The 2022 Tour de France looks like a very varied affair, with the novelty of a time trial in Copenhagen followed by a couple of sprint stages and some cobbles thrown in for good measure. It isn’t until stage 7 before the roads starts going uphill to Planche des Belles Filles that it starts to get interesting.
Stage 8, 9, and 10 wander about the Alps without doing anything spectacular, until stage 11 finally enters the high mountains with the climbs up the Col du Télégraphe and onto the Co du Galibier.
These couple of days are looking like the high point of the Alps, if not the Tour, and not just in term of altitude. Stage 11 climbs the Col du Galibier from the north before descending down the other side onto the Col du Lautaret, finishing the day on the climb up 11.5 kilometres at 9.2% average of the Col du Granon. Tough.
The following day, stage 12 starts just down the road in Briancon with 27 kilometres of the Col du Lautaret from the off, followed by a right turn and up the southern accent to the top of the Galibier again.
There will be a lot of fans sleeping out on the slopes of the Galibier for these couple of days. The challenge for fans, if you choose to accept it, will be to get down off the Galibier once the race has passed, and across onto Alpe d’Huez before the race does. One way might be to use the back door up Alpe d’Huez via the Col de Sarenne, bringing you out at the top and close to the finish line. Challenging.
The tour meanwhile, heads down the northern side of the Galibier and the Télégraphe before turning around and coming up and over the Col da la Croix de Fer. The decent will be something to behold. Finally, along the valley floor to the foot of Alpe d’Huez. Epic.
What a day that is shaping up to be. Emblematic.
The Tour bypasses Mont Ventoux this year and heads towards the Pyrenees and, amongst others, the Col d'Aubisque. Climbing up from Laruns will be worth it for the view at the top. Weather permitting the balcony road of the Aubisque will be the helicopter shot of the Tour de France.
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