Tour de France 2014 – Countdown
The image above is a panoramic view of the “Cime de la Bonette”, the loop around the top of the Col de la Bonette.
Similar to the one they created over / around the top of the Galibier, it was basically added to make it look more impressive and to “top” other high roads.
With the additional loop, the Bonette is 2,802 meters, the Stelvio is 2,758 and the Col de l’Iseran is 2,770. However, these are real passes and technically, the “Cime” is not.
Both the Iseran and the Bonette are on the list for my Tour de France 2014 in June…
In little over three weeks we will arrive in Bourg-Saint-Maurice, at the foot of the Iseran, the Petit Saint-Bernard, the Cormet de Roselend and the Cormet d’Arêches.
La Plagne and Les Arcs are around the corner too, but these have been crossed off the bucket list already.
Not to mention that it is within cycling distance of the Col de la Madeleine, the one I couldn’t cycle in May 2012 because it was still closed.
I’m planning on a round trip Madeleine / Glandon, so I will have cycled the Madeleine from both sides. As this means around 115 kilometers and some 4,500 altimeters, I may have to rethink that plan though…
The other side of the Glandon combined with the Croix de Fer, Télégraphe and Galibier is planned a few days later, after we move to Vaujany.
While this is within shooting distance of the Alpe d’Huez, I will pass on that one – I’ve seen enough of it in 2012 when I cycled the classic route 8 times…
From Vaujany (Allemont) the Glandon / Croix de Fer is actually the same road for 22 kilometers or so until the split, where you turn left and reach the summit of the Glandon after about 250 meters and keep right to the summit of the Croix de Fer, around 3 kilometers further on.
From there, I will descend towards Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and then turn towards Saint-Michelle-de-Maurienne for the Télégraphe / Galibier – with around 110 kilometers and some 3,300 altimeters, again something to look forward to.
However, after crawling back into the car and a (long) transfer to Bédoin, I’m in for another challenge the day after.
The infamous Mont Ventoux will be climbed from all three sides: Bédoin, Malaucène and Sault.
It’s highly unlikely that I will also tackle the “Route Forestière”. As it is, the 3 climbs total a distance of over 135 kilometers (66 uphill) and almost 4,500 altimeters.
After graduating as “Cinglé“, more about that here, we will transfer to Barcelonnette for some more.
Originally planned back in 2010, I will finally get another certificate of insanity: the Brevet de 7 Cols de l’Ubaye.
As there are some other interesting cols in the area, like the Lombarde and the Colle Fauniera, a.k.a. “dei Morti”, I’m plotting some round trips to (try and) include those.
However, the distances I will need to cover may prove too much, so some (downhill) car transfer is inevitable.
The Bonette can be combined with the Lombarde, which means that I can climb the Bonette from the other side when returning.
The Fauneira can be reached by passing the Col de Larche, which used to be part of the “brevet”, but is now closed to cyclists.
However, I read somewhere that this ban is not seriously enforced, so I may take a shot at it – from Barcelonnette to Demonte (IT) is around 75 kilometers.
As you can see (?), I’m quite busy planning the stages and I have to admit that sometimes my knees are shaking when I look at them. However, once I’m on “zee baik” there will be no stopping me 🙂
And you, what do you think of it? Let me know!
Tour de France 2014 – main page.
2 thoughts on “Tour de France 2014 – Countdown”
I am so jealous of these trips!!! Sounds amazing and insane….perfect trip for you, Sir!! 🙂
Don’t be jealous of my insanity, Fish. However, this trip is going to be F*CKING AMAZING, yes.
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