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If I had to rank the five climbs - which would be quite difficult, as they are quite close - Angliru wouldn't be in top. Probably something like this:

Stelvio (Prato)
Finestre
Zoncolan
Angliru
Mortirolo (Mazza)
 
Jun 11, 2014
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Re:

Netserk said:
If I had to rank the five climbs - which would be quite difficult, as they are quite close - Angliru wouldn't be in top. Probably something like this:

Stelvio (Prato)
Finestre
Zoncolan
Angliru
Mortirolo (Mazza)
Just to ensure that nobody thinks that being 4 or 5 on this list doesn't mean that is easy.

It is ridiculously hard just to be in this inmortal top 5. La creme de la creme! They should do a tour de hell. These 5 climbs in 5 days on time!!! Guillen is already - pardon my French - coming in his pants.
 
Re:

Netserk said:
If I had to rank the five climbs - which would be quite difficult, as they are quite close - Angliru wouldn't be in top. Probably something like this:

Stelvio (Prato)
Finestre
Zoncolan
Angliru
Mortirolo (Mazza)
Why are you rating Stelvio so highly? Doesn't make any sense to me. The other four climbs are all clearly harder than Stelvio IMO.
 
Hugh amount of vertical gain and very high altitude makes up for the fact that the last 13km is only 8.8% (hardly false-flat). It takes almost twice as long to climb as Angliru. As I said it's hard rank them, and I should probably have Finestre first, but other than that I think the order is right. Fauniera (Pradleves) would also be difficult to place between the others.

My point with the list was simply to say, that while some people think Angliru is the hardest climb there is, it's hardly an unanimous position and it certainly isn't much different from the other beasts.
 
Re:

Netserk said:
Hugh amount of vertical gain and very high altitude makes up for the fact that the last 13km is only 8.8% (hardly false-flat). It takes almost twice as long to climb as Angliru. As I said it's hard rank them, and I should probably have Finestre first, but other than that I think the order is right. Fauniera (Pradleves) would also be difficult to place between the others.

My point with the list was simply to say, that while some people think Angliru is the hardest climb there is, it's hardly an unanimous position and it certainly isn't much different from the other beasts.
I don't really understand what you are basing this on. How many pros have said Stelvio or Finestre are harder than Angliru or Zoncolan? It must be a tiny percentage, probably all Italians from the area.

I've ridden all five that you listed and Finestre and Stelvio just aren't that hard. I know it's slightly different for pros than amateurs with their extra power; but they're basically just long grinds - not comparable to the other three. They don't mess with your rhythm, they don't have sections that force you to go anaerobic and you still get some drafting benefit on them.

Mortirolo, Angliru and Zoncolan are a different level entirely - and it's pretty clear why it seems like 95% or so of pro cyclists name one of those three as the hardest climb they've ever ridden.
 
Re: Re:

fauniera said:
Netserk said:
If I had to rank the five climbs - which would be quite difficult, as they are quite close - Angliru wouldn't be in top. Probably something like this:

Stelvio (Prato)
Finestre
Zoncolan
Angliru
Mortirolo (Mazza)
Why are you rating Stelvio so highly? Doesn't make any sense to me. The other four climbs are all clearly harder than Stelvio IMO.
What about the Agnel? Similar to Stelvio (very high altitude, long, and gets ridiculously steep the further you go) and could be even tougher.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Netserk said:
Hugh amount of vertical gain and very high altitude makes up for the fact that the last 13km is only 8.8% (hardly false-flat). It takes almost twice as long to climb as Angliru. As I said it's hard rank them, and I should probably have Finestre first, but other than that I think the order is right. Fauniera (Pradleves) would also be difficult to place between the others.

My point with the list was simply to say, that while some people think Angliru is the hardest climb there is, it's hardly an unanimous position and it certainly isn't much different from the other beasts.
I don't really understand what you are basing this on. How many pros have said Stelvio or Finestre are harder than Angliru or Zoncolan? It must be a tiny percentage, probably all Italians from the area.

I've ridden all five that you listed and Finestre and Stelvio just aren't that hard. I know it's slightly different for pros than amateurs with their extra power; but they're basically just long grinds - not comparable to the other three. They don't mess with your rhythm, they don't have sections that force you to go anaerobic and you still get some drafting benefit on them.

