Tour of Britain 2014 – The Climbs

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The World Tour pro peloton returns to the British shores with the 2014 Tour of Britain. The highlight of the year for the domestic professional teams as they get to ride against some of the best in the world. But with some using the race to sharpen their form ahead of the World Champs, the local riders will have their work cut out. The race starts and finishes with city centre criteriums in Liverpool and London but the stages in between contain some classic British climbs.

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Déjà vu? Finding out if you’ve been there before

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Segments are a great way to see how many times you’ve covered certain sections of road/track, but what if there are no segments set up for the stretch you are interested in? Say hello to the Activity Overlaps tab! OK, probably not the most sexy of names, but what it lacks in title it makes up for in functionality – select any section of any activity and it will search through all your activities and provide a list and map of any that overlap. Neat!

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Etape du Tour 2014 (Stage 18) – The Route and Climbs

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Every year thousands of cyclists get to tackle a full stage of le Tour on closed roads as part of l’Etape du Tour. This year’s route takes in two of the most famous climbs of the Pyrenees: Col du Tourmalet and Hautacam. There are even a couple of category 3 climbs thrown into the run-in to help loosen the legs but the route’s full 3D profile shown below puts these into perspective of the two Hors Category ascents still to come. Best of luck to all those riding this year’s Etape, hopefully these graphics will help build the excitement for what’s in store!

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Tour de France 2014 Stage 10 – 3D Elevation Climb Profiles

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Stage 10 was thought to be the first major GC battleground but only a short glimpse at the current standings is enough to show that a lot of excitement has already happened in this year’s Tour.  Many metres of climbing are already in the legs of riders prior to these first “proper” climbs of the race but with the added appeal of Bastille Day and a rest day tomorrow expect nobody to hold back.  With the race still young and the main favourites still unsure of each other’s form then I’m sure we’ll see for offensive tactics rather than defensive often seen near the end of the race. Enjoy!

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Tour de France 2014 Stage 2 – 3D Elevation Climb Profiles

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Despite all the talk to the contrary, the 1st stage of le Tour turned out to be a sprinters stage after all, with the throngs of spectators filling the roads along with the odd road narrowing looking to cause more delays to the riders than the hills themselves. Rather than any lack of severity of the climbs themselves it was probably due in larger part to the 50km of near flat roads that followed the final climb of the day. Fear not, stage 2 will be completely different! (Apart from maybe the fans and the narrowing roads). 9 categorised climbs but plenty of uncategorised hills in between (i.e. England’s longest, continuous climb (and bunting) of Cragg Vale) will make for a tortuous day in the saddle. Couple that with technical descents and narrow roads for the last 37 km with the final, 33% Jenkin Road just 5 km from the finish and the end result will be anyone’s guess!

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Tour de France 2014 Stage 1 – 3D Elevation Climb Profiles

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And we’re off! Le Tour departs grandly from Yorkshire’s Leeds through the majestic countryside of North Yorkshire on its way to the spa town of Harrogate. 3 categorised climbs on this stage might end the hopes of that yellow jersey for some sprinters but with so much at stake expect those sprinter’s teams to make sure that doesn’t happen. A distinctly rolling finish into Harrogate as well but with the speed of the peloton at that point expect the momentum to get even the heaviest of sprinters easily over the rises.

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The Climbs of the 2014 Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile

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After having a nice chat with Emma Pooley while descending Yorkshire’s Cragg Vale last night she mentioned she was heading off to race the Giro this Friday. Giro? That must mean hills right? It sure does, and some corkers too. Here are the key climbs for the women’s Giro d’Italia that runs from Friday 4th to Sunday 13th July.

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The climbs of the 2014 Tour de Suisse

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Switzerland has some of the most dramatic climbs in the world but despite their jaw dropping curves the gradients tend to be at the more manageable end of the scale. Two time trials break up the week so expect the GC to be a controlled affair with the main favourites trying to make the difference in the time trials.

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The Climbs of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2014

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One of my favourite races of the Pro Cycling calendar, the Critérium du Dauphiné. Named after the Dauphiné province in south-eastern France’s high mountains this race is always packed with the top Tour de France contenders performing their last major competition prior to the Grand Depart. Next time we’ll see this top class field it will be on the streets of Yorkshire! Taking in many of the famous climbs of the Alps with 3 mountain top finishes this year’s race will be a great warm up for the spectators as well as the riders.

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Giro d’Italia 2014 – Key Climbs Stages 18, 19 and 20

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The 3 weeks of the 2014 Giro d’Italia are almost up and although the snowy high point of the race (Passo dello Stelvio) has been and gone, by far the toughest climb and final showdown of the race is yet to come – Monte Zoncolan. Prior to that though are 2 more days of climbing including an individual, mountain time trial. Will Rigoberto Uran be able to turn around his deficit to Nairo Quintana? Here are all the details of the climbs of these last three mountain stages.

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