Tour de France 2021 – Stage 11

Marmotte or Bust

Yes, I did use that phrase before. Thank you for so closely following / reading my blog ūüėā

However, at the time I spoke about my plans to do two of them, Sestriere (La Marmotta) and the classic Marmotte Granfondo Alpes during that Tour de France of 2017.

Both were a bust, whereas I didn’t even start the classic, due to the (general) weather conditions and had a flat with no spare tube(s) during the La Marmotta.

This year, being located at an even better spot to start it, I finally did ride Marmotte Granfondo Alpes, but with a twist…

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Tour de France 2021 – Stage 2

Col du Glandon – La Toussuire

Before I get to today’s stage, I’d first like to make a mends with our apartment owners, Christelle and Jean Claude.

Apart from the warm welcome we received – as expected from the visitor’s comments on Booking.com – we found a basket with garden veggies in the kitchen: courgette, paprika and tomatoes.

We also found another basket with “regional products” in the living room, which we didn’t open until this morning.

To our surprise, we found two pocket knifes with our names engraved on them – all with the best of intentions, no doubt ūüėā

As to the apartment itself, it actually exceeds our expectations.

We’ve seen the pictures, but it’s not the same as seeing everything yourself and it’s always exciting to find out how those pictures have captured reality.

They actually sell the apartment short and there’s little left to desire more from it than it offers.

So, with that, let’s get to today’s Tour de France 2021 Stage 2…

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Tour de France 2021 – Near The Base Camp

As mentioned, we will stay in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne for my Tour de France 2021.

I’ve designated Brian√ßon and Barcelonnette as French cycling hotspots – like Corvara and Bormio in the Dolomites – but this capital of the Maurienne Valley in the Savoie is definitely one too.

There are a lot of cols within cycling distance and a lot more further away, where opting for a car transfer seems the way to go.

The mountains on the southern side are the Dauphiné Alps and the Cottian Alps.

On the northern side is the part of the Graian Alps known as the Vanoise.

In this post, I’ll list the cols and possible routes that are “around the corner” from our base camp.

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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 Рon both sides Рattracts many cyclists, as there are many famous climbs to be found, besides this one.

In Is√®re – centered around Bourg-d’Oisans – these include the Lautaret, Les Deux Alps, la B√©rarde 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, T√©l√©graphe / 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 Rochetaill√©e was included too, but that took the left turn over the Glandon…

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Tour de France 2014 – Stage 4

Madeleine and Glandon

As expected, despite the fatigue, the ride up the Madeleine from La Léchère was easier than the one from La Chambre on Monday.

The altitude gain is about the same, but you have some 5 kilometers more to conquer that.

Too bad the weather was not really cooperating – it would frequently drizzle just enough to soak all clothes, but the temperature was not unpleasant…

This time, both restaurants at the summit were open and I had a good omelette at ‘Les Deux Mazots’.

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