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Design Your Route

ProssPross Posts: 29,551
edited March 2013 in Pro race
So if the UK were to get a Pro Tour one day race and you were asked to design it what would it be and why?

For me the start and finish would be in Abergavenny as it provides access to some good riding areas whilst being pretty easy to reach. My route would head out on the A40 towards Brecon then over the climb to Pengenffordd and down into Talgarth. From there it would head north on the A470 to Builth Wells then A483 to Garth before turning south across the Mynydd Epynt on the B4519 to Brecon.

Once in Brecon heading west on the A40 once more before turning off at Sennybridge, through Dyfynnog and then out into the Beacons over Heol Senni and the Devil's Elbow (Sarn Helen) then across country to north of Merthyr, dropping down past Talybont Reservoir then climbing Llangynidr Mountain. A nice fast descent on the Heads of the Valleys to Gilwern and then over the Tumble, down to Pontypool and then across to Usk before returning to Abergavenny for a technical, narrow run in to the line.

To me this would give a really tough route, showcasing some good climbs and great countryside whilst staying mainly on decent reasonably wide roads. Total length would be around 235km with 4,000m of climbing. My only gripe with it is the length left after the climb of the Tumble, would like a final climb in the last 10km.
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  • salsiccia1salsiccia1 Posts: 3,715
    Too much risk of hitting a sheep...

    I'd like a Cardiff start, but then I'm biased
    It's only a bit of sport, Mun. Relax and enjoy the racing.
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,417
    The road I live on would make a good finish for a punchy climber. I'm not biased at all, no siree bob.
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  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    Got to include bwlch and rhigos, and both sides of cymmer hill (A4063 maesteg to cymmer).

    I'd pay to see a peloton blast up cymmer hill. :D
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  • stagehopperstagehopper Posts: 1,593
    If we're going through Maesteg we might as well climb upto and through Bettws (either the narrow lane from Coytrahen or up "Jumbo Hill" from Tondu/Brynmenyn side) then the narrow descent down to Llangeinor and back up the sharp twisting A4093 past the Llangeinor Arms turning and then the choice is yours.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,551
    Got to include bwlch and rhigos, and both sides of cymmer hill (A4063 maesteg to cymmer).

    I'd pay to see a peloton blast up cymmer hill. :D

    What you need is the old 5 Valleys back. I don't know Cymmer Hill but that did Blackmill, Bwlch Rhigos and Cimla starting and finishing in Aberavon. Tough race!
  • dave milnedave milne Posts: 703
    you could do a tour of flanders (minus the cobbles) style course round the north downs

    take in all the nasty short steep ascents multiple times, exedown, star, toys north and south, yorks, chalkpits, brastead, hogtrough, titsey

    all in close proximity to each other so you'd need to start a little way off to get the distance in the legs, maybe brighton or canterbury

    in all seriousness that would be a hell of a race
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,479
    There's too many roads beginning with A being listed here. For a great classic, you need to send them down narrow little roads fairly frequently. That's what breaks up the bunch.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • FJSFJS Posts: 4,820
    I reckon with 4000 m of climbing breaking up the bunch wont be an issue :D . Thats LBL territory. Getting a full field of riders could be...

    I'd love to see a one day race with a Sheffield finish, coming in from the west, as in the 2006 ToB stage Pozzato won. But then over Burage Moor, and with a nice finish loop or two over Lodge Lane. You could send the route over Holme Moss, Snake Pass and Winnats Pass. It'll never happen though, as the Peak District is too busy in the weekends already.

    Wat absolutely begs for a one day race is the cobbled climbs of West Yorkshire. A start in say York or Leeds and finsh in Halifax, with Thwaites Brow and Harworth Lane in Keighley,Shibden Wall, Gibb Lane, and finishing it off with Woodhouse Lane and Trooper Lane. Not having a one day race on those cobbled climbs us just criminal. They'd be killing for a couple more like those in Flanders.
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    On a similar tip - something like the Chiltern 100 but with a start in Oxford and a decent venue for a finish (somewhere picturesque) to add the extra miles would be good too - another good rolling one day race.
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    mroli wrote:
    On a similar tip - something like the Chiltern 100 but with a start in Oxford and a decent venue for a finish (somewhere picturesque) to add the extra miles would be good too - another good rolling one day race.

    +1 nice picturesque start in Oxford - preferably on St Giles and during Uni term.

