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HuwB

2012 Grand Tour Routes

Time of the year when rumour and speculation over the Grand Tour routes start to take more solid shape and eventually revealled.

Today's Tuttosport has an article about stage 20 of the Giro.
Confirmed by Cycling Weekly:
http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/ne...limb-into-grand-tour-history.html

Cavalese - Egna - Mezzocorona - Val Di Non - Val Di Sole - Tonale - Aprica - Tirano - Mortirolo (from Tovo) - Grosio - Bormio - Stelvio, with 1 km of sterrato after the proper pass, to finish at 2832m.

A hand made the profile from the CN forum. (The Mortirolo section is inaccurate)





So, this will be the highest ever summit finish and will continue with the recent retro trend of taking the Giro "off road".
Slapshot 3

Made this a sticky..
Boogerd_Fan

Ooof that looks a beast.. after 3 weeks of racing too... Nibs/Basso had better work on their climbing in the winter if either of them want to win Giro.
HuwB

Here is the "confirmed" and "accurate" stage route:
http://www.gazzetta.it/Giroditali...irolo-stelavio-803080302320.shtml

Biosphere

HuwB wrote:
Here is the "confirmed" and "accurate" stage route:
http://www.gazzetta.it/Giroditali...irolo-stelavio-803080302320.shtml


And the CN 'translation'

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/m...n-penultimate-day-of-giro-ditalia
Slapshot 3

That's Fantastic!!
kathy

Is it my imagination, or is there a competition now between the three GT's to find the most difficult 'decisive' last week stage?  Which usuallly turns out not to be decisive because it's too tough.  Give me a 2 or 3km cobbled twisty, narrow, 15% ascent into an old town centre any day!
Bartali

That's a beast ... I'll be surprised if it doesn't do serious damage!
Nolte

nice Smile
HuwB

Pinched:
Tuttosport confirms the rumours about stage 19...

Treviso - Alpe Di Pampeago, 184 kms



Passo Manghen, Passo Di Pampeago (the profile is not exact), Passo Lavazè and the final 4 kms of L'Alpe Di Pampeago.
Boogerd_Fan

crikey, this talk of making the Giro easier.. was that smoke & mirrors from the new bloke.. or are the other 18 stages for Cav? Very Happy
Biosphere

kathy wrote:
Is it my imagination, or is there a competition now between the three GT's to find the most difficult 'decisive' last week stage?  Which usuallly turns out not to be decisive because it's too tough.  Give me a 2 or 3km cobbled twisty, narrow, 15% ascent into an old town centre any day!


It's not your imagination

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/f...2-giro-ditalias-penultimate-stage
Boogerd_Fan

Oh well. Thats just SM's big hope for GT's of the future... getting the hump with the organizers making a course that is already obviously out of his league.

Figures.
Bartali

Poor Fuglsang ... aw diddums
Boogerd_Fan

Maybe now he understands why Bruyneel was sniggering when he made the statement "sure, you have a future, you can lead the team at the Giro" *big grin*
Biosphere

The final Wednesday of Giro 2012

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/2...l-tackle-passo-giau-in-final-week
nicedommie

looks like an intimidating final week. i wonder if contador will complain?
kathy

nicedommie wrote:
looks like an intimidating final week. i wonder if contador will complain?


Why should he comment?  He isn't going to ride the Giro next year whatever happens.
HuwB

Naf map, but I like it!
Km. 73 Passo Valparola 13 kms-6% (13%)
Km. 129,2 Passo Duran 12,2 kms-8,1% (14%)
Km. 150,1 Forcella Staulanza 12,3 kms-6,9%
Km. 169,6 Passo Giau 9,9 kms-9,3% (14%)



Vince Nibs will be smacking his lips.
Boogerd_Fan

I'm sure Nibs is looking at that descent and feeling satisfied.
Bartali

Smile I'm liking this Giro so far ....
Slapshot 3

Bartali wrote:
Smile I'm liking this Giro so far ....


You're not the only one mate!!
Guiness

Awesome. Some of these climbs are on my to do wish list.
nicedommie

kathy wrote:
nicedommie wrote:
looks like an intimidating final week. i wonder if contador will complain?


Why should he comment?  He isn't going to ride the Giro next year whatever happens.


i was being facetious!
HuwB

Dear God, if this is true and Le Tour accidentally released the details of the 2012, we are in for a really turkey:
http://www.velopeloton.com/tour-de-france-2012/
Count 'em: 14 flat stages, 3 "timed stages"....oh and the very occasional mountain.

Biosphere

Well the associated text suggests it's maybe not quiet that grim, but there's getting on for 100km of ITTing  Shocked

Wiggins to win and the Schlecks to ride the Giro  Rolling Eyes
gerry12ie

Biosphere wrote:
Well the associated text suggests it's maybe not quiet that grim, but there's getting on for 100km of ITTing  Shocked

Wiggins to win and the Schlecks to ride the Giro  Rolling Eyes


You obviously don't have enough faith in JB's patented TT 'special mix'.  Radioshack to have 6 or 7 of the top ten...
Biosphere

gerry12ie wrote:
. . .  Radioshack to have 6 or 7 of the top ten...


I can buy that, but even with 7 in the Top 10, it doesn't preclude the missing two being Frandy Wink
Slapshot 3

That's CRAP, what are they thinking?? Wiggo for the tour??
Boogerd_Fan

Good god i hope not

when Team Sky announced they would have a tour winner in 5 years, apart from officially announce they would try to win it with Wiggo, did they also unofficially bung Prudhomme a few million quid to make such a TT flavoured route?

