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2 Questions:

1. I understand the categorized climbs (4,3,2,1,& hor) but I don't understand what makes a 4 a 4 or a 2 a 2....what's the criteria for a categorized climb? Distance? Steepness? Combination of both??

2. I see that some riders have negative points for the green jersey. What's that all about? How to you get negative points?
 

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dkweikel said:
2 Questions:

1. I understand the categorized climbs (4,3,2,1,& hor) but I don't understand what makes a 4 a 4 or a 2 a 2....what's the criteria for a categorized climb? Distance? Steepness? Combination of both??

2. I see that some riders have negative points for the green jersey. What's that all about? How to you get negative points?
Climbs are categorized based on a combination of length, gradient, and where they occur in the stage (i.e. a climb at 150km is likely to be rated higher than a climb at 20km).
 

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This page has the specific guidelines for how climbs are categorized:
http://tour-de-france.velonews.com/article/78643/tour-de-france-101

There are no set rules on how the organizer can categorize hills or mountains. This is how the Tour de France climbs are defined:

* The easiest is a Category 4, which is typically less than 2km long and about 5 percent grade, or up to 5km at a 2-3 percent grade.
* A Category 3 can be as short as one mile with a very steep grade, perhaps 10 percent; or as long as six miles with a grade less than 5 percent.
* A Category 2 can be as short as 5km at 8 percent, or as long as 15km at 4 percent
* A Category 1, once the highest category, can be anything from 8km at 8 percent to 20km at 5 percent.
* An hors catégorie (“above category”) rating is given to exceptionally tough climbs. This could either be a Category 1 whose summit is also the finish of the stage, or one that is more than 10km long with an average grade of at least 7.5 percent, or up to 25km miles long at 6 percent or steeper.
 

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baker921 said:
On a historical note 4th category meant it could be driven up in 4th (top) gear and 3rd cat, 3rd gear and so on. HC therefore meant you'd be outside pushing your rotten old Citroen over the top.
i too have heard that. maybe HC stood for "Holy Crap"?


pretender said:
That strikes me as, um, apocryphal.
+1 for the use of "apocryphal" and raising the vocabulary standard on this forum.
 
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