21 HC Climbs the Tour should (re)visit - Volume II

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Jun 2, 2013
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Krzysztof_O said:
Yes. It's Fauniera from Demonte and it's a beast with over 1700 meters of elevation gain in less than 25 km and a section of 10km@9%. Not enogh? Yes, Fauniera from Pradleves is even harder (with a section of almost 15km@9% and many double digit sectors) but lower in this case (as we reach Esischie and turn north). No change in stage start and finish:

I wasn't complaining about the climb :D

I was just suggesting the other one because it's the "classical" one.
 
Matt92 said:
I wasn't complaining about the climb :D

I was just suggesting the other one because it's the "classical" one.
I know ;) I just wanted to reach 2500 meters two times in that stage. And Val Thorens is also a monster. With Glandon and Madeleine (like in 1994) that is a super stage.
 
Jun 2, 2013
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Linkinito said:
I'm just gonna make a little comment about the fact that my latest articles are coming very late in the day (in Europe at least). It's the fact that I don't have much free time at the moment, and sometimes I don't really know what I should write to make the article interesting. You know, writer's block.

So my articles kinda feel rushed and shorter than the first ones in this list. But I still want to bring some quality into them and mostly, I want to stay faithful to the one-climb-per-day rule until the start of the Tour de France. That's how I envisioned it, so when I'll have more time, I'll add more details and some links to make them more complete.

In the first edition, I had more free time and I usually wrote less than this year's edition, so that felt quite light to me. I write this on a day-by-day basis. But this year involves much more work into it. Nothing forces me to stay on my current rhythm, but I take it as a personal challenge, as I'll be later doing jobs involving deadlines and narrow timeframes. I just need some more motivation and inspiration.

I hope that you understand :)
Personally speaking, I always enjoy reading your posts about new cols. I didn't notice any drop in terms of quality. Besides, it's obvious we all have more important things to do in our lives than writing on a forum, you don't have to justify yourself for that.
 
Linkinito said:
I'm just gonna make a little comment about the fact that my latest articles are coming very late in the day (in Europe at least). It's the fact that I don't have much free time at the moment, and sometimes I don't really know what I should write to make the article interesting. You know, writer's block.

So my articles kinda feel rushed and shorter than the first ones in this list. But I still want to bring some quality into them and mostly, I want to stay faithful to the one-climb-per-day rule until the start of the Tour de France. That's how I envisioned it, so when I'll have more time, I'll add more details and some links to make them more complete.

In the first edition, I had more free time and I usually wrote less than this year's edition, so that felt quite light to me. I write this on a day-by-day basis. But this year involves much more work into it. Nothing forces me to stay on my current rhythm, but I take it as a personal challenge, as I'll be later doing jobs involving deadlines and narrow timeframes. I just need some more motivation and inspiration.

I hope that you understand :)
Don't worry. I know out of first hand that it isn't easy to stay inspired about the same theme over and over again, but your articles are very enjoyable. Keep up the good work!
 
Sep 29, 2012
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#31: Collet d'Allevard (Isère)
The successful neighbor



We'll continue our trilogy of potential HC-rated mountain top finishes that would end in ski stations. After going to Val Thorens yesterday, we'll go back into the Belledonne mountains, a chain that is unfortunately way underused by ASO. It offers some tough climbs and great sceneries over the Isère valley, but it is widely ignored in favour of the deeper mountains in the Alps that are closer to Italian and Swiss borders. But trust me, if you look “deeply” into Belledonne, you'll see that it's not just a chain of mountains that offers one or two hidden gems, but it's a whole treasure by its own that ASO needs to acknowledge. I'll show you later in this article – for now, let's focus on the climb of the day, and a little story to describe it.

