Tour de France Tour de France 2022 route rumors thread.

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The problem with Plateau de Beille is that it's isolated from both directions. It's about similar distance from the top of Lers to the start of Plateau de Beille as from the top of Pailheres to start of Plateau de Beille in the opposite direction.

In a way I think coming from Pailheres is better as it is a climb of comparable difficulty unlike the W approach where Agnes is probably the most difficult climb.
 
The problem with Plateau de Beille is that it's isolated from both directions. It's about similar distance from the top of Lers to the start of Plateau de Beille as from the top of Pailheres to start of Plateau de Beille in the opposite direction.

In a way I think coming from Pailheres is better as it is a climb of comparable difficulty unlike the W approach where Agnes is probably the most difficult climb.
Beille is the Huez of the Pyrenees! :p
 
I think it is more or less unavoidable with at least one or two of these kind of stages in the Tour. France isn't as packed with good climbs and combination of climbs like Italy, and the willingness (and originality) of ASO when designing stages is pretty absent. Pailheres and Beille are probably two of the four toughest climbs in the Pyrenees, and it wouldn't be too big of a problem with doing a stage with these climbs and a Galibier + Granon stage if they did something more original in addition. A multi-mountain stage more designed for attacks further out than the last few kms. And a long medium mountain stage of 230-240 km in Vosges or Massif Central would be nice additions.
This.

You don't need all of your high mountain stages designed for the possibility of long range attacks (probably a couple of such stages would suffice). A long valley between the final two climbs doesn't make the penultimate irrelevant, as it still hurts the legs to create bigger gaps on the final climb.
 
The problem with Plateau de Beille is that it's isolated from both directions. It's about similar distance from the top of Lers to the start of Plateau de Beille as from the top of Pailheres to start of Plateau de Beille in the opposite direction.

In a way I think coming from Pailheres is better as it is a climb of comparable difficulty unlike the W approach where Agnes is probably the most difficult climb.
Pailheres is one of the few big climbs in France that could naturally be used in a good combo with another climb, but that is Plateau du Bonascre, not Beille. Together with Romme-Colombier and perhaps something coupled with Joux Plane or Madeleine/Chaussy that is some of the most obvious good combos of climbs in France. There are proably more alternatives too, but these kind of stages are very rarely used in the Tour.
 
Pailheres is one of the few big climbs in France that could naturally be used in a good combo with another climb, but that is Plateau du Bonascre, not Beille. Together with Romme-Colombier and perhaps something coupled with Joux Plane or Madeleine/Chaussy that is some of the most obvious good combos of climbs in France. There are proably more alternatives too, but these kind of stages are very rarely used in the Tour.
Joux-Plane chains to Morzine-Avoriaz or Joux-Verte.

Super-Sauze and Pra-Loup near Barcelonnette give us some great potential chains with Cayolle and Bonette. Auron after Bonette north even better.
 
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Yeah, we might get more breakaways with strong climbers on the mountain stages, god forbid!
To be fair, stages 9, 11 and 12 all look like they could have a climb in the first 25km or so, so even if one of them didn't we are practically guaranteed a stage or 2 like that. Stage 14 to Mende may not be considered mountainous but it will likely be hilly all day and start with a climb too. And with regard to a Plateau de Beille finish above, it would probably be considered the hardest summit finish of the Pyrenees but not the hardest stage, the stage to Hautacam (or maybe Lourdes) looks to have Aubisque + Spandelles, not to mention a good chance if it doesn't finish in Hautacam of the inclusion of Col de Marie Blanque. So thats 3 high mountain passes, in the former case two being HC.

Some chains I think we are forgetting are possible:
  • Port de Bales (north) / Superbagneres (the road to the ski resort is having repairs done which will no doubt allow a Tour return, but it remains to be seen if they would be complete before the 2022 Tour could roll around.)
  • Soulor (north) or Aubisque (west) followed by Couraduque (although admittedly unlikely for an arrival)
  • Larrau (south) / Chalets d'Iraty (rumoured finish for 2023)
  • Vars (south) / Risoul (finish here in 2014)
  • Col Agnel (south) / Izoard (south) if we want a 2011 Pinerolo style stage but finishing for instance on Izoard or Granon or in Briancon
  • Croix de Fer (North) / Col du Mollard (south) / La Toussuire (east) as in 2015
  • Col de la Loze / Champagny-en-Vanoise for a stage similar to ones we get in the Giro
  • Iseran / Tignes if placed well in a race
  • Montee de Bisanne / Arêches (village at foot of steep part of Col du Pre, again another Giro style)
  • Col de l'Arpettaz / Megeve or Saisies
Of course many have pitfalls (bit too far in valley, would be misplaced by ASO, unlikely to host a finish) but there is much to look for.
 
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Joux-Plane chains to Morzine-Avoriaz or Joux-Verte.

