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Your Ultimate Tour de France Stages

Oct 8, 2009
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Hello everybody. I'm new to this forum, so I don't know if this has been done before, my apologies if that is the case.

My idea is for every one of you to design your own ultimate Tour de France stage. Designing two is even better. :) The only condition is that the stage has to be physically possible, so for example 'Tourmalet > Mont Ventoux > Alpe d'Huez' does not meet this condition.

To help you getting started, there's a few sites that offer a great deal of detailed information which should be of great use: Google Maps, ViaMichelin and http://www.salite.ch, which has almost every climb in Europe with information about length, height and average gradient. Be careful though, you have to enter the name of the climb correctly, sometimes even with corresponding accents.

Since this is my idea, I'll set the example and give two suggestions for great stages.

My first would be: Vinadio - Risoul 1850 (172km)
1. The start is in Vinadio, a few kilometers into Italy.
2. Straight from the start the riders will be climbing the Col de la Lombarde (2350m, 22km a 6,7%).
3. Descent into Isola, and then on to Saint-Etienne-de-Tinee.
4. Climb of the Col de la Bonette (2802m, 25km a 6,4%).
5. Descent into Jausiers and on to Gleizolles for the next climb.
6. Next up is Col de Vars (2108m, 14km a 5,7%) with the last 5km averaging 8,9%.
7. Descent into Guillestre, which lies at the foot of the final climb.
8. Finish on top of Risoul 1850 (1850m, 14km a 6,1%).

A total of 75km uphill and 4750 height meters should be great. Both the Col de la Lombarde and Col de la Bonette have stunning views (you can find out yourself on Google) and mountains in excess of 2000m in altitude always bring that special feeling for me when I'm watching on television.

My second choice would be: Le Bourg d'Oisans - Courchevel (130km)
1. Start in Bourg d'Oisans, and first 10 flat kilometers to Barrage du Verney.
2. Climb of the Col du Glandon (1924m, 24km a 5,8%).
3. Descent into La Chambre, which lies at the foot of the next climb.
4. Col de la Madeleine (1993m, 19km a 8,0%).
5. Descent into La Lechere, and then on to Brides les Bains, where the final climb starts.
6. Finish in Courchevel (2000m, 22km a 6,5%).

A great and short stage, of which is half (65km) uphill, and over 4000 height meters have to be conquered. Especially the combination of the long and steep Col de la Madeleine and the long climb to Courchevel should be brutal.

Well, let's hope there's anyone interested in this idea, and I'm looking forward to hearing your suggestions. There's a lot of mythical climbs I haven't even included, such as Col du Galibier, Alpe d'Huez, La Plagne, Col de l'Izoard, Col de l'Iseran and many more. My two suggestions were stages in the Alps, but the stages can take place in any part of France, and can be as long/short as you want.

Good luck!


yetanothergreenworld said:
I second the Puy du Dome motion.

I also call for the creation of a new superclassic called Liege-Modesto-Liege.

What's that, about 20,000kms?
Moûtiers - l'Alpe d'Huez: starting in Moûtiers, 10km flat, up to the col de la madeleine, down to the valley, up to the glandon and further to the croix de fer, down to the valley, to Saint-Michel de Maurienne, up to the télégraphe and the Galibier, down to le Bourg d'Oisans and up to l'Alpe d'Huez. total distance: 215 km, of which 91 are climbing, about 6500 height meters.
Jul 25, 2009
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Race Radio said:

Screw the TV trucks, bring it back

Depressingly, they're building some kind of cog railway up the Puy, and obliterating large parts of the road in the process. Unless the TdF decides to have a mid-race crit on Bromptons, we've sadly seen the last action there. :(:mad::(:mad:
What's the condition of the road like on the Col du Sarenne? If it is good enough to be used, a possible stage could start from Gap and climb the Col du Lautaret and the Col du Sarenne on the way to a descent of l'Alpe d'Huez and a climb to the finish at Les Deux Alpes.

I considered starting the stage at Embrun and including the Col d'Izoard, but I feel that it is wasted when used that early in a stage.
Oct 8, 2009
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Mellow Velo

That was indeed the most epic stage of cycling I've witnessed to date. But the point is that the Giro directors have te 'guts' to put together a stage like this. In France there's at least the same amount of mountain giants if not more. They should make the route the centerpiece, and not the start and arrival towns.


That would be some stage!! Thanks for the input!

Anyone else that has a suggestion for a monstrous stage?
Aug 4, 2009
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The road over the Col de Sarenne is rough and pretty treacherous once you get past the altiport in Alpe d'Huez and steep and narrow on the descent the other side as far as Clavans. More 1 day classic stuff than Grand Tour.

How about the route of the Marmotte for a stage? http://www.sportcommunication.com. Bourg d'Oisans, Glandon, Telegraphe, Galibier and finish up Alpe d'Huez. 174 Km, 5000 metres of climbing and plenty of spots to watch the race.
Jul 3, 2009
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I would pick a stage in the pyrenees. A great classic stage is one that takes in several big passes. Start somewhere near Foix, cross the Col de Port, the col de portet d'Aspet, the Ares, Pyresourde, Aspin and finish at La Mongie. Similar stages have been used before. In 2004 going over the aspin and finishing at la mongie. The EPIC stage in 1969 crossed a lot of the same passes and led to probably the most famous break away in tour history: Eddy riding alone in yellow over the pyresourde, aspin, tourmalet and I believe the Aubisque. And the most similar was in 1970: Beginning in St. Gaudens and crossing 4 passes before tackling La Mongie. That stage was only 135K, mine is MUCH longer, probably about 200 - 220 K, but that isn't INSANE, especially if this is the queen stage of the tour, which it almost certainly would have to be.