At 50 kilometers north-east of Grenoble, Allevard and Arvillard are two neighbouring cities. They share the same valley, roughly the same name, the same chain of mountains. But one of them proved that it was stronger than the other. When, in 1955, Allevard created his ski resort aptly named “Le Collet d'Allevard”, located nearly 1000 meters higher than the main city, it was a real success year after year and expanded in 1975. It was only now that the smaller city of Arvillard decided to get its own station, called “Val Pelouse”. But it was way too late, and like if the skyborgs (pun intended) wanted the project to fail, the Arvillard station didn't get that much snow every year – and it closed its doors ten years later, leaving only a parking and a road that leads to it. But what a hell of a road it is. And it deserved a spot in the first 21 HC climbs list.

But now it is time for a more realistic finish, and I've mentioned it last year, that the Collet d'Allevard also had a climb that was HC-worthy. And ASO knows it. They already threw the peloton on its slopes during a week-long race that usually prepares the riders for the Grande Boucle, in the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2011. It was already the case in 1992 and 1994, but at the time, ASO wasn't organizing the race, and it was still called the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, from the name of the local newspaper that sponsored the event. So it's not like the station doesn't have an interest in cycling, or that ASO doesn't know this climb exists – everything is there for the Tour. So why it isn't on the route yet? I'm pretty sure the climb will get featured someday in the three-week long race. You know, ASO likes to test the climbs in his “smaller big races” like the Paris-Nice and the Dauphiné. Risoul this year is the perfect example.

So here we go for the successful neighbor of Val Pelouse: le Collet d'Allevard, and it's XL version, Super Collet.


Between parenthesis: numbers up to Super Collet.
Top: 1450 m (1650 m)
Length: 11.7 km (16 km)
Ascent: 975 m (1175 m)
Average gradient: 8.3 % (7.3 %)
Climbbybike difficulty score: 131 (123)

This climb has a superior difficulty than the Pla d'Adet which will be featured in this year's tour, and is widely considered as one of the weakest HC climbs. Being quite a bit longer and offering regular double-digit sections, it definitely deserves a spot in the hardest category of climbs. It might not be a behemoth with a length over 20 kilometers and a 1500+ meters ascent, but it still offers a climb that can take up to an hour for amateurs – the best climbers in the world could tackle it in under 40 minutes. Starting in Allevard, the first kilometer is rather easy, not exceeding 5 %. But beware of the road that suddenly rears up towards harder gradients.

The road nears 9 % average over 10 kilometers on a wide two-lane road, with very few hairpins and long curves through the forest. The trees can be helpful in summer, when the sun really hits hard. But good weather or not, it doesn't mean anything for the gravity which will continue to drag you down forcing you to double your efforts against the brutal regularity of this climb. You never go below 7 % gradient, but that can help you to find a cruise speed. That's the advantage of regular climbs, you don't need to change your rhythm of climbing all the time.

The final part is at 10 % average for the last kilometer, before reaching the Collet d'Allevard station after nearly 12 kilometers of climbing. Some people might call it quits and could descend right away, but honestly, after facing such a monster up front, it would be shameful to stop there when you can go 200 meters higher with 4.3 kilometers of additional road. You guess it by the profile and by the numbers, its much, much easier to go to Super Collet once the Collet d'Allevard has been reached. A long false-flat precedes a 5.5 % average final section that leads to 1650 meters of altitude.

So by its own, it's a pretty tough climb. And if from the north, the climb can be preceded by the demanding col de Champ-Laurent (10 km @ 8 %), it's from the south that you will understand the true power of the Balcons de Belledonne. Start from Séchilienne, go up and down the mountains to the valley, and bam.

A wild Zomegnan-approved stage appears. More details here.

When I told you Belledonne is a freaking treasure that needs to be uncovered. Even putting a flat part from the beginning and keeping the last four or five climbs would already make a queen stage. Oh, and if Zomegnan says that it's not enough, tell him that a narrow service road goes down to Arvillard at km 9, so you could even add Val Pelouse at the very end for an even more epic stage. That's right.

