Tour de France 2021

So, thanks to the ongoing pandemic and subsequent “no fly” policy in the family, I get another cycling adventure this year.

As we will be going to France, I have obviously and as usual dubbed it “Tour de France 2021”.

While I do feel sorry for Paula’s not getting her well deserved sun vacation, I’m also excited at the prospect of having another go at the giants of the French Alps.

I was thinking (again) to plan for the Pyrenees, but I eventually couldn’t withstand the temptation of a remake of part one of my Tour de France 2014.

That was way too short – not the tour, just the first part – to tackle everything that’s in that area.

So for the Tour de France 2021, we’ve rented an apartment in Saint-Jean-de Maurienne, which is located at the base of the…

*Drum Roll*

Col de la Croix de Fer.

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Col de la Croix de Fer


The Col de la Croix de Fer (2,067 meters) connects the Isère and Savoie regions. The area – on both sides – attracts many cyclists, as there are many famous climbs to be found, besides this one.

In Isère – centered around Bourg-d’Oisans – these include the Lautaret, Les Deux Alps, la Bérarde and “the most famous of them all”, the Alpe d’Huez.

In the Savoie region, centered around Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, you’ll find – among others – the Glandon, Télégraphe / Galibier and the Madeleine.

At the time I published this page, the Croix de Fer had featured in the Tour de France 17 times since 1947, most recently in 2017.

In 2015 it was included in 2 stages: stage 19 via the Col du Glandon from la Chambre and stage 20 from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

The latter stage was the result of an alteration, since the original stage route over the Télégraphe / Galibier was blocked because a landslide had made descending the Lautaret unsafe.

In stage 18, the climb from Rochetaillée was included too, but that took the left turn over the Glandon…

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Tour de France 2014 – Stage 5

Half a Marmotte

I originally planned this trip to follow the route of the Marmotte, but then changed my mind and plotted a ‘shortcut’ down the Croix de Fer towards the Télégraphe / Galibier.

After all, the passage from the foot of the Glandon in Saint-Étienne-de-Cuines, through the valley to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and onwards to Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne, is basically just adding (a lot of) miles to the trip.

In the end, I changed this stage to not include the downhill and / or side trip over the Mollard, and I transferred from the top of the Croix de Fer to Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne by car because it would save us (valuable) time.

Besides, arriving at the summit of the Croix de Fer, I was already tired, with the Galibier still to come and the triple on the Ventoux planned for tomorrow…

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Les Ménuires – AD6 Training Camp

Les Ménuires – AD6 training camp

Veloviewer Activity Wheel(Dutch here)

Between May 11 and 17, we were with all but one members of Team AD6 Tweets on a training camp in the French mountains.

We were stationed in Les Ménuires – Réberty, 10 kilometers north of Val Thorens, a beautiful albeit almost completely deserted area, because the (winter) season ends mid-May here.

Paula and I picked up Stefan on Thursday and we arrived on Friday, a day ahead of the rest. So, after settling into the apartment,

Stefan and I went out for a first ride. From the apartment we headed down towards Moutiers, where we turned around to make our way back up again: a solid 1500 altimeters to ‘warm up’.

Not that we needed to warm up in the true sense of the words, because the temperature was well above 30 degrees down in the valley…

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