Where do ASO go from here? Tour route 2018

Jan 15, 2013
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So... a Tour seemingly designed to favour good climber/demon descender/lousy TTist Romain Bardet ends up being decided entirely by 36km of TT. After a few 4+ minute blowouts in the last few years, we get a top 5 separated by barely over 3 mins, but without the unpredictability that descent finishes and small time gaps gave us in 2011. What now for ASO? Do they:

  • Hope Bardet learns to contre-la-montre? Or hope Pinot learns to TT and climb well in the same race?
  • Forget about the French, and stack on the TT km to give Dumoulin a chance
  • Go for as many Vuelta-steep climbs as they can find to force time gaps in bunch stages
  • (please) Go back to classics-style stages with cobbles/short steep climbs in week one
  • (please please please) Have plenty of medium mountain ambush-style stages where the hardest climbs are in the middle
  • Announce Quickstep as new yellow jersey sponsors and confirm 21 pan-flat stages around northern France
Thoughts?
 
Excellent OP my friend :) . It pretty much sums up the ordeal. ASO wants money, it's a business, so IMO there're some priorities, like these:
1. Make sure that the French don't s**k too bad: it's a big market, the biggest market.
2. Make sure that the Brits are happy: they bring in a lot of money. Second biggest market.
3. Too bad the Americans s^^k. Too bad, it's a big market. Skip.
4. Keep the suspense alive for as long as you can. No long ITT, PSM or Hautacam early on. TV ratings, man...TV ratings. Back loaded course.
5. Scr^w Sagan, so Slovakia cries a river and the mods work overtime.
6. Give the French haters something to chew on. No need to worry, they'll find something. Skip.

Vendee start it is, then clock-wise I assume (or it would be Pyrenees way early), yawning guaranteed in the first week except for Kittel's and Nono's fans, Sagan fans whining for some reason is pretty much guaranteed, then Mur-de-Bretagne possibly (Bretagne has been neglected as of late). Cobbles probably, on the road to the Vosges or Jura. I think.

Bardet has no choice but to be back, so if there's a long ITT, it's in the end.

ASO doesn't care about a French winner, just about a French contender deep into the race. Many don'y want Froome to win 5 as he's seen as the new Lance. My guess is that Dumoulin will like the route.
 
Alpe d'huez needs to return. It was almost a yearly part from the1980s til 2000.

Yeah I know it's an overrated climb, but the Champs is an overrated sprint, yet it's included every year and every sprinter wants to win it. Every climber wants to win the Alpe, and risks are always taken to win it. Hell, even Nairo attacks on that stage. Plus the atmosphere is unparalleled- even more than Ventoux last year. Prudhomme craps on TTs and the iconic MTFs of the last 4 decades. Luz Ardiden has been used once in his tenure. Superbagneres not used (which I think has to do with bridge conditions though). La Plagne not used. Alpe used 5 times in 12 tours. Ventoux 3 times. Granon not used.

Of course there's always great mtns that have been underused by the Tour in the past, but the ones with legendary histories usually motivate riders to win the stage and not just defend their gc position.
 
Jan 15, 2013
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perico said:
Alpe d'huez needs to return. It was almost a yearly part from the1980s til 2000.

Yeah I know it's an overrated climb, but the Champs is an overrated sprint, yet it's included every year and every sprinter wants to win it. Every climber wants to win the Alpe, and risks are always taken to win it. Hell, even Nairo attacks on that stage.
It's not very steep though. When I did it I was surprised how easy it was, being from a country where very very few climbs go over 550m, but all have irregular gradients. There's some 11% at the start but it levels out after 2km. ASO are surely thinking how to get a 'heads of state' situation (vs the whole Sky train). They need the climbs before Huez to do that.

A summit finish across the valley at Oulles would really mix it up, but it's way too small for tv/publicity.
 
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vedrafjord said:
perico said:
Alpe d'huez needs to return. It was almost a yearly part from the1980s til 2000.

Yeah I know it's an overrated climb, but the Champs is an overrated sprint, yet it's included every year and every sprinter wants to win it. Every climber wants to win the Alpe, and risks are always taken to win it. Hell, even Nairo attacks on that stage.
It's not very steep though. When I did it I was surprised how easy it was, being from a country where very very few climbs go over 550m, but all have irregular gradients. There's some 11% at the start but it levels out after 2km. ASO are surely thinking how to get a 'heads of state' situation (vs the whole Sky train). They need the climbs before Huez to do that.

A summit finish across the valley at Oulles would really mix it up, but it's way too small for tv/publicity.
I agree that it needs the climbs before it, but when you look at avg. gradient, it's still in the upper half of MTFs used in the TDF, and Froome was isolated (down to 1 teammate) both times the Tour visited it during his wins.
 
Nov 18, 2015
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Judging by how the GC was ridden I wouldn’t be surprised if it is a similar route to this year but with all the induvial time trial kilometers to happen at the end and just the short TTT for the Grand Depart. That way ASO could believe that they will have a close race again (at least with time not necessarily with GC action). Granted I don’t want to see a course of this nature soon but Prudhomme seems to like having the route attempt to hold the suspense until the final weekend by eliminating time trailing and mountain stages of a bygone era.
 
