Act One, Col Two: Col de la Croix de Fer

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.

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