So you understand more that the collet d'Allevard definitely needs to be on the Tour de France route in the following years. Of course, the competition is fierce between ski stations, and I can tell you that fighting the biannual appearance of l'Alpe can be tough. But let's hope for the future, and hope for an epic stage towards the collet d'Allevard, or to dream even bigger, to what was called Val Pelouse.




Tomorrow, late evening, in 21 HC climbs the Tour should (re)visit:
The Cerdanyan lost hope
 
Jan 24, 2012
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Linkinito said:
I'm gonna take a day late, I'm too tired to write anything tonight. :/
Better luck tomorrow, I hope. :)
No worries of course!

This thread is amazing regardless.
 
Thanks for the thread, great work once again! And take your time, don't worry. We all know how much work there is behind every one of your posts.

I watched the Val Thorens stage on tv when it happened in 1994, and I've always wanted to see this climb again in the tour. There were some rumours 4-5 years ago, or perhaps more, that ASO were looking into it for use in the Tour the following year but it didn't happen for reasons unknown to me.

I'd like to point out one possible deviation to the Val Thorens climb while we're at it. It's actually the same climb starting in Moutiers, but after some 10 kms of climbing at St-Jean-de-Belleville the course takes the road to the right into St-Jean-de-Belleville and through the three villages Le Villard, Deux-Nants, and La Flachère. Then the course is back on the main road towards Val Thorens. Here's a map of the "deviation":



The road looks very decent from what I've been able to judge from photos, and it will certainly be able to pass the tour-caravan. Although I don't know the road all the way through, so there could be passages unsuitable for the tour. The ascent of the entire climb would look like this:



The profile looks a bit like Télégraphe/Galibier, only with even more climbing and elevation gain. The detour adds about 400 meters of ascent into the climb, making a total of about 2400 meters for the entire climb. Although it would perhaps be better to describe this as two different climbs as it would no doubt be done by ASO. The first climb would be a cat. 1 with its KOM at the start of the village Deux-Nants: some 16 km @ 6.2%.
The second climb would be a HC climb with c. 21 km of climbing (exact same route and profile as the last 21km posted in this thread).

I really like when long relentless climbs are split up into smaller sections with a short descent in between. Somewhat like Col de Romme/Colombière in 2009. That was really great, especially because the attacks came at the penultimate climb instead of the usual last climb. But I'll admit that this Val Thorens combination could be bit too brutal to encourage attacks at the first of the two climbs.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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#32: Cerdagne Puigmal (Pyrénées-Orientales)
The Cerdanyan lost hope



Look at this picture. It might be fairly recent, but it's already outdated. The scenery is superb, as the Cerdanya region is one of the most beautiful in France – and it will probably not change in the next few millions of years. However, what man builds over here can change drastically in a matter of decades: and what happened recently in the area will definitely change a lot if nothing is done. I'm talking about huge man-made projects, but not in the way you expect it – it's not about building but about removing, destroying. As you know that everything is this world that is man-made works on one fuel: money. And if the tank is empty, it won't last long.

During 40 years, the station of Cerdagne Puigmal, also called Err-Puigmal due to the village that runs the station and the mountains that are at the south of the village, have been quite successful, offering a good alternative to the bigger station in the area, Font-Romeu. It was still a small-sized station with a dozen of slopes, which was enough to ensure the fun of all the regulars and newcomers, in a spectacular backdrop. Then the economical crisis of 2008 came, and all of its problems. Hell started to break loose on the small station – and three years later, after accumulating over 9 million euro in debts, the station had to face its closure. That could remind you something.

So, the station of Cerdagne Puigmal left behind it a ghost station like Val Pelouse 30 years ago, and a road to go to it. Some projects are on the table to revive it with a new economic model, but it has not much chance to come out with something real. That kinda sucks, but well, not many people are willing to put money on something that won't give their bet back after some time. But what if something big could save this station? What if we could bring something other than winter sports to bring back people? That could be a small investment but we all know that the Tour de France always gives more exposure and a boost to the local economy. If if was the last chance, the last resort to save the station, it could be a nice way back into business.

