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YJ's Routes/Stages - La Grandíssima
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Posted on 18-11-2019 16:15
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Yellow Jersey
It's been a very busy few weeks, I started college and everything around it has been very time consuming but slowly I've found free time once again, and it is the right time to announce my next race, which is one I had planned from the start and am very excited to get it rolling. THE AMERICA CROSSING!

The idea is very simple, the race will go, wait for it, across America Shock you would've never guesses that one right.. Now, America is pretty big, I could literally start anywhere, and I can in theory make lots of variants.. But so far I have only one planned traced out, the race will start in the Maine district and finish in California. Where it will go through, no idea yet..

I also don't have much knowledge about the American roads, the iconic climbs in most of the country, and iconic mid-country sites, etc.. I would love to have some ideas given on where to head/go as it's a much more open project than the previous ones and there's an infinite number of possibilities from where to choose from.

Oh! One last thing.. This will be a marathon-stage packed race.. I want this to be one for the rough men, one where the flat/hilly stages are so demanding they can create bigger gaps then the mountains.. have one like in the old days of cycling where endurance is what counted the most, trying to recreate that special era (everything but the current racing format) in a special way. The race post is coming right below Smile
Yellow Jersey
America Crossing

Posted in the comments below, enjoy Wink
Edited by Yellow Jersey on 01-02-2019 19:09
Yellow Jersey
First update on the America Crossing, is the first week of racing really.

Route in the post below.
Edited by Yellow Jersey on 01-02-2019 19:11
Yellow Jersey
America Crossing

Presenting the America Crossing, a race of endurance, made for the hard men, where resilience and mental strenght is the key to win.


Stage 1: Portland - Boston
Stage 2: Providence - Poughkeepsie
Stage 3: New York - Wilmington
Stage 4: Baltimore - Washington D.C ITT
Stage 5: Charlotesville - New Castle
Stage 6: Bluefield - Cumberland
Stage 7: Knoxville - Sandy Lane
Stage 8: Chatanooga - Nashville
Stage 9: St.Louis - Columbia
Stage 10: Kansas City - Salina
Stage 11: Limon - Denver
Stage 12: Boulder - Breckenridge
Stage 13: Vail - Larkspur Mountain
Stage 14: Grand Junction - Dove Creek
Stage 15: Grand Canyon - Mingus Mountain
Stage 16: Las Vegas - Victorville
Stage 17: Los Angeles - Santa Monica ITT
Stage 18: Ventura - Gibraltar Road
Stage 19: Fresno - Mammooth Lakes
Stage 20: Carson City - South Lake Tahoe
Stage 21: Sacramento - San Francisco


The race starts off in Portland and follows a flat route to Boston. The second stage to Pughkeepsie should see a more selective sprint to the line, while the 3rd to Wilmington is another easy pan-flat stage. The first big GC moment comes on stage 4, with a 60Km ITT from Baltimore to Washington D.C, finishing by the White House.


And from stage 5 on the race gains another shape with the Apalaches mountain range on the way of the course. Stage 5 is a warmup but at the same time the real deal, the arrival at Newcastle comes after a full up-and-down stage in the wilderness' main roads, the 295Km will make the final climb feel like a marathon. Stage 6 to Cumberland is the highlight of the Apalaches, the High Knob climb will smash the peloton, the Black mountain climb will run through what is essentially a mountain trail with ridiculously steep gradients that will set the peloton to pieces. And the descent into Cumberland will only see the riders further climbing a steep hill that may kill those already dead-legged. The final run in, stage 7 will feature 2 assive 20Km+ climbs in the middle, and a slight uphill run into Sandy Lane, not as hard as the previous but the fatigue will definetely play a role in this day. Finally, a flatter stage as the riders exit the mountains and into the mainland, for a following rest day and easier roads to follow.




The second week starts in Missouri, goes through Kansas and stops in Colorado. Well, the first 3 stages that is, transitional, pan-flat, ideal for the sprinters who have made it through the rough opening week.


Quickly the rocky mountains make their appearance, featuring two brutal stages. Stage 12 to Breckenridge doesn't present the hardest of finales but it is mountain raid territory, with technical descents and steep climbs in the first bulk of it. Stage 13 finishes up in the Larkspur Mountain near Aspen and will present the first real summit finish, alongside likely the first major differences.


The final two stages of the second week are also transitional, with Utah and mainly Arizona making an appearance. Stage 4 is one for a breakaway for sure, those two climbs are enough to break the sprinters but not the climbers. Stage 15 is the only single-mountain top finish in the race. Although having a 1st category sprint in the midst of it, there is no descending until they reach the finish line in Mingus Mountain.