Mortirolo, Angliru and Zoncolan are a different level entirely - and it's pretty clear why it seems like 95% or so of pro cyclists name one of those three as the hardest climb they've ever ridden.
Of course it's more unpleasant to ride an irregular and super steep climb than a more normal one, but that doesn't make it more difficult. Or is Montelupone a harder climb than Envalira? While it's possible to have an easier and more pleasant ride on the latter, that would never be the case if the riders had to go all out. Long grinds are 'just' long grinds, when you take it easy. In a race situation where the riders will push themselves to the limit, Stelvio from Prato would definitely be a more difficult ride than a climb like Mortirolo.
 
Re: Re:

Netserk said:
DFA123 said:
Netserk said:
Hugh amount of vertical gain and very high altitude makes up for the fact that the last 13km is only 8.8% (hardly false-flat). It takes almost twice as long to climb as Angliru. As I said it's hard rank them, and I should probably have Finestre first, but other than that I think the order is right. Fauniera (Pradleves) would also be difficult to place between the others.

My point with the list was simply to say, that while some people think Angliru is the hardest climb there is, it's hardly an unanimous position and it certainly isn't much different from the other beasts.
I don't really understand what you are basing this on. How many pros have said Stelvio or Finestre are harder than Angliru or Zoncolan? It must be a tiny percentage, probably all Italians from the area.

I've ridden all five that you listed and Finestre and Stelvio just aren't that hard. I know it's slightly different for pros than amateurs with their extra power; but they're basically just long grinds - not comparable to the other three. They don't mess with your rhythm, they don't have sections that force you to go anaerobic and you still get some drafting benefit on them.

Mortirolo, Angliru and Zoncolan are a different level entirely - and it's pretty clear why it seems like 95% or so of pro cyclists name one of those three as the hardest climb they've ever ridden.
Of course it's more unpleasant to ride an irregular and super steep climb than a more normal one, but that doesn't make it more difficult. Or is Montelupone a harder climb than Envalira? While it's possible to have an easier and more pleasant ride on the latter, that would never be the case if the riders had to go all out. Long grinds are 'just' long grinds, when you take it easy. In a race situation where the riders will push themselves to the limit, Stelvio from Prato would definitely be a more difficult ride than a climb like Mortirolo.
I think the race situation is what makes these steep, irregular climbs so much harder. A climb like Stelvio or Finestre is ridden most quickly in a race situation by staying just under threshold for an hour and twenty minutes, or however long it takes. Basically going at the hardest steady pace that you can sustain. Riding around threshold for long periods is what GC hopefuls dedicate loads of hours to in training, it's basically what they specialize in. The difficulty in climbs like Stelvio and Finestre comes from the cumulative effect of climbing 4000-5000m in a day, not the one climb itself.

Climbs like Mortirolo or Angliru could also be ridden at or just below threshold for 95% of it by most of the top climbers, but this would be a really slow way to climb. The gradients are so steep in parts that riders have to go anaerobic just to go 10-12km/h and maintain whatever inertia they can. Basically doing anaerobic intervals for 40 minutes to an hour, with recovery at or just below threshold is what is needed to climb Mortirolo or Angliru as quickly as possible. And that is really, really hard to do. Far harder than staying just below threshold for 90 minutes with just the occasional attack to respond to.

Montelupone is obviously something completely different physiologically. It is basically an all out effort at Vo2 max. Some climbers are great at that, and some struggle more - but it's impossible to compare with Envalira or any of the other climbs mentioned.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Netserk said:
DFA123 said:
Netserk said:
Hugh amount of vertical gain and very high altitude makes up for the fact that the last 13km is only 8.8% (hardly false-flat). It takes almost twice as long to climb as Angliru. As I said it's hard rank them, and I should probably have Finestre first, but other than that I think the order is right. Fauniera (Pradleves) would also be difficult to place between the others.

My point with the list was simply to say, that while some people think Angliru is the hardest climb there is, it's hardly an unanimous position and it certainly isn't much different from the other beasts.
I don't really understand what you are basing this on. How many pros have said Stelvio or Finestre are harder than Angliru or Zoncolan? It must be a tiny percentage, probably all Italians from the area.