Can't help but think that Cav is in the mix too.. maybe some extra cash floating around to make sure there is a lot of sprints with the rainbow jersey on show as the spectacle for sprint finishes reaches a peak for this generation of riders?
nicedommie

it looks like the velopeleton site is down. you can still find it at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/...route-is-accidentally-leaked.html

much as i'm happy to see Cav win 8 stages, and Wiggins win overall ... this does look ... frankly ... dull
Nolte

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
Good god i hope not

when Team Sky announced they would have a tour winner in 5 years, apart from officially announce they would try to win it with Wiggo, did they also unofficially bung Prudhomme a few million quid to make such a TT flavoured route?


maybe they have an incriminating photo of Prudhomme

that's an appalling route. i hope the ASO are just toying with people posting it "by mistake" and in fact it's only resemblance to the real route is that they are places in it and length's in kilometers

maybe television rights in the UK are currently being renegotiated and are due to be finished before it's officially presentation?
HuwB

Seems the Giro route was another cat let out of the bag, today.
This one has slightly more claws...............but not too many:
05-05 1. Herning - Herning (8,7 km, tijdrit= time trial)
06-05 2. Herning - Herning (206 km)
07-05 3. Horsens - Horsens (190km)
08-05 rustdag
09-05 4. Verona - Verona 32,3 km (ploegentijdrit=team time trial)
10-05 5. Modena - Fano 199km
11-05 6. Urbino - Porto Sant'Elpidio (207 km)
12-05 7. Recanati - Rocca di Cambio (202 km)
13-05 8. Sulmona - Lago Laceno (229 km)
14-05 9. San Giorgio nel Sannio - Frosinone (171 km)
15-05 10. Citavecchi - Assisi (187 km)
16-05 11. Assisi - Montecatini Terme (243 km)
17-05 12. Seravezza - Sestri Levante (157 km)
18-05 13. Savona - Cervere (121 km)
19-05 14. Cherasco - Cervinia (205 km)
20-05 15. Busto Arsizio - Lecco/Pian dei Resinelli (172 km)
21-05 rustdag
22-05 16. Limone del Garda-Pfalzen (Oos) (174 km)
23-05 17. Pfalzen (Oos)-Cortina d'Ampezzo (187 km)
24-05 18. San Vito Cadore-Vedelago (139 km)
25-05 19. Treviso - Alpe di Pampeago (197 km)
26-05 20. Val di Sole - Passo Stelvio (218 km)
27-05 21. Milano-Milano (31,5 km)
MTFs
Rocca di Cambio: http://cyclingcols.com/asp/colframe.asp?cl=1486
Lago Laceno: http://www.climbbybike.com/profil...o-Lago-Laceno&MountainID=3850
Cervinia: http://cyclingcols.com/asp/colframe.asp?cl=158
Pian dei Resinelli: http://climbbybike.com/profile.as...dei-Resinelli&MountainID=3251
Alpe di Pampeago: http://cyclingcols.com/asp/colframe.asp?cl=365
Stelvio: http://cyclingcols.com/profiles/StelvioS.gif
Bartali

With all this talk of Wiggins ... I bet Froome is pretty pissed off!!!  Best GT man on the team - and a GB rider - and he doesn't get a mention in the media reports ....
Boogerd_Fan

ahh so the Giro was announced today?

Makes me think this bogus ASO is a trick to steal some publicity from the Italians.
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
With all this talk of Wiggins ... I bet Froome is pretty pissed off!!!  Best GT man on the team - and a GB rider - and he doesn't get a mention in the media reports ....


To be fair, though, Wiggo's early exploits also went pretty unreported and he had 6 Olympic medals in his locker before he became a household name. (I was surprised to read that no-one else has more Olympic gongs for GB than Wiggo, and only Sir Steve has as many.)

If Froome had actually won the Vuelta then I think things would be different, but the GB media's view that there is the Tour de France, OGs and WCs and a whole host of "other" cycling events will take some shifting. Froome did get a very favourable write-up in the "quality" papers for his work on behalf of Cav in the WCs.

An alternative view is that prior to the Vuelta, Froome was facing potential unemployment, so he might not be that unhappy in the grand scheme of things. He's several years younger than Wiggo, and is set to eventually inherit the role of GT GC man for a major team (maybe Sky; maybe another team), if he can replicate his Vuelta form in the future.
Bartali

Wiggins' exploits were unreported ... but not if the conversation was about 4000m Pursuit.  Here we have the cycling press (i'm not talking about general media) bigging up Wiggins as a TdF winner while the best GB GT GC rider of the modern era goes unmentioned.  Seems bizzare to me - even by UK media standards.

Perhaps everyone thinks Froome was ... err 'lucky'!
Boogerd_Fan

Can they get all excited about a Kenyan born Brit?
Biosphere

The Wiggin's vs. Froome debate is a microcosm of the Tour vs Giro. Both routes leaked at the same time and nary a mention of one of them while the other gets headlines in The Telegraph.

For most of it I've got to get my atlas out, but I can do the transfer between 12 and 13 (Sestri Levante to Savona) in my head and that's a  2.5 hour train ride, so either it's an atypical one or they're still not getting that element under control. I'll presume it's atypical since they made a song and dance about the transfers.
Bartali

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
Can they get all excited about a Kenyan born Brit?
nah ... its all about the Belgium born Brit!! Shocked
Fontfroide

I can't help but remember a few complaints about the 2011 route and it turned out pretty well actually.

