided, and routes focus more on the really tricky hilly, medium mountain, wind, gravel and cobble stages to get more variation in racing type during grand tours and testing different racing skills. However, I understand that low gradient medium mountain stages or hilly stages with only mur-de-huy type like of climbs in the end will not change much.
 
In the past three cobbles stages in the Tour, only Froome and Porte crashed out as far as the main GC threats are concerned and both crashes were on the asphalt. Meanwhile half the GC field disappeared in a single sprint stage in both 2012 and 2021, and in the last year with a cobbles stage (2018) the eight stages before the cobbles stage were the ones where mechanicals caused a lot of problems. I don't see the issue.
Pretty true.

My issue is it's just more advantage to the top teams. On this particular I think it's better because it's not super favorable for rouleurs already, although I just wish mountain stages were better.
 
disagree! But I think this discussion took already place 1000 times on this forum.

  1. a lot of big accidents happen during the tour usually happens on big roads as well. I never hear the argument, we should not cycle on big roads anymore, because 90% of all accidents happens there during the tour. I do think riders safety is really important, and route builders should care very much about it, but that doesn't rule out a PR kind of stage once in a while or a gravel stage.
  2. the modern grand tour is at the current moment more a climbing context, and than mostly even a 20 min high power test, than anything else. I don't it's fair to think that tour de france only is climbing mountains. It would be a blessing if team strenghts would be more equally divided, and routes focus more on the really tricky hilly, medium mountain, wind, gravel and cobble stages to get more variation in racing type during grand tours and testing different racing skills. However, I understand that low gradient medium mountain stages or hilly stages with only mur-de-huy type like of climbs in the end will not change much.
I dont think we said that "dont have it because of the risks" or that it is not good to have different elements and different type of stages. The rider that wins should always be the most complete and strongest rider.

Most of the times they just tryna incorporate the cobbles and market it as "mini-Roubaix" etc to create a spectacle. I think thats the problem that was brought up. I dont need a lesser-version. The classics are the classics and GT-racing is something different. That is just my opinion. Not that there are risks involved. There are always risks involved.

Will be fun to watch though and more fun than a "basic" stage, so they got me on that part. Im on both sides of the fence.
 
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A lot of the crashes being on wide or straight roads, or on tarmac sections in cobbled or SB stages tend to be a product of a nervy péloton in stage races when everybody has something to protect. It's quite often you will find the crashes to come just before a section perceived as dangerous (everybody fighting to get to the front and place their key riders) or just after (loss of concentration following relief after getting through a perceived danger).

The best way to limit these is to set something that will create GC gaps early and mean that you don't have literally every team trying to keep their guys up front. If some teams have been forced to reappraise because their leaders' form has been shown not to be there, then there will be fewer riders and teams fighting for the space at the front on the lead in to obstacles like bergs, cobbles or dirt roads, and as a result you might see fewer riders in the bunch afterward resulting in less opportunities for a rider error to cause a crash after that. Now, geography dictates the Tour can't come blazing out the blocks with a line of mountain stages unless it has a convenient Grand Départ. But you don't want to put in the kind of stage that is going to completely upend the GC and risk finishing things early. A good LBL/Lombardia style stage if possible as Salvarani suggests, a medium-sized mountaintop finish if your GD is somewhere like Strasbourg perhaps, or a medium-length ITT if you start the race with a TTT or a road stage instead of a prologue.

But in all honesty, this is something the Tour has done reasonably well in recent years. Sometimes, other factors have come in to prevent the stages having the effect required. 2010 saw road conditions with oil cause a lot of crashes and then even once it was safe to continue the péloton neutralised it; 2020 saw several such stages in fact - stage 1 was perfectly good for a safe sprinty finish, but because of the weather conditions and the péloton neutralising descents, it meant a larger group than the organisers may have expected fought out the sprint and this resulted in crashes in the lead-in; and in 2021 they had an uphill finish which I suspect may not have been 'safe' so to speak (similar to 2011, an otherwise flat stage with a HTF still has the same matter of fighting for positioning) but the spectator incident was the problem rather than any actions of the riders or the organisers.