The final dreadful week starts with a flat stage, followed by a crucial time-trial in Los Angeles and around, going through Hollywood and Beverly Hills, a hilly one, should see some big gaps open.


As we move into the final days in the mountains. Stage 18 finishes in the well-known Gibraltar Road but goes through the Sisar Canyon and Mount Arido climbs which will decimate the peloton. Stage 19 doesnt give much of an opportunity to create gaps, but the 295Km-long mountain slog into Mammooth Lakes is surely gonna drain everyone for the final showdown in the Californian mountains. As stage 20 flows by Lake Tahoe, finishing in the village after having 5000+ meters of elevation in the day, the final opportunity to decide the overall, no energy will be spared.


Finally after crossing the United States the riders got to San Francisco. A big stage, and one surely for a sprinter but one that is adapts well to the short hills and technical streets that will conclude these 21 days of pain. But whoever reaches the finish already is a winner, as this is A race, testing the limits of endurance and resilience.

Yellow Jersey
I will mention that this race has been finished 2 weeks ago. Posted now, I can assure there is something big coming soon Smile
Looks a very exciting route Wink
Yellow Jersey
Yellow Jersey
Volta a Portugal

First actual PCM project from my routes, took a long time to start making them but they are here. I had the basics before starting, and you can visibly see the evolution along the whole race, starting off quite rough and shaky but starting stage 5 they got much smoother. There isn't anything super complex altohugh I did make quite some touches that the Portuguese should know Smile

When I saw last year's route I thought "damn, finally there was a proper route made". I mean it is an amazing country to cycle (outside the main cities, obviously), there is so much to explore, mountain ranges, tons of classic cities, I've never seen the race go through the Aldeias do Xisto, a magical region that sadly severely burned down by fires 1 and a half years ago. Last year a bit of innovation finally, but otherwise, always the same cities, always the same climbs, year after year. But perhaps the most ridiculous is that 11 stages in such a small country, every year there are plenty of regions that have a stage there once every 10 years, which is frankly ridiculous when there is so much potential.

So in this route I covered all bases, every single region of the country has a stage going through it, no 2Km prologue like the organizers love, hilly steep finishes, long multiple-mountain days, and actually not only passing but making vital stages in rarely visited areas.


Begining of the race in the capital, Lisbon. A pretty easy opening stage and the one of the stages the sprinters will deal with.

Into well familiar ground for cyclist enthusiasts, the second stage goes through the Algarve's rolling hills, climbing the Alto da Fóia early on and finishing on the iconic Alto do Malhão, a hard constant up-and-down stage that may create differences in the final pitch. (my pleasure as every single time I raced PCM in the Algarve the climb is just so incorrect, hope the Malhão looks as special as it is.)

Alto da Fóia

Aproaching the Alto do Malhão

Final Km in the Malhão


The Algarve is a very important region for Portuguese cycling and tourism is through the roof, the race's only TT, featuring 32Km in the flatland of the Algarve shore going through some of the main cities. The ITT being so early will set the race for what is gonna be a major challenge once the riders head north.

Algarve flatfields


The Alentejo stage if we can call it that, the roads all being from that region. Not as punchy as stage 2 but the riders will face a major challenge with a big ammount of climbing the final part of the stage, finishing on the cliffside village of Marvão in a short but hard climb.
Alentejo's desert-like fields

Start of the Marvão climb



Return of the sprinters is what we will surely see here, begining by the Fátima sanctuary and a finish in Ovar after hitting the area of the country that provides the most professional riders. A ride through cycling lands.
Fátima sanctuary

Oliveira de Azeméis



A beautiful stage, through the northern part of the country. A wide set of climbs throughout the day but the general feeling is a pretty hard day. 2 steep 2nd category climbs and a couple of more, adding to a very technically hard descent for a final peak to the line. This day can easily see big gaps, but the question is how it will be raced, a group sprint is also a good possibility.
Viana do Castelo

Serra da Arada

Vila do Gerês

Starting in the far north the stage returns to sea level. A route through some of the Douro river, rolling but mostly descending terrain on the menu. The stage is fit for the sprinters but having a good hilly punch will definetely help, the stage does have some climbing and the final 2Km present a little drag that can put some into dificulties.
Vila Real

Peso da Régua


Vila Nova de Gaia and the Port Wine Caves

Slow drag into the Porto center


The race finally heads on into the center of the country, and the mountains. Freita, Arada and São Macário, 3 1st category climbs that will make a ferocious stage in terms of everything. A plateau and descent back into São Pedro do Sul where the stage will finish may allow some recovery and union, but the GC men must have their best legs or they will easily loose the race here.

