Tour de France 2022

Tour de France LogoWhen I got home one day and Paula handed me an envelope, I thought for a moment she was handing me the divorce papers.

But it actually contained my birthday present 🤣

It was a printout of a reservation she had made on Booking.com and while she knows that my hearth lies in the Dolomites, that was just (way) too expensive.

As we both have fond memories of last year’s stay in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, she figured this would be more than a consolation prize.

HELL YEAH!!!

Those of you (more) actively following me know what this means: another “Tour de France” in the making, although in this case, given the duration, it’s more like a “Critérium du Dauphiné”.

And I’m definitely going to incorporate some, if not all, of the two last stages of this year’s edition of that in my trip(s).

As our base camp is in the same place – but not the same apartment – as last year, I refer to the posts I wrote back then, while preparing my stage schedule. You can find links to those on the Tour de France 2021’s main page here.

For this year, since I have plans to incorporate the Dauphiné’s stage 8, I’ll dedicate a new post to that area, as that is new for me.

All info and links to posts and stage reports will be added to the menu on the right of this page as I write them.

Col d’Izoard

Just inside the top 25 of Europe’s highest mountain passes, the Col d’Izoard (2,360 m) is located in the French Hautes-Alpes department.

It is part of the “Route des Grand Alpes”, running over the part of the D902 between (north-east of) Barcelonnette and Briançon.

That part first goes up and down the Col de Vars, runs through the famous Gorges du Guil from Guillestre and then up and down the Izoard to end in Briançon.

The Col d’Izoard has been in Tour de France stages no less than 36 times, lately in 2019.

In 2017’s stage 20, the Izoard was the only time the stage actually finished on its summit.

While Warren Barguil won that stage, more memorable and perhaps more impressive, at least for me, was Annemiek van Vleuten’s win in La Course, the one day women event.

While Barguil was actually slower on the ascend than runner up Romain Bardet, van Vleuten was only beaten by a handfull of (other) guys, out of the entire TDF peloton.

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Tour de France 2021 – Recap

Tour de France LogoAs 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 – Other Areas (Part 2)

Tour de France Logo

Exploring the climbs and passes for my Tour de France 2021, I’ve started with those in and close to our base camp, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

In an earlier post, I’ve covered (most of) the possibilities starting close to our doorstep, not requiring a car transfer before getting on my bike.

In this post, like in the previous, 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 turn my focus outside the north-eastern end of the Maurienne valley, past Albertville, into the Beaufort valley.

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Tour de France 2021

Tour de France LogoSo, thanks to the ongoing pandemic and subsequent “no fly” policy in the family, I got another cycling adventure this year.

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

While I did feel sorry for Paula’s not getting her well deserved sun vacation, I was 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 rented an apartment in Saint-Jean-de Maurienne, which is located at the base of the…

Drum Roll

Col de la Croix de Fer.

 

Anyone familiar with the Savoie area, will know that a bit further south, you’ll find Saint-Michel-de Maurienne, at the base of the Télégraphe / Galibier.

Or the fork to Valmeinier, which I did take on this time, unlike in 2014, when I didn’t have the time.

North of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, La Chambre is (near) the starting point for the climbs up the East end of the Glandon and the west end of the Madeleine.

Not to mention that in between those two, the Lacets de Montvernier seems to be a “must” and that (short) snake was a first for me.

I have dedicated several posts discussing the various alternatives and climbs starting at our doorstep (Col du Mollard, La Toussiere, Les Sybelles – too many) and further out.

That included a stage with the Iseran from Modane and a revisit some of the cols between Albertville (Beaufort), Moutiers and Bourg-Saint-Maurice.

Méribel and Courchevel were new to me in that area, but La Plagne, Les Arcs and the majestic Roselend were not.

The latter I eventually climbed from Beaufort, via the Col du Pré.

And yes, a Marmotte alternative was in the back of my head again too and if I did, I would get my 10th Alpe d’Huez ascend in the books 🙂

In the menu to the right of this page – or at the bottom, if you’re reading this on your smartphone – you’ll find links to everything you never wanted to know, but maybe will dream of doing yourself one day too.

Let’s just say that this Tour de France 2021 for sure did include a jubilee 10th ascend of the Alpe d’Huez 🎉