Super-Sauze and Pra-Loup near Barcelonnette give us some great potential chains with Cayolle and Bonette. Auron after Bonette north even better.
Les Gets could also be an option for Joux-Plane. Not too long and fairly easy gradients, but if placed as the very last mountain stage in the Tour, it would be plausible with action most of the way up Joux-Plane and all the way to the stage finish.

Not sure combos in the Southern-Alps. There is a long and fairly easy descent from Cayolle to Pra-Loup (~25 km) and especially Super-Sauze (over 30 km). Too bad that Allos south isn't tougher that a Allos-Pra Loup combo probably will be to easy. In addition the western descent of Champs (which could preceed Allos) seems really risky based on street view pictures. Bonette-Auron on the other hand seems more interesting.
 
Larrau (south) / Chalets d'Iraty (rumoured finish for 2023)
Does this in reality mean Bagargui via Larrau?

If they are in that area, finish at the top of Pierre Saint Martin via Station Issarbe would at least as interesting.
  • Montee de Bisanne / Arêches (village at foot of steep part of Col du Pre, again another Giro style)
  • Col de l'Arpettaz / Megeve or Saisies
In this area I think a more interesting combo could be Plan Bois-Croixe de Fry followed by either a descent finish to La Clusaz or a finish at the top of Aravis.
 
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Col du granon it's a credible rumour?
It would be awesome.
The rumour was already circulating since last year but it was recently confirmed by a French journalist for Eurosport (I think his name is Florian Pigeon). He also confirmed the next day a stage from Briancon to Alpe d'Huez, and I think its especially credible as I believe he is a local to that region.
 
I believe a lot of wishes here may be a bit too unrealistic. You can forget about Plan Bois as it was tested in Dauphine and ended up with a protest day later. The Bagargi/Iraty finish if possible then not in 2023 as i believe the Tour in 2023 starts in Bilbao and after a most likely Jaizkibel stage to San Sebastian it will either teleport towards Dordogne or skimm the Pyrenees with a breakaway stage to Pau in 80's style with Bagargi, Soudet and Marie-Blanque before coming back to Haute-Pyrenees during the weekend. I think ASO tried to have a finish on Bagargi for either this or last year but apparently there were logistical problems with distances and lack of hotels. Apparently in 2015 La PSM just barely happened, only because of better connection with Pau. However, ASO also has a literal hard-on on Mende, which is in the middle of nowhere and has no problems with constant finishes there that will also repeat next year.

After the transfer to France the run-in to the Alps could include a bumpy stage on the Opale hills (like in 2012), a cobbled Paris-Roubaix alike and a quick transfer towards Dole (to commemorate Pasteur) and then enter Switzerland with a Dole - Lausanne stage. There's also a strong rumor connecting to Châtel (after Morgins?). It would be followed by a transitional stage to Chambéry/Aix-les-Bains and two heavy mountain stages to Granon (Madeleine-Galibier) and l'Alpe (Izoard-Lautaret-Sarenne?). Now, ther are apparently some problems here with ecologists (obviously) and sort of skimming through the Vars-Izoard 100th anniversary. Very early rumors had Barcelonette, higher focus on Southern Alps and possibly also having Alps as the last mountain block. Then it would work nicely with a Barcelonette (Gap?) - Granon stage after Vars and Izoard having a bigger role.

The transition towards the Pyrenees would go through a little village of Saint-Félicien (?) in Ardeche (most likely an uphill finish) and of course Mende because ASO treats this poor town like their favourite BMs to smack around for ish and giggles. Next stage should start in Rodez and go towards east Pyrenees (Carcassonne?).

The Spandelles is either reworked or has been to try for a Tour passage next year. Also Soudet north is smoothened out to have an easier descent. This would work with a Hautacam rumour for the last mountain stage, most likely after Aubisque and Spandelles. Other rumours include a Pailheres-Beile combo and a possibly 2013 Bigorre like stage with multiple cat. 1-2 climbs before the Hautacam stage. It would be followed up with a transitional stage towards Lot (possibly Cahors) and a hilly TT in/near Roccamadour.

I myself know that a non-MTF or easy-MTF last mountain stage is more attractive (this year's Vuelta and Giro being an obvious example) but ASO tends to not care about the race itself but only the revenue and a hard, flashy and well known HC MTF as the very last obstacle generates the most green. When they tried to be more progresive like in 2020 Roche-sur-Foron stage then sadly the race itself doesn't deliver, which definitely doesn't help. At least l'Alpe has a Sarenne variant so one day you may have a 100k (because marketing) Galibier-Sarenne-AdH stage as the last one.

BTW, yes, 95% of this info is from a certain well known site that host annual Tour rumours in French and i dunno if i can plug it in here.
 