Serra da Freita

Frecho da Mizarela

Serra da Arada

São Macário

São Pedro do Sul

Finally the peloton arrives at the Serra da Estrela, the main and most famous mountain of all in the country. The day, massively hard, a slog through the mountain. The first climb of the day is from the mountain's hardest vertent from Covilhã where the stage will later finish, here they will almost go to the top, but then descend. Climb to Penhas Douradas though Seia, and then climb the Glacier Valley of the Zêzere river. A technical descent and some rolling terrain gets the riders back to Covilhã, where they will climb to the city center and sprint in the streets atop a 3rd category climb.

Penhas da Saúde

Cliffs, with the Torre in sight



Summit of the Glacier Valley climb

Turn into the Covilhã city center

The queen stage, even through yesterday's mammoth. The Aldeias do Xisto will host the final climbers showdown in what can only be described as a rollercoaster ride. The big ammount of climbs, both steep and long will set it up for the finale. Over the village of Piodão, the least used side, the riders will head up the Colcurinho peak, a brutally steep climb after 4000M+ of climbing in a mercyless day. The only reason why we might see someone smilling is cause they've gone over the final mountains.
Serra do Açor

Village of Piodão with the Colcurinho in the distance


Colcurinho Summit

Finally some well deserved easy riding. The final stage is just a mere 90Km to compensate for the majority of the race's long stages, and it will be mostly flat, although having a tough pitch finishing only 2.5Km away from the finish. The center cities of Viseu and Coimbra are the proper ones to finish off this amazing and proper bit of riding.

Mealhada, with Coimbra in the distance

Nasty incline in the Coimbra city

The Grandíssima comes to a close by the Coimbra University


On La Flamme Rouge, the route is here:https://www.la-fl...view/11113
Edited by Yellow Jersey on 06-02-2019 20:39
Yellow Jersey
I have raced the whole Tour, still I'd love some feedback from you, both in terms of route and AI Smile (although I didnt focus on making it as realistic, but making an exciting route, and from what I've seen it comes across as a very open and exciting race).
Yellow Jersey
Out of curiosity some months later, has anyone tried the race? (btw can a mod pass this thread to PCM18:Stages? As it has actual stages now (2 months ago) I wanted to change Smile)
You will do the stages of Volta a Portugal 2019?
Edited by Jorgerych on 20-04-2019 13:57
Jorgerych wrote:
You will do the stages of Volta a Portugal 2019 in Future


30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing
[CX] Listerijns & BoK

Yellow Jersey
Jorgerych wrote:
You will do the stages of Volta a Portugal 2019?

Possibility, but only if the route is well made which was a sole case last year, plus lots of regions are ignored, hence why my route was so different from the usual. I'll see at the time.
Ulrich Ulriksen
This thread is in graphics - should be in stages. Think maybe they moved it to the wrong place when they moved this into the 18 section. Maybe a mod could move again.
Yellow Jersey
When I created the thread I inserted in graphics cause I was only making routes not stages, only in my last one did I actually make PCM stages out of it, I wish I had the time and patience to do all of them tho Smile
Anyway as Ulriksen says, an admin should move it, otherwise noone will download because they will only look in stages.


If you're interested in weird music:
Yellow Jersey
Coincidently, only today did I spot that La Flamme Rouge opened it's first contest of the year, a GT in Colombia.

Although deadline is in 4 days I'll take part, so in this very week expect an all new route, straight from a cycling holy country Smile
I have read your article, it is very informative and useful for me. I admire the valuable information you provide in your articles. Thank you for posting it.
happy wheels
Yellow Jersey
Colombia GT has been made some time ago, I'll make a brief presentation when I can. In the meanwhile, I'll also make a Vuelta a Las Canarias, on the iconic Spanish Islands Pfft
Yellow Jersey
LFR Tour de France 2019 Variant

My route is here: https://www.la-fl...view/11875

The Grand Depart takes part in Brussels, the opening stage goes through it's historic center, and coming out of Bruxels it goes through the small towns of Meise, where Merckx built the factory in which Eddy Merckx Bycicles began, those that are currently used by the AG2R team, and also by Zellik, where later he moved the company, that to this day hosts the headquarters of the iconic bike brand.

