If everything goes to plan, a new star will be born this afternoon in France. No, not the guy who wins the stage (and possibly the Tour), but the final climb: Col de la Loze (2304m).
There’s a good chance that you’ve never heard of this pass, unless you are keeping up with the cycling press during the Tour. Or, of course, you have read my article on the brand new climb last year and actually remembered it. That would be pretty impressive considering I don’t even remember half of what I write.
Last July, after dropping our Etape du Tour clients off for their own fun in the Alps, John and I climbed the Col de la Loze from Moutiers, which ended up being a bigger mountain that even Ventoux, with over 1800 meters of elevation gain. We climbed from the Courchevel side and descended down to Meribel, which is the opposite of the peloton today.
We were one of the very first cyclists to ride this road, the tarmac having been laid not that long before. The road on both sides of the col is restricted to bikes and walkers only and is super steep and irregular, since the engineers didn’t need to be bothered about cars coming up on it. On the Meribel side there are ramps of 24%, and the last 5 km are extreme overall. Take a look at the profile below.
How will this stage roll out? If the last climb is not a launching pad for either ‘Rog’ or ‘Pog’ then I’ll eat my cycling cap, but I don’t really know who does well on these types of steep and uneven climbs. Is there someone else near the top who could make a daring attack?
Whatever happens, the views will certainly be amazing. Check out the newest col in France!