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What route should ASO make for the 2018 TDF?

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Read in 2 columns. Day - description
1 - Prologue. I love these.
2 - The race should start with the Ronde van Vlaanderen.
3 - Opitimize the chance for echelons. 140 - 160 km is enough. But if there are no echelons, they should not be allowed to stop before they happen.
4 - Paris - Roubaix. You know why.
5 - Hills. A lot of them.
6 - Echelons, Echelons, Echelons. Use blowers if needed.
7 - Mountains, at least 2x HC with a spectacular downhill finish
8 - ITT 50 km, ending on a 10 km Cat. 1 climb
9 - Rest day
10 - Hills. A lot of them. If possible throw in some cobbles.
11 - Mountains. HC finish at the top. Minimum height 2300m.
12 - Mountains. HC finish at the top. Minimum height 2300m.
13 - Mountains, at least 2x HC with a spectacular downhill finish
14 - Flat stage for the sprinters. Top 10 of the GC does not have to participate.
15 - Downhill TT.
16 - Rest day
17 - Hills.
18 - Mountains. HC finish at the top. Minimum height 2300m.
19 - Mountains. HC finish at the top. Minimum height 2300m.
20 - 100km two person team time trial. So climbers could have some help from a proper TT teammate.
21 - The usual.

Extra restrictions:
a. Teams are not allowed to have more than 6 riders.
b. Everyday the 15 most boring riders get a 1 minute penalty
c. The winner of a mountain finish gets a minute bonus. Downhill winners also get a minute bonus.
d. If you win a stage which had echelons you are allowed to ask people to date you by writing it all over your chest without a paying a fine.
 
Your first rest day is a Sunday. Your penultimate weekend is a sprint stage and a TT. While the downhill TT would add curio value, and the Tour's intrinsic value because of its currency beyond the sport affects this also, it is well-documented - and this is in fact part of what has led to recent parcours trends in the Giro and Vuelta - that hilly, mountainous and unusual stages (cobbles, sterrato) draw bigger audiences than flat stages and TTs. Have you contacted ASO? They might want to compromise on some of your better ideas, but they'll definitely be up for neutering the weekend stages.

The biggest problem facing ASO is that to a far greater extent than RCS and Unipublic they are hampered by the geography of their country. In Spain, every comunidad has some viable mountains, albeit some are quite limited in which are accessible (Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura...). In Italy, the Apennines and connected ranges run all the way down the spine of the country and it's bordered by Alps around the north, so that apart from the Po floodplain there isn't really an area where it isn't possible to create something selective if you want to. ASO doesn't have that; large parts of l'Hexagone are flat and only offer rolling hills. They do a half-decent job with Brétagne and Normandie, which offer some good possibilities for Classics hardman stages, and indeed some of the races around there can produce some very good smaller races (Plumelec, Paris-Camembert and the mighty Tro Bro Léon of course). But if you start over in the West, then there's a long way to go before you get to anything cat.2 or above; if you don't start in the West, then it's a difficult region to fit into the pacing of the route without a herculean rest day transfer. And it really doesn't help that even in those areas that do have full mountain ranges, all the places that pay to host are within about 50km of one another, leading to extremely repetitive routes.
 
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Libertine Seguros said:
Your first rest day is a Sunday. Your penultimate weekend is a sprint stage and a TT. While the downhill TT would add curio value, and the Tour's intrinsic value because of its currency beyond the sport affects this also, it is well-documented - and this is in fact part of what has led to recent parcours trends in the Giro and Vuelta - that hilly, mountainous and unusual stages (cobbles, sterrato) draw bigger audiences than flat stages and TTs. Have you contacted ASO? They might want to compromise on some of your better ideas, but they'll definitely be up for neutering the weekend stages.

The biggest problem facing ASO is that to a far greater extent than RCS and Unipublic they are hampered by the geography of their country. In Spain, every comunidad has some viable mountains, albeit some are quite limited in which are accessible (Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura...). In Italy, the Apennines and connected ranges run all the way down the spine of the country and it's bordered by Alps around the north, so that apart from the Po floodplain there isn't really an area where it isn't possible to create something selective if you want to. ASO doesn't have that; large parts of l'Hexagone are flat and only offer rolling hills. They do a half-decent job with Brétagne and Normandie, which offer some good possibilities for Classics hardman stages, and indeed some of the races around there can produce some very good smaller races (Plumelec, Paris-Camembert and the mighty Tro Bro Léon of course). But if you start over in the West, then there's a long way to go before you get to anything cat.2 or above; if you don't start in the West, then it's a difficult region to fit into the pacing of the route without a herculean rest day transfer. And it really doesn't help that even in those areas that do have full mountain ranges, all the places that pay to host are within about 50km of one another, leading to extremely repetitive routes.
And the race would be 19 stages in Winnen's proposal.
 
