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Visually stunning races to watch?

Old 10-26-21, 05:34 PM
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Dan Flashes
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Visually stunning races to watch?

I have been cycling and mountain biking for about 20 years, but I never really liked watching pro races. But Iím starting to get into it now, and Iíve got the GCN app to catch up on races from this year. My question is, which courses do you think are the most visually stunning or unique to watch? I think it helps keep it interesting. So far the arctic tour of Norway was pretty fantastic. Which would you recommend?
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Old 10-26-21, 07:39 PM
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usually a fan of the mountain stages in the grand tours...esp the dolomites stages in the giro (and the occasional volcano-like vesuvius) and the alps, vosges and massif central stages
in the tour de france. of all the classics, probably like milan-san remo the best for scenery.
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Old 10-26-21, 07:54 PM
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The bigger races, especially the TdF, are more likely to have helicopter coverage, and therefore give more opportunity for scenery. I expect that there should be more drone footage these days, but if that's the case, I haven't really caught on.

Many people tune into the TdF in part because of the great scenery..

the just-concluded Cape Absa MTB stage race in S. Africa had some fantastic scenery.
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Old 10-27-21, 05:39 AM
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+1 on Milan San Remo.

+1 on the helicopter + production value of the Grand Tours. I think ASO has the best crew but Italy has the best epic scenery with mountains and/or ocean in a much higher percentage of the shots.

I'd add Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour of the Basque Country (Itzulia?) to the short list.

My recommendation for window shopping: go to steephill.tv, browse the races, look at the maps, watch the highlights, then dig deeper. While you're there, look at the on-bike cam highlights. There's one for just about every stage in recent years, at least at the grand tours. Some pretty epic "scenery" there, albeit from a completely different viewpoint.
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Old 10-27-21, 06:10 AM
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This years Paris Roubaix, so many crashes, mud, rain, cobblestones, it was incredible.
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Old 10-28-21, 05:39 PM
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Thanks for the recommendations, I will check all these out!

It makes sense that grand tours would have better coverage, and I can imagine that Alps and Italian races in general would have nice scenery. Alsomakes sense that the Basque country would be good too considering the history of biking there.

And yes I watched Paris Roubaix this year and it was a lot of fun. it was interesting to see Van Der Poel take a lot of those turns with ease. You could tell he was a cyclocross guy. But it seemed like he had the bad position in the velodrome. Too bad.
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Old 10-28-21, 11:03 PM
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Not sure you can see them but depending on coverage and specific route that year Lombardia (the lake), the Dauphine, and the shorter stage races like Paris-Nice can be spectacular.

If by stunning you mean thrilling like this year's Paris Roubaix, you might like Flanders in 1985, won by Eric Vanderaerden in a downpour. The cobbled stretches aren't as long, as frequent, or as rough as Paris Roubaix but unlike in the French race they're wicked steep. Or Paris-Roubaix 1981, another wet and slimy race won not so much in anger but in absolute fury by a guy who hated the race, doing everything wrong just to show who was the boss, seeing off an elite group including Roger "Mr Paris Roubaix" de Vlaeminck and Francesco Moser. Or Liege 1980, won by nearly 10 minutes after an 80 km solo break in a snowstorm. 174 riders entered that race, 153 abandoned, most of them within the first hour.
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Old 10-29-21, 01:25 AM
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Audi Nines for sheer trickery

Cerro Abajo is an urban downhill race in Valparaiso, Chile

Megavalanche is an annual race with a bonkers mass start on the glacier of the Alpe DíHuez, and the first five minutes or so are above the snow line and then another 15 min down to the tree line. Itís a very long race for downhill, like 40 min.

Any EWS race for scenery, they are all in the mountains.
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Old 10-29-21, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Audi Nines for sheer trickery

Cerro Abajo is an urban downhill race in Valparaiso, Chile

Megavalanche is an annual race with a bonkers mass start on the glacier of the Alpe D’Huez, and the first five minutes or so are above the snow line and then another 15 min down to the tree line. It’s a very long race for downhill, like 40 min.

Any EWS race for scenery, they are all in the mountains.
I've watched tons of Megavalanche GoPro videos. They are insane. Usually I lose interest once they descend below treeline, but the first 5 minutes are both spectacular scenery and wholly bada$$ riding.


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Old 10-30-21, 09:42 AM
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Jeez, that was extraordinary. There must be tons of carnage all over the Alpe after that day. I was getting a little motion sick towards the bottom, particularly when he was walking near the end. I imagine the main field going through the single track has got to be ugly.
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Old 10-30-21, 08:11 PM
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Thanks I’ll check all those out and try to find the old races mentioned. And, yes I watched Lombardia this year. That area is beautiful. I watched a stage from the tour de suisse today while riding the training, very scenic.
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Old 11-05-21, 01:07 PM
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Wow, you're opening up a real pandora's box, as cycling has such a rich history of place. I can think of no better place to start than the inrring's blog series of "Roads to Ride" linked here https://inrng.com/roads/
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Old 11-06-21, 05:37 PM
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Thanks again for all the suggestions. I’m going to have a couple beers tonight and try to track down some of these races. Also I watch Milan San Remo this week, and I see what everyone means. The last 60 K along the coast is stunning.
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Old 11-06-21, 05:39 PM
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Starting with Megavalanche now
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Old 11-06-21, 05:56 PM
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This is hilarious. These guys are ******g nuts. I love it.
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