As usual, however much I am going to miss mtf (my favourite bit by far), I figure if the lads want to race, and their bosses agree, we will have a race.  Anyway, I am also waiting to see the actual finishes of the other stages.  As long as something is happening and there are a few surprises, who cares what we think now.  The riders (under orders) make the race, always and ever.  I have to admit that sometimes the "wait until the lst five k and then race" attitude in the mountains has begun to be a trifle boring.  But we had some variation in the Tour this year.

I should add that I love to hear all the discussion, as through it, I learn what the stages are like.  Assuming the leak is accurate of course.
SlowRower

Bart - I guess it boils down to the typical response to Froome and the Vuelta being "Who?" And "What?"

If Froome features prominently in a race that is well known to the mainstream British audience then he will get airtime, just as Wiggo, Cav, Thomas, Millar, Sir Chris, Vicky P, Romero, Pooley, Cooke (not in any order of priority and probably missing some worthy names) do.

I suspect that him having gone from an absolute nobody to Britain's best ever (in terms of proximity to winner) GT rider practically overnight doesn't help. He hasn't featured as a promising youngster or a much hyped under-deliverer in order to build up a media profile.

It also doesn't help that he's got a southern African accent, I'd venture.

In an ideal world, he'd get much more coverage, but there's not much fairness in these things. See how much coverage Chrissie Wellington. In fact, her media profile relative to Helen Jenkins is very significant. Jenkins is world champ at Olympic distance triathlon and gets a lot of coverage in the triathlon media, with Wellington the long time #1 at world level in Ironman triathlon.

It's not unreasonable to conclude that it's prominence in high profile sports (which in the UK is footy, cricket, tennis, rugby, horses, cars and Olympic events in general) that is the basis of a decent media profile.
Bartali

FF - I'd be surprised if this TdF isn't finished as a spectacle before the Alps.
Fontfroide

Well Bart, you often know more than me.
What is your sense of what will happen then?

I have trouble figuring it out just now as I really don't know what the finishes and even the nature of the route of the flat stages is.  Really flat, not so flat, not so flat with a hill at the end, etc.  I am a bit annoyed that there are only two mtfs, there is no getting around it.  I find it incredible that they even dare to do that.  In fact, I have a hard time even believing it.
Boogerd_Fan

FF
Just look at the route (if its real… meh) - in true SM style:

Prologue – Schleck is 90 seconds back on Wiggins, Evans even Martin & Canc..
1st TT of 40km – Scheck is 4 minutes back on Wiggins, Evans, Martin & Canc.
2x mountains – Evans 2 mins ahead of Wiggins, 5 ahead of Martin, level with Schleck.
2x mountains – Evans 2 mins ahead of Schleck, Wiggins….. 10 mins Martin
2nd TT of 60km – Evans by a country mile. Wiggins podiums, Sanchez, Menchov and some surprise like even Bruseghin-type top 10 rider, who makes most of 100km against the clock.
Bartali

Yup ... that's about it.
Fontfroide

I WAS hoping that there might be something else that happens, maybe a break, maybe a few hilly finishes that don't seem to be anything on the route but might make differences … Anyway, I like your scenario building, very creative.  I also hope you are dead wrong.  I still do find it rather odd (British understatement) that they only have two mountaintop finishes.  And during the unveiling, I will read attentively what they say is behind their choice of route and attentively search for something about other finishes that I don't know about since I don't know the route in that much detail.  I just don't get it.

I will still watch though.  And still get excited for as long as I can manage it.  This year was good, you gotta admit.
Boogerd_Fan

Indeed, this year wsa good..... and after a couple of years having a Tour built around supposedly the chance to win in the Mountains (on Tourmalet in 2010; on Galibier in 2011) I assume that they are respecting the need to have an “easier” route year. One that could open the door to riders even like Hesjedal, Martin, Wiggins.. and makes Sanchez or Menchov not just making up the numbers but among the race favourites.

As a Schleck fan, I’m a bit pissed. But at the same time, don’t have sympathy for his fannying about in the last 3 years when with better tactics he could’ve already won the thing when the parcours was in his favour. There are OTHER riders out there. And this Tour favours some of them.

Bruyneel had better get Andy & Frank on the juice right now, otherwise they might not even make top 5 Very Happy

From my own point of view, as Rabo rely on Gesink in the Tour. We’re pretty much screwed. So I hope he’ll head to the Giro or Vuelta, get some decent results in the Ardennes, and not bother with this. He has no chance. 2012 TDF is a write off already!
Fontfroide

Actually you make a good point there Boogie, and to be totally honest, I never thought of it before.  The parcours WILL probably favour some riders other than the good climbers.  Might even favour a rouleur with a good team.  And yes, when you think about it abstractly, it is not such a terrible idea to have someone win the Tour who is not a great climber.  But they would have to be a pretty good one and do the TT like the wind.  Like Wiggo and others you mention.  So maybe it won't be that bad after all.  Although, witness the Tour of China or other medium races, it is a bit less than exciting to see a TT guy win a Tour.

Hey, I say I am into surprises, this route is a surprise.  I just hope it is not a bad surprise.  Vive le Tour.
Boogerd_Fan

The amount of TT pretenders who usually talk the talk, then get spat out on the first MTF... if (and its a big IF) they are all fit and racing, then it should still be quite a close race for 5-6 riders - not just a Menchov Wiggo slugfest etc..

