dimspace said:yeh its a shame it only flirts with the scottish borders.. i dont think the tour of britain has been as tough as it could have been for a few years, in the kellogs days i remember some pretty serious climbs that surprised a lot of the non brits who where expecting rolling countryside and didnt think their where killer climbs outside of the alps.. funny to see foriegn riders pushing bikes up our little cobbled hills..
listened to russ downings interview yesterday where they talked about the lack of real big city centre finishes, and he said how dissapointing he was.. does he forget the city centres all got given their racing earlier in the year with the new tour series, its the little towns turn now..
I agree, the ToB route is a bit soft and doesn't include the killer climbs of old. Graham Jones doesn't seem to get it right at all and I'm sure every stage could be better to make the ToB a great race. I'll never forget seeing the foreign riders getting off and pushing up the Trough or the tough stages in the Peak District. Places like the Lakes, Dales, Peak, Bowland, N Pennines, W Yorks, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Cornwall have enough nasty climbs to fill many a future year's ToB (that's before we even consider Wales and Scotland). This would give our lads the edge on climbs that you can't get in mainland Europe
My thoughts on this year's route:
Avoid rail crossings (v poor!) and add a circuit of York to showcase one of our finest cities.
Stage 2 virtually same route as last year (lazy!) - shame they managed to miss out the best of Yorks/NE's cycling/scenery .
Can't comment on today's route, but looks like it's avoiding the harder climbs again.
Blackpool looks to be the best stage, but it could be much harder, especially if they'd started in S Cumbria/ N Yorks (reducing the large transfer).
Similarly start stage 5 in Cheshire to reduce the transfer and feature more of the Peak.
Next Somerset/Exmoor/Devon - this should be nasty, but I reckon it'll be quite tame compared to what Exmoor can offer. How about the evil climb of Porlock Hill (not the easy version featured previously), which would be great with its' hairpin bends.
I seem to recall there was talk of adding an extra stage to next year's ToB, if so then let's hope we they sort out the route to have some harder stages, shorter transfers and feature more of Wales and Scotland.