I've ridden all five that you listed and Finestre and Stelvio just aren't that hard. I know it's slightly different for pros than amateurs with their extra power; but they're basically just long grinds - not comparable to the other three. They don't mess with your rhythm, they don't have sections that force you to go anaerobic and you still get some drafting benefit on them.

Mortirolo, Angliru and Zoncolan are a different level entirely - and it's pretty clear why it seems like 95% or so of pro cyclists name one of those three as the hardest climb they've ever ridden.
Of course it's more unpleasant to ride an irregular and super steep climb than a more normal one, but that doesn't make it more difficult. Or is Montelupone a harder climb than Envalira? While it's possible to have an easier and more pleasant ride on the latter, that would never be the case if the riders had to go all out. Long grinds are 'just' long grinds, when you take it easy. In a race situation where the riders will push themselves to the limit, Stelvio from Prato would definitely be a more difficult ride than a climb like Mortirolo.
I think the race situation is what makes these steep, irregular climbs so much harder. A climb like Stelvio or Finestre is ridden most quickly in a race situation by staying just under threshold for an hour and twenty minutes, or however long it takes. Basically going at the hardest steady pace that you can sustain. Riding around threshold for long periods is what GC hopefuls dedicate loads of hours to in training, it's basically what they specialize in. The difficulty in climbs like Stelvio and Finestre comes from the cumulative effect of climbing 4000-5000m in a day, not the one climb itself.

Climbs like Mortirolo or Angliru could also be ridden at or just below threshold for 95% of it by most of the top climbers, but this would be a really slow way to climb. The gradients are so steep in parts that riders have to go anaerobic just to go 10-12km/h and maintain whatever inertia they can. Basically doing anaerobic intervals for 40 minutes to an hour, with recovery at or just below threshold is what is needed to climb Mortirolo or Angliru as quickly as possible. And that is really, really hard to do. Far harder than staying just below threshold for 90 minutes with just the occasional attack to respond to.

Montelupone is obviously something completely different physiologically. It is basically an all out effort at Vo2 max. Some climbers are great at that, and some struggle more - but it's impossible to compare with Envalira or any of the other climbs mentioned.
Sorry, I have to disagree, at least the Zoncolan can be ridden at a steady, really high pace to grind people down, just look at 2010 Basso, that was pure diesel climber power and on that stage Sastre, who got dropped right at the start of the steep middle part, was able to catch and outclimb many riders by riding at his own pace.
Another example would be Angliru 2013 when Nibali just burned himself by attacking way to often while Papi Horner looked more regular and Valverde was also able to catch him by riding at his own pace.
Those super steep climbs force amateurs to do anaerobic efforts, but the pros have waaay more power and with a power meter they can go at a steady pace on those kind of climbs, just look at the way someone like Froome climbs the Vuelta muritos.
 
Re: Re:

Mayomaniac said:
DFA123 said:
Netserk said:
DFA123 said:
Netserk said:
Hugh amount of vertical gain and very high altitude makes up for the fact that the last 13km is only 8.8% (hardly false-flat). It takes almost twice as long to climb as Angliru. As I said it's hard rank them, and I should probably have Finestre first, but other than that I think the order is right. Fauniera (Pradleves) would also be difficult to place between the others.

My point with the list was simply to say, that while some people think Angliru is the hardest climb there is, it's hardly an unanimous position and it certainly isn't much different from the other beasts.
I don't really understand what you are basing this on. How many pros have said Stelvio or Finestre are harder than Angliru or Zoncolan? It must be a tiny percentage, probably all Italians from the area.

I've ridden all five that you listed and Finestre and Stelvio just aren't that hard. I know it's slightly different for pros than amateurs with their extra power; but they're basically just long grinds - not comparable to the other three. They don't mess with your rhythm, they don't have sections that force you to go anaerobic and you still get some drafting benefit on them.