Starting in Brussels, the race heads south via Normandie and Loire and will ride along the massif central for two hilly stages before a team time-trial. After that the race will come down to the Pyrinees for two stages in the high mountains, will have a transition through the mediteraneen with two flat stages before a hard day in the Nice region, and after another flat stage comes the Alps, two stages purely in the main Alpine center and the queen stage in the Jura mountains. A time-trial will follow in Besançon before the final mountain stage in the Vosges. It's a climbers Tour, despite some long ITT kilometers there are big mountain stages where the climbers can really play into their advantage.

Stage 1, the Grand Depart in Brussels, land of Eddy Merckx. The start of the stage takes place in the Brussels' historic center, and goes through Meise, the town where he created Eddy Merckx Cycles, and also Zellik where later the company was moved, and to this day has it's headquarters, the bike brand currently is one of the big names in cycling manufacturing and supplies bikes for example for the AG2R team.

The stage won't go far from Brussels, there will be passings through the Flandrien cities of Zottegem and Ninove that are well renoun in Flemish racing, and will then have a loop around the urban Brussels area.
Stage 2 is an individual time-trial, it's a 27Km long challenge,completely flat and with a few technical areas but one that perfectly suits the powerhouses, and will be the first stage where gaps will be seen, also with a switch of leader.
The third and longest stage of the race sees it come to France, the start is in Arras, a city close to Lille, and the route takes the riders through the Hauts de France and finishes in Normandie, with the first hilltop finish in Le Havre, with the Côte d'Ingouvilles (900m, 6.5%) summiting with 900 meters to go (the profile is innacurate, it is far steeper than indicated).
With the start in the Mèmorial de Caen, a WWII memorial, the race keeps heading south, through to Loire, more specifically Sarthe, as the race heads towards Le Mans and after going through the urban area the riders will enter the infamous racing circuit where it will finish.
Stage 5 comes as another challenge for the sprinters, with the flatlands of Centre-Val de Loire and Limousin on the menu. The final part of the stage is quite rolling but it shouldn't disturb the sprinters who will have their saying in Limoges.
Stage 6 takes the riders for a 2-day run in the Massif Central. After some gaps show in the time-trial in Brussels, in Saint-Flour the GC riders will be looking to keep their overall ambitions safe, in a tricky stage with 3000m of climbing and very sketchy roads, well suited for a breakaway.
Stage 7 keeps the run through the Massif Central, after what's been a hilly day the stage from Mende and Rodez, with some long gruelling climbs in the twisty roads, there will be a downhill run-up to Rodez where a slight uphill will bring to a close the first run in the French climbs.
Stage 8 is the race's sole team time-trial, in such an advanced point of the race, it's possible that some teams will be down some riders and have bigger differences. This stage brings another Eddy Merckx reference, it's where in 1971, he was in contention to win his 3rd Tour but had a rough start to the second week. It was here in Albi where he won a time-trial, and in the next day he got the Yellow Jersey back from Luis Ocaña who abandoned, and kept it all the way to Paris.
Stage 9 gives the sprinters another chance before the race enters the mountains, the transition between Pau and Toulouse unites the race with the Pyrenees where the real race will begin.
Stage 10 is he first big mountain stage of the Tour and it's a very complicated one. Despite a relatively short distance, there's almost 4300 meters of climbing on this day, with the Tourmalet, Aspin and Peyresourde leading up to the first summit finish of the race too, in the 16.7Km climb to Superbagnères, where the first serious gaps will be made, and there's no room to enter this part of the race with low form, specially with the day that follows in the Pyrinees.
Stage 11 is a marathon through the Pyrenees. With only two days in the most classical French mountain range, this stage has a shark-tooth profile, and goes through some climbs that aren't a regular in the Tour, but the ascents of the Agnés and the Pailheres bring some familiarity to the route, but with no easy place to recover from what will be an all-day roller in the mountains. With 5400 meters of ascent there's a lot of damage that can be done, with it's 8 categorized climbs.
Stage 12 is one for the sprinters, a mediterraneen ride, starting right by the border of Spain in Cerbère and going through some of the main cities in the sea-by region, such as Narbonne and Béziers, before a flat and fast finish is expected in Montpellier
Stage 13 takes the riders to Provence and the majority of it's main cities, it's a mostly flat stage but is more rolling than the others, with some long drags alongside the wide country roads. The finish comes from a slight descent after the Montée du Camp, and the finish line will be in Toulon, right by the sea after another long day in the saddle.
Stage 14 is the first incursion in the Alps but through the Atlantic ones, in the cycling-famed region of Nice. After the start in Menton the riders head to Nice and go through some of the climbs that are very well reputated due to it's presence in the Paris-Nice, and in the end it totals to a lot of climbing with a summit finish in the Madone d'Utelle, that is sure to make further differences in the GC. There's a flat day coming after, before the race goes seriously into the Alps.
Stage 15 is the final flat stage before Paris, having the alpine cities host such a stage isn't usual, but the sprinters will indeed have their chance to get another win, not a hard stage despite a general uphill drag all day long, and for the GC riders it's a relative rest day before the final set of mountains.
Stage 16 is a loop around Barcelonette, of what can only be called the hardest of mountain stages. Almost 6000 meters of climbing this Tour is definetely suited for the climbers, and it's mammooth climbing stages like this that should be more integrated in the actual Tour. The climbs are long, and steep, and in the fearsome Col de la Bonette the riders will go up to 2700 meters of height, before descending down to Barcelonette again and climbing to the finish in the Pra-Loup ski station. It's the first day in the real Alps and it's a brutal one to start with.

