The legendary LAlpe dHuez has to be one of the most recognizable climbs included in the Tour de France. One source has the climb at 13.8 kilometers with an average grade of 7.9 percent. There are 21 hairpin corners on the climb, named after winners of the stages there. In 2001 when the 22nd race was held on the mountain, naming restarted at the bottom with Lance Armstrongs added to Coppis.
A second source, Climbbybike.com, has the climb at 13.2 kilometers, an average grade of 8.1 percent with a maximum grade of 10.6 percent, when approached from Bourg dOisans. This is the approach we used on Day 2 of our trip, requesting that the legendary mountain be included in our bike tour package; even though it was not part of the actual Tour de France this year.
The first photo I have for you is a glance at some of the switchback corners. I cant tell you what number corners are in the photo and I do apologize for some of the washed out colors in todays photos as some of the shots were taken with my cell phone.
The second shot is a cool church that sits at the inside of one of the swithbacks.
The third shot is another overview with switchbacks visible.
The forth shot took a bit of a hike to get to the sign and I felt like I would slide off the slope, but it was too cool of a location to resist. This too came from my phone, so the color isn't great.
The final shot is somewhere along the Balcony Road of Auris-en-Oisans, the side route we took part way down from Alpe dHuez. Left to right are Peter Stackhouse, Ed Shaw, Scott Ellis, me, Todd Singiser, Ron Kennedy and Bruce Runnels.
The Balcony Road had stunning overlooks, three(?) dark tunnels and a fair amount of climbing. Ride Strong Bike Tours notes, If you have vertigo or nothing left in your legs, its best to return directly to Bourg. Noted.
Todays stats: 41.59 miles, ride time 3:09, out-time (enjoying the scenery and photos) 4:31, 7,462 ft of ascending this day.
I still do not have my luggage on this day, find out about that here.
Look forward to Day 3 of our tour, Col de Romme and Col de la Colombiere where we get to see the riders, the caravan and experience the Tour up close and personal. It was the toughest day of our bike tour for several reasons. Ill fill you in on the next blog.