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Tour de France Tour de France 2024 route rumours and announcements

Page 40 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
For the middle of the race, stage 7-9 look interesting, and Le Lioran is a nice little medium mountain stage. At least that stage and Super Devoluy is just more than a fine breakaway stage, it actually offers terrain in which to do something. Same with stage 2, and then you also have the stage to Troyes, so there's actually 4 non-mountain stages that looks to be GC-relevant outside of the timetrials and 5 proper mountain stages which totals it at 11 more or less relevant and hard stages. Then you have stage 1 which is just a great stage to have early, having it on stage 12 or similar would just be another good breakaway stage, but this ensures that the stage will be ridden hard throughout by the bunch. Barcelonette is just a classic break stage.

I see 7 obvious sprints and then you have stage 8 which should be a hard one and for for Trek to do something, so 7,5 sprints which is too much especially given how its paced. Thats the bad part, but one we can live with I think given the rest of the route which I think is quite decent.

Not bad at all, but it is a pretty huge minus that a decent chunk in the middle of the race seems somewhat irrelevant. That said some of these stages should offer some crosswinds, and we have seen some of these flat stages actually be worthwhile to watch, most recently two in a row last year. I'd call it a bit above average, 6/10, and thats good enough to at least give the riders and opportunity to make a great spectacle. Much better than the Giro IMO.
 
Honestly really disappointed in stage 8. This makes the total number of full on sprint stages a little high.

Another surprise is the categorization of the final two mtf's which are both cat.1 and not HC. Considered Saint Lary Soulan is HC, this makes absolutely no sense, particularly with Isola 2000, which is basically the same climb but with like 6km added on top.
 
Honestly really disappointed in stage 8. This makes the total number of full on sprint stages a little high.

Another surprise is the categorization of the final two mtf's which are both cat.1 and not HC. Considered Saint Lary Soulan is HC, this makes absolutely no sense, particularly with Isola 2000, which is basically the same climb but with like 6km added on top.

in 93, Isola was HC and the Vars was a cat 1. That year, the Izoard (yes, they did the Izoard before the Vars back when stages were stages) was also a cat 1
 
I think the categories are really given with the kom battle in mind. Some categorization make no sense when it comes to difficulty, but the ASO probably realized the kom battle is much more interesting if it's not a Pogacar or Vingegaard win. Thinking about it that way, I'm honestly not too mad about stuff like Vars having a higher category than Isola 2000. And once again it's night and day compared to the giro which is literally doing the opposite, always overrating the final climb of the day.

It's once again one of those differences where it feels like someone in the ASO has stepped up recently trying to actually create a better show, while the Giro is still run by people to whom that part is simply secondary.
 
I think I've written this before, but the KOM classifications in races have nothing to do with how steep or difficult they are. A bridge over a canal can be a CAT4 as can a 10km long climb.

I've given up on finding logic in the categorizations of climbs like 15 years ago. I think they either overthink it often and the result is weird, or - which is more likely - they consult a Kobold to do it. This would also explain a lot else.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Sandisfan
I think I've written this before, but the KOM classifications in races have nothing to do with how steep or difficult they are. A bridge over a canal can be a CAT4 as can a 10km long climb.
Nothing?

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Portet d'Aspet at cat.1 is absolutely ridiculous, but it's still probably tougher than Côte des Chevrères which is the worst cat.1 climb I've ever seen in the Tour, and possibly worse even than some of the joke cat.1s awarded in the Vuelta.

It's like, they've given us the best opening weekend in living memory, instead of what has been all-too-common with overseas Grand Départs of all GTs recently where they try to make sure nothing of relevance happens before they get onto their own soil, leading to ridiculous nonsense like the Brussels GD with Kapelmuur as a token inclusion, but on the flip side, the price we have to pay for a great opening weekend is the punishment of nothing happening for as long as possible afterward.

Valloire is fine for what it is and where it is in the race - climbing from the easier side is no problem when it's got this role. Valmeinier 1800 would have been chef's kiss on the stage for its role, but I won't complain about this. We will have sorted the contenders from the pretenders unless they go full 2020 stage 6 (I will go on the warpath!) so it should mean less nerves and fewer crashes in the flat stages to come. In terms of actual GC involvement in the first 1/3 of the race I think it's absolutely fine actually; don't like the pacing with two back to back worthless flat stages, but they are required to be where they are due to geography and they are on weekdays, and 25k ITT before the second weekend is great.

Unfortunately stage 8 is absolutely a perfect example of why ASO cannot be trusted with weekends. Stage 9 hopefully will resurrect things and then the wind hopefully blows on the way to Saint-Amand-Montrond, otherwise this is going to be a very long slog through the middle of the race for viewers.

Pyrenees have the usual SSDD problem, and as Netserk says, ASO have essentially decided to try to redress the balance of the GPM between the GC and the breakaway not by changing the points structure or by designing a more balanced route, but by playing silly games with the categorisation of climbs, hugely over-categorising early-stage climbs. Neither stage is likely to see anything meaningful before the final climb, afraid Hourquette d'Ancizan west is likely to prevent anything on Tourmalet. Still: two GC-relevant stages on the penultimate weekend, I should at least give them that. There was a stretch where for several years they let the Sunday before Paris be a flat sprint adrift in an ocean of mountain stages, that was absolutely maddening.

Overall the mountain stages here seem to be a continuation of a recent theme, which is a great support cast in search of a true queen stage. If the queen stage is going to be all cat.1 type climbs, I feel there needs to be probably 5 climbs for a true queen stage, something like 2009 Le Grand Bornand, or 3 truly monolithic HC climbs like the 2008 Alpe d'Huez stage. There just doesn't seem to be that here; they're closest with Isola 2000, but just saying Col de Vars is HC because you want to give out the points for it doesn't really make it so other than on paper; likewise the Plateau de Beille stage is awash with cat.1s, but Peyresourde west is already one of the easier cat.1s out there (especially when you only climb the last 7km of it) and Portet d'Aspet is no true cat.1 either. None of the mountain stages are what I'd consider to be 'bad' - it's just that there doesn't feel like there's a true queen stage that these stages can be built around. I suspect stage 20 is meant to be that given the unique southern finish this year, but it just doesn't have that feel, especially not at 132km.

I don't really have any major glaring problems with this route other than stage 8 in all honesty, however I feel like after that excellent first two days it is all just a sequence of mostly decent stages in a vacuum, but it doesn't feel like it flows together particularly well with the pacing and there doesn't feel like there's much for a true baroudeur until all the way to stage 18. We better hope the wind plays ball on stages 10 and 16, if it does things could get spicy. My fear however is that if it doesn't, we are going to see a LOT of the break sitting 1'30 up the road but not being brought back, because the péloton doesn't even give us the fun of calculating the chances of the breakaway nowadays; miscalculations were rare even when the break got given 10 minutes at the best of times, they've dwindled away to virtually zero nowadays, but at the Tour, the importance of the race means they're even less common than that.
 
I don't mind the manipulation of categories to make the KoM more breakaway friendly.

Overall route wise, nobody will be surprised I don't like it, but I've come to even think adding Planche de Belles Filles would be an improvement...

My main complaint would be the # of real mountain stages is too low, and the Pyrenees, while being the most stock standard Pyrenees stages, are still the highlight over the Alps. I think this route hinges so hard on Isola 2000 being this super hard queen stage but it's really not hard enough for that and it would need like a Moutiere loop to make that work.
 

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