Today, let's analyze the climb to the top of the road of Cerdagne Puigmal.



Top: 2222 m
Length: 11.8 km
Ascent: 852 m
Average gradient: 7.2 %
Climbbybike difficulty score: 114

So this climb might be only 1st category for some people, as the numbers only indicated slightly higher numbers than, to compare, the Arcalis station. This makes it the weakest HC entry in this list, but its mostly to emphasize the fact that are are interesting finishes in Cerdanya other than Font-Romeu, which is a rather easy climb compared to Cerdagne Puigmal. Also, even if the profile indicates only 7 to 8.5 % kilometers as a whole, there are many, many double digit sections that doesn't really appear. The climb is much more irregular than we could think.

After a rather easy first kilometer after going out of Err, the road steepens with 6 kilometers averaging 8 % on a sub-optimal road, with many double-digit stretches, we're also closing from the 2000 meters bar. And even more rolling sections can become demanding at such an altitude. After crossing the Cotze part of Cerdagne Puigmal, 3 kilometers at 6 % average (but with two short 10 % sections) follow before a final part at 7.5 % on a long winding road that lead to 2222 meters of altitude, on a road that doesn't give back all of the effort. The altitude is a definitive factor, and the not-so-apparent irregularity of the climb, coupled with the state of the road and the necessary MTF that would end a potential stage, makes it a borderline HC. There is also a longer variant, that includes a descent (17 km @ 5.2 %).

The perfect way to chain this climb is to precede it with long and rolling Col de la Llose from the east (24 km @ 5 %), which is also a borderline HC, before a slightly steeper climb that leads to Err Puigmal. The col de la Llose is probably the toughest climb in the Pyrénées-Orientales, alongside the col de la Descarga up to Batère. From the west, there's nothing much more demanding than doing a Pailhères-Puymorens combo, but this one would be actually more suited for a finish at Font-Romeu, being closer from the top of Puymorens instead of Cerdagne Puigmal, which would add at least 10 flat kilometers.

Of course, without any interest from the city, this is probably a lost hope. And I'm pretty sure, considering their debts, they don't have any “money to waste” on something on a sport that still has some criticism regarding doping. You know, some mayors don't even want to have any cycling event in their streets simply regarding to doping. And even if every city in history that hosted the Tour praised the fact that it was a clear boost to the economy, some still consider that this is a waste of money. So we can always think there is a very small chance for the city to have a light of hope through the Tour with this climb. But let's face it: it's highly unlikely. And Cerdagne Puigmal might become the Pyreneean Val Pelouse.




Tomorrow, we're heading to the Jura mountains for a short but tough climb!
The strong-legs doe
 
Sep 29, 2012
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#33: Col de la Biche (Ain)
The strong-legs doe



The Jura mountains are far from having all of their secrets revealed. This is an area that ASO widely ignored for a good amount of years, overshadowed by the great Alpine climbs. From all jurassian climbs, only one can truly claim to have entered the legend of the Tour de France: the well-known col de la Faucille, and its stunning backdrop over Lake Geneva. And even if this is a hard climb, it is still far from being an HC climb. We all know that the HC classification is nearly only reserved to alpine and pyreneean climbs due to their high altitude and the length of their climbs. The only exception was the Puy de Dôme in 1983, which received this rating once more in 1986.

Then, in 2012, after 99 editions, the Tour finally dared to climb the hardest pass in the Jura mountains (aside from the Mont du Chat), the col du Grand Colombier. Not from its hardest side, but probably the most photogenic side. And even if the stage was very poorly designed, it was a great introduction for a mountain which was forgotten for too long. And last year, you've had the opportunity to discover the other sides of this climb that are much harder than what ASO offered to the peloton in, I quote, “the most boring Tour de France since the Indurain years”. Yeah, the 2012 edition was truly a bummer. At least it offered its lot of “discoveries” like Péguère and Peyragudes.

