Moving along from our first mountain pass of Act One of the Etape du Tour 2012 (assuming I make it over…), the next legend of the day will be the Col de la Croix de Fer. This 2067 meter high pass is 31.5 km long (gulp) and has an average gradient of 5.75%, with sections of 11%.
The Croix de Fer was first used in the Tour de France in 1947 and has made a modest 15 appearances since then. Here are French and Italian heroes (especially Bartali, who was a real war hero), Louison Bobet and Gino Bartali on the climb in 1948, before they thought to pave the roads, it looks like.
10 thoughts on “Act One, Col Two: Col de la Croix de Fer”
Here’s my take on the Croix de Fer.
You aren’t human.
Looks gorgeous and challenging. Long climb, not terribly steep, just a grind. Reminds me of some of the longer ones here. You’ll do great.
Thanks, Aaron. Hopefully you can experience it too, next year.
Would be great. I have a feeling that my wish list will be longer than time or my legs will allow.
Love the old short of the way it used to be. Makes one feel a little wimpy for thinking it’s a tough climb today.
No kidding. Tin water bottles and tire tubes wrapped around the shoulders…definitely not weight weenies!
That was light weight for its time. Whenever I see these old pictures, I can’t get over the conditions of the roads. I think we call it cyclocross now.
What amazing scenery. It’s incredible to think the racers had to ride up there without a proper road surface, let alone carrying spare tyres and so on. Tough guys.
Yep, there’s nothing quite like the Alps for astounding views. I’ll be carrying a tube on the Etape in a nod to good ol’ days 😉