Friday, August 21, 2015

Tour de l'Avenir Course Preview: Prologue-Stage 3

After having successfully put everyone to sleep with a preview of every team that will be starting the Tour de l'Avenir, it is important to cover the course that the riders will be going over the course of the next week starting on Saturday, August 22nd in the small Burgundian town of Tonnerre for a short prologue before 962.5 kilometers twisting through the southeastern region of France.


Tonnerre-Tonnere (3.5 kilometers) Course Map

The prologue begins in the center of Tonnerre before snaking its way out of town, making a loop and circling back through a gradual descent with wide, sweeping turns before a sharp 90 degree left hander to the finish. After the first set of turns, the Rue du General Campenon has a bunch of cobbles/bricks through the road, which the riders should love. Then there is a near 90 degree turn onto the Rue Armand Collin, where the hill kicks in and reaches a maximum of 12%. This is continues on the Chemin des Vieux Chateux before topping out at the turn for the Rue des Lices. Up until this point, the course is on tight roads without too much margin for error. Following the turn onto the Rue des Lices, the roads open up a bit and are a fairly wide open until the sharp turn onto the Rue Claude Aillot for a sprint to the finish.

Fun fact: Claude Aillot was a communist activist that was shot by the Nazis in 1942.

The race says 3.5 kilometers while Map My Ride is at 3.63 kilometers but you know, something around there. Here is the course map from MMR, which shows 80 m of elevation gain. It is a brutal prologue without much place for let up.

Stage 1 Chablis to Toucy (160.5 kilometers) Course Map

Just 17 kilometers away from Tonnerre, the race kicks off properly in the small hamlet of Chablis, of which the famed wine is named after. Chablis is made from a Chardonnay grapes, which make a dry white wine, but due to the terroir of the region along with the cooler climate, it has a more acidic bite and less fruity that other Chardonnays in more southerly regions.

The race itself is filled with French flat, the undulating roads of France that seemingly go up and down all day without reprieve. In the first half of the race, there is one categorized climb in the Cote de Vezelay, which is only 2.6 km stair step climb but it does reach a max gradient of around 12% while the average is just 4%. The only other significant difficulty is the Cote de Toucy, which is less steep than the Vezelay and just as long. They will go over the climb twice but only one pass is categorized...for some reason. The finish is slightly uphill into Toucy on the Rue Aristide Briand.

This is the stage where the sprinters who need a climb or two to separate them from the pure sprinters will be circling.

Stage 2 Avallon to Arbois (193.5 kilometers) Course Map

Starting in the Yonne Department, the race quickly enters the Cote d'Or and finishing in the Jura Department in the town of Arbois. The route itself is fairly straightforward without many turns and the last half of the route is pretty much pan flat with a small rise towards the finish.

Fun Fact: Arbois has lost half of its historic population from 1836 compared to now (7131 to 3520).

This is going to be a bunch sprint unless the bunch gets extremely lazy. This is the longest stage of the race by far but probably the easiest stage.

Stage 3 Champagnole to Tournos (137 kilometers) Course Map

Champagnole is known as the Pearl of the Jura, at least by the town council, sits near the center of the Jura department along the Ain river. Known for industries such as various metal workings including iron and steel as well as aluminum, the town even has a glasses factory.

The race takes on a hilly start including two categorized climbs within the first half of the race but the last half of the race is pan flat. This is the last chance for the sprinters as well so they will be very motivated not to let anything go here. The mountains that they will be taking on the rest of the week will be looming in the distance. Climbers are focused on not being drawn out while the sprinters will be salivating.

The finishing town of Tournus has 4 Michelin star restaurants including a 3-star as well as a factory for Tefal cookware.

Stay tuned for stages 4 through 7, which will certainly decimate the peloton.

No comments:

Post a Comment