Today the Tour de France reaches the Alps and climbs iconic mountain cols such as Glandon, Telegraphe & Galibier. Tomorrow (Thursday 20th) the professionals climb the massive Col d’Izoard, which sits just a few kilometers from the Italian border in the french Alps.
At 2360m above sea level and rising 1000m over 14.1km with an average gradient of 7.3% from the valley floor this high mountain top finish will test the professionals after they have already climbed over the 1st category Col de Vars.
Ahead of the Tour, the women’s La Course road race will also roll out from Briancon, racing along the valley to Guillestre and climbing the same 14km climb to finish atop Izoard.
These are the same roads that I will be racing in just over 4 weeks time. Spare a thought for me when you watch the pros suffering on the gradients, in the heat and at altitude. That will be me on Tuesday 22nd August as the Haute Route rides 127km from Pra Loup to Col du Granon just north of Briancon over the Col de Vars and Col d’Izoard.
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