    Not sure where they'd go after that though.. we don't tend to penetrate the Chilterns much on club runs.. just take in a few of the climbs like Watlington, Kingston Hill, Chinoor Hill etc.
  • deejaydeejay Posts: 3,138
    RichN95 wrote:
    There's too many roads beginning with A being listed here. For a great classic, you need to send them down narrow little roads fairly frequently. That's what breaks up the bunch.
    Those Classic continental races did run over "A" class roads when there were cobbles everywhere.
    Remember that Paris Metro Buses had solid rubber tyres until the late 60's when I worked in Renault Cars Billancourt and again to visit the Parc des Princes track for the TDF finish.
    Look how much Pave there still is in Brussels these days so now in the country they have to send riders around little narrow roads to find the Pave.

    I go with the "FJS" route idea's without the long run to the Leeds finish.
    A Sheffield finish I would think.
    Organiser, National Championship 50 mile Time Trial 1972
  • mr_pollmr_poll Posts: 1,547
    How about a ride around the Lake District - 11.5K of climbing here, based a little on the Fred Whitton. Starting in Kendal, picking up the main climbs, The Struggle, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter and finishing with Hardknott and a "summit" finish on Wrynose.

    http://gb.mapometer.com/cycling/route_1551008.html
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,186
    mr_poll wrote:
    How about a ride around the Lake District - 11.5K of climbing here, based a little on the Fred Whitton. Starting in Kendal, picking up the main climbs, The Struggle, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter and finishing with Hardknott and a "summit" finish on Wrynose.

    http://gb.mapometer.com/cycling/route_1551008.html

    Gets my vote, though I'd not go with the summit finish, bring them down to finish in Ambleside or Grasmere.
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  • LeicesterLadLeicesterLad Posts: 3,908
    FJS wrote:
    I reckon with 4000 m of climbing breaking up the bunch wont be an issue :D . Thats LBL territory. Getting a full field of riders could be...

    I'd love to see a one day race with a Sheffield finish, coming in from the west, as in the 2006 ToB stage Pozzato won. But then over Burage Moor, and with a nice finish loop or two over Lodge Lane. You could send the route over Holme Moss, Snake Pass and Winnats Pass. It'll never happen though, as the Peak District is too busy in the weekends already.

    Wat absolutely begs for a one day race is the cobbled climbs of West Yorkshire. A start in say York or Leeds and finsh in Halifax, with Thwaites Brow and Harworth Lane in Keighley,Shibden Wall, Gibb Lane, and finishing it off with Woodhouse Lane and Trooper Lane. Not having a one day race on those cobbled climbs us just criminal. They'd be killing for a couple more like those in Flanders.

    Trooper lane looks epic :shock:

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  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 16,666
    ^

    It would be like takin' bread to the top of t'world..
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
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    And cures and healing wells
  • FJSFJS Posts: 4,820
    deejay wrote:
    I go with the "FJS" route idea's without the long run to the Leeds finish.
    A Sheffield finish I would think.

    No Leeds finish - they were two different ideas: 1) a hilly LBL style race through the Peaks finishing in Sheffield, and 2) a cool mix of Flanders and LBL in West Yorkshire with finish in Halifax.

    To be honest though, I think with one dayers the trick is not to make them ridiculously hard in terms of climbing - it kills the race, and makes the field of potential winners small and too predictable. It's been tried with the Classique des Alpes, and that didn't work
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,280 Lives Here
    Surrey hills. Twist and turn through them all. Enough to make a Flanders type ride, narrow hills, bad surfaces. Is pretty to look at and the countryside round there is so stereotypically British you wouldn't think you were anywhere else.
  • salsiccia1salsiccia1 Posts: 3,715
    RichN95 wrote:
    There's too many roads beginning with A being listed here. For a great classic, you need to send them down narrow little roads fairly frequently. That's what breaks up the bunch.

    Llanelly Hill?
    It's only a bit of sport, Mun. Relax and enjoy the racing.
  • LeicesterLadLeicesterLad Posts: 3,908
    Surrey hills. Twist and turn through them all. Enough to make a Flanders type ride, narrow hills, bad surfaces. Is pretty to look at and the countryside round there is so stereotypically British you wouldn't think you were anywhere else.