The big disadvantage is to the Schlecks, what is kind of weird, considering how loved they are in France - you'd think Prudhomme would be doing what he could to keep them in the running.... but there ya go. Maybe this will be a way to excuse the route in 2013 for containing < 20km ITT Very Happy just for Frandy. Very Happy Very Happy
Bartali

Fontfroide wrote:
And yes, when you think about it abstractly, it is not such a terrible idea to have someone win the Tour who is not a great climber.
 Sorry, but this has got me on an old hobbyhorse of mine.  Just howmany times in the last 30 years has the TdF not been won by one of the very very best ITT men in the world.  It's never been a race for climbers ... Pantani, Sastre, Delgado ... that's about it.  Hinault, Indurain, LA, Contador and even Evans weren't just good against the clock, they were pretty much the very best.  Easy to think of Contador as a climber, but don't forget he's blown Cancelara away in a Tour ITT.  From what we can tell, the 2012 route is just taking the piss in this department!
Biosphere

An overview of next years Giro. Maybe following the Tour template of the TUE years with a flat first week before anything serious takes place?

Bartali

HuwB

So, who decided to make the Giro a mirror image of the last couple of Tours?
Effectively, a one week race.
All the profile details of this steaming turd can be found, here:

http://www.gazzetta.it/Speciali/Giroditalia/2012/en/index.shtml

Makes Zomegnan look like a visionary.
Bartali

He was a visionary!!!
Slapshot 3

Bland week or so but wide open if someone wanted a crack at the Giro and The Tour.....
Slapshot 3

Ivan Basso.....just too cool for socks!!




Hi Res on Pez
Fontfroide

Bartali wrote:
Sorry, but this has got me on an old hobbyhorse of mine.  Just howmany times in the last 30 years has the TdF not been won by one of the very very best ITT men in the world.  It's never been a race for climbers ... Pantani, Sastre, Delgado ... that's about it.  Hinault, Indurain, LA, Contador and even Evans weren't just good against the clock, they were pretty much the very best.  Easy to think of Contador as a climber, but don't forget he's blown Cancelara away in a Tour ITT.  From what we can tell, the 2012 route is just taking the piss in this department!


And this is a hobby horse of mine.  Its funny that label of a "climber".  I could never figure out why riders like Armstrong were not considered a climber, having seen them ride away from groups including "climbers" on a climb.  Hinault, Lemond, Fignon, Contador, Evans, they can all climb, they beat climbers on a climb when necessary.  However to win a Tour you also have to do a ITT.  So I would look at the Tour and claim that most of the winners were among the best ITT and climbers.  Once in a while there is a Delgado or Pantani who can't TT very well, but climb extra well.  Maybe drop a not quite so superb climber.  I mean any of the Tour winners could drop many a climber, except the very top climbers.  Even them sometimes.  So I think of the Tour winners, with exceptions, as being both climbers and ITT guys of some exceedingly high calibre.  

I could be wrong.  I am not sure what I can do with all the podiums, but I think that all the winners have been climbers since I have been following it.  Maybe not the very best climber, but among the ten best.
Boogerd_Fan

FF – the disappointing thing is that your criteria for “good climbers” also includes dudes like Rumsas, who managed to podium in 2003/4??? For being a decent TTer and (while totally juiced) a consistent climber!

I’m pretty sure that’s why we regard Pantani, and the ilk as pure climbers. Spritely fellas with less than 60kg who dance up climbs like they have wings.

For the non-pure climbers like you mentioned – they are not so fluent or “natural” up a climb. Even the Armstrongs of this world, have a scientific approach to climbing based on watts and power output. Such an approach is mostly observed in Wiggo, who treats every mountain like a TT. They are effective climbers based on their training and power/watts. But they are not what most people would class as a real climber.
SlowRower

Isn't it as simple as there are riders who are naturally suited to TTs, others naturally suited to climbing and those that are good enough at both to win GTs?

It is odd that "one trick ponies" in the sprinting and TT disciplines are often derided for just having excellence in the one field whereas ponies whose single trick is climbing are often elevated to some higher plane with references to "real" and "pure" and favourable views of their deeds, even if they ultimately chuck it all away with a cr*p TT.

Wiggo picks up criticism for tackling climbs as though they are TTs. Surely this is a good thing, in that he brings the talents he has - TTing and a huge engine - to a new discipline, rather than sticking to what he has traditionally done. A whole generation of young pursuiters will now be inspired to think they can compete in GTs, which has to be a good thing, surely?

If a "pure" climber learned how to TT more effectively then - doping issues aside - they would surely be praised for their improvements, even if they tackled TTs like climbs.
Bartali

Fontfroide wrote:
I could be wrong.  I am not sure what I can do with all the podiums, but I think that all the winners have been climbers since I have been following it.  Maybe not the very best climber, but among the ten best.


I'm sorry, but I just don't think this is right.  of course all the winners, including Pantani and Sastre, have both sets of skills, and above all else they have the stamina to ride a three week tour.  But by no stretch of the imagination would you call (say) Indurain or Hinault a climber.  These guys - like Armstrong, Contador, Lemond, etc - weren't just top 10 ITT men, they were right at the top of the tree.  But on a climb they were always in the mix - day after day - week after week - but they weren't climbers.  Millar, Fuente, Heres, Herrera, Van Impe, Bahamontes, Bartali, Mozzy .... these are climbers.

Of course none of this matters if the parcours is varied.  But on a course like we seem to have for 2012, then the climbers might as well go home.  This is a course for the likes of a younger Millar, Martin and Evans.

