Reaching the summit of the Col du Galibier (2,642 m) is one of the most satisfying moments you’ll have on the bike.
Col du Galibier and a monumental stage
We have two ride options this morning, taking us to intersect with the race at Col du Lautaret. Our longer ride will depart from the hotel and first descend, before the long climb to the Lautaret. For a shorter ride option, we’ll transport you to midway along the climb. Gradients are low to moderate for the lower parts of the climb, even some flat and down hill. Once you reach La Grave, the slope increases and your tired legs trouble your ambition. Push on, and the procession of like minded cyclists help motivate you to the summit.
Once we intersect with the race route, we’ll follow it to the summit of Col du Galibier. Reaching the summit (2,642m) is one of the most satisfying moments you’ll have on the bike. We’ll watch the race pass through, perhaps a little faster and make our descent to meet our transport at the bottom of the valley. It’ll be a long day, but memories of watching the race on this monumental climb will last a lifetime. I still recall, as if it were yesterday, the day Cadel Evans fought-off the repeated attacks by Frank and Andy Schleck in 2011.
TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 18: Embrun to Valloire, Mountain, 207 km
Touted as the biggest alpine stage of the tour, the route along Grandes Alpes features 2 hors categorie and a categorie 1 climb. The familiar names of Col d’Izoard and Col du Galibier sore above 2,000m. Climbers will be eyeing off this stage and the competition for polka-dots as well as the yellow jersey will go to a new level. After the descent off Galibier, victory at the finish will require some risk-taking.