Once again, the Giro d'Italia has presented a spectacular 2023 route with the hardest mountain stages in pro cycling. However recent history cautions cycling fans to lift their hopes too much, and it remains to be seen how many of them will actually take place. Next to the six mountain stages (three of them in the third week ), the parcours also features an extremely difficult mountain time trial to Monte Lussari and another two, mostly flat, time trials, which are 20km and 34km long respectively.
Volta a Catalunya might be the most interesting one week stage race this year. This is partly thanks to the elite startlist, that is headlined by the main Giro d'Italia contenders Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic but also includes Landa, Almeida, Bardet, Uijtdebroeks and the returning Egan Bernal among others. This headline talent, combined with a route that includes three hard summit finishes, makes this race a perfect indicator of climbing level, especially for the Giro d'Italia contenders.
In this article I will analyse possible strategies, performances and likely outcomes on the climbs of Paris Nice and Tirreno Adriatico, while taking into account the circumstances of the non climbing stages. A similar piece for the Volta a Catalunya will follow in the coming weeks. All watt estimations are calculated using standard values for wind, draft, temperature and etalon weight of 60kg.
The 2022 cycling season was full of top level climbing performances with many records broken and new climbers bursting onto the scene. The list of Top 10 climbing performances of 2022 was dominated by Evenepoel and Vingegaard but will the same riders dominate the long ascents in WorldTour races in 2023?
The ratio of a rider's watts produced per kilogram of bodyweight (w/kg) is the key metric which determines how fast they can ride uphill. We analyse and compare climbing performances primarily based on estimated w/kg, while also taking into account other factors such as altitude or spent kj/kg/h before the climb. Naturally, many questions regarding our calculation of watts, the accuracy, power meters, etalon standard watts have arisen, which we will try to clarify here.
As the 2022 cycling season has come to a close, it is time to rank the top 10 climbing performances of the year. An admittedly hard task, considering the multitude of impressive performances from various riders throughout the year. The climbing speeds especially exploded when summer arrived after the Giro d'Italia, with eight of the ten entries in the list coming after the month of May.
As has become tradition in recent years, La Vuelta once again features a variety of summit finishes, mostly with minimal difficulties before the final climb. Against expectations however, is the absence of the super-steep 'Rampas Inhumanas', that have been the face of the Vuelta for many years. The only exception to this is the climb to Les Praeres, which is immensely steep, but very short, making big gaps unlikely. The majority of climbs are of consistently moderate gradient, which gives an advantage to the heavier and more aero GC riders rather than the featherweight climbers.
Le Tour de France features one of the hardest parcours in recent memory, with five mountain-top finishes and a special focus on longer ascents and high altitude. The most decisive climbs of the race, Col du Granon, Alpe d'Huez and Hautacam are all in the 35-40 minute range, a stark contrast to the 2021 edition, in which the race was decided on 25 minute climbs.
The Giro d'Italia is famous for legendary mountains like the Stelvio, Mortirolo or the Zoncolan, but which climbs await the riders in the 2022 edition of the race? Let's take a closer look at the main climbing obstacles of this years route.
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