Tour du Mont Blanc: Climbing Distance

After 3 one-hour trainer rides, I can’t say that I’m feeling confident about my chances of finishing the Tour du Mont next July, but I’m glad ‘the program’ has begun. I’ve said this before, but I like the trainer – it gives me a chance to re-watch cycling races and anyway, we’ve been bad and are grounded inside in France right now. One thing you don’t get on the trainer is climbing miles, though. For that I need to go to the outside world and find some mountains. How many mountains? Let’s find out.

After signing up for the TMB I took it upon myself to make my own gpx file of the route, mostly to get to know the roads a bit better. Then, while looking at the monstrous profile, I started wondering how many kilometers of climbing there actually are in this thing. I’m sorry I did it:

If I’m right, the total climbing is around 180 km, most of which is between 6% and 8%, with one col someplace in the middle of 10 km @ 8.5%.

I don’t even remember the last time I rode 180 km, let alone climbed that much in one day. The number is so big that I’m not really sure what it tells me.

My biggest year for climbing was 2015 when I did a total of 168,000 meters outside. That year I managed 126,000 meters in the 9 months between mid-November and mid-August, when Haute Route Alps took place. This time around I have one month less to train…I do hope that my compatriots start behaving, so President Macron lets me out to find some hills….quickly.

7 thoughts on “Tour du Mont Blanc: Climbing Distance

  1. Wow, those are big climbing numbers you’ve done in the past!! Yes, I’m not sure what way is the best method to simulate climbing indoors. I know that even after 70-80 indoor rides last lockdown season trying to climb a 10-12% felt like I hadn’t trained. Almost.

    • I wouldn’t have any idea on that, Luc, but I suppose low cad intervals could do the trick. As for 10% or above, I don’t know your weight, but that’s the killer for me. I still remember how ‘easy’ Ventoux used to be back in the day 😉

  2. No smart trainer Gerry? I see lots of French flags on zwift.. Pretty extreme lockdown you have going on. At least we can still go out and ride here in Carolina du Nord. So far…

    • Sam, no. Especially for TMB there’s little reason to do intervals even, so it’s just slow and steady for the most part. I know I’d like Zwift, etc. if I tried it, so I’m not trying it 😉

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