    Surrey Hills? What a borefest - come on Rick, get your London head off and be imaginative. :wink:
  • inkyfingersinkyfingers Posts: 4,400
    I think the route needs to be identifiably British and within a certain distance of major infrastructure and population, so that people can actually get out and see it and that you can have a finish in a decent sized town that's not too far from the major climbs. Surrey Hills, South Wales or Peak District would tick all those boxes, the Lake District or Snowdonia much less so as they are relatively remote.

    As cool as a race over stupidly steep northern cobbled climbs might be, there is a danger that it becomes just a Flanders pastiche. Think we need chocolate box english scenery and preferably identifiable landmarks. It could be done, but would need a lot of people to work together with one goal, not something we are particularly good at in the country, but the improved ToB shows it can be done.
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  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 4,349
    Something with a finish up Gold Hill in Shaftesbury.
    Could start off in Bath, head out south westwards towards Cheddar, working down towards Yeovil direction, then a couple of the steep routes up Bulbarrow, over to Fontmell Hill, down zig zag and then up Gold Hill to the finish.
  • GSVBagpussGSVBagpuss Posts: 271
    I've got nothing to add from routes front but - great thread chaps!
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,551
    Trooper lane looks epic :shock:

    Certainly does - is that in either of the 100 Greatest Road Climbs books? Certainly looks like it gives anything in Flanders a run for its money.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,551
    RichN95 wrote:
    There's too many roads beginning with A being listed here. For a great classic, you need to send them down narrow little roads fairly frequently. That's what breaks up the bunch.

    I could easily adjust my route to use the equivalent country roads but I was thinking practically. Besides, Welsh rural A roads aren't exactly motorway standard are they?
  • milton50milton50 Posts: 3,856
    I think everyone would love a race near their home town. I'd love to see one go trhough the Cotswolds and surrounding area. There's so many awesome climbs and the scenery would be epic as well.
  • LeicesterLadLeicesterLad Posts: 3,908
    Milton50 wrote:
    I think everyone would love a race near their home town. I'd love to see one go trhough the Cotswolds and surrounding area. There's so many awesome climbs and the scenery would be epic as well.

    Yeah, I think Leicestershire would make a great setting for a classi...err,....errr. Oh. As you were.
  • GeorgeShawGeorgeShaw Posts: 764
    Milton50 wrote:
    I think everyone would love a race near their home town. I'd love to see one go trhough the Cotswolds and surrounding area. There's so many awesome climbs and the scenery would be epic as well.

    And we have many escarpment climbs on narrow lanes with horrendous surfaces as well ...
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,368
    ^

    It would be like takin' bread to the top of t'world..

    Except that the Hovis hill is in Shaftsbury (See Dorsetboy ^^).
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    I think the route needs to be identifiably British and within a certain distance of major infrastructure and population, so that people can actually get out and see it and that you can have a finish in a decent sized town that's not too far from the major climbs. Surrey Hills, South Wales or Peak District would tick all those boxes, the Lake District or Snowdonia much less so as they are relatively remote.

    As cool as a race over stupidly steep northern cobbled climbs might be, there is a danger that it becomes just a Flanders pastiche. Think we need chocolate box english scenery and preferably identifiable landmarks. It could be done, but would need a lot of people to work together with one goal, not something we are particularly good at in the country, but the improved ToB shows it can be done.
    My first inclination was to choose a circular route mainly east of Penrith, which I thought could be both challenging (Tan Hill, Coldberry End, Killhope, Hartside, and Mell Fell as the last climb before the finish) and unproblematic in getting police permissions (relatively little traffic on the Pennine moors).

    But I suppose inkyfingers is right that any major race route needs to be within distance of population and with more variety of scenery (for TV interest). So a route within the area Brum-Lpool-Leeds-Leicester, with a mixture of moorland and gentler pasture/farming countryside would be more appropriate.

    Mine would be something like – NE out of Sheffield, then turning west to Penistone, more or less directly south to Matlock, then Ashbourne-Cheadle-Leek, then NE across the White Peak back to Sheffield.
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,448
    mr_poll wrote:
    How about a ride around the Lake District - 11.5K of climbing here, based a little on the Fred Whitton. Starting in Kendal, picking up the main climbs, The Struggle, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter and finishing with Hardknott and a "summit" finish on Wrynose.

    http://gb.mapometer.com/cycling/route_1551008.html

    just do the fred with a add on start from barrow A590 wide roads to start then west of lake. allows early break away attempt on the flatter roads finish in ambelside rather than coniston

    same weekend as the sportif
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