Epic Tour Climbs: Alpe d’Huez

When? Thursday July 18


Is it the 21 hairpin bends? The chaotic crowds of Dutch Corner? Or the remarkable history of this exclusive ski resort in the French Alps?

Alpe d’Huez first featured in the Tour in 1952 when Italy’s Fausti Coppi triumphed. It will be climbed twice in this year’s race. However, it won’t be the first time riders have climbed it twice in the same Tour. In 1979 the parcours ascended Alpe d’Huez on two occassions – but on different stages.

This most iconic of iconic TDF climbs last featured in 2011 when Frenchman Pierre Rolland won for Team Europcar.

The late Marco Pantani won here twice in the 90s. His victory in the 1997 Tour is reputed to have come in the fastest ever recorded time of just 37 minutes 35 seconds. However a quick Google search reveals plenty of conjecture. And as history now shows, his time was hardly ‘pure’.

Vital stats:
12.3km long
Average gradient 8.4%
Maximum gradient 13%
1150m vertical climb

Did you know?
Alpe d’Huez hosted the bobsleigh events at the 1968 Grenoble Winter Olympics.

DutchCorner rolland

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