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I think it is more or less unavoidable with at least one or two of these kind of stages in the Tour. France isn't as packed with good climbs and combination of climbs like Italy, and the willingness (and originality) of ASO when designing stages is pretty absent. Pailheres and Beille are probably two of the four toughest climbs in the Pyrenees, and it wouldn't be too big of a problem with doing a stage with these climbs and a Galibier + Granon stage if they did something more original in addition. A multi-mountain stage more designed for attacks further out than the last few kms. And a long medium mountain stage of 230-240 km in Vosges or Massif Central would be nice additions.
There is nothing wrong with the stage. It was a great stage in 2007. Just don't claim that is the queen stage. It works best as a warm up stage, with a couple of 5-6 col stages following
 
Wasn't that purely down to the condition of the road (of the descent)?
If Spandelles will work out then there might be a chance for Plan Bois but most likely in the distant future. I expect ASO wanting Superbagneres and the hardest variant of Grand-Ballon within next couple of years as a sellout comeback/new name like possibly Granon next year. Of course Plan Bois opens up a possible alternative Romme-Colombiere alike to... Romme-Colombiere. Wonder if Joux-Verte or Champs may be next if only the last 1-2k of Champs will be repaved (or the climb in general) as i believe the Alpes-Maritimes was repaved some times ago.

Do you mean Soulor?
Yes, a mostake (i'll leave it like that) on my part.
 
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I would personally love to see a stage finishing at the Flaine ski resort but it currently doesn't have the capacity for a finish as far as I can tell. The unpaved side of Col du Joly is also super nice, although I have no doubt we will not see it on the Tour unless it is renovated. 8km at 9.7% with a 2km stretch averaging 13%, ouch!
 
I would personally love to see a stage finishing at the Flaine ski resort but it currently doesn't have the capacity for a finish as far as I can tell. The unpaved side of Col du Joly is also super nice, although I have no doubt we will not see it on the Tour unless it is renovated. 8km at 9.7% with a 2km stretch averaging 13%, ouch!
Another potentially very good mtf in that area is Samoens 1600. It is harder than the Joux-Plane and has space for a finish in my recollection
 
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The birds are chirping about Rodez - Narbonne (~200km via Requista and Lacaune) and Narbonne - PdB (~185km via Termenès/D613, Quillan and Paileres). Quite natural considering that Hérault isn't interested in the Tour at the moment so nearby, formerly cucked by Montpellier cities are trying to take advantage of it. Look at Nîmes suddenly becoming a Tour staple.

Also apparently ASO wants to kill themselves to have their annual dose of the LPdBF pills, even if eventual transfer to Dole would be very difficult - ~2h transfer to hotels in Besançon and ~50-60min to Dole next morning. I heard that there may be plans of surfacing a dirt path that leads from Plancher-les-Mines to Col d'Auxelles/Mont Ménard and connect it to LPdBF. That would be like 3,3k @ ~9% followed by easier 3,2k @ ~4,2% and final 1,6k @ ~6,3%; overall 8,1k @ 6,6%. Not great but it could be used as a pass.
 
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The birds are chirping about Rodez - Narbonne (~200km via Requista and Lacaune) and Narbonne - PdB (~185km via Termenès/D613, Quillan and Paileres). Quite natural considering that Hérault isn't interested in the Tour at the moment so nearby, formerly cucked by Montpellier cities are trying to take advantage of it. Look at Nîmes suddenly becoming a Tour staple.

Also apparently ASO wants to kill themselves to have their annual dose of the LPdBF pills, even if eventual transfer to Dole would be very difficult - ~2h transfer to hotels in Besançon and ~50-60min to Dole next morning. I heard that there may be plans of surfacing a dirt path that leads from Plancher-les-Mines to Col d'Auxelles/Mont Ménard and connect it to LPdBF. That would be like 3,3k @ ~9% followed by easier 3,2k @ ~4,2% and final 1,6k @ ~6,3%; overall 8,1k @ 6,6%. Not great but it could be used as a pass.
I like the sound of the Rodez - Narbonne and Narbonne - Plateau de Beille stages but I really hope they don't surface a new route up Planche des Belles Filles. The only good use I could see is them ascending the Planche des Belles Filles twice, the first time turning off onto this newly paved road and descending back towards Plancher-les-Mines before looping back for the traditional finish. That might be quite interesting but it seems like an awful lot of work, considering it would be a climb of 4km at 9% followed by 7km of descent and then a final 8km with the last 6km the final climb. Here's what I am thinking of plotted out on Ride With Gps given the info the start will likely be in Tomblaine:

 
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distance wise it should be possible to use it as a finish from Rodez, but considering the other stages in week 2, it's more likely to be a sprinter friendly stage. Only if thet stage after the rumoured stage to Chatel is avoiding any alps and / or the stage between alpe and mende (for which is mentioned Saint Félicien as a rumour) are easier than expected (it's ASO, so impossible it's not), a puncheur finish on Mont Saint-Clair is a possibility. Didn't read any rumours mentioning Mont Saint-Clair so far. But it would be a nice surprise. Cool thing about a Mont Saint-Clair finish is that the roads 20-30 kilometer before the finish could be very exposed to wind.

but let's see, during september some rumours normally slowly gets confirmation, while others seems to be only rumours.
 

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