So today, let's do another discovery. It is definitely the little brother of the Grand Colombier, but it is in no way less difficult. Situated only 10 kilometers north, the col de la Biche is the perfect way to create a deadly combo in a Tour de France stage. It was not yet ridden by ASO in any of its races, but I'm pretty sure it's only a matter of time before Thierry Gouvenou unleashes the doe on the peloton. It might also be one of the lowest HC-rated climbs and might be only Cat. 1 for some people, but hey, never underestimate the power of the slopes. And never overestimate the power of your legs.

Bambi's mother takes its revenge today in a whole new form. And it ain't pretty. Ladies and gentlemen, here's the col de la Biche.


Top: 1330 m
Length: 11.5 km
Ascent: 963 m
Average gradient: 8.4 %
Climbbybike difficulty score: 112

Technically, the col de la Biche is located a bit farther west from the top of this side. There is a 1.2 km descent before a final 7 % kilometer leading to the true position of the pass (and its sign). The side presented here is the eastern one, starting from Gignez. The other side of the pass, starting from Brénaz, also offers a respectable challenge, although a much shorter one: 7.5 km @ 8.5 %, which makes it a strong 1st category climb. But let's go back to the east for the real deal, and it starts with a bang.

No time to get in condition, the village welcomes you with a 10 % section right from the start. And it's not like it's just a little stretch – nope. It's a long 1.5 km part with only three hairpins, so you might find this part quite long. And that's only the beginning. Beware of the 7.5 % kilometer that follows: it's just a short moment of rest. Because you'll eat double-digit gradients for several kilometers, in long straight lines and not so much hairpins. Oh, and you are nearly completely exposed to the sun. So bring some water with you, and you know, water add some weight. Could make the climb even more difficult.

We're just always over 7 % average gradient and you could face some 15 % stretches in the hardest sections of the climb. It is purely relentless, and feels neverending turn after turn. Then, after 9.5 kilometers averaging 9.1 % (which is quite close to the col de Menté), you'll finally have the opportunity to roll a bit lighter. The final part leading to the top of the climb averages 4.7 % on two kilometers, which makes the effort much easier. But as it was said before, don't expect a sign to tell you're done: you'll feel it, when the road will flatten then descend towards the “trou de la Biche” that leads to the true pass. This climb might be lower, but is definitely harder than recent HC finishes like Pla d'Adet or Semnoz.

Of course, this climb can be naturally chained with its neighbor and bigger brother, the Grand Colombier. The good thing is, you can tackle them in whatever order you want and each time from their hardest sides. Start from Artemare or Talissieu to climb the Grand Colombier, descend towards Anglefort and chain it with the col de la Biche. Or if you want something even bigger, start from Biche, descend towards Artemare, climb Grand Colombier, go down to Culoz and take the opportunity to tackle the hard col du Clergeon between Ruffieux and Rumilly. A trilogy of jurassian climbs that is on par with some great alpine and pyreneean stages.

The col de la Biche benefits from an awesome placement and a good road condition. It would be quite stupid from ASO to ignore it for the next decades: its place is definitely on an ASO race like the Dauphiné and the Tour de France. Two hard climbs in the same area. Too good to pass.




Tomorrow, we're coming back in the Pyrénées for some high and spectacular action!
The paradise's circus
 
Cirque du Troumouse?

I like Puïgmal. I hope that the project to save it works, but I have little faith. Font-Romeu isn't too bad if you climb from Égat to Les Airelles (about 13km @ 5,5% iirc) but really not a climb that's going to make gaps. More a tempo type climb ahead of bigger mountain stages in the central Pyrenées. As for other tough climbs in Pyrenées-Orientales, how about Pic Neulos from Le Perthus (15,4km, 6,2%)?