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Forever The Best said:
And the race would be 19 stages in Winnen's proposal.

Oops :D

I overlooked this. But I am open to suggestions.

Never thought about the weekends. This is the period in which I normally enjoy my holliday, so I never realized people are not happy with the weekends. Good points so far. I will improve my proposal.
 
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Valv.Piti said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Jesus wept, I'm already about ready to give up on it. Least inspiring start imaginable. An entire weekend of racing inevitably worse than week one in 2016 and the Giro's Northern Ireland start put together, followed by a Team Time Trial. The absolute dirt worst. It'd almost be better if they went out there and completely went all out to create the crappiest route of all time.
Its gonna be clockwise, Libertine. Route saved.
this is the tour. routes are likely to be unredeemable
 
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Ramon Koran said:
Just make a normal tour route, sick of seeing these parcours aimed at penalizing the strongest rider a tour route should have 100 km of tt, 5-6 hard mountain stages,7 sprint stages and a few hilly stages aimed at breakaways. None of this favoring Quintana and bardet because they can't tt, tough either they attack in the mountains regularly from a long way out or they lose the tour and it's their fault. The tour never was about climbers it was about strong riders who could tt and climb well. Finally stop putting cobbled stages and classic type stages in the tour, that's why we have the classics in the first place.

Best statement I've read in a while!!
 
First week should have some testing classic-style stages, with similar parcours to LBL/Fleche and a cobbled stage every two or three years. Add in a stage or two where there is most potential for crosswind action, the weather wont always play ball but eventually it will pay off at some point.

A mountain stage on the Sunday before the first rest day then a long, flat 50km iTT on the Tuesday afterwards. Alps on the penultimate weekend before Pyrenees in the last week. Also add in 30km hilly TT in the final week alongside three tough mountain stages (one descent finish) before the Paris stage.
 
First week - an ITT, several stages in the Alps - only one MTF, a couple of sprint stages, a hilly stage.
Second week - an ITT, several stages in the Pyrenees only one MTF as well, a couple of sprint stages, a hilly stage.
Third week - a couple of long and hard medium mountain stages, a Tro Bro Leon stage, Paris Roubaix stage, two flatter stages with high probability of echelons.
 
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Asero831 said:
have a bonifications of 3, 2 and 1 minute.
Let's see if Sagan can win the Tour.

Also you can put a 80km ITT and 30km TTT so that teams will not put many climbing domestiques.

Imagine Sagan with a 15 minute lead going into the final week.
Let's see Sky, BMC and Movistar go ballistic in every mountain stage.

There will be no more stages for the breakaway and a lot of exciting races.

Doing something like this every Ten years if it works like your vision, would be very entertaining. :D
 
A 2500 km long ITT divided in stages obv. With one stage in the middle of each week where they would have to climb Alpez d'huez 2 timesand AX3 also.
Put also a facultative flat stage on each of the rest days so that sprinters can make their thing.


Or they could show the Giro organizers how to properly design a good route. For example, not including the majority of the mountain stages in the last week.
 
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rune1107 said:
Ramon Koran said:
Just make a normal tour route, sick of seeing these parcours aimed at penalizing the strongest rider a tour route should have 100 km of tt, 5-6 hard mountain stages,7 sprint stages and a few hilly stages aimed at breakaways. None of this favoring Quintana and bardet because they can't tt, tough either they attack in the mountains regularly from a long way out or they lose the tour and it's their fault. The tour never was about climbers it was about strong riders who could tt and climb well. Finally stop putting cobbled stages and classic type stages in the tour, that's why we have the classics in the first place.

Couldn't have said it better myself. If a rider is the best then you shouldn't try to stop him just for your own entertainment. Even though i don't like the way Chris Froome and Sky are riding, I'm not b*tching about it because clearly they have figured out how to be the best. Therefore, they should be rewarded for that. Until the others catch up or think of a tactic to beat Sky, then they should be entitled to race the same kind of route that has been a formality for a long time. TT'ing has always been a part of being the best GT rider, and if the climbers don't get better at it, then too bad for them. Get back to training.

Bullseye guys. And what Ramon added about the fact that having proper hard mountain stages (200+ kms with 3 or more Cat 1/HC) means that you can have 100 kms of ITT and a balanced route.

Some other things:

Don't have the route be so backloaded. To their credit, this years TDF route is not backloaded. Let's hope that this starts a trend....