SR - if you don't get the difference between a one trick ITT man and a one trick climber, then I'm afraid I can't explain it to you.  Nevertheless, I'm sure you will have great fun stood by the A1 watching the TT men suck the lorries on their 'trick' bikes in search of a few seconds.  If only the BLRC hadn't introduced the foreign concept of mass start racing we'd all be a lot better off.  Umm ... uncle Gino would be turning in his grave.
Fontfroide

I think I do understand what you mean.  And I think I might agree.  

It does bother my that a climber is not merely someone who can climb a hill as fast or faster than anyone else.  It seems silly not to call a guy who can get to the top of a huge hill first NOT a climber.  Especially when he beats guys who are called climbers to the top.

Anyway, certainly not worth a big debate, just one of my little hobby horses.  A rather uninteresting one, I admit.
Bartali

But Indurain, Hinault etc didn't make a habit of getting to the top of the climbs first ... especially if they reached the bottom at the same time as the pure climbers.

LA is a little different because of the race tactics employed by Disco/Postal.
Slapshot 3

Tour route confirmed....bollox!!

Prologue Jun 30, 2012 Liège (ITT) 6.1km
Stage 1 Jul 1, 2012 Liège - Seraing 198km
Stage 2 Jul 2, 2012 Visé - Tournai 207km
Stage 3 Jul 3, 2012 Orchies - Boulogne-sur-Mer 197km
Stage 4 Jul 4, 2012 Abbeville - Rouen 214km
Stage 5 Jul 5, 2012 Rouen - Saint-Quentin 197km
Stage 6 Jul 6, 2012 Épernay - Metz 210km
Stage 7 Jul 7, 2012 Tomblaine - La Planche des Belles Filles 199km
Stage 8 Jul 8, 2012 Belfort - Porrentruy 154km
Stage 9 Jul 9, 2012 Arc-et-Senans - Besançon (ITT) 38km
Rest Day 1 Jul 10, 2012
Stage 10 Jul 11, 2012 Mâcon - Bellegarde-sur-Valserine 194km
Stage 11 Jul 12, 2012 Albertville - La Toussuire - Les Sybelles 140km
Stage 12 Jul 13, 2012 Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - Annonay Davézieux 220km
Stage 13 Jul 14, 2012 Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux - Le Cap d’Agde 215km
Stage 14 Jul 15, 2012 Limoux - Foix 192km
Stage 15 Jul 16, 2012 Samatan - Pau 160km
Rest Day 2 Jul 17, 2012
Stage 16 Jul 18, 2012 Pau - Bagnères-de-Luchon 197km
Stage 17 Jul 19, 2012 Bagnères-de-Luchon - Peyragudes 144km
Stage 18 Jul 20, 2012 Blagnac - Brive-la-Gaillarde 215km
Stage 19 Jul 21, 2012 Bonneval - Chartres (ITT) 52km
Stage 20 Jul 22, 2012 Rambouillet - Paris Champs-Élysées 130km

Apart from the crap route, not only did my mate get a stage start 15km from home in Cugnaux this year.......It's down to 3 sodding KM this year in Blagnac!!!!! He's just had a Jammy Barsteward message left on the answering machine!!
Boogerd_Fan

Paraphrasing Bertie:
at least it means there can't be any fannying about on the climbs this year

Smile

Evans, Wiggo and a surprise 3rd place (assuming Bertie doesnt ride).

Knowing how many weak pussies are running the sport and the doping sanctions, we can expect Bertie to be there and to ride away from all and sundry on his "no really its not revenge, revenge mission".

Schlecks quietly crying in the corner... see ya in 2013 maybe.
Bartali

Nah ... the Schlecks will be able to TT by next July!!
HuwB

Giro=


Tour=


They took the Grand bit out for 2012.
Boogerd_Fan

I dont know HUw, that turd is far too hilly to be a fair representation of the route.
berck

Bartali wrote:
Nah ... the Schlecks will be able to TT by next July!!


Yep, JB will be working his magic with them in the wind tunnels. Wink
Fontfroide

"Just how many times in the last 30 years has the TdF not been won by one of the very very best ITT men in the world.  It's never been a race for climbers ... Pantani, Sastre, Delgado ... that's about it.  Hinault, Indurain, LA, Contador and even Evans weren't just good against the clock, they were pretty much the very best."


Actually I was going to carry on the argument a bit.  I looked up all the winners for thirty years.  I found it impossible to carry on the argument.  I wanted to say something and still do, but I am simply stopped in my tracks by the complexity.  I am sure that the guys who won, Hinault, Fignon, LeMond, Roche, Delgado, Indurain, Riis, Ullrich, Pantani, Armstrong, Pereiro, Contador, Sastre, Evans could all climb very well.  On the other hand, there were always other riders, at the same time, who could win a MTF, either by climbing better or because no one cared that much if they won on a given day.  Or that the Tour winner gave the victory to the guy who rode up with him. Looking up the second place or the time gap in each mountain stage was going to be a nightmare.  I can't remember all the stages myself.  So I am not sure I can prove, even casually, without loads of work, that those guys were never less than among the top ten climbers.  On the other hand, I think I could prove that several of them, already mentioned by you as exceptions, were NOT among the best ITT guys.  And in the end, I think you are right.  To win the Tour you pretty much, unless it is an exception, had to be able to ITT well, very well, or very very well.  I guess I always thought that was normal for the tour, what they meant it to be.  You also have to be able to climb very well, or very very well.  As to who is a "climber" and who can merely keep up with the climbers or lose a little time on the climbers, I got stumped.  I guess climbers are guys who climb very well or very very well, but can't time trial very well.  

