Can anyone beat Pogacar? That’s the question of this year Tour de France (I would say only something, not someone), but whatever your answer is and how it will play out, the organizers decided to follow what I would call the populistic way. What do I mean? They wanted an insurance that even if Pogacar will be untouchable (like last year for example), the race could still be enjoyable for the viewers. And that insurance is called “mythical climbs”: Galibier (from both sides), Croix de Fer, Alpe d’Huez, Mende, Aubisque and Hautacam all in the same edition and in key positions. Pogacar fight could switch from 2022 peloton to the historic records, like a crazy fast time on Huez. In addition, a good amount of ITT km (53,9) following the right pat after last edition (58 km) after 6 disastrous years from 2015 to 2020. But yet again, the position of the long time trial (to Rocamadour) is a nightmare, coming in the penultimate day, after all the mountains, while its purpouse would be to make the climbers lose time in the early part of the race and force them to attack hard when the road goes uphill and make the mountain stages entertaining. When it’s not up to GC riders, then ASO wanted some opportunity to see hard sprints or breakaway days, giving a nod to the two fenomenons named Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel. That’s what I call populistic. Could still be nice, almost every day of the 21 of race, but that’s easy and short show, not something complex and planned, not in an original way. This said, the lenght of the mountain stage is a total disgrace for the world of cycling, something that is become more and more usual nowadays, with the longest one not even reaching 180 km. Up to the riders then.Continua a leggere “Tour de France 2022 route stage-by-stage”
Giro d’Italia 2022 route stage-by-stage
Two and a half years and a world pandemic after the original presentation, the Giro will finally come to Budapest for its Grande Partenza. Fascists always cry about the politics have to be left out of the sport, but then this year Corsa Rosa will start in Orban’s Hungary, with the first stage finishing in Visegrad, a well-know city that gives the name to a group of altright-wing countries, will pass through Salò, the capital of the fascist Republic born in Italy in 1943, and will finish in Verona, the most fascist city of the whole Peninsula. Fortunately, Piazzale Loreto is big enough. Politics has always been part of the sport, used by every type of regime, above all in cycling, a really scenic and geographical (and so geopolitical) sport. Just think about the first editions of the Tour de France where the organizers went to Alsace and Lorraine now and then, even before WW1. Just need to use sport for better political instances. On a more technical note, the route is pretty bad, with a ridicolous amount of ITT km (26,6 km, the lowest number since 1962. Just to give an idea, the average since 2000 was 59,88 km – data from @ammattipyoraily), a bad design of some of the stages, and a bad order of these above all, together with their lenght. In fact, the medium mountain is great this year (Potenza, Torino and Castelmonte routes are brilliant), the problem is usually its position in the race, possibly leading the riders to wait and waste those opportunities. Still, not everything is bad and a great show is possible. Hope the riders will help.Continua a leggere “Giro d’Italia 2022 route stage-by-stage”
National Championships’ routes 2019
As we did in the last three seasons (2016 – 2017 – 2018), I would like to try to find infos about the routes of the national championships, particular and really interesting races. I will start from the beginning of the year, with the Oceanic events in the first instance. I will update the article constantly, putting the championships in reverse chronological order. As for World Championships‘ article, I will use three editors: cronoescalada, openrunner, and ridewithgps.
Un Giro 2019 in due metà
Dopo un’edizione in cui il Giro ha venduto la sua anima, si tornerà ad avere un percorso veramente degno di nota, accolto con gioia dall’enorme maggioranza degli appassionati per alcune ottime tappe di montagna nel finale di corsa, chilometraggi in stile vecchia scuola e cronometro in buona quantità. Detto questo però, ci sono anche aspetti negativi come andremo a vedere. Alcuni si sono lamentati per la quasi totale assenza del sud, con la Cassino – San Giovanni Rotondo come punto più meridionale, ma RCS ha avuto i suoi motivi: la partenza e la completa permanenza nello Stivale costringono a fare delle scelte a livello logistico ed economico (il Grand Depart dall’estero porta buona parte degli introiti e questo “libera” un po’ la tracciatura dei disegnatori) e va considerato che si arriva da due edizioni in cui il Mezzogiorno è stato girato in lungo ed in largo.
Another disappointing Tour de France for 2019
Year after year I follow (and like me a lot of other cycling fans) the construction of the route already from the presentation of the previous edition (or even before sometimes), so there is always a lot of expectation for the event, but it’s often a big disappointment, just like the race in July and the two things are linked most of the time. Before the parcours gets unveiled, I usually try to empathise with the organizers to attempt to understand how they will desing some stages. Successfully or not, I can have a view of the possibilities of the places that will be visitated by the peloton, but sometimes I’m really stunned (mostly in a bad way unfortunately) by the choices made by them. This year it happened several times, above all for the mountains, but let’s take a look at the route.
Continua a leggere “Another disappointing Tour de France for 2019”
La Course, a proposal for a stage race
Every year after the first edition in 2014, the women’s cycling peloton and fans have been vocal in their wish to see La Course become a stage race and, gradually, the second GT in the calendar after the Giro Rosa, something that is missing since the cancellation of the Grande Boucle Féminine (2010). ASO unfortunately is not hearing those requests and keeps it as a one day race, even if last year they tried a new pursuit format with the best 20 at the top of the Izoard, but it received harsh criticism and the organizers removed it (I actually don’t understand why a lot were surprised by the decision considering last year’s comments). But it would be really easy to make just a little step forward and make La Course a three-days event, to put the basis for a big stage race. And I’ll show you how it would have been possible in 2018.
A Merckxian Tour de France 2019
As we all know, the Grande Boucle will start from Bruxelles in 2019 to remember Merckx’s first win in the the race, 50 years before. But what about a full route to recall some of the most memorable moments of Cannibal’s career?
In my proposal (that’s more an exposition of possibilities) every stage will remind something of his period, with a key climb or a city that hosted the start or the finish of a stage that he won or where he wore the yellow jersey. As in previous articles, I used cronoescalada, openrunner e ridewithgps.