I always wonder how the climbs are REALLY ranked. For example, in today's P-N stage, there were three climbs, all ranked as Cat. 3, ranging from 1.4 km to 6.9 km in length, and the shortest at 3.5% gradient, and the longest at 4.4%. So can anyone tell me why a 1.4 km at 3.5% is given the same points for difficulty as a climb that is 6.9 km at 4.4%? Is the road surface that bad on the short climb to make it so difficult? Patterson Pass, east of Livermore has a steeper gradient than any of these, for roughly 2.5 km (and a not-great road surface at that) but is rated as a Cat. 4 climb. How much subjectivity is placed on the ranking and is it done by the SAME person? I doubt that. I'd be interested to hear from anyone in the organization of the race to see how these climbs are given their ratings.