I think that means you are right.  To win the Tour you have to BOTH time trial well and climb well.  Except for Pantani and Delgado and I am not sure what you do with Pereiro and Riis.  One day I will look up all the mountain stage wins for all these guys and come out of nowhere with an answer.  But don't hold your breath.
SlowRower

We could dig a bit deeper as to TT performance levels as well. Whilst on his day, Berto is one of the best TTers in the world, he doesn't routinely perform at this level in the Tour.

For example, his Tour wins in 2007 and 2010 weren't particular based on TT superiority. Of the 2010 podium, Berto beat Menchov via climbing and matched/beat Schleck via TTing. Whilst he was the best TTer in 2009 he was also the best climber, so this doesn't really help the analysis much.

If we define a "climber" to be someone who can climb well but can't TT well, but allow good climbers into the "TTer" category then obviously the Tour favours the "TTer" category. If you think of the pure TT merchants over the last few years - Cancellara, Martin, Grabsh, Millar etc. - then they do far worse than the pure climbers. Any pure climber who can match the GC contenders in the hills will lose at most 10 minutes via TTs, whereas a TTer can lose hours in the hills.

I think we also need to look at the climbers' performances over the whole race. Whilst Indurain and Armstrong lost time on individual climbs to "climbers", overall they were very consistent in the mountains. I guess being a GC contender forces conservatism, though when the mood struck them, Mig and Lance could dish it out to the "climbers" in no undertain fashion and ultimately, the best climber surely has to be the one who is fastest when it really counts even if they are good TTers!

Maybe the conclusion should be that being a top class pure climber guarantees you a competitive overall finish but no more against the almost equally fast climbing impure climbers. Amongst the fast impure climbers, TT capability often becomes the determining factor. Being a top TTer only guarantees you good results in the TT stages.
gerry12ie

While the Tour route at face value appears to be sterile it will probably bring quite a few more riders into the frame, and as a result change team tactics.  EBH, Danielson, Phinney, Porte, Velits, Peraud, Monfort, Fuglsang, Vandevelde can all put in a decent test and can hang about on all but the stiffest climbs.  It may end up being a very conservative race (usually is) but I can't thing of too many stages that were as over-hyped and ultimately dull as Ventoux in 2009 or the Galibier last year.  Either way, the chances of a 'pure' TTer winning it are as remote as a 'pure' climber.
SlowRower

gerry12ie wrote:
the Galibier last year.


Do you mean the Tourmalet last year or the Galibier this year?

The Tourmalet was disappointing, but that was due to Schleck's unwillingness to risk everthing for overall victory. If he'd done some repeated big attacks in an attempt to get Bert to give up then he might have achieved this, cracked himself or blown him and Bert up, allowing someone to come through at the end and steal the stage and maybe the whole race. All of these scenarios would have been very exciting. There's not much the organisers can do if someone is prepared to accept 2nd place in the whole race with 5k to go on the final MTF.

The Galibier this year was fascinating, but not in a flashy way. Evans' ride was stunning (taking two minutes out of Andy and riding Bert off the bunch in a solo effort doesn't happen very often!) though much less visually impressive than an ultimately unsuccessful "fly and die".
gerry12ie

My bad - Tourmalet 2010
Boogerd_Fan

gerry12ie wrote:
While the Tour route at face value appears to be sterile it will probably bring quite a few more riders into the frame, and as a result change team tactics.  EBH, Danielson, Phinney, Porte, Velits, Peraud, Monfort, Fuglsang, Vandevelde can all put in a decent test and can hang about on all but the stiffest climbs.  It may end up being a very conservative race (usually is) but I can't thing of too many stages that were as over-hyped and ultimately dull as Ventoux in 2009 or the Galibier last year.  Either way, the chances of a 'pure' TTer winning it are as remote as a 'pure' climber.


I am interested on the impact of the Jurra Mountains to this mix then. Save for Prudhomme's blurb, reading the comments on the TDF website, there a few medium hill finishes with a stiff gradient... like can a <5km climb @ 10%+ do the same damage as a 25km alphine summit? And there are a couple in the +15% category... if that forces a selection, then at least on these hilly days, the run into the finish, is a lot closer than the 30-50km seen in the "neutralized" mountain stages of the last 2 years. Hello Nibali. Welcome to the Tour.

I'm thinking guys like Schleck, Sanchez and a few others, will be looking to burn off Evans or the guys you mentioned above early on before the Alps start. A rider like Wiggo or Velits is going to give it his all if he's in 1st-5th by that point (i'm thining the prologue is his to lose); whereas if he loses a minute a day in the Jura, and be 2-3 mins down by the real high mountains he's not going to give less to the cause as he's out of the picture.

Actually scrap that. For a Schleck to win the Tour, they simply have to attack and make it stick, rather than sit up after a 20 second dig. I'm pretty sure Bruyneel will have given Andy a good talking to, so that his "after you, Sir" attitude is a thing of the past.

Still have to consider team strength, despite the ability against the clock, will Sky or BMC have enough numbers (and not too many objectives) to counter the Shack train. O Grady and Voigt rode themselves into the gound in 2011, but how mouth watering is the prospect of having Monfort, Kloeden and a few other goats powering away even on the lower slopes of the climbs!
Biosphere

I'm not too disappointed with the route now that it's out properly. To my mind only two MTFs were contested by the favourites last year so if the increase in ITTing forces the climbers to be aggressive at every opportunity and contest all 3 MTFs and anything else that comes their way, then it might not play out too bad as a spectacle.

