Tour de France Tour de France 2022 route rumors thread.

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If a GC is supposed to be a true test of the best overall cyclist then shouldn’t the best climber not always be the winner? In other words, shouldn’t a climbing specialist always win the polka dots and still be a better climber than the GC winner, in a true well rounded competition? Maybe this is a rant about how GCs are structured but the whole polka dot jersey situation is kind of underwhelming because it’s either a random breakaway rider or the overall winner, every time.
Agreed 100%

The best climber is not necessarily the best overall rider. Put in a route with 110km of ITT. If the best climber loses 10 minutes in the ITT, he probably shouldn't be the overall winner. Have the best climber do a real cobbled stage. If he loses another 5 minutes there, he definitely shouldn't be the GC winner

Pure climbers are only winning now because Govenou and the RCS director are deathly allergic to time trials
 
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Agreed 100%

The best climber is not necessarily the best overall rider. Put in a route with 110km of ITT. If the best climber loses 10 minutes in the ITT, he probably shouldn't be the overall winner. Have the best climber do a real cobbled stage. If he loses another 5 minutes there, he definitely shouldn't be the GC winner

Pure climbers are only winning now because Govenou and the RCS director are deathly allergic to time trials
What is the reason for this though? Is it the unpredictability factor of making the route more random, or that we’ve learned to associate climbers with GC, or that they just don’t want to televise TT stages due to low viewership? I’d think a route with an even split of everything, twice as many hills and TTs, and half as many mountains, would be the most accurate test. Pog would still be my bet, but we’d see so many more possibilities. As of now, grand tour cycling is basically a test of W/kg, but what about all the other factors?
 
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What is the reason for this though? Is it the unpredictability factor of making the route more random, or that we’ve learned to associate climbers with GC, or that they just don’t want to televise TT stages due to low viewership? I’d think a route with an even split of everything, twice as many hills and TTs, and half as many mountains, would be the most accurate test. Pog would still be my bet, but we’d see so many more possibilities. As of now, grand tour cycling is basically a test of W/kg, but what about all the other factors?
I THINK it is because of the 2015 Giro where Contador won the race on the second weekend in the 59km ITT. We have not seen a proper TT since then in any GT

There was of course nothing wrong with that race. Contador put in a dominating performance and deserved the fairly easy win, despite not getting over the Finestre
 
The tendency had already begun by then, but it has become chronic. I think there is both a desire for races to stay tense until late on, necessitating less selective stages and smaller time gaps, so that although there are objectively fewer attacks and for less time, those attacks that there are are more meaningful, and a fear that a race which is felt to be settled will turn viewers away. As long as we're tuning in, the organisers are happy, so if they engineer a close finish by having nothing happen until day 20, if we're still watching in the hope of something happening, they're fine with it.

This is probably also the thinking behind the progressive tendency to neuter mountain stages. As the TT mileage is lower, the race can't really stand to include many huge five-col behemoths, stages like 1992 Sestrières or similar. At the same time, they could use those stages because there would be a week of flat stages at the start, but now that the sprint trains have got so good at controlling those, they have to do more work to find interest in the flat stages, so ramp the mountain stages down to balance out the overall difficulty. Plus the fad for short mountain stages that started in 2011 (neglecting that the 200km multi-col stage the day before their precious short stage was actually even better and more important for the GC) and the MTF frenzy sparked by the Vuelta but now permeating all of the GTs has meant that the specialist climber of yesteryear has no reason not to think they are a frontline yellow jersey contender, so do not consider the polka dots until they are well and truly eliminated from that contention (even just by collecting some points rolling over the summits behind the breaks, like Bernhard Kohl did in 2008) - and then, based on current routes and the recent points system, if they aren't being in contention in the MTFs then they probably can't win the GPM.

Go back through the record books and look at some of the best pure climbers in history. Bahamontes won one Tour. Fuente won two Vueltas. Van Impe won one Tour. Julio Jiménez won no GTs. Neither did his namesake José María. Pantani won one Giro and one Tour. Herrera won one Vuelta. The entire reason for creating the mountains classification was Vicente Trueba, La Pulga de Torrelavega, who would win almost every mountain summit but was not sufficiently all-round to be a relevance to the race and Henri Desgrange felt there should be a prize available for a rider like him, who brought a lot to the spectacle but got no reward.
 
