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I'm trying to relate some of the climbs in the TDF to what I have done. Since I'm in Minneapolis, I don't have many big hills in my area but I did climb Cadillac Mountain numerous times when I was on vacation in Maine last month. Here's a description of the road to the summit:
"Mountain climb from 300 foot elevation to 1500 foot elevation over 4.5 miles of auto road. Some sections at 6 to 8 percent grade."

According to these stats, that would put the average grade at 5%. So, where would this be ranked on the 1-5 category scale for climbs?
Thanks.
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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zeek said:
I'm trying to relate some of the climbs in the TDF to what I have done. Since I'm in Minneapolis, I don't have many big hills in my area but I did climb Cadillac Mountain numerous times when I was on vacation in Maine last month. Here's a description of the road to the summit:
"Mountain climb from 300 foot elevation to 1500 foot elevation over 4.5 miles of auto road. Some sections at 6 to 8 percent grade."

According to these stats, that would put the average grade at 5%. So, where would this be ranked on the 1-5 category scale for climbs?
Thanks.
There is no set formula for a catagory climb. Depends on the race, the stage, difficulty of the stage, position within the stage, etc. - TF
 

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Yes, it depends,

but there's a rough scale. The climb you describe gains about 1200 feet in 4.5 miles. By comparison, the first climb on today's stage rose about 1400 feet in 4 miles. It was ranked 3d category. So yours would be a 3d or more likely 4th (the lowest), depending on where it appeared in the stage.

BTW, the scale has 5 levels, but it's not a "1-5 category scale." There's no "5". It goes from 4th (easiest) to "HC" --"hors categorie" or "beyond category." It was originally 1-4, but they decided they wanted some designated harder than the 1's. All three climbs yesterday were "beyond."

For further comparison, the biggest climb yesterday, the Galibier, gains (on its main section) about 3900 feet in about 13 miles. So the average grade is about the same as Cadillac (though it gets steeper at the top) but it goes on 3 times as far.
 

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Climb category is not as interesting as the speed which you maintain on the climb. Lots of riders can do the HC climbs in the TdF, but they will be spinning for a couple of hours instead of hammering them in 1 hour or less.
 

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Hmm - I was wondering this for a while.

Mt. Diablo in the SF bay area (california) climbs 3800ft in ~10 miles. Would that make it a cat1 or an HC?? (This is 5 miles from where I live and I climb it often - the distance I'm quoting is for the south gate route but the time trial up it each year is actually the north gate route which I've actually only done going down).
 

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What? Me worry?
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Rich_Racer said:
Hmm - I was wondering this for a while.

Mt. Diablo in the SF bay area (california) climbs 3800ft in ~10 miles. Would that make it a cat1 or an HC?? (This is 5 miles from where I live and I climb it often - the distance I'm quoting is for the south gate route but the time trial up it each year is actually the north gate route which I've actually only done going down).
Alp d'Huez is a 7.9% grade for about 8.6 miles. It's a beyond category climb (HC). Mt. Diablo, if it is as you describe it, would be about 7.1% grade. The elevation of both climbs would probably be similar. If you had to ride 130 miles to get to it and climb two similar climbs on the way, then Mt. Diablo would probably be HC.
 

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zeek said:
I'm trying to relate some of the climbs in the TDF to what I have done. Since I'm in Minneapolis, I don't have many big hills in my area but I did climb Cadillac Mountain numerous times when I was on vacation in Maine last month. Here's a description of the road to the summit:
"Mountain climb from 300 foot elevation to 1500 foot elevation over 4.5 miles of auto road. Some sections at 6 to 8 percent grade."

According to these stats, that would put the average grade at 5%. So, where would this be ranked on the 1-5 category scale for climbs?
Thanks.
I live on Mount Desert Island and climb Cadillac a couple of times a week on loops anywhere from 35-100 miles. I consider it to be one of the lowest (easiest) categories. It's a quite consistent 5% the whole way... not that steep and not that long. It sure is pretty though.

singlecross
 
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