This would be just a cat.1 imo, but a good one nonetheless. Could be connected, albeit not immediately, to Coll de la Brossa from Céret and something like Xatard or Palomère.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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Okay, here's some news.

I have some personal events that are really important these days which weren't really planned when I started this thread. I'm invited to my sister's wedding tomorrow, and on Tuesday, I'll have a very, very, very important interview for my future studies that I'll have to prepare actively. So I'm pretty sure I won't be able to propose to you one climb per day, due to these events, and of course I won't be able to finish the 21 before the Tour starts. But I promise I'll finish this list as soon as possible :) And honestly... The Tour will still come fast with or without my posts :p

Sorry guys anyway. :( But that's mostly my fault.
 
Matt92 said:
Didn't Pescheux design the Tignes - Briançon stage of 2007, with Iseran & Galibier on the same day?
Half of Iseran... For no real reason it has been decades (?) since doing the full thing.

2008 and 2011 also had good high altitude stages. Having a decisive climb 2500m+ once every three years is hardly enough when you are spoiled for the choice offered by the Alps.
 
Ferminal said:
Half of Iseran... For no real reason it has been decades (?) since doing the full thing.

2008 and 2011 also had good high altitude stages. Having a decisive climb 2500m+ once every three years is hardly enough when you are spoiled for the choice offered by the Alps.
It has been since 1992 that they climbed the full length of the Iseran.
Compared to Italy, or even Switzerland, there aren't that much 2000m+ climbs in France.
In the Alps: Petit Saint-Bernard (easy one), Iseran, Mont-Cenis,
Val Thorens, Croix de Fer, Galibier, Lautaret (very easy one), Granon (won't probably be used again), Izoard, Agnel, Vars, Allos, Champs, Cayolle, Bonette, Lombarde.
Madeleine, Glandon(north), Roselend (west) and Sarenne (east) are a bit under 2000m, but difficult enough.
In the Pyrenees: Tourmalet and Port de Pailhères (and a cartload of glorified goat tracks)
So, not even 20.

A quick count gave me 15 2000m+ climbs in Switzerland (which is a much smaller country) and 35 in Italy.

VBut I agree with you that every tour should have a stage with at least 2 really high altitude climbs (in the final, of course).
 
Sep 29, 2012
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Just saying that my "personal things" are now over, my sister got married, I've done my interview (2300 km in 2 days, 13 hours by train - and it was the TGV)... So tonight, I'm taking back from where I left off. :) Unfortunately I'll finish it during the first week of the Tour, but at least you'll have something to read after debating during hours about the stage. :D
 
Jun 22, 2014
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So, long time (like...2007?) lurker here, come out of hiding for a word of praise to Linkinito's work. :)

Being a huge Google Maps nerd, I'd already found quite a few of these hidden gems. Col du Solude being a personal favorite fo mine out of the ones mentioned in this thread already. Surprisingly didn't get a lot of love! That thing looks amazing.

Also wish I'd been old enough to see Val Thorens raced, my memories only go back to a hazy recollection of Riis in 96 unfortunately. :p

Still looking forward to the remaining climbs. After last years's finale (and Parpaillon before that which I hadn't read about either) my expectations are quite high. ;)
 
Jun 24, 2015
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Prelude.

Yep, this is me, I'm just using a secondary account because CyclingNews doesn't want to bring back my old account on their new forums. Despite asking for the password mail a billion times, I never recieved it. Well, whatever.

You know, it's been a year that I left this thread, and promising that I would end it before the end of 2015. Of course, it didn't happen, as you can see it. I could have left it behind and never unearth it again. But I did.

Because I felt something was missing.

As the Tour de France 2015 start is coming in a few days, I remember that kind of thread, in the old days, and the pleasure I had to write all these stories and talking about these not-so-known climb that ASO could take in their next competitions. The first edition was a real success and I really wanted to continue the journey. But I kinda hit rock bottom during that time and absolutely nothing could bring me joy at that point. Not even the Tour de France, not even my family, not even the video games.

