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The climb

As some of us may know, the Col du Glandon is quite a famous climb. Situated in the Dauphine Alpsin, Savoie, France. Starting from the village,St Etienne de Cuines. This high mountain pass has been a popular choice for the Tour de France and the Etape du Tour on a many occasions, with its first crossing being in the 34th edition of the Tour de France. With an average gradient of 8.2% and an elevation of 1924 meters above sea level this ambitious climb has to be one of the most dazzling and spectacular climbs in the French Alps.

Before the real pain begins you will ride up through a lush valley of little vineyards with a generous offering of café’s and restaurants. Captivated by the seniority of the rivers and babbling brooks  it ascends up through the woodland. The raw, rustic roads are abundant with rich greenery and wildlife which enables you to really feel at one with your bike and enjoy the challenge. As the road heads up winding round with tight hairpin bends the scenery opens out and you start to see the impact of the mountains. This is when it starts to get really hard and even more beautiful.

Now at an average gradient of 10-11% it will feel never ending but the work is almost done. Keep your head up and watch out for the sheep that are happily grazing away! As you approach the highest point, the mountains are like green velvet, the snow-capped mountains are laced with waterfalls which is simply enchanting. This carries you through to the top of the Col and after all the hard work, sweat and hopefully ‘not’ tears the view at the top of the Col du Glandon is truly incredible, the view of the highest mountain in Europe, Mont Blanc can be seen from this point.

 

The stage – Gap / Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne

Whilst some of us would shy away from taking on the mighty Col, The Tour riders will have to set about this monster at 147km into stage 18. The stage will feature three 2 category climbs, three, 3 category climbs and a HC climb- the Col Du Glandon. 10km from the finish the best climbers in the world will have to attack the category 2 Lacets de Montvernie which is a 3.4 kilometre-long climb, and 8.2% gradient to take the stage win. You can be sure that the riders are in for a grueling day in the saddle.

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