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Best mountain stages of the past 15 years

I haven't followed cycling since 2000, but have been watching the Tour since 2003 and the other GT's from 2006-2007 and forward, so someone can probably fill me in here. I think we should limit the discussions to GT's only, but if anyone has another opinion, I'm down to include the other major week long stage races. Hopefully this will create a good discussion!

Starting out with the Tour since this has been the centre of my cycling interest in the early years.. and still is. So here are some stages that I think would be worthy of consideration, not necessarily as the best mountain stages, but deserving of lower spots and someone that I personally will remember:


Luz Ardiden 2003 - after Ullrich attacked on Tourmalet and Armstrong was somewhat in trouble, LA showed who was boss. One of the most memorable stages from my childhood.
Alpe d Huez 2003 - Mayo incredible
Ax-3-Domaines 2005 - Vino kamikaze and strange T-mobile tactics
La Toussuire 2006 - Rasmussen epic, Landis crack
Morzine 2006 - Landis genius move, one of the best, definitely.
Aubisque 2007 was a proper queen stage, Tignes deserves a mention due to Rasmussen
Hautacam 2008 - good racing
Le Grand Bornand 2009 - great stage
Saint Jean de Maurienne 2010 - Contador and Schleck tandemn, epicness.
Galiber 2011- Masterfull victory by Schleck over Agnel (or Izoard) and win at Galibier
Alpe d Huez 2011 - Altho the following stage was better imo, this one was also rather crazy.
Annecy Semnoz 2013 - great duel, high tempo.
PSM 2015 - much anticipated showdown

Giro:
I haven't watched nearly as much Giro apart from the past 5-6 years or so, but here are the stages I enjoyed.

Sestriere 2005 - A stage which has been talked about on this forum, so had to watch it
Aprica 2006 - Robobasso, pure domination
Tre Cime 2007 - Saunier Duval domination, I miss the days with Piepoli, Simoni and Ricco
Briancon 2007 - something tells me that stage was good, can't really remember
Aprica 2010 - one of the best stages, clearly
Zoncolan 2010 - Robo
Gardeccia 2011 - one of the best, if not the best i have watched
Val Martello 2014 - this stage will always be remembered, but not because of Quintana's win
Aprica 2015 - again this stage delivered some amazing racing

Vuelta:
Same as the Giro, but I have probably watched even less Vuelta from 2005-2010.

Valgrande Pajeres 2005 - Heras and Liberty dominating the lone russian
Angliru 2008 - Contador dominating Purito and Bala
Fuente Dé 2012 - oldschool racing
Cuitu Negru 2012 - for some reasons, I really enjoyed this stage
Angliru 2013 - Honer full Froome genius
Ancares 2014 - the Tour-showdown which all had waited for
Cercedilla 2015 - really good stage
(Els Cortals) 2015 - one of the only good stages along with Cercedilla last year, but those 2 delivered, especially the above

Just fire away, I think it should be possible to create a poll after we have found the best candidates!
 
Mar 13, 2016
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Tour de France
2003: Bourg d'Oisans - Gap. Amazing win by Vinoukorov, Beloki's horrible crash, Armstrong's pretty amazing manoeuvre.
2004: Maybe the (medium) mountain stage from Limoges to Saint-Flour with a great victory bij Virenque.
2007: Val d'Isere - Briancon. Amazing attacks by Valverde and Contador on Galibier, great win by Soler.
2012: Albertville - La Toussuire? Attack by Evans on Croix de Fer, first cracks between Froome and Wiggins, nicy win by Rolland. I know, not that great...
2013: The beginning of the stage to Bagneres-de-Bigorre was amazing: Movistar attacking from far, Froome isolated, Porte in trouble. But after that, it was an anti-climax.
2014: Hmm... Maybe the solo win by Tony Martin in the Vosges?

Giro d'Italia
2008: some great stage here, I think. The stage to Fedaia, with attack already on Giau by Contador and Menchov. Then Ricco going full gas on Fedaia, Contador showing some cracks, but taking maglia rosa. And after that stage, the stage to Monta Pora, in the pouring rain: attack by Ricco and Contador saved his maglia rosa by just 2 seconds (or something like that).
2010: Mortirolo-Aprica stage. Basso trying to take the maglia rosa. Arroyo struggling, but he rode an amazing descent. Then Basso attacking on Aprica again, Scarponi taking the stage.
2012: Mortirolo-Stelvio stage: great win by De Gendt!

