Italian insanity and Polish plans

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Details on two races for the future.

First up the Giro d’Italia will start in Herning, Denmark in 2012. If the nordic Kingdom is flat, the Giro organisers appear to be compensating elsewhere with the inclusion of the “Zoncolan of the south”, a road near Salerno in Italy’s Campania region – famous for its buffalo mozzarella – that climbs up to the Rifugio Calvanico 1320m.


Rifugio Calvanico

In the red

This is not sky-high but the climb gains 1000m in under 8km, meaning an average gradient in excess of 13% and as the profile shows, sections are far steeper with short moments at 23%. There’s even a Facebook campaign to get it on the race. As ever, it’s a touch of Italian madness, using a finish like this would be something special but technically difficult as you’d have to get a lot of equipment up to the finish line. But it shows how race organisers RCS are on the hunt for new climbs. The news of this comes from Info Oggi but I discovered it from the excellent Cyclismactu.

Tour de Pologne

Next the 2011 Tour of Poland. Not exactly the world’s favourite race but hang on in there as there are some interesting things for the race. The flat stages will be between 100-130 km long, very short indeed for a World Tour race. But they will use circuits with the aim of taking the race to the people rather than happening staying out in the countryside.

Again a theme of compensating for flat stages is in evidence. After the sprinters have had their chances there will be hillier stages at over 200km in length, visiting local ski stations as last year when Dan Martin bust clear to win to win in Ustron. They will also use finishing circuits, repeating the same climbs over 40km circuits and a visit to the neighbouring Czech republic.

Short and sweet
What’s interesting is the view that if you’re going to have a flat stage, you might as well keep it simple. The result over 100km or 180km is probably going to be the same although I can imagine Theo Bos is already licking his lips at the shorter distances.

Conclusion
Two very different races but a shared idea to make the racing exciting by keeping the dull days to a minimum and using as much climbing as possible.

Dennis April 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I hope they will use some of the gravel roads used in GP Herning. CyclingNews has pics from last year.

Starr April 15, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I like Polands idea. Very strategic thinking and keeping in line with the endurance side of the sport as well.

Kris May 30, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I too like Poland’s idea. A progressive approach but with a classic feel. Great for the cycling fan. Could this format also be a test case for the possible break away league where organizers sell tickets to seating around the circuits to increase revenue?

Walen May 30, 2011 at 5:10 pm

The steepest climb in the Tour de Pologne 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxnQZEu5UrE
Not too long, but brutal.

Owen May 30, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I’m not sure I like the idea of the short Polish stages, where will it end? How about 50 laps of the Hog Hill circuit in Essex? That’s about 100 miles. Boring for the riders, but they are getting paid.

lee May 30, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Owen – funny comment.

Walen May 31, 2011 at 1:45 am

In the same subjcect discussion we are holding year afer year, here in Poland. On the one hand, laps are boring for TV-viewers and cyclists. On the other, it’s enormus pleasure to be a part of fans cheering riders on the road. You can encourage them time after time. Ther is also another point: it’s just cheeper and easier for organizers.

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