» Tour de France 2017: 23 cols of first, second and “hors catégorie” need to be climbed in the 2017 Tour de France. Not as many as last years but some of them are very steep, at least, on short stretches:
Planche des Belles Filles up to 20%, Col du Grand Colombier up to 22%, Mont du Chat up to 15%, Peyragudes up to 16%, Mur de Péguère up to 18% and the Col de Peyra Taillade up to 14%. Small gear may come in handy now and then.
During its very unpredictable itinerary, the Tour takes on all the five big French mountain ranges: the Vosges (1), Jura (6), Central Massif (2) and, as usual the Pyrenees (8) and the Alps (6 cols). The Alps will get the decisive stages, with classic rides over the Croix de Fer and Télégraphe to arrive after the top of the Galibier, and one over another giant, the Col de Vars to arrive, for the first time in Tour history, on the “Casse Déserteé of the Col d’Izoard.
But we start in the North with a first for three top arrivals on the Planche des Belles Filles, a climb in the Vosges just recently discovered by the Tour. Next, it goes to the beautiful Jura mountains with an arrival at the Station des Rousses and one at Chambery after the steep and difficult Col de la Biche, Grand Colombier and Mont du Chat. Very nice and interesting stage that one!
During the first rest day, the Tour caravan moves to the east side of France. After some flat stages, the Pyrenees come within sight. Only two climb stages await the riders there. From Pau, it goes over the beautiful hairpins of the Col de Menté and the Port de Bales, one of our favorite Pyrenees cols, to the Peyragudes station after crossing the Col de Peyresourde. On the Fête National, there is a short but heavy stage over the Col d’Agnes (another favorite!) and the Mur de Péguère to arrive in Foix.
After the mid mountain range of the Central Massif with the already mentioned Col de Peyra Taillade we arrive at the Alps for the final difficulties of this disorientating Tour.
» Giro d'Italia 2017: The Giro is 100 years old and the riders will know. It will be a long and difficult endeavour, with many challenges and memories to Marco Pantani.
A Friday start in Sardinia, a visit to Sicily and a cross throughout most of beautifull Italy bring us to the finishing time trial in Milano.
Apart from a very short visit to Switzerland , there are excursions on the way. For its 100rd edition the Giro remains almost "fully Italy".
And pays tribute to one of its stars and many of its star locations in history, including, of course a number of historical climbs.
After the mid mountain range of Sardinia, the first real climbs await the riders on Sicily where, after the Portella Femmina Morta, it goes up to finish at Rifugio Sapienza on the Etna vulcano.
Next, we leave the islands to follow the coast untill we reach the Blockhaus climb in stage 9, the third real challenge in this Giro.
After the first time trial stage follows another difficult stage in the Apennines east of Firenze, over the Passo della Comsuma, Passo della Calla, Sella di Raggio and Monte Fumaiolo.
In stage 14, the Giro pays tribute to Marco Pantani, finishing up the Monte Oropa, referring to the Giro 1999 stage.
watch Marco Pantani finishing up the Oropa in 1999:
Another difficult stage with a final identical to the