Closer look at the decisive day in Tour of Britain – Stage 3,The Tumble summit finish
Last night the 8 stages of the 2014 Tour of Britain was announced, with a gruelling 3rd stage arguably going to be the decisive moment for the GC win. The Guardian summed the announcement up perfectly:
The 2014 Tour of Britain has the look of a race that has matured in the 11 editions since the race relaunched in 2004, including its hardest summit finish yet on the Tumble, one of the longest and toughest mountains in Wales, a start in Liverpool, a final-day time trial in central London and a climb of the formidable Ditchling Beacon ascent near Brighton.
And so the full route will include the following:
Stage 1: Sunday, September 7 – Liverpool city centre circuit – 130km
Stage 2: Monday, September 8 – Knowsley to Llandudno – 197km
Stage 3: Tuesday, September 9 – Newtown to The Tumble – 150km
Stage 4: Wednesday, September 10 – Worcester to Bristol – 182km
Stage 5: Thursday, September 11 – Exmouth to Exeter – 171km
Stage 6: Friday, September 12 – Bath to Hemel Hempstead – 203km
Stage 7: Saturday, September 13 – Camberley to Brighton – 220km
Stage 8a: Sunday, September 14 – London individual time trial – 8.8km
Stage 8b: Sunday, September 14 – London city centre circuit – 88.8km
UCI gave the weeklong stage race Hors Category status during the winter, offering more ranking point to riders and so making the race attractive to WorldTour teams. The race is also scheduled for between September 7-14, which is perfect to prepare for the road race world championships and no longer clashing with the team time trial event.
The organizers are preparing for eighteen, six-rider teams to battle it out from Liverpool to London. Currently confirmed for The Tour of Britain are below; The identities of the remaining teams, as well as detailed route maps from new Tour partners Ordnance Survey showcasing intermediate Yodel Direct Sprints and SKODA King of the Mountains climbs will be announced in the summer.
|Belkin Pro Cycling||Netherlands||UCI Pro Team|
|BMC Racing Team||United States||UCI Pro Team|
|Cannondale||Italy||UCI Pro Team|
|Garmin Sharp||United States||UCI Pro Team|
|Great Britain||Great Britain||National Team|
|Movistar||Spain||UCI Pro Team|
|Omega Pharma – Quick-Step||Belgium||UCI Pro Team|
|Team Giant Shimano||Netherlands||UCI Pro Team|
|Team Sky||Great Britain||UCI Pro Team|
|Tinkoff – Saxo||Russia||UCI Pro Team|
Stage 3, Tuesday 9th September, Newtown to The Tumble – 150km
Wales will host a challenging second stage a day later heading through Powys and mid-Wales to a summit finish on the six-kilometre climb of The Tumble, above Abergavenny in the stunning landscapes of Monmouthshire.
The significance of this climb was pointed out by the race director Mick Bennett, when he gave his thoughts on the race route: “With our toughest summit finish yet, an individual time trial in London and several longer stages, this year’s Tour of Britain has a varied and testing route that will present opportunities to a variety of riders.
So what is the Tumble and how fast can you ride up it? Come on, I know thats what you really want to find out!
Stage 3 is a hilly 150km route from Newtown finishes atop The Tumble, above Abergavenny, which is also the central location for June’s British Championships.The Tumble starts from the Govilon, with an ascent of 6 km long at an average gradient of 7.2%. Over this distance, the riders will climb 432 height meters, and it should be a good test for even the world’s best climbers.
To put in perspective this is a list of the Tour de France climbs including their length and gradient (from podiumcafe.com)
And if you are hoping to travel over to Wales for a weekend with your bicycle, this is the current KOM score on Strava (below on the right 14:51). With a time of 14:51 over 6km, that brings an average speed of 24.24kph (if my internet calculator is right!). To put that in perspective, Froome’s average speed up Mount Ventoux was 21.86kph – which is further (22.7kph) but a lower average gradient 7.1%.However he had been racing the Tour! I think I will need to sign up to Athlete Lab London to take on this monster and have a hope of putting out a respectable time! No doubt the coaches will be planning to put on dedicated Tour of Britain session with the hope of advisor, Shane Sutton – Head Coach for British Cycling.
Bravo Hugh and good luck anyone taking that challenge on!
It was also brought to my attention that there was a record for the 4.1km stretch, with a lower average speed of 19km and a power output of 355w. What ever time you aim for, good luck, they are both very strong!
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