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Old 06-21-07, 08:47 AM   #1
Duke of Kent
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Tour de Toona: What's the point of this?

So I had been considering doing the Tour de Toona this summer after I do the first week of SuperWeek. Or at least the Blair County RR. I've heard that it throws a 9 or so mile climb at you. Sounds good to me, but then I saw the actual course layout...

What is the point of having a 9mi climb in the MIDDLE of the race and then downhill and relative flat to the finish, with 40+ miles after the climb? Now it's just a race for the sprinters who can get over the hills and have their teams drag them back up, on the flats, to the skinny kids who got away on the climb. Aside from the KOM/QOM points, why would anyone bother to attack there? The course just doesn't make sense.
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Old 06-21-07, 08:52 AM   #2
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makes it a little different I guess. makes for teams to be some what competent. sounds fun to me
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Old 06-21-07, 09:25 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
So I had been considering doing the Tour de Toona this summer after I do the first week of SuperWeek. Or at least the Blair County RR. I've heard that it throws a 9 or so mile climb at you. Sounds good to me, but then I saw the actual course layout...

What is the point of having a 9mi climb in the MIDDLE of the race and then downhill and relative flat to the finish, with 40+ miles after the climb? Now it's just a race for the sprinters who can get over the hills and have their teams drag them back up, on the flats, to the skinny kids who got away on the climb. Aside from the KOM/QOM points, why would anyone bother to attack there? The course just doesn't make sense.
It's probably a logistics issue in order to have the S/F in the "city" of altoona. FWIW, the Blair County RR has multiple climbs including Blue Knob (hardest - very long and steep - winners alway go here and are never seen again until looking at the results sheets), a few other smaller steepish climbs, then Tunnel Hill/Sugar Run (long but only steep for last 0.5 mil at the very top) then about a 6 mi. descent and 2 mi. of flattish + rollers back to the finish. It's very much a climbers course and in no way a sprinters or even rolleurs race. Think of TDF stages into Pau, Gap, or even Morzine last year.
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Old 06-21-07, 11:13 AM   #4
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If you get booted on a climb that long, chances are you won't get back on.
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Old 06-21-07, 11:28 AM   #5
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Find 2 other climbers, get a rotation going and sprinters are non-issue.
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Old 06-21-07, 12:06 PM   #6
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Lots of guys make it back after the descent, but there are plenty of other climbs after to weed it out. The P1 race always has a solo or small goup finish. Hard course. If you can climb decent for your category, you'll be in with a chance.
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Old 06-21-07, 12:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
Now it's just a race for the sprinters who can get over the hills and have their teams drag them back up, on the flats, to the skinny kids who got away on the climb.
Yup, that looks like the call on this race. However, like all races .... you never know what will happen.

... Brad
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Old 06-21-07, 12:28 PM   #8
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Being from an incredibly flat part of the world, I've never done any long sustained climbs like these. But we also have the wind, which never ends, and can very easily result in a ride at 14mph on the way out and 30+ on the way home.

I'm mainly a crit or flat-ish RR guy due to the area and the fact that I can't afford a TT bike, so this will be the first time that I'll really be able to take advantage of my power/weight ratio and let the diesel engine get up to speed on the climbs.
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Old 06-21-07, 01:37 PM   #9
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I'm pretty sure my teamate solo'd to victory in both of the road stages last season in the 3s. So I'd say its rather doable (he's one of those 130 pound waifs)
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Old 06-21-07, 01:42 PM   #10
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I'm pretty sure my teamate solo'd to victory in both of the road stages last season in the 3s. So I'd say its rather doable (he's one of those 130 pound waifs)
Soloed might be an overstatement (for 1st stage anyway, I watched, was a 4 at the time) ... but he really crushed the Cat 3 field last year. I assume that guys a playa in the Cat 1/2 races now.
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