August 31, 2016

Amazing Feats of Strength

When the route of this summer’s Tour de France was announced, both the Alps and the Pyrenées presented its candidate for the race’s Queen Stage, that one stage that stood out above all others as the most demanding and most critical for those aiming for overall victory. The Pyrenées presented Stage 16: four climbs over 197 kilometers that included the Col d’Aubisque (16.4 kms), the Col du Tourmalet (19 kms), the Col d’Aspin (12.4 kms) and the Col de Peyresourde (9.5 kms). The stage finished after the descent of the Peyresourde in Bagneres-de-Luchon, so the specter of not having a mountain-top finish reduced its significance a bit. But with two hors-categorie climbs and two Category 1 climbs, the stage was reminiscent of the famed “Circle of Death” and one that was ultimately so hard – as is often the case – it neutralized the racing and let the day’s success go to a breakaway while the contenders marked each other and rode defensively. This strategy, while unexciting and predictable, has proven worthy in helping the leader, in this case Bradley Wiggins, maintain his grip on the jersey. The Alps, coming first this year and represented sparingly with only one stage in the high mountains, strung together a mixture of history: first the Col de la Madeleine (25.3 kms), which first appeared in the Tour in 1969 and was climbed for the 24th time this year; next the Col de la Croix de Fer at 22.4 kilometers (from the town of La Chambre the first 20.5 kilometers is the Col du Glandon) was first climbed in 1947 and was appearing for the sixteenth time; followed quickly by the Category 2 Col de Mollard at 5.7 kilometers and concluded with a more modern twist, a finish of 18 kilometers to the ski station of La Toussuire. Oh the irony. Read More



This message is only visible to admins

Please connect a business account on the Instagram Feed settings page in order to display hashtag feeds
Please see this post for more information.





Join the Velo Classic peloton for the latest news, custom trips, VIP Hospitality offers, special events and freebies