Tour de France 2021 – Stage 6

Col du Mollard and Chalmieu

Not a real horse, trust me…

The forecast for today looked pretty much like the other days so far, except yesterday.

While I do go out when it rains – within broad limits – it’s obviously nicer if that can be avoided.

In the end, I think I even had more sun than expected, but there’s still a bit of a wind chill.

Also, I didn’t include the nameless climb – up to Les Villes – as a bonus, because I didn’t want to push my luck.

What I did, was difficult enough already, given the increasing back pain.

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Tour de France 2021 – Prologue

Col de la Croix de Fer and Col du Mollard

We left our Ibis hotel just after 7am to go to Allemond, where I would get on my bike.

Under normal circumstances, that would be a three hour drive, but we ran into “a little” delay, as there was deadly incident on the A6 before Lyon.

We were stuck for just over an hour, before they cleared one lane and things started moving again.

I then found out the incident was just over a km ahead of us. Had we left 5 minutes earlier, we would never have seen the body bags…

Other than some road works around Grenoble, the rest of the journey went as expected.

But, where I had planned to start my ride around 10:30, I didn’t get on my bike before noon…

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Tour de France 2021 – Base Camp

As mentioned in my previous post, we will stay in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, capital of the Maurienne Valley in the Savoie, for my Tour de France 2021.

It’s easily one of the French Alps cycling hotspots – like Corvara and Bormio in the Dolomites – and there are a lot of cols within cycling distance of our base camp.

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 discuss the climbs that start at our doorstep.

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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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