I like the potential broadening of the contenders list too. The Schleck vs. whoever beats him narrative is getting a bit boring to me and his whining at this years Tour and his subsequent journey to the dark side means I'd rather see other protagonists emerge.

Wait and see I guess, we'll all still watch it whether we're grumbling about it or not.
Fontfroide

I like your last sentence.
Bartali

Where are the profiles?  Other than the etape(s) I've see didly squat!

SR - I assume you are signing up for the Etape II - 200km and 5000+ climbing?
Biosphere

Bartali wrote:
Where are the profiles?  Other than the etape(s) I've see didly squat!

SR - I assume you are signing up for the Etape II - 200km and 5000+ climbing?


They're all on the Tour web page. Click the red arrow to the right of the stage summary to bring up the details.
HuwB

Or, now they are here, in their ridiculously inflated scale:



Le Tour de France 2012 comportera un total de 25 cols ou côtes et arrivées en altitude classés en deuxième, première ou hors catégorie. Leur répartition géographique sera la suivante :

   1 dans les Vosges
   3 dans le Jura
   4 dans le Jura suisse
   6 dans les Alpes
   11 dans les Pyrénées

Lors des trois dernières éditions, le total était le suivant : 21 en 2009, 25 en 2010 et 23 en 2011




It ain't about the quantity, but the quality, Mr Prudhomme.
When he talks excitedly about 60 metres of +20% gradient, you just know he just clutching at Italian and Spanish straws.
(but it may not be as bad as my first impression)
Bartali

Interesting!  Stage 14 could well produce a time.  The Peguere is viciously steep - 20% for about 3km ... probably a bit far from home though.
Bartali

Stage 17 is a lovely route and could cause damage if the attacks go out on the Bales which could be too steep and too long for Martin and Wiggo
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
SR - if you don't get the difference between a one trick ITT man and a one trick climber, then I'm afraid I can't explain it to you.  Nevertheless, I'm sure you will have great fun stood by the A1 watching the TT men...


I get it now - I think. The reference to watching was the key. I was thinking in terms of ability and worthiness as a rider. To me, the best "one-trickers" in TTs, sprints and climbing - Martin, Cav and Rodrigues (other contenders on the climbing front as well, potentially) - are all just as good and worthy, but completely different in terms of physiology and the level of entertainment they provide. (Actually, if I'm honest, Martin and Cav are better at what they do than the best current one-trick climber.)

You get the same mismatch between worth to the performance and entertainment value in other sports. For many top footy teams, the first name on the teamsheet is the "holding" midfield player, even if their role is essentially a negative, dull one. Similarly, in England's WC winning rugby team, popular attention was on Wilkinson and Jason Robinson as they were the most likely source of points, but all the players said Richard Hill - who was very rarely particularly visible - was the most important player in the team.
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
SR - I assume you are signing up for the Etape II - 200km and 5000+ climbing?


Tempting, but numerous logisitical issues make the Marmotte the best option, not least of which is Mrs SR's conversion to being a Sportiviste and the consequent requirement for someone willing to look after the Little Rowers whilst we're both on tour! As the Marmotte is easily drivable, this minimises the time away from home and the resulting debt to grandparents for Little Rower duties.

Tim is doing the Marmotte as well, and I won't be able to beat him (or at least give it a good shot) if I'm doing a different event...Smile
Fontfroide

SR,
I never really understood "one trick pony" either, especially as correctly applied to particular riders.  Not sure I do even now.  I knew it was a bad thing though.
SlowRower

Fontfroide wrote:
SR,
I never really understood one trick pony either, especially as applied to particular riders.  Not sure I do even now.  I new it was a bad thing though.


In my terminology, a one-trick pony is someone who is only good at one distinct aspect of cycling.

As far as I can deduce, being a one-trick pony is bad if either:
i) The one trick is time-trialling or sprinting; or
ii) The pony is called Lance, in which case winning the Tour several years in a row is classified as a single trick and is thus bad. That Merckx fella must have been really bad, as all he could do was ride a bike. Smile

One-trick TTers and sprinters can combine into a "black hole" of breached cycling etiquette if one of the former offers himself in service of one of the latter on a sprint stage. If they rode for a team that employs a German ex-rider who wasn't a one-trick pony then sins are further compounded. It's very confusing at times, though I'm sure we can agree that it would be even worse if they wore black socks...Smile
Bartali

I thought I'd have a look at my cycling books for an explanation.  Now lets see ... I've got 'Mythical Time-trials', 'Time-trialling: its soul, its heros and its legends', 'Flat:  The Time-trials of the Tour de France', 'Tour Time-trials: The complete guide to to every Tour de France time-trial' etc etc etc. No ... that's a parallel universe where time-trialling is interesting! Wink
maffy

Bartali wrote:
I thought I'd have a look at my cycling books for an explanation.  Now lets see ... I've got 'Mythical Time-trials', 'Time-trialling: its soul, its heros and its legends', 'Flat:  The Time-trials of the Tour de France', 'Tour Time-trials: The complete guide to to every Tour de France time-trial' etc etc etc. No ... that's a parallel universe where time-trialling is interesting! Wink


dude! you've got a copy of alpaca:the fascinating times? go on, gizza lend.
Fontfroide

Now that would be a good topic for a surprise quiz in a cycling coach programme.  "Time trialling is interesting.  Discuss"

I would tell a story of watching a Midi Libre Time trial just outside Montpellier with my wife, a copy of L'Equipe and a stop watch.  Kept us going all afternoon.  Or the time I stayed on Lake Vassiviere with three buddies, having a picnic and watching every rider practically, come down the same slight incline and around a slight curve.  All afternoon.

But watching one on TV is not much fun.  They are in charge of the picture.  Much rather watch a mountain stage or a bunch of replays of sprint finish.

Live, with pals, yes, a TT is great.  Especially if you have a radio or TV for the end results.
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
I thought I'd have a look at my cycling books for an explanation.  Now lets see ... I've got 'Mythical Time-trials', 'Time-trialling: its soul, its heros and its legends', 'Flat:  The Time-trials of the Tour de France', 'Tour Time-trials: The complete guide to to every Tour de France time-trial' etc etc etc. No ... that's a parallel universe where time-trialling is interesting! Wink


Have you been acting as adviser to the Schlecks as to how they should prepare for the Tour? They appear to have a similarly casual disregard for the "Race of Truth". Smile

I wouldn't deny that watching TTs isn't everyone's cup of tea. With apologies to Uncle Gino for disturbing his eternal slumber, it's hard to see, though, how grinding through 50k on the flat in an hour with Teutonic efficiency is less merit-worthy as an athletic performance than dancing up Alpe D'Huez in 38 minutes with Pantani-like panache.

As an analogy, I'm sure no-one would deny that watching someone doing their fifth gold run in Blockbusters is more exciting than watching Garry Kasparov execute a "checkmate", but equally, no-one would say Comrade Kasparov wasn't up there as one of the best exponents of his chosen discipline. Of course, we'd all have more respect for him if he'd come up with a more catchy one-liner than "I'll have a 'P' please, Bob" (apologies to anyone not familiar with this piece of 1980s TV history), so I'll admit he was a bit one-dimensional.

I'm biased though. I like watching TTs. I blame my rowing background. TTs are a feast of excitement compared to most rowing races!
Boogerd_Fan

No-one mentioned Lemond vs. Fignon yet?
I'd say time trials can be interesting, but they must be short and with equality (i mean Martin vs. Cancellara is a good battle... Evans vs. Schleck is a foregone conclusion).
Fontfroide

Too bad they can't have a delayed action side by side comparison of two riders going over the exact same terrain, with time gaps showing.  Especially since once in a while, there are pairs of riders who are of great interest.  Like the pairs that might be duking it out for first place in the TT.  Like the pairs who might be duking it out for the GC.  That would turn ITTs into a mano a mano struggle that might be more interesting.   They could have the time delay that some TT guys has to make up on a climber guy, so we could see when they are even on GC.  those who need instant results could get them on their computer.

They have the technology to make it interesting.  What they do now, which is to focus on various people they think are important, switching almost randomly between riders, and sometimes missing good riders entirely, who suddenly turn up with the second best time.  

I do agree that unless one is live on the spot, ITTs make for viewing that could be more interesting.
SlowRower

FF,

In the WC ITT, the riders had GPS trackers on them/their bikes, so that at any point in time, the producer could show how several other riders were doing at the same point relative to the leader.

Great in theory, except the reported time-gaps via GPS were clearly unreliable, as they were fluctuating quite dramatically at times and inconsistent with the proper intermediate times. I imagine the technology will improve though. Instantaneous measures via non-military GPS devices are notoriously dodgy. I've been clocked cycling at over 100mph and running at 3 minute mile pace by mine...

I remember the final TT in the 2007 Tour (Bert/Evans/Levi) was very compelling as the virtual positions on the road were very close. Nothing like the 1989 Tour with LeMond and Fignon, though for drama.
Bartali

SlowRower wrote:
I remember the final TT in the 2007 Tour (Bert/Evans/Levi) was very compelling as the virtual positions on the road were very close. Nothing like the 1989 Tour with LeMond and Fignon, though for drama.


I think this says it all.  There was a good one 4 years ago ... and another one  18 years before that!  Shocked

Wink
Fontfroide

You forgot the one where i hung out with my pals at Lake Vassiviere and had a delightful afternoon.  I still say they are pretty boring for a TV spectator, and in fact, quite annoying.  But for live viewing they are just fine.  Much more interesting live than any flat stage ever invented.

But boring for TV for sure.

I am sure they could do something with the technology if the Tv watchers would be happy to find out the real result some minutes after the actual finish.  In a few years, when the technology evolves.
gerry12ie

Apparently, this road is on the cards for Stage 2.  Disgraceful


Link
berck

gerry12ie wrote:
Apparently, this road is on the cards for Stage 2.  Disgraceful


Link


Good thing the road didn't include any roundabouts, or it would really be dangerous! Wink
Beasley

Bartali wrote:
I thought I'd have a look at my cycling books for an explanation.  Now lets see ... I've got 'Mythical Time-trials', 'Time-trialling: its soul, its heros and its legends', 'Flat:  The Time-trials of the Tour de France', 'Tour Time-trials: The complete guide to to every Tour de France time-trial' etc etc etc. No ... that's a parallel universe where time-trialling is interesting! Wink

Further proof, if ever it was needed!, that unlike prolonged periods of positive gradient, the Race of Truth speaks for itself! Wink
HuwB

A Bartali/Ridley Scott production?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sSqFgvL244
GIRO 2012.
Coming to a cinema near you, certificate 18! Razz
Bartali

Beasley wrote:
Further proof, if ever it was needed!, that unlike prolonged periods of positive gradient, the Race of Truth speaks for itself! Wink
Hung by my own petard!  Embarassed

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