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TdF Questions - Climb Catagory / TT Bikes(6 posts)

TdF Questions - Climb Catagory / TT Bikeswink
Jul 16, 2003 8:25 AM
Does anyone have the definitive explanation of the different climb catagories on TdF. What is the highest grade that they go over? What is the longest climb?

Also, why wouldn't they use their TT bikes with regular drop bars for most of the stages???
I can answer the TT one,TJeanloz
Jul 16, 2003 8:44 AM
Time trials are generally short - about an hour of good hard effort. With that in mind, almost every sacrifice has been made to make the bikes and rider position as aerodynamic as possible, which severely sacrifices comfort. As long as you're going hard for an hour, comfort isn't that important, but if you're on the road for 6+ hours, comfort is a real issue in keeping you less fatigued overall.

So the answer is that TT bikes are more different, geometry and materials-wise, than you might think, and these differences make them sub-obtimal for road racing, both from a comfort and handling perspective.
Climb DefinitionsBrokenSpoke
Jul 16, 2003 9:10 AM
I copied this from the Bicycling website:

Climbing categories for the Tour de France

The categories are assigned subjectively based on:

length of the climb
altitude difference from bottom to top
average (and steepest) grade
summit elevation
climb's position on the stage (early or late)
width and conditions of the road

After considering all these factors, the Tour's director sportif makes his recommendations after driving over the stage routes a couple of months before the race. Also, the Tour is supposed to be TOUGH, so what might be a Cat 2 climb in The Tour might be a Cat 1 in another race. The categories are supposed to be the riders' perceived difficulty on the climb, so the numbers given below are only a guideline.

Typically for the Tour, Category 4 is an easy, short climb.
Category 3 is the easiest "real" climb - ie, 5km at a 5% grade.
Category 2 is about as tough as you could ever see here in the states. (Something like 5km at a grade of 8-8.5%)
Category 1 typically a long climb (15 - 20+ km) at a not too steep grade - 5-6%.
Hors Category is long and steep. The altitude difference is at least 1000km and an average grade of 7% or more.
How high was that climb??Chen2
Jul 16, 2003 11:20 AM
If the Hos Category is at least 1000km altitude difference you're on your way to the moon. That would be about 328,000 feet up. Maybe they meant 1000 meters.
~Al
A little more on the climbsspookyload
Jul 16, 2003 9:19 AM
This is a great breakdown of the points for the KOM jersey: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/bicycles-faq/part1/section-22.html
A little more on the climbsKvonnah
Jul 16, 2003 4:03 PM
What about MT. Evans in Colorado? It is an 8000 ft climb for 28 mi (I think) and has the added factor of the summit being at 14,264 ft! IF the grade is not steep enough the altitude is higher then most and oxygen debt kicks in quick... Or maybe I'm just a weenie.

Okay, I AM just a weenie, but still...