Stuff like Sheffield 2014, Le Lioran 2016, Planche des Belles Filles 2017 (yes, even PDBF, in fact this was the perfect use of it, like a Montevergine but because it's steeper it opens some gaps, but not particularly large ones because it's not that long, but long enough to make it about actual climbers rather than having puncheurs still up in the mix). Stages 2 and 4 in 2020 are good examples of that, while in 2008 and 2021 an early TT of 25-30km is a good option. I feel if you are starting somewhere like the west of the country and there isn't the option for an early intermediate or mountain stage, then you should have a decent length ITT in the middle of week 1 like in 2021 to fulfil this role.

Ideally, a hilly stage on the opening weekend to open up some time gaps and make it not a bonus second festival for the first week, and either a mid-length ITT or an opening climbing salvo (either a Lombardia-type stage or a comparatively easy MTF, either long but uncomplicated like Siusi in the '09 Giro or Montevergine di Mercogliano, or mid-length and steep enough to create some gaps but not particularly big ones, like PdBF, Peña Cabarga, Arrate, that kind of size.
 
@Salvarani, I agree that current format not is the best format indeed. Although number of kilometers of cobbles is not to bad

@Libertine Seguros, I agree that early differences could reduce the nervousness indeed. I don't think however, that mur de bretagne is difficult enough to really create such a differences that nervousness will reduce in the next stages.
I think MDB is fine as a stage 2 so that there is some intrigue in the maillot jaune, but if that's the way you're going, you need an ITT on stage 4 or so to open up the gaps that will make the second half of week 1 less tetchy. The problem is that Brétagne is one of the most supportive, if not the outright most supportive, cycling region in France, but it is difficult to incorporate into a route unless it is the very start of the race or you have an enormous transfer, so this increases the likelihood of needing an ITT in the middle of week 1. Same for the Vendée, as you're a long way from anywhere that can feasibly be selective enough to create the kind of gaps needed as a climb.

2008 is a good example of how to do that first week if you're doing Brétagne - a puncheur finish in the first weekend, a decent length ITT on stage 4, and a medium mountain stage with a decent length but not especially selective MTF on stage 6 (it was the fuller, cat.2 version of Super-Besse rather than the 2011 version which only had the last couple of kilometres). Unfortunately then there were issues with pacing in the Pyrenees, with a flat stage on the Saturday, the descent finish on the Sunday and the prime MTF in midweek, but in terms of opening up the race to prevent too many issues in terms of nerves in the bunch, the start of the race was pretty well done.
 
I believe Sestrieres 1992 was a special case where since they skipped the Pyrenees entirely with their weird "EU" route, they perhaps felt like the Alpine stages had to be super hard to compensate.

I hesitate to see we'll "never" see stage designs like such and such again, because despite what they say, the Tour stage design seems mostly to be reactionary more than anything else. The glut of descent finishes in 2021 came after criticism of the controlled racing in much of 2020 where everything in a few medium and hard mountain stages came in a 300m sprint to the summit, and 2022 seems to be reactionary once again to the glut of descent finishes in 2021.
 
Makes me wonder. Is a Roubaix like stage an option in the third week? Replacing the usual mountain stage or TT on the penultimate day. Instead of trying not to lose time (leading to passive racing) it would be the last chance to make a difference.
 
Oct 25, 2020
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Makes me wonder. Is a Roubaix like stage an option in the third week? Replacing the usual mountain stage or TT on the penultimate day. Instead of trying not to lose time (leading to passive racing) it would be the last chance to make a difference.
I was thinking about this too..... if you had cobbled stage up North in week 3 it might mean the mountains would have to finish around stage 15 which is early for the Tour..... it would take at least 3 stages to get from the Alps to Roubaix unless you have long transfers.
However, it is definitely an interesting suggestion.
 
I was thinking about this too..... if you had cobbled stage up North in week 3 it might mean the mountains would have to finish around stage 15 which is early for the Tour..... it would take at least 3 stages to get from the Alps to Roubaix unless you have long transfers.
However, it is definitely an interesting suggestion.
Transfers shouldn´t be a problem. Usually they have the long transfer after stage 20 with a late start on the last stage. No problem to go from Bordeaux, Marseille, Morzin or Val Thorens to Paris within a day. Going clock wise it should be possible to have the last mountain stage in the pyrenees on stage 18. One transition stage to Bordeaux. Transfer to the north. Cobbles on stage 20.
 
