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Tour Category Climbs - A follow-up(3 posts)

Tour Category Climbs - A follow-upWannabe
Jul 17, 2002 6:31 AM
There was a post yesterday about how the Tour climbs are categorized and I believe Doug had a link to one classification system. I knew I had read a description that was a bit different from that one but couldn't remember where I'd seen it. Until last night. It is in the "official" 2002 TdF guide. Here's what it says:

"Climbs in the Tour are divided into five somewhat arbitrary categories:

Cat. 4 -> The easiest, usually less than 3km in length, sometimes not much more than a bump in the road.
Cat. 3 -> Slightly harder, perhaps 5km in length.
Cat. 2 -> Between 5km and 10km, and steeper than a 4% grade.
Cat. 1 -> Long and steep. Between 10km and 20km, and steeper than a 5% grade.
Hors Categorie (HC), or above category -> The longest, steepest mountain climbs, often at the finish of a mountain stage."

You will notice that the gap between Cat. 3 and Cat. 2 seems to be significant. However, if you look at how points are awarded, there is also a significant gap between points awarded for Cat. 3 vs. Cat. 2.

Well, there you have it. This classification would not be as difficult as the one Doug mentioned, but it is in the official guide of the TdF so I'd thought I'd post it for people's info!

Also, it should be noted that although this is how the TdF classifies their mountains, this is NOT how the Giro or the Vuelta classify theirs. I believe the Giro has only 3 categories as opposed to 5 (or 4 and then HC). Not sure how the Vuelta classifies theirs.

Andy (soon to be changing handle to Asiago)
Your TDF guide watered it down a bit...biknben
Jul 17, 2002 7:00 AM
There's a lot more that goes into the classifications than weather it is a "bump in the road". Also considered is at what point the climb is in the stage. Climbs towards the end of the stage are considered more difficult since the the riders will be more tired when they get to them. Often climb ratings change from tour to tour. One year a climb could be a cat. 1 and the next a cat. 2.

It's a very vague rating system. All aspects of the climb are considered and then the organizers take a vote to rate the climb. There is certainly more thought put into it than the TDF guide would lead you to believe.
No doubt, but this is what the guide says. nmWannabe
Jul 17, 2002 7:06 AM