Tour de France 2021 – Recap

As promised, I will conclude the reporting on my Tour de France 2021 with a recap.

I cycled 14 out of 15 available days and have my own stupidity to blame for having a “rest day”.

While I guess this Tour de France once again showed I’m (still) capable of pushing myself through – and over – my limits, there’s no denying that I will have to take it down a notch.

How much will also depend on my capability to keep enduring the back pain on every climb.

Sure, taking in the mostly overwhelming landscapes, the feeling of tininess when looking around and the stunning views are great “distractors”.

But I keep increasing the number of short breaks to ease the pain, which eventually do not help very much any more either.

On the upside, these enable me to take in more of the views and make pictures too 😂

Anyway, lets get to the recap…

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Tour de France 2021 – Stage 7

Iseran and Tignes

Today, I had another car transfer to the start of the stage.

This was mainly due to the length of the Iseran and the fact that I decided to include Tignes in this stage.

My “original plan” was to include (finish in) Tignes in a partial copy of the real Tour de France’s stage 7.

But I figured that I might as well include Tignes today and finish in Bourg-Saint-Maurice instead…

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Tour de France 2021 – Other Areas (Part 1)

In my previous posts, I’ve discussed the climbs and passes starting in and close to our Tour de France 2021 base camp, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

While those may seem enough to keep a lousy climber like myself busy for the total duration of our 14-day stay, you should know better by now.

I never fail to disappoint when overestimating my “grinta” and planning more than I can handle.

Although, in the end, I usually do manage to get most of it done 😂

In this post and the next, I’ll cover (some of) the possibilities a bit further away, which are still within reach, but for which I may opt for a car transfer before getting on my bike.

Today, I’ll focus on the south-eastern end of the Maurienne valley, starting around Modane.

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Col de l’Iseran


While the summit sign reads 2,770 meters, the official summit of the Col de l’Iseran on recent maps is 2,764 meters.

That still makes it the highest paved pass in Europe, although the artificial loop around the Bonette is claimed as such by the French, or at least those in the Ubaye valley.

However, the official pass height of the Bonette is 2,715 meters, so the Iseran, the Stelvio (2,758) and the Agnel (2,744) are higher ‘by nature’…

The Iseran is part of the Route des Grandes Alpes (in French). It connects the valleys of the Isère (Tarentaise) and Arc River (Maurienne) between Val-d’Isère in the north and Bonneval-sur-Arc in the south.

The north side of the pass officially starts at Val-d’Isère, or further down from Bourg-Saint-Maurice. The climb from the south officially starts at Lanslebourg-Mont Cenis, but you could also consider Modane as the starting point.

Post WWII the Iseran was included in the Tour de France 5 times between 1947 and 2007 – in 1996 it was also scheduled, but that stage was rescheduled due to bad weather (snow on both the Iseran and the Galibier).

In 2019, the southern ascend was again included in a stage (19), which was scheduled to finish in Tignes, but that stage eventually got neutralized at the Iseran summit, because of bad weather and a landslide.

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Tour de France 2014 – Part 1

Post stage reports of my Tour de France 2014 – part 1, with Europe’s highest “natural” pass, the Iseran.

Bellentre

For my own Tour de France 2014, our first base camp was located in the Savoie, in a small village called Bellentre. This is less than 10 kilometers from Bourg-Saint-Maurice, almost opposite La Plagne.

After a smooth trip there, we settled in our apartment “Gîte les Grands Champs” around 13:00 – this gave me the opportunity to go out for a first ride, although it looked like it would rain.

And it did…

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