I was thinking about this too..... if you had cobbled stage up North in week 3 it might mean the mountains would have to finish around stage 15 which is early for the Tour..... it would take at least 3 stages to get from the Alps to Roubaix unless you have long transfers.
However, it is definitely an interesting suggestion.
Or you could have the Jura and Vosges last. A GD somewhere like Bordeaux (I think too much of 2023 will already be in the works) and the Pyrenees early on with some not-too-tough stages (maybe something akin to 2008 stage 9 or one of the Foix stages with Mur de Peguère; or an MTF at somewhere that can do the Orcières-Merlette job. Pla d'Adet, Val-Louron, Guzet-Neige, Plateau de Bonascre or something like that middle of week 1, then either head north towards areas like Aurillac, or the Causses, or along the south coast to the Côte d'Azur, for the second weekend. Then up the Rhône valley (with or without a Massif Central stage akin to the Paris-Nice one to Vernoux-en-Vivarais or one in the Vercors), and into the Alps, heading northwards to finish exiting the Alps and into the Jura on the penultimate weekend (maybe an MTF somewhere in the northern Alps at somewhere like Le Semnoz, Morzine-Avoriaz (Ramaz/Joux-Plane/Avoriaz combo? Or maybe just head out from like Chambéry or somewhere, so you could use Saint-François-Longchamp, Col de la Loze or anywhere in the Trois Vallées on stage 14, then head out toward the Jura for stage 15 via the likes of Grand Colombier and La Biche, maybe similar to the 2020 stage with Selle Fremontel and La Biche then climbing the Anglefort side as far as Lacets du Grand Colombier, so the final 24km of the 2016 stage done backwards). Then transitioning northwards on stage 16, Vosges mountain stage on stage 17 (you know this will be a PDBF MTF, but something around the Gérardmer-La Mauselaine finish with some of those climbs like Petit-Ballon and Platzerwasel would be preferable as this would be the final mountain stage. Then a really long transitional stage on stage 18 - the kind that Adam Hansen will protest against - nothing will happen here but fatigue will be important - a stage 19 ITT somewhere like Reims or Charleville-Mézières, and then stage 20 in the cobbles - preferably with focal sectors being different ones from the most important ones in Roubaix, so a finish somewhere like Cambrai or Denain, if the cobbles can be backed into them sufficiently, would be ideal.
 
I know, the pacing would be bad by conventional wisdom, but it would be an interesting experiment to have big (medium or high) mountain stages on all 4 weekends, including the first one.

It might (seemingly) kill the suspense early on - I get the idea of leaving something to the imagination - I enjoy it, too, including the discussions, but it's the same old every single year - the first week is all about the suspense, but if you test the GC riders - and their teams - from the very start - test them for real - that could create an interesting dynamic, as well. Endurance becomes an even bigger factor.
 
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The Bilbao/Bordeaux start with early Pyrenees also works for a different format - head up into the Central Massif for the second weekend, finishing stage 9 near a city with an airport/TGV station. Then transfer to the north/northwest of Paris somewhat akin to in 2013, for a second week starting with the main TT directly preceding the cobbles stage. This is preferably followed by a hard hilly stage into somewhere like Charleville-Mezieres or just Épernay again en route to the Vosges to close out the second week, possibly with a northern Jura stage like Porrentruy 2012 on stage 15. This leaves you with enough time for a big Alpine finish. It's the single most realistic way to put the cobbles between the mountains, which is imo the best place for them, but also the hardest to fit into a route.

This also works with a southeastern start. Here's an example using exclusively real stages from the past 10 years, with the Grand Départ in Nice. Plenty of ASO favourites and short mountain stages for added realism...

Stage 1 (ITT, I know the original stage was a TTT but we aren't doing that here obviously)


Stage 2


Stage 3


Stage 4


Stage 5


Stage 6


Stage 7


Stage 8


Stage 9 (this is far from ideal in terms of both cycling and logistics but a result of the constraints)


Rest day

Stage 10


Stage 11


Stage 12 (only cobbled stage not to approach from the wrong direction, would work better here than as used in 2018 though)


Stage 13


Stage 14


Stage 15 (every decent PBF stage starts from the Alsace...)