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cycleMN said:
Judging by how the GC was ridden I wouldn’t be surprised if it is a similar route to this year but with all the induvial time trial kilometers to happen at the end and just the short TTT for the Grand Depart. That way ASO could believe that they will have a close race again (at least with time not necessarily with GC action). Granted I don’t want to see a course of this nature soon but Prudhomme seems to like having the route attempt to hold the suspense until the final weekend by eliminating time trailing and mountain stages of a bygone era.
Is a TTT already confirmed for the grand depart? I'd prefer a prologue.

If the Alps are first and they want suspense deep into the race, then I doubt that Alp d'Huez will be on the menu (and I don't mind it missing for a few years). But how about a MTT in the Alps? That shouldn't disadvantage Bardet too much, and could still help to encourage Dumoulin to come so long as they have a long flat ITT on the penultimate stage.

So if it's backended then that means 3 hard pyrenees stages then? And only 1 hard Alps stage followed by a medium mountain ambush stage (or MTT before hard stage)?
 
I love a hard descent, but perhaps not the last one of the day. I don't want to see another Porte stye crash ever again. Thought he might have been dead there for a short time.

I think they should eliminate valley roads between climbs as much as possible. this killed the mountain stages this year. it should be up and down, and very very hard before the last climb. the last climb doesn't need to be anything else other than steady. no valley road, kinda hard descents and very steep on the penultimate climb i think would encourage riders to attack early.

if there is an increase in tt miles, hopefully its very technical or uphill courses.

max of 3 pan flat stages. have a couple of ____________/ stages and a few __/\/\__/\_/\/\___ stages as well.

1 cobbled stage.
 
The obvious one is an increase in the TT kms and more MTFs. They will probably keep one short mountain stage. TTT seems to be out of fashion which is a good thing and probably go for a more traditional short prologue. Sometimes finishing on a descent can be exciting but if the finish is a long way from the top of the final climb it usually ends up as a stalemate and a waste of a stage for many fans.
 
I think TdF 2017 route was very good and balanced almost every way.

Tt's should be kept like this. Maybe opening tt could be just a bit longer, not that complex or technical, not out&back either. Second one just like it was, superb.

Maybe route should take a stint or two-three days to Atlantic coast in its first half or before first rest day, to get some sidewind days to test the peloton echelon skills and open game a bit that way. Not cobbles more than 1 day like every third year as they are too risky business for a modern GT racer. then again sidewind of course is hell for a pure climbers :rolleyes:
 
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Red Rick said:
If the 35 kms of TTT are true then we can rest easy and assume they're trying their worst
There is no if for this TTT. ;)



Elected by daily newspaper L’Équipe “Most sporting town in France” on three occasions (1972, 2007 and 2014), Cholet deserves to welcome an athletic and esthetic discipline of such high level. The course of the team time-trial with a start and finish in the city center indeed offers all the aspects so that the most well prepared teams, the most meticulous ones, make the best of the day. In a first part, there will be several changes in pace that will trouble the teams in their quest for fluidity and consistency. Eventually in the last quarter of the course, a tough 800m climb will certainly become a nightmare for squads that might not have a solid enough rooster, or that might have opted for a slightly too risky strategic bet!
 
vedrafjord said:
  • Hope Bardet learns to contre-la-montre? Or hope Pinot learns to TT and climb well in the same race?
  • Forget about the French, and stack on the TT km to give Dumoulin a chance
  • Go for as many Vuelta-steep climbs as they can find to force time gaps in bunch stages
    [*](please) Go back to classics-style stages with cobbles/short steep climbs in week one
  • (please please please) Have plenty of medium mountain ambush-style stages where the hardest climbs are in the middle
  • Announce Quickstep as new yellow jersey sponsors and confirm 21 pan-flat stages around northern France
Thoughts?
Cobbles, Wind, Ribin and the steep hills of the Bretagne. Go all the way to make the race as uncontrollable as possible to eliminate the british python, that squeezes the life out of it. And also to get rid of riders who write "Take the risk or lose the chance" on their handlebars and ride like cowards. Make this a real race again, with a first weeks that stands out and rewards attackers, not teams that control the *** out of it.
 
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cellardoor said:
If there's going to be a TTT then doesn't that suggest that finding a route that favours Bardet/doesn't favour Froome is not foremost in ASO's mind?
Yes to the former, but a TTT doesn't necessarily favor Froome. It depends on who his main challengers will be. BMC / Porte could beat them.

I don't think they'll go with actual time gaps, though, as Gouvenou looooooves a close race and 35kms is awfully long by today's standards.
 
If this years Giro and Tour are anything to go by, they do not really need do insert 100 k of TT just to give Dumoulin a chance. Half of that will do, unless Froome returns to his 2013 form and if there'll be a similarily few MTF-s like it was this time. Probably a similar route like this years, maybe with one more MTF and a bit more TT-ing.
 
The ASO can do what they will. Make monster mountain stages like 1993 Serre-Sevalier-Isola 2000 (4 HC mountains including Col de la Bonette du Restefond) directly leading to next day never ending medium flat stage 1993 Isola-Marseille (287k).

It really doesn't matter as long as
- GC riders wait opening the stage until 2k from finish line.
- Radio communication totally spoiles super breakaway finales with strong classic riders.

At least we will not see endurance time trials like 1987 Samur-Futuroscope (87k). Such are only an option if the above mentioned obstacles are removed.
 

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