Tour de France 2006 king of the mountains Michael Rasmussen says he is disappointed with the 2006 Tour de France route. The structure of the stages means that the mountains jersey will not necessarily go to the fastest climber next year.
The problem, says Rasmussen in his diary on feltek.dk, is that the actual climbing comes too late in the stages. "This years route was a bit different, because the mountains were right at the beginning of the stages, and then you could simply go to get the points you needed, if you had the strength," says Rasmussen. "Next year there are about 50 km flat riding before reaching the mountains of respectively the Pyrenees and the Alps. That makes it a bit of a coincidence which riders will make it in the different breaks. It will not necessarily be those who race fastest uphill. Of course that makes it a bit more difficult."
In addition, Rasmussen doesn't believe any of the stages before the Alps will be selective. "In reality only the time trial can make a difference before the Alps. Maybe the last stage in the Pyrenees can make some separation, but it is not an especially tough finish. We rode it two years ago during the Vuelta. It was the stage after the one I won. Joaquin Rodriguez and Aitor Osa were in a break and I left the group behind them together with three others, Luis Perez, Felix Cardenas and Unai Osa. We arrived ahead of the others, but only 20 seconds later a group of 15 riders arrived. It is not a climb to make a large difference. I think we were about 30 riders that lasted until about the last eight kilometres. You could perhaps lose a minute or so, but that won't be a crucial climb," he says.