Have the most difficult MTF's BEFORE other mountain stages, therefore not encouraging riders to wait for only the MTF to attack (which is a slight problem with the Izoard placing in this years edition). Do not have an ITT immediately after a mountain stage (unless there is a rest day in-between like in this years Giro).

I don't think that cobbles should be a regular feature, but if you are going to have them every five years or so, then make it a significant selective stage when they are included.

Likewise with TTT's. Most editions shouldn't have them, but when they do, then make it seriously selective (50 kms plus). I know, people fear that this will destroy the race, but having a really long TTT will at least make teams consider their selection of riders. Oh yeah, this TTT also has to be flat. Pancake flat. So hypothetically, a team might have 7 great climbers in their squad, but by choosing all of them, they run the risk of losing multiple minutes to teams like Quick-Step in the TTT. Therefore Dumoulin - if he had a team with a bunch of strong roulers who were rubbish in the mountains - could possibly gain huge time on Froome here, but then have to deal with situations of being isolated early on these 200 + km multiple mountain (and HIGH altitude) stages.
 
• Teams reduced to 6-7 riders.
• A long ITT in the first week, like the good old days.
• A day in the cobbles, like the really old days.
• 2 rest days
• Half the days need to be shorter, by a good 20-50km.
• One mammoth queen stage in the last week.

Overall, I'm trying to make the race a bit less torturous and grueling, while keeping elements that split things up.
 
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Valv.Piti said:
yaco said:
Will add that mountain days should finish on top of the mountain - Sick of seeing riders work hard on the mountains to gain an advantage and then losing half of it on a 10 or 20 km descent.
All mountain stages should be MTFs and no time trials - they are boring! Purito, winner of 4 GTs.

Boy yaco. Descending is a big part of cycling. Descent finishes or shallow MTFs (I wouldn't even consider Aprica a MTF, IF designed properly) are often better spectacle than a simple MTF as that forces riders to go longer out which in turn means more entertainment.

You have descents on multi mountain days to show your skill - But I prefer the finish to be uphill.
 
I hate to be the bearer of bad news for the "Tours should always consist of roughly the same components and should not be altered so as to create a more exciting contest" brigade, but there's a scurrilous rumour going around that professional bike racing is an entertainment industry and most of its viewers watch it to be entertained.
 
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Zinoviev Letter said:
I hate to be the bearer of bad news for the "Tours should always consist of roughly the same components and should not be altered so as to create a more exciting contest" brigade, but there's a scurrilous rumour going around that professional bike racing is an entertainment industry and most of its viewers watch it to be entertained.
Have you seen the opening weekend proposal for the 2018 Tour de France? A DS committee of Jacky Durand, Aleksandr Vinokourov and the ghost of Frank Vandenbroucke couldn't produce a race that would entertain the most easily amused simpleton on that course. The "industry" is the more important part of that than the "entertainment". Making money is key, and entertainment just happens to be traditionally the way they have achieved that. Without the money to organize the races, they die, regardless of how entertaining they may or may not be. The number of great races that have been forced to the wall in recent years while total garbage like the Scheldeprijs survives is testament to that. Monetizing other aspects of the sport, such as selling stage finishes and intermediates, works as well of course, so they need to have an attractive proposition so those places will continue to pay up. And a lot of that comes down to the field as well - attract a good field, get a strong turnout of people who want to see the pros. The better the lineup you draw, the more interest there will be, at least in theory. The Tour will never have a problem with that for obvious reasons, but it's why races which don't always produce the goods but serve as strong warmup races or as part of an on-going mini-season can survive where isolated standalone races can suffer even if they provide good racing. Turning various locations, characteristics of the race and the Tour itself into brands in and of themselves has gone a long way for ASO, but the entertainment side of things has been sorely neglected as a way of attracting the audience in recent years.
 
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Libertine Seguros said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
I hate to be the bearer of bad news for the "Tours should always consist of roughly the same components and should not be altered so as to create a more exciting contest" brigade, but there's a scurrilous rumour going around that professional bike racing is an entertainment industry and most of its viewers watch it to be entertained.
Have you seen the opening weekend proposal for the 2018 Tour de France? A DS committee of Jacky Durand, Aleksandr Vinokourov and the ghost of Frank Vandenbroucke couldn't produce a race that would entertain the most easily amused simpleton on that course.

I thankfully have not. But the many and various problems with the ASO's conception of route design do not include their propensity to try to make it less likely that the favourite murders the race as a contest early on. That they don't want that to happen is one of the relatively few things about the ASO that I can unambiguously endorse.