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2022 Tour of America Route Revealed
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Posted on 04-10-2022 05:02
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Ulrich Ulriksen
Tour of America

And now it is the people's grand tour, the 21-day sufferfest for those who weren't genetic lottery winners, or the beneficiaries of massive training investments by super rich teams or have just moved a year or two beyond their sell-by dates. It is the race where everyday riders dare to dream of honor and glory: The Tour of America.

The 2022 Tour connects two great American cities, New York and San Francisco. In between the riders will enjoy an extended tour of New York State, an education in just how flat it is in the upper Midwest, some hard days in British Columbia and finally some Californian mountains leading to a finish on the streets of San Francisco.

Last year’s intro noted that “Last year Dominik Nerz and Kraftwerk enjoyed a magical Tour of America, with the race moving them to the verge of promotion.” So don’t need to rewrite that sentence.

In 2021 Nerz joined Andrei Kashechkin as the only 2-time winner but his chances of going for three seem slim. Which means we should have the 10th different winner in the races 12 editions. The race still has not been won by a rider from the Americas, so perhaps this is the year.

Week 1: The Tour of New York


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The race opens with a continuation of the celebration of New York City begun at the 2021 Worlds. The first stage is a 6k prologue which marks the only flat time trial of the race. The second stage in NYC is a short sprint stage, it should be much easier for the sprinters to control than the Worlds.

The next 4 stages give the punchy riders a chance to wear the leader’s jersey as the race moves east to west across New York State. Although a punchy sprinter should also be competitive on most of the stages.

None of these stages seem challenging enough to worry the GC riders, except maybe for stage 5, in the Finger Lakes region. It is the hardest and longest stage of the first week. By the end of stage 6 a punchy rider or a GC contender with a good finish should control the leader's jersey.

Week 1 concludes with the race’s first visit to Canada for a 130k sprint stage south of Toronto.

Week 2: The Great Lakes and the Canadian Rockies


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Week 2 has two very distinct parts. The first three stages all required the course designer to scour the map for something to call a KOM point. They didn’t really succeed so some bumps in the road got categorized. But the sprinters will be happy as they get a chance to score victories in 3 states in 3 days (Michigan, Indiana and Illinois).

At this point the GC riders will have enjoyed a pretty quiet 10-days, assuming they haven’t fallen off out of boredom over the last 4 stages. But then the GC race kicks off as the peloton moves back into Canada, this time the West Coast, for Stage 11.

Most of the stage should be pretty quiet but it ends with a bang, a 23km finishing climb up Mt Revelstoke (average 5.7%). Riders who lost their climbing legs in the Midwest could quickly find themselves in a major deficit.

Stage 12 is one last chance for the punchy riders and then Stage 13 brings another summit finish. This time the climb to Apex Mountain Resort (10k at 8.2%). The finishing climb is much shorter than Mt Revelstoke but the stage is longer and the preceding kilometers are harder.

These three stages will be familiar to those who rode the 2019 Tour of America where they featured as stages 8 to 10. In 2019 the stage winners were Berhane, Senni and Shikai. The latter went on to win the GC overall.

From there the race departs from the 2019 route as the week finishes with a new stage in British Columbia – this one a 200km medium mountain stage around Kamloops. The breakaway specialists will have marked this on their calendars.

Week 3: California or Bust


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Week 3 opens with one more stage in British Columbia. Stage 15 is the shortest road race stage at just 106k. But that includes 40km of climbing, so riders who got dropped on the early climbs will be facing a hard fight against the time cut.

After that the race moves into its final phase in California. The riders are welcomed to the Golden State with the race’s queen stage, from Yosemite Valle to Ely Mountain. By the time the riders reach the brutally steep final 1k up Ely Mountain they will have completed 3 significant climbs and numerous smaller ones. And there will be no time for recovery as the next day is 21k mountain time trial with most of the course spent riding up Kings Canyon (19k at 5.4%).

Stage 18 is a day off for the GC riders while the sprinters or the breakaway artists get another chance. Stage 19 is the final climbing stage and the final summit finish. This time on Mt. Diablo (14k at 6.6%), just outside San Francisco.

The last two stages celebrate San Francisco. First the GC will be decided in a 26km time trial, which while mostly flat, takes in some of the city’s famous steep slopes, including among others, a run up Lombard Street and a 2.2km climb at 7.2% to the finish on Diamond Heights. Then the race will conclude with one last chance for the sprinters in a 109k jaunt that sticks mostly to the flatter roads of the city.

While the sprinters battle it out on stage 21 the GC leader should be able to find time for a celebratory glass of wine, maybe something from nearby Napa valley instead of the traditional Champagne.

Recap:
7 Flat
1 Flat TT
1 Hill TT
1 MT TT
5 Hills
1 Medium Mountain
5 MT (3 summit finishes)

Acknowledgements: This race is indebted to a number of stagemakers – The New York city stages are from Leon40’s brilliant ZCTS while the San Francisco stages are from Elias’ equally brilliant San Francisco ZCTS. The first 3 Canadian Rockies stages come from the mangame. Stage 16 is from Togo’s California Grand Tour, with some minor modifications, and stage 18 uses his zcts.

Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
 
Eden95
Awesome route! Love the first week being a tour of NY state. Also the stage finishing in Albany can now officially be named the Steamed Hams stage.

It looks like a much more balanced route than this past season, so maybe one for an all-rounder that’s a little weaker over the big climbs. Riders like Nerz and Warchol will hope they stay away.

Thanks for the awesome write up Smile
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Croatia14
Really like the route. If this was WT this wouldve been Gavirias paradise, but I can imagine some very interesting competition!
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baseballlover312
I'm admittedly a little sour on the TOA still because of Warbasse's epic flop, but it will never cease to tempt me anyway. Interesting to see quite a few hilly stages that first week, and perhaps a bit lighter on the mountains than usual in favor of sprinter's stages.

I'll definitely consider participating, but given my current crop of leaders, not sure it fits this year.
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jandal7
Never been to the Tour of America before but enjoy the race and enjoy the route and your great route presentation this year Ulrich. I really enjoyed getting an U25 jersey from a GT last year - maybe now I'm back in PCT this is the way to continue that feeling? Wink
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Mresuperstar
Great route!

Stage 9 is pretty close to going by where I currently live IRL :lol:

Almost sad we didn't relegate so we could race here, but we will enjoy the action from the television broadcasts instead.
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DaveTwoBob
Thanks to Ulrich for another interesting route with1 short flat TT, 1 hilly TT and 1 mountain TT and lots of hilly stages.

Nerz has declined so it is unlikely he could defend his title but Kraftwerk are keen to return to this wonderful event.
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AbhishekLFC
Great write-up Ulrich Smile

And great work on the ToA. Really like this route!
 
whitejersey
The route looks great! Hard to say in what condition our team is going to be in and whether or not we will try to replicate our success from last season in this great race, but should be good fun!
 
MacC
Amazing work, really like the balance.

Thanks a lot.
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