I hate the thought of turning my attention to 3 short weeks away, especially after spending the last 7 days beefing up in the Cévennes (there is a ‘great irony’ article that is just about to write itself soon), but I guess I have to. I’ve paid my entrance fee and need to keep John company at Chateau d’Oz. Crash diet tips anyone?
But whining isn’t the (whole) purpose of this post – information is.
La Marmotte has changed its route and we have all the dirty details now to either get depressed over because it’s not going over the Galibier, or get depressed over because it’s every bit as hard as the original. First, here’s the traditional route:
And this year’s:
Everything is the same up to the bottom of the descent off the Col du Glandon, then all hell breaks loose. It looks like this little set of switchbacks will be included, for example:
Yes, that’s a real road. The Lacets de Montvernier, in fact. These 18 extreme switchbacks will be used in the Tour de France (Stage 18) this year, and just saw a stage of the Dauphiné this afternoon, actually. From here we descend to the valley again then climb the Col du Mollard (which I did a few years ago from the opposite side), Col de Croix de la Fer (ditto), and finally, the traditional ascent of Alpe d’Huez.
The damage is 170 km and 5100 meters of climbing, which is very near the numbers of the traditional route. Whether I should be happy about that or not is another story.