The main "problem" i guess is if you are considered to be the best climber. Then you likely will be a GC lead for some team. The second most possible scenario is you will be a dom. All in all if KoM competition should be more "thrilling" in today's cycling. Then king of mountains in the end must be a rather bad climber. In comparison to the rest of the field.
 
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Kuss?

P.S. That is by not being a dom or a GC lead. But hard to imagine such scenario.
Absolutely, Sepp Kuss is the type of rider who, if not riding in his domestique role, would be a major option for a revitalised GPM in today's cycling, in similar fashion to Wout Poels' attempts at it in recent years.

If you look at cycling of the 70s and 80s, and into the 90s prior to the establishment of the "Virenque method", then riders like Pogačar, Roglič, Almeida, Evenepoel and to a lesser extent the likes of Mas and Urán are your main GC contenders. People like Vingegaard, Vlasov and Carapaz probably also fit. People like Ganna, van Aert, Dennis, Thomas and previously Dumoulin are your TT-style contenders, trying to grind their way to success à la Casero, Olano, de las Cuevas etc. (van Aert might even be a Kelly-type though his climbing still probably lacks a little). People like Quintana, Landa, Higuita, López, Simon Yates, Pinot? They're probably chasing the GPM in their attempts to contend. It's probably a bit too early to say with the likes of Hindley, as he didn't set the world alight in his TT, but he didn't need to, just ride smart.

However, that cat is long out of the bag. The problem at the moment is the concentration of talents into those big budget superteams that means riders who would be ideal GPM chasers like Kuss are better served as helpers. I actually wanted him to hunt the GPM when Rogla crashed out last year, and be what Simon Yates was to the 2019 Tour. Maybe removing the double points for summit finishes will improve things, or maybe it will become too much of a King of the Breakaways like when Virenque founded his method of point collecting - but probably with less prominent riders doing the collecting, due to the tighter GC and lack of TT mileage meaning strong climbers who would have targeted the classification in the past in the manner of Julio Jiménez or Michael Rasmussen will be considered too dangerous to allow that rope, and we get a situation like at the Vuelta in recent years where between David Moncoutié's third title in 2010 and Guillaume Martin's in 2020, not one "King of the Mountains" finished in the top 20 of a race which has biased its parcours more than any other towards mountains in recent years - and in fact from 2012 to 2019 no GPM winner even finished in the top 40 on GC.

The Vuelta probably needs to bring back the "arrival" category like it had when it first borrowed the Giro's points system in 2010 (the Giro then revamped its own points system in 2011). The problem is the Vuelta has so many arrivals at summits that it would be super imbalanced similar to that of the Tour in the last few years, but at the moment the propensity for stages that give a bunch of points mid-stage, then have a long break before a summit finish means that the break collects the points as there is no point in a GC man attacking before the final climb, but then unless the final climb gives a higher amount of points, this can never counterbalance the amount of points available to a break in Unipublic mountain stages which reflect something like /\/\/\____/
 
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Lower friction bikes making flats much less tiring and climbs much more about W/kg have done much more than changes inbroute design, team dynamics or team priorities.

Raw watts, especially without aero and over long periods of time, matter far less

Mercks wouldnt even be an alrounder in the present day
 
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But we can't have that. Can we? Kuss being the KoM. As being a current unofficial KoM. And already a lot of arrows are pointed in his direction. As for this years Tour edition hence indeed the likes of Yates is likely our best bet.

Lets see if it will happen.
Not so long as he's riding for a team like Jumbo who have multiple superior leadership options than him, because even if Rogla crashes out like last year he'll still be put in the service of somebody like Vingegaard. Similar to how Poels never went on these escapades when he was Froome's right hand man.
 
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I'm thinking Alpe d'Huez probably only stage problematic for gruppetto regarding time limit since it has first mountain pretty much from the start of the stage.

Peyragudes and Hautacam stages should see most riders in the peloton for the first 50 km or so.
 
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The Alpe d'Huez stage really does look promising - but not just due to it's profile in isolation. Galibier-Grannon combo comes the day before. Grannon being the first real big MTF (LPDBF is just not it...) means an outstanding climber might "kill" the race there - looking at you Pogačar. Simmilar to Froome on Ax-3-Domaines. With stage 12 going straight up the Galibier it might be all the other teams against that one rider - which on that opening profile usually means utter chaos. In 2013 , after Froome killed the race, the next stage saw all out attacks from the gun. And Sky completely collapsed. Froome managed to survive that day, but seeing Porte ship 10 minutes and the rest of the team dropped after 10 kilometers was priceless.
 

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