Mortirolo, Angliru and Zoncolan are a different level entirely - and it's pretty clear why it seems like 95% or so of pro cyclists name one of those three as the hardest climb they've ever ridden.
Of course it's more unpleasant to ride an irregular and super steep climb than a more normal one, but that doesn't make it more difficult. Or is Montelupone a harder climb than Envalira? While it's possible to have an easier and more pleasant ride on the latter, that would never be the case if the riders had to go all out. Long grinds are 'just' long grinds, when you take it easy. In a race situation where the riders will push themselves to the limit, Stelvio from Prato would definitely be a more difficult ride than a climb like Mortirolo.
I think the race situation is what makes these steep, irregular climbs so much harder. A climb like Stelvio or Finestre is ridden most quickly in a race situation by staying just under threshold for an hour and twenty minutes, or however long it takes. Basically going at the hardest steady pace that you can sustain. Riding around threshold for long periods is what GC hopefuls dedicate loads of hours to in training, it's basically what they specialize in. The difficulty in climbs like Stelvio and Finestre comes from the cumulative effect of climbing 4000-5000m in a day, not the one climb itself.

Climbs like Mortirolo or Angliru could also be ridden at or just below threshold for 95% of it by most of the top climbers, but this would be a really slow way to climb. The gradients are so steep in parts that riders have to go anaerobic just to go 10-12km/h and maintain whatever inertia they can. Basically doing anaerobic intervals for 40 minutes to an hour, with recovery at or just below threshold is what is needed to climb Mortirolo or Angliru as quickly as possible. And that is really, really hard to do. Far harder than staying just below threshold for 90 minutes with just the occasional attack to respond to.

Montelupone is obviously something completely different physiologically. It is basically an all out effort at Vo2 max. Some climbers are great at that, and some struggle more - but it's impossible to compare with Envalira or any of the other climbs mentioned.
Sorry, I have to disagree, at least the Zoncolan can be ridden at a steady, really high pace to grind people down, just look at 2010 Basso, that was pure diesel climber power and on that stage Sastre, who got dropped right at the start of the steep middle part, was able to catch and outclimb many riders by riding at his own pace.
Another example would be Angliru 2013 when Nibali just burned himself by attacking way to often while Papi Horner looked more regular and Valverde was also able to catch him by riding at his own pace.
Those super steep climbs force amateurs to do anaerobic efforts, but the pros have waaay more power and with a power meter they can go at a steady pace on those kind of climbs, just look at the way someone like Froome climbs the Vuelta muritos.
Completely disagree with that. A pro could certainly ride a steady effort up most of Angliru or Mortirolo in terms of power, but they don't because it would be much slower than if they mixed up their effort. They would just go too slowly up the steepest parts. It may look like Horner and Valverde were riding steady efforts, but they weren't. It's also the muscular endurance needed - you can't spin up Angliru or Zoncolan at a nice 80-90rpm. Even with a compat chainset and 30 tooth cassette, pros will be really grinding up half of the climb. It just saps so much more energy.

Agree to an extent with Zoncolan because it's a bit more regular. But the steep bits still force pros to go anaerobic, or at least very close to their vo2 max. Otherwise they'd be going about 8km/h, which is just too slow in a racing situation - nowhere near enough inerita.

I don't really see the relevance of muritos in this context. They're completely different - ridden largely at vo2 max with brief recovery around threshold. Froome has had relative success because the other guys burnt themelves out attacking each other then slowing down, playing cat and mouse rather than trying to ride the fastest possible time - that was to do with tactics, not the difficulty of the climb.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Yes, the muritos aren't exactly the best comparison but the tactics argument goes both ways, you could also say that tactics are the reason why people ride super steep climbs in a more irregular way.
I don't know, if I had the opportunity to take a look at a few powerfiles to come to a conclusion.
Back to the Vuelta route, all in all it's actually a pretty hard route (for Vuelta standarts), maybe that could favour someone like Nibali who'll ride Giro-Vuelta if he's able to peak for the Vuelta.
 
Re:

Mayomaniac said:
Yes, the muritos aren't exactly the best comparison but the tactics argument goes both ways, you could also say that tactics are the reason why people ride super steep climbs in a more irregular way.
I don't know, if I had the opportunity to take a look at a few powerfiles to come to a conclusion.
Back to the Vuelta route, all in all it's actually a pretty hard route (for Vuelta standarts), maybe that could favour someone like Nibali who'll ride Giro-Vuelta if he's able to peak for the Vuelta.
Yeah, looks a very good route for Nibali if he can refind anything close to his 2014 form. Although will be tough to beat Quintana if he does Giro-Vuelta as well. Movistar are so strong at the Vuelta and, at least on paper, Nibali's new team looks a bit lightweight.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Mayomaniac said:
Yes, the muritos aren't exactly the best comparison but the tactics argument goes both ways, you could also say that tactics are the reason why people ride super steep climbs in a more irregular way.
I don't know, if I had the opportunity to take a look at a few powerfiles to come to a conclusion.
Back to the Vuelta route, all in all it's actually a pretty hard route (for Vuelta standarts), maybe that could favour someone like Nibali who'll ride Giro-Vuelta if he's able to peak for the Vuelta.
Yeah, looks a very good route for Nibali if he can refind anything close to his 2014 form. Although will be tough to beat Quintana if he does Giro-Vuelta as well. Movistar are so strong at the Vuelta and, at least on paper, Nibali's new team looks a bit lightweight.
Yes, Nibali's team could be his downfall. I don't think that Quintana will go for Giro-Vuelta, if he's allowed he wants to ride the Giro before the Tour with the Tour as his main goal (and probably a random top 10 on gc or stage wins a the Giro), but I don't know if Unzué is ok with it.
 
Re: Re:

Mayomaniac said:
DFA123 said:
Mayomaniac said:
Yes, the muritos aren't exactly the best comparison but the tactics argument goes both ways, you could also say that tactics are the reason why people ride super steep climbs in a more irregular way.
I don't know, if I had the opportunity to take a look at a few powerfiles to come to a conclusion.
Back to the Vuelta route, all in all it's actually a pretty hard route (for Vuelta standarts), maybe that could favour someone like Nibali who'll ride Giro-Vuelta if he's able to peak for the Vuelta.
Yeah, looks a very good route for Nibali if he can refind anything close to his 2014 form. Although will be tough to beat Quintana if he does Giro-Vuelta as well. Movistar are so strong at the Vuelta and, at least on paper, Nibali's new team looks a bit lightweight.
Yes, Nibali's team could be his downfall. I don't think that Quintana will go for Giro-Vuelta, if he's allowed he wants to ride the Giro before the Tour with the Tour as his main goal (and probably a random top 10 on gc or stage wins a the Giro), but I don't know if Unzué is ok with it.
If Quintana rides the Giro, he will be in shape and not just get a random top-10. He is very much like Contador in that aspect that he rides every race to win (or at least finish as high as he possibly can) and has very high base level, maybe only topped by his own teammate.
 
Re: Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Mayomaniac said:
DFA123 said:
Mayomaniac said:
Yes, the muritos aren't exactly the best comparison but the tactics argument goes both ways, you could also say that tactics are the reason why people ride super steep climbs in a more irregular way.
I don't know, if I had the opportunity to take a look at a few powerfiles to come to a conclusion.
Back to the Vuelta route, all in all it's actually a pretty hard route (for Vuelta standarts), maybe that could favour someone like Nibali who'll ride Giro-Vuelta if he's able to peak for the Vuelta.
Yeah, looks a very good route for Nibali if he can refind anything close to his 2014 form. Although will be tough to beat Quintana if he does Giro-Vuelta as well. Movistar are so strong at the Vuelta and, at least on paper, Nibali's new team looks a bit lightweight.
Yes, Nibali's team could be his downfall. I don't think that Quintana will go for Giro-Vuelta, if he's allowed he wants to ride the Giro before the Tour with the Tour as his main goal (and probably a random top 10 on gc or stage wins a the Giro), but I don't know if Unzué is ok with it.
If Quintana rides the Giro, he will be in shape and not just get a random top-10. He is very much like Contador in that aspect that he rides every race to win (or at least finish as high as he possibly can) and has very high base level, maybe only topped by his own teammate.
Yeah, I agree with that. Can't see Quintana riding the Giro with any other aim but to win it. It makes no sense for a rider of his ability to do such a tough race only trying to grab a couple of stages. If he plans to the Tour as well, then I guess this season gave him the confidence that he can ride as well, if not better in his second GT of the year.

So that would make Valverde sole leader for the Vuelta - and he normally looks stronger in the Vuelta than the Tour and will have the strongest team. Up against probably up against a slightly tired Froome and a Nibali with a weak team and who hasn't ever really been able to find his very best form at the Vuelta. I guess a tired Contador will probably show up as well and probably Aru. With the TT and based on how he did overall last season, I'd probably make Froome slight favourite out of those lot, but given the varying state of fatigue and team strength, they're all quite evenly matched.
 

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