Pra-Loup was a turning point in Eddy Merckx's career, after being punched by a "fan" in the previous stage to Puy-de-Dôme, Merckx set out for stage 15 of the 1975 Tour in the yellow jersey, and suffering from the consequences of the injury that left him with an inflamed liver, it was in the climb to Pra-Loup that he cracked, was overtaken by his rivals and lost the Yellow jersey. Pra-Loup was the last climb Merckx ever did in the Maillot Jaune, hence why it's nicknamed the place of "Le Tombeur du Cannibale"
Stage 17 brings the race to one of the biggest cycling centers of the Alps in the Maurienne valley, but before the Galibier will be climbed via the Lautaret. And in what will be a very short stage, the Croix de Fer will be climbed with it's start in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, one of the least convential sides.
Stage 18 is the queen stage, flowing around the Jura mountains, a full mammooth stage in the mountains including some of the region's most iconic climbs. Part of the Alps but in the Jura, the Mont du Chat, Mont de Semnoz and Grand Colombier will be climbed, but there are even more climbs in the way to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, in a day that will be both the longest with 246Km and the stage with most climbing, with 6200 meters of climbing.
Stage 19 is the final time-trial of the race, it's a rolling 37.6Km challenge, not easy at all but not one for the GC men. It features a bit of climbing in it's early part and then returns to Besançon.
Stage 20 is the final point where the Tour can be decided. The race came north into the Vosges where the weather can become dreadful, and goes through some of the most iconic climbs of the region in another shark-tooth profile day. The Grand Ballon, the Petit Ballon, the Platzerwasel and the Ballon d'Alsace are some of the climbs that really show some of the best of the final mountain range in the race.

The final climb of the race, the Ballon d'Alsace, the place where in 1969 Eddy Merckx won his first ever Tour stage and began there a legacy, he set up for the win in his debut Grand Boucle that set up for 4 consecutive Tour wins.
And stage 21 brings us to the end of the Tour, the classic circuit in Champs-Élysées but with a short stages for some excitement that may usually lack. Nothing special, a passing through Versailles and the intermediate sprint before the circuit we all know well.

Stage 8 brings another Eddy Merckx reference, it's where in 1971, he was in contention to win his 3rd Tour but had a rough start to the second week. It was here in Albi where he won a time-trial, and in the next day he got the Yellow Jersey back from Luis Ocaña who abandoned, and kept it all the way to Paris. Stage 16 finishes in Pra-Loup, it was a turning point in Eddy Merckx's career, after being punched by a "fan" in the previous stage to Puy-de-Dôme, Merckx set out for stage 15 of the 1975 Tour in the yellow jersey, and suffering from the consequences of the injury that left him with an inflamed liver, it was in the climb to Pra-Loup that he cracked, was overtaken by his rivals and lost the Yellow jersey. Pra-Loup was the last climb Merckx ever did in the Maillot Jaune, hence why it's nicknamed the place of "Le Tombeur du Cannibale". And the final climb of the race, the summit finish in Ballon d'Alsace is the place where in 1969 Eddy Merckx won his first ever Tour stage and began there a legacy, he set up for the win in his debut Grand Boucle that set up for 4 consecutive Tour wins.

This race features:
8 sprint stages (spread around the race and country)
3 hilly stages (all with slight uphill finishes)
7 mountain stages with 5 summit finishes
2 ITT's total of 64.6Km and a TTT of 33.2Km
2 lumpy stages in Massif Central, 2 in Pyrinees, 1 in Côte d'Azur, 2 in the Rhône-Alpes, 1 in the Jura and 1 in the Vosges. At least a stage in every mountain range and main cycling region.
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