Although I’m not doing the Etape du Tour next year, I still have a soft spot for this great event and would like to feel I’m still a part of the journey, in my own small way. So, here you are, a week late, but in full color – the 2013 Etape du Tour route!
1. There’s only one. This is not surprising, given the dwindling numbers the event has seen over the past two years of their ‘two acts’ experiment. I think there are simply too many other great races out there, vying for the recreational cyclist’s time and money, and probably this is a wise decision on the ASO’s part.
2. Notice the similarity in names at the left and right of the profile graph above. This Etape will be a loop, more or less – starting in the lovey lakeside town of Annecy and finishing uphill at the ski station of Annecy Semnoz. Another fine move by the organizers, reducing the chaos and stress of the crazy logistics the old A-B routes used to have.
3. Where are the famous cols? My guess is that ease of organization (see #2) trumped the cachet of including an Alpe d’Huez or a Mont Ventoux (my two picks for the Etape next year). Here, I think the ASO might have missed the mark because, lets face it, if I’m going to fly all the way to France to do a one-day race, I want something to brag about that my friends back home will understand!
Here are the cols, big and small, you’ll be rolling over next July 7th:
Côte de Puget (5,4 km à 5,8%)
Col de Leschaux (3,6 km à 6,2%)
Côte de Aillons-le-Vieux (6 km à 4%)
Col des Prés (3,5 km à 6,5%)
Col du Mont-Revard (16 km à 5,4%)
Montée finale du Semnoz (11 km à 8,3%)
Registrations begin November 28th. Check this page for details.
I know, I know, you’re disappointed. You wanted a double Etape next year, and you certainly wanted some bigger, more famous mountains to climb. Don’t worry, I’m here to help! If you’d like a challenge worth those hundreds of hours you’ll be spending on the indoor trainer anyhow, I’ve got just the thing for you – The High Road – Alps, 2013, organized and guided by yours truly!