Off-thread:
Tour de Suisse 2011
Brig - Grimdelwald, probably one of the best mountain stages. Attack from far way out by Andy Schleck, miracolous return by Damiano Cunego, great descend by Peter Sagan and taking the stage.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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2003 Luz Ardiden, is iconic, but the 2003 L'Alpe d'Huez stage is also iconic and better than any Tour mountain stage in 2004 and 2005. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-y38WZAtgc :cool:
The Sella show in the 2008 Giro also deserves a mention, my favourite one is probably the Alpe Di Pampeago stage, Menchov was really strong an actually attacked on that stage and Contador showed some weakness.
 
I am also still young so I haven't seen that many great mountain stages but from what I remember, and what hasn't been mentioned yet:
-Some would probably say the Etna stage in 2011. I didnt like it that much but I know that this stage still gets a lot of love here.
-In the tour you could add the Alp d Huez stage 2008 with Sastres great attack
-And I think the Angliru stage 2011 was way more interesting than the one 2013. 13 seemed to be exciting but at the end Nibali never looked as if he could drop Horner, while in 2011 we had a very surprising winner and the drama about sky's tactics.

Generally however I think that some of the stages of the list aren't really good enough to be mentioned in a thread with this title. They were clearly entertaining but nothing outstanding. The same counts for the stages I mentioned but I just thought they are at least as good as some of the stages in the list.

Moreover I think a 4th category in the opening post with stages from smaller stage races would be cool. Examples would be the already mentioned Grimdelwald stage, the last dauphine stage from 2014 or (and I know hardly anyone cares about this race, but trust me, this stage was really really great) the Großglockner stage from the Österreich Rundfahrt 2012
 
Obviously a lot of stages don't really belong in this thread as potentially only 5-6 of the stages can seriously be considered to be the best. Some of them are my personal preferences (Alpe 2003, Ax-3 2005, Semnoz 2013, Cuitu Negru 2012) but I think were still really good objectively, but shouldn't obviously be considered when picking out the absolutely bests of these... But that would be too boring just to include a few. I guess the point would be that we would discuss which were the best out of all these choice and make a poll or something. Regarding Semnoz 2013 > Alpe 2008, simply just personal preferences, I thought the 2008 was rather dull and should I pick one stage from 08, it would be Hautacam

Regarding other stage races, I mentioned it in my post, but I really dont think any would stand a chance against the best stages of the GT's. There is just so much more to those truly great stages in those races, even tho we can all agree that the Dauphine stage in 2014 was great!

I didnt really watch the Giro in 2008 apart from Mortirolo and Pampeago (or Fedaia?) and wasn't really amazed by any of it, but I honestly dont really remember. :p

I think whats special about Etna and Verbier really only was Contador, not anything else. Sure it was impressive (If I had to pick one, Verbier all day), but.. yeah.
 
My personal favourites are the stage to Les Deux Alpes in 1998, when I was 6 years old and watched it from start to finish with my father, and the stage to Albertville the day after, when Ullrich attacked and won the stage. I already got interested in cycling in 1997 (the Champs-Elysées stage that year is the first stage that I remember for certain I watched live), but these two stages were (among others that were not mountain stages) what got me really hooked to the sport and therefore they stand out for me.


Edit:

Ignore all that, this is more than 15 years ago :eek:
 
Mar 11, 2009
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TDF 2003 Stage 13 - Ax 3 Domaines (Bonascre): Ullrich drops Lance I have not watched it in years but every time I did it gave me chills and I almost found myself yelling Go Kaiser at a DVD. Sastre winning from a long range attack from the favorites group was an added bonus (this was the passifier salute - I know there is a proper European language word for it but I can't remember it)

2005 Giro Sestriere stage would have upturned the GC if, DiLuca didn't disappear (flat?) on the descent and/or Rujano worked with Simoni.

2008 Alpe D'Huez - final mountain stage produces a new leader - that doesn't happen every year - well except for last years Vuelta and ...