This will, without doubt, be a long awaited and memorable day in the 100th edition of the Tour. For the first time, there will be a double helping of nerves for the riders who will be dreading the double climb of the Alpe d'Huez, and rightly so. With its notorious twenty-one hairpin bends, it is also one of the most telegenic climbs in France.
The towns / A sporting view
The prefecture town of the Hautes-Alpes is used to hosting precisely the sort of alpine departures which have made the Tour the legend it is today. That of the fiftieth edition was played out during a day which left from Gap headed for Briançon. During the Izoard climb, Louison Bobet left all his rivals behind, going on to notch up his first victory in the Grande Boucle. And in 1986, it was on the road between Gap and Le Granon that Bernard Hinault wore the Yellow Jersey for the 79th consecutive (and final) day and Greg LeMond became the first American to take the lead in the Tour de France.
Mountain passes & hills
- Km 13 - Col de Manse6,6 kilometre-long climb at 6,2 %
- Km 90,5 - Col d’Ornon5,1 kilometre-long climb at 6,7 %
- Km 118 - Alpe-d’Huez1 climb of 12,3 kilometre-long at 8,4%
- Km 127,5 - Col de Sarenne3 kilometre-long climb at 7,8 %
- Km 168 - Alpe-d’Huez1 climb of 13,8 kilometre-long at 8,1%
In 1952, Fausto Coppi was the first to triumph at the top of “the Alpe”, where he won the right to wear the Yellow Jersey. Later on, the repeated successes of Dutchmen Joop Zoetemelk, Hennie Kuiper or Peter Winnen earned it the nickname of the “Dutch mountain”, but the Italians excelled too, in the form of Gianni Bugno and Marco Pantani. On the French side, Laurent Fignon picked up precious points here in 1984 during his duel with Hinault – himself a winner two years later. The last rider to conquer this stage was Pierre Rolland, in 2011.
Jersey wearers after the stage 20
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