I didn't lose my sanity (fortunately) but I went through a deep period of questioning, about my own personal life and the path I decided to take regarding my studies in statistics. Basically, my internship was boring as hell, and about that interview that I've talked about, and travelled over 2,000 km in train to do my final oral exam to enter one of the most renowned statistics schools in France and Europe?

Failed it miserably. That was probably the turning point, where I started to question myself and lost nearly all motivation to do something meaningful. Also my future was kinda uncertain, but in the following months, everything started to came back along, and I regained, slowly but surely, motivation. But writing something about cycling, not so much, to be honest. I felt that wasn't the right moment.

Then time passed and I saw that the Tour was coming back quite fast. And I re-read the threads that I created now two years and one year ago. And I found some kind of magic by reading them. It just brought me back in 2013, with the joy I had at the time. I came through hell, and now I'm in full form to bring you the final 9 climbs up until the end of this 2015 Tour de France.

And you know what gives me motivation to finish? Not only the fact that I'm only 9 climbs shy to complete this, because I know that I'm not too far away from reaching the finish line, even though there's kind of a MTF in the end.

But also because I think the 2015 Tour de France route is probably one of the shittiest that I seen in recent memory. Not even joking. Weeks before the presentation, I expected something good with Gouvenou at the pen. Days before, with rumors starting to confirm, I started to worry but I still expected good things. The day before, when the map leaked, I was already horrified at all the choices ASO had made. But I still had hope about good stages.

Then, on the presentation day, I completely lost it. This route was plain shitty, period. The whole first week. The Pyrenees with all the wrong choices. The second week-end with that *** stage up to Valence which is a disgrace to the area I came from and the same old *** up to Gap. The Alps that goes around and around and around in Maurienne. No col des Champs as promised. And those *** hairpins up to l'Alpe, for the 30th time in 40 years.

Yep, I was that mad. And I'm still mad today. I really shouldn't, I could care less about that, but well, I don't know why I rejected that route so much, with all my heart. And there was something that really bugged me. Really, really hard.

The Lacets de Montvernier.

On the day they were shown to the public, they were already applauded, simply because it was a road with an impressive scenery. Kind of a mini-Alpe d'Huez. And I simply hated how ASO made this small, 2nd category climb (which could have definitely been a 3rd category back in the old 1990s days) such a big deal, literally forcing its way into the legendary climbs of the Tour de France. Not because it is hard. Not because it is decisive for the GC. Not because a lot of riders won on lost on its slopes. Simply because this climb is beautiful. And that's all. And there won't be any public to support the riders on the road - it's just that narrow. Forbidden access. I'm sorry, but a legend can't exist without public. The thrill of an opening wall of spectators. Yeah, it might be stupid, but that's part of the legend of the Tour. There won't be any of this in Montvernier. But hell, it will still be on the routes for years to come simply because they discovered this, and ASO said "wow, it's beautiful, let's make it our new smash-hit!".

Basically, they're just forcing a climb to enter the legend of the Tour - and I'm not gonna take this.

And meanwhile a lot of HC-worthy climbs still sleep in the dark and are ignored, deliberately or not, by ASO. Which would deserve a much bigger attention that those 18 miserable hairpins. The col de Tende has more than 60 and the Tour never rode them. And they deserve it, even if there's sterrato. There's tons of other possibilities to explore. And they still serve us the same old stuff.

To finish what I've started.
To unveil truly legendary climbs.
To show you some of the greatest sceneries France can offer.
To bring back one fallen legend, because this thread doesn't have "(re)" before "visit" for the sake of keeping the same title for a sequel.
To push the boundaries and go further and higher.

That's why I'm back. Because we need to go steeper.

21 HC Climbs the Tour should (re)visit - Volume II
Part 2
Starting tomorrow or the day after.
 

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