Stage 16


Rest day

Stage 17


Stage 18


Stage 19


Stage 20


Stage 21 - take any parade

Note some of the stage distances - certainly the Épernay and Nancy ones back to back should have a similar effect to Le Creusot this year if raced properly. A real route should, at a minimum, have stage 9 head north (probably to the Clermont-Ferrand area) and put Chévrères before PBF. Oh, and some slightly less clunky transfers between stages 17, 18 and 19 wouldn't hurt either.
 
I know, the pacing would be bad by conventional wisdom, but it would be an interesting experiment to have big (medium or high) mountain stages on all 4 weekends, including the first one.

It might (seemingly) kill the suspense early on - I get the idea of leaving something to the imagination - I enjoy it, too, including the discussions, but it's the same old every single year - the first week is all about the suspense, but if you test the GC riders - and their teams - from the very start - test them for real - that could create an interesting dynamic, as well. Endurance becomes an even bigger factor.
The 2020 route actually comes quite close to doing this...
 
Sep 22, 2020
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I know they said they wouldn't go to the Basque country for sprints but I already see a stage like this coming after stage 1...


Also if anyone is interested I made this alternative route for next year's race. Bear in mind some stages I have since changed my plans for and would end slightly differently (in particular stage 7 which would finish further from the climb and without Marchaux, stage 15 with less climbing before Puy Mary / the route of stage 16 to Montelimar in the final kms with less climbing.) but also in general the mountain points aren't finalised. I also recommend using "filter step = 2" as it is more accurate: https://www.la-flamme-rouge.eu/maps/tours/view/19660
 
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Or you could have the Jura and Vosges last. A GD somewhere like Bordeaux (I think too much of 2023 will already be in the works) and the Pyrenees early on with some not-too-tough stages (maybe something akin to 2008 stage 9 or one of the Foix stages with Mur de Peguère; or an MTF at somewhere that can do the Orcières-Merlette job. Pla d'Adet, Val-Louron, Guzet-Neige, Plateau de Bonascre or something like that middle of week 1, then either head north towards areas like Aurillac, or the Causses, or along the south coast to the Côte d'Azur, for the second weekend. Then up the Rhône valley (with or without a Massif Central stage akin to the Paris-Nice one to Vernoux-en-Vivarais or one in the Vercors), and into the Alps, heading northwards to finish exiting the Alps and into the Jura on the penultimate weekend (maybe an MTF somewhere in the northern Alps at somewhere like Le Semnoz, Morzine-Avoriaz (Ramaz/Joux-Plane/Avoriaz combo? Or maybe just head out from like Chambéry or somewhere, so you could use Saint-François-Longchamp, Col de la Loze or anywhere in the Trois Vallées on stage 14, then head out toward the Jura for stage 15 via the likes of Grand Colombier and La Biche, maybe similar to the 2020 stage with Selle Fremontel and La Biche then climbing the Anglefort side as far as Lacets du Grand Colombier, so the final 24km of the 2016 stage done backwards). Then transitioning northwards on stage 16, Vosges mountain stage on stage 17 (you know this will be a PDBF MTF, but something around the Gérardmer-La Mauselaine finish with some of those climbs like Petit-Ballon and Platzerwasel would be preferable as this would be the final mountain stage. Then a really long transitional stage on stage 18 - the kind that Adam Hansen will protest against - nothing will happen here but fatigue will be important - a stage 19 ITT somewhere like Reims or Charleville-Mézières, and then stage 20 in the cobbles - preferably with focal sectors being different ones from the most important ones in Roubaix, so a finish somewhere like Cambrai or Denain, if the cobbles can be backed into them sufficiently, would be ideal.
Nice concept. I have actually used this week to create a Tour that incorporates a lot of these aspects. Besides the late cobble stage. It only touches the Pyrenees for one stage, and not the central part of the Pyrenees. Then it continues through Provence and to the Alps for the second weekend. Before it finishes in the Jura and Vosges the last week. Will post it in the race design thread for the next few days.

Edit: Btw, for a different concept for a Grand Tour, I think that an alternative finish for the Giro is way more plausible than for the Tour. The idea someone on the forum had a while back for a last weekend with San Pellegrino in Alpe on Friday, a Montalcino sterrato stage on Saturday and finish stage to Rome on Sunday, would possible be brilliant.
 
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