The Route of TDF 2008

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by guncha, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. guncha

    guncha New Member

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  2. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    In a change from last year's success story of the London prologue, the 2008 Tour will kick off without its short time trial to establish a first distinct general classification. Instead, the riders will head from Brest over 195 kilometres to Plumelec, in Brittany. Time trial specialists will be disappointed to find the first contre-la-montre short, with only 29 kilometres. The second time trial, on the penultimate day of the race, is 53 kilometres long. No team time trial will be part of the route, but the monument of Alpe d'Huez is back in the mix. Climbers will be elated that four mountain top finishes
    Le Grand Départ returns to Brest after 34 years. Brittany will see an extended Tour this year, with several hundred kilometres spent in the Northwestern part of the country. After the time trial in Cholet on stage four it is off to the first mountain top in Super Besse, on stage 6. after a few more southbound transitional stages the peloton will hit the mountains.

    First the Pyrenees have to be tackled on the counter-clockwise route. The mountain range between Spain and France has been reduced to two days. In stage 9 the climbs that have featured many times, the Col de Peyresourde and the Col d'Aspin, will have to be tackled, while stage 10 promises to be the first real indicator of the final outcome in Paris. The stage will take the riders over the long and difficult Tourmalet, at 2,115 metres, before the day's uphill finish at Lourdes-Hautacam is reached.

    This will earn the racers a first rest day, spent in the Pau area.

    After that the riders will head out of the hills, east and towards the Mediterranean, via Narbonne to Nîmes. These stages will be giving some breakaways the chance for glory as the GC contender will be watching each other more than the riders interested in stage wins and the sprinters likely having heaving legs after the first set of climbs.

    Then stage 15 will over another mountain top finish, at Pratonevoso. Stage 16 sees high altitude climbs (Col de la Lombarde 2351 meters and Col de la Bonnette-Restefonds at 2802m), before the race hits the popular Alpe d'Huez on stage 17.

    Finally time trial riders will approve for once, but the 53 kilometres come only one day before the final in Paris.

    The Stages

    Stage 1, July 5: Brest-Plumelec, 195km
    Stage 2, July 6: Auray-Vannes, 165km
    Stage 3, July 7: Saint-Malo-Nantes, 195km
    Stage 4, July 8: Cholet-Cholet, ITT, 29km
    Stage 5, July 9: Cholet-Châteauroux, 230km
    Stage 6, July 10: Aigurande-Super Besse, 195km
    Stage 7, July 11: Brioudes-Aurillac, 158km
    Stage 8, July 12: Figeac-Toulouse, 174km
    Stage 9, July 13: Toulouse-Bagnères-de-Bigorre, 226km
    Stage 10, July 14: Pau-Lourdes/Hautacam, 154km
    July 15: rest day in Pau
    Stage 11, July 16: Lannemezan-Foix, 166km
    Stage 12, July 17: Lavelanet-Narbonne, 168km
    Stage 13, July 18: Narbonne-Nîmes, 182km
    Stage 14, July 19: Nîmes-Digne-les-Bains, 182km
    Stage 15, July 20: Digne-les-Bains-Pratonevoso, 216km
    July 21: rest day in Cuneo
    Stage 16, July 22: Cuneo-Jauziers, 157km
    Stage 17, July 23: Embrun-L’Alpe d’Huez, 210km
    Stage 18, July 24: Bourg d’Oisans-Saint-Etienne, 197km
    Stage 19, July 25: Roanne-Montluçon, 163km
    Stage 20, July 26: Cerilly-Saint-Amand-Montrond, ITT, 53km
    Stage 21, July 27: Etampes-Paris/Champs-Élysées, 143km
    Total Length: 3554 km
     
  3. guncha

    guncha New Member

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    I think this route looks excellent and big guns should be in form from 4th day to 20th day.

    * There is no TTT.
    * The first ITT is on 4th day and its length is 29km, while the second is 52km - a little bit less TT km than in 2006 and 2007.
    * There is 4 mountaintop finishes.
    * Superbesse finish might be more selective than someone thinks (11km @ 4,7%). It is nice change to have mountaintop finish on 6th day of the race.
    * 2nd stage at Massif Central looks decent also but it is not for GC.
    * The first Pyrenees day might not be very selective because Aspin is 24km from finish.
    * The second Pyrenees stage must be a real classic with Tourmalet and Hautacam - there should be first real GC shaking.
    * The final Pyrenees stage is just a transitional day.
    * First Alpine day with Prato Nevoso looks very solid. On the other hand there is no other cat.1 or H.C. climbs.
    http://ciclismo.sitiasp.it/altimetria.aspx?sid=3d17ce592daf48379c0ef2bdace29928&id=1292
    - the profile of Prato Nevoso
    * The 2nd Alpine day with Lombarde and Bonette at 2800 looks very hard and it should one of the major tests.
    * Final Alpine day has 3 H.C. Galibier, Croix-de-Fer and finish at Alpe D'Huez. It is the queen stage of the tour.
    * After Alps the returns to Massif Central which has 13,7km @ 5.5% climb 34km to go.

    I don't you can call this route is crap; I don't think it is worse than typical Giro route.

    There is 3 ugly stages (Hautacam, Bonette, Alpe D'Huez), a stage with hard mountaintop finish (Prato Nevoso), mountaintop finish for "warm-up" (Superbesse), some test might be done at Bagnères-de-Bigorre stage. Also Medium Mountain stages looks more difficult than usual. This time we have 3 stages in Pyrenees, 3 in Alps, 3 in Massif Central and first week is much harder than usual.
     
  4. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    and plenty of access for Levi's and Contador's motocycles to get from Spain to France with the bloodbags.......

     
  5. guncha

    guncha New Member

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    Nothing is perfect...
     
  6. wolfix

    wolfix New Member

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    Do they ride BMW's?
     
  7. classic1

    classic1 Well-Known Member

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    I'm impressed they are heading into the midi early. I love watching bunch sprints, but even I get sick of ten pancake flat stages before the action starts. The course looks good.

    And I'm always up for a good route.:p
     
  8. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    This route sucks for Evans. There is only one long time trial and it comes near the end of the race. I don't recall his second long ITTs being as strong as his first ones.

    Leipheimer must be salivating over the route. He has done well in 30K time trials for a long time, and whatever Disco did to him in the second half of the Tour made him time trial well at 60K at the end of the Tour.
     
  9. Crankyfeet

    Crankyfeet New Member

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    Despite access to perhaps better medicine, I think of Levi and Cadel as being very similar riders, but I might be wrong. So I have trouble imagining that it sucks for one and is great for the other.

    It is more favorable to climbers/TT'ers though than TT'ers/climbers it seems.
     
  10. Andrija

    Andrija Member

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    Cunego said long time ago his main objective in 2008 will be the Tour. I believe he is pleased with the route.
    But I'm not sure he's mature enough yet for the Tour.
     
  11. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    For at least the last two Tours Evans has not performed that well in the final week's time trial. Leipheimer has not done that well in the first time trial and much better in the second. I think Leipheimer is being topped off with blood during the Tour and whatever Evans does is done in training. Evans weakens during the last week while the Disco riders have a nice step up in performance.
     
  12. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    This does look like a good route for Cunego, maybe the best he can hope for.

    Does his plans for the 2008 Tour mean he will ride the Giro as training and not as a contender?
     
  13. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    Since Soler was made a guest of honor at the Tour presentation, it seems likely that Barloworld will be invited. Was a representative of Slipstream at the presentation?
     
  14. cyclingheroes

    cyclingheroes New Member

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    I don't know if there was a Slipstream representative but I am sure that they will be invited. The US market is to important for ASO, they need a US team.

    Astana and Barloworld will probebly also start.
     
  15. Andrija

    Andrija Member

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    I really don't know... It would be huge surprise if he doesn't ride the Giro at all. So I think he'll ride it for sure. It depends on route if it'll be competitive or just preparation ride... With this kind of Tour route and his long time ago announced plans it's more likely it'll be preparation Giro (with some stages targeted)... It would be too much for him to target both races, I think.
    But, on the other hand, he's ex Giro winner, so it would be very awkward to ride it just for training.
     
  16. grampi

    grampi New Member

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    Good point!!:p
     
  17. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    So no time bonuses. Does this lead to a less exciting final two Ks on a climb because contenders won't be worried about losing twenty seconds, or does it add more excitement as riders are forced to eek out their gains on the road?

    For climbers who can sprint uphill, like Cunego and Contador, this is not good.

    The more I look at this route, the better it looks.
     
  18. cyclingheroes

    cyclingheroes New Member

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    I think its the best route in years.
     
  19. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    did anyone note this:

    Time bonuses being abandoned could lead to a tighter and more dramatic Tour, especially in the high mountains where decisive gaps between riders are often built early on.

    - interesting.
     
  20. thunder

    thunder New Member

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    there could be someone from the second tier who could win on this route.

    Rogers, Menchov, Sastre, and especially Karpets.

    I think Karpets and Menchov are the big darkhorses.
     
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