5 Key Climbs Of The 2018 Tour de France | Tour de France 2018

5 Key Climbs Of The 2018 Tour de France | Tour de France 2018


– It’s safe to say that the Tour de France is defined by its climbs, because it’s there that the
race is generally won or lost. And so, we thought we
would take a look at five of the most famous, toughest
and most iconic climbs along this year’s route,
from some that are so new they’ve literally been paved
for the Tour de France, to some of the oldest
and most iconic climbs in the world of cycling. And we would like you
to get involved in this, which are the climbs
you’re most looking forward to watching at this year’s event? Let us know in the comments
section down below. Also, make sure you
subscribe to the channel if you haven’t done so already and turn your notifications on, that way you will be informed every time we release some
content throughout July. (dynamic instrumental music) The most famous and most iconic
climb at the Tour de France and probably in cycling in
general has to be Alpe d’Huez, it just holds a mythical
place in our sport. It was first used at the
Tour de France back in 1952 and it was also, in fact, the first ever mountain-top
finish at the race. Each of the 21 hairpin bends
which make up this climb are named after previous winners which makes climbing it a
little bit like a journey back through the history of cycling. Now, despite its length and
its quite fearsome gradient Alpe d’Huez is probably
best known for the fans at the roadside, and in
particular, Dutch Corner. Every time Alpe d’Huez is
included at the Tour de France thousands of Dutch fans
descend on corner number seven and it’s safe to say, they’ve
generally been partying for a few days before the
riders even get there. However, when they ride
through that tunnel of orange, full of noise and full of smoke, it’s some of the most stunning images that we get in our sport. (dynamic instrumental music) No climb has featured
more at the Tour de France than the Col du Tourmalet,
in fact, to date, it’s been included no less
than 85 times on the route. The first time was all
the way back in 1910 and there, famously, the
first rider across the summit was Octave Lapize, and when he saw some officials
onlooking at the summit, he said to them, “Vous
etes des assassins!”. This year the race tackles the Tourmalet from the eastern side which means it averages 7.3% for 17.1 kilometers and tops out at 2,115
meters above sea level, which means that it is currently the highest paved mountain
road in the Pyrenees, although that will change once
they pave the Col de Portet. This year it features
midway through stage 19 which is the final
mountain day of the race from Lourdes to Laruns. (dynamic instrumental music) This climb is so new it’s
not even fully paved yet. 16 kilometers long with
an average grade of 8.7%, the Col de Portet will be
one of the hardest climbs that the Tour de France has ever seen. And, with its summit at
2,215 meters above sea level, this year’s Col de Portet also marks the Souvenir Henri Desgranges which is the prize
given to the first rider across the high summit
of each year’s race. The climb to the Col de Portet
initially follows the route of the more traditional
Tour de France climb which is the Col d’Adet, until, that is, they get to the village of Espiaube, at which point the road splits and then over the next nine
kilometers to the summit, which are particularly narrow, it almost constantly switches
between tarmac and gravel, although we are sure that by
the time the Tour de France gets to town it will
be paved the whole way. This year it features as the
finish of what is probably the most hotly anticipated
stage of this year’s race, stage 17 starting in Bagneres-de-Luchon then going over the
Peyragudes, the Col d’Adet, and finally the Col de Portet. Will the Portet define the winner of this year’s Tour de France? Could well do. (dynamic instrumental music) The Plateau des Glieres is
yet another brand new climb on the Tour de France this year but it has a very different feel to almost any other
climb that’s come before. Now it’s hit the headlines
because of a short gravel section which comes over the top
but the real story here is how hard the climb itself is. It might only be six kilometers long, but the average gradient is 11.2%. The road itself is pretty
narrow the whole way and it’s also particulary
rough in terms of its surface which only adds to the difficulties
that the rider will face when they head up the Plateau des Glieres. The two-kilometer section of
gravel drags on over the top, past the national
monument of the Resistance which was constructed on
the Plateau des Glieres when it became the base of operations for the Maquis resistance group. (dynamic instrumental music) And finally, we have
the Col de la Madeleine which is a mountain defined
basically by its length, the sheer distance that
the riders have to go to reach the summit. Now if you start in Aigueblanche,
which they do this year, it is then 28.8 ks to get to the top, with an average gradient
of 5.4% and then the summit at just under 2,000
meters above sea level. However, that average gradient doesn’t really tell the whole story. For example, there is a
seven-kilometer section in the middle of the
climb that averages 8%, which in itself would be
a pretty decent mountain, and then the final four
kilometers are particulary hard, an average gradient there of 8.4%. Now this is the first time
the Col de la Madeleine has been used since 2013, it’ll
actually be the first climb that the riders face on that
stage 12 to Alpe d’Huez. So those are our top five climbs from the 2018 Tour de France, it hasn’t been as easy job
to whittle it down to five given that there are 26 passes of second category or
above at this year’s race and no doubt your top
five will differ to ours, therefore we would love to
hear from you in the comments and let us know what your
top five mountains are for this year’s event in the
comments section down below. Now don’t forget we’ve
got daily highlights of the Tour de France, if you
want to catch all the action from those mountain passes
make sure you head over to our Facebook page for those. We’ve got our shop up in the
corner of the screen right now, a link to it at least, where
you can look very July-like in these yellow GCN T-shirts. And if you haven’t yet
looked at our preview show with myself and Simon
Richardson, you can find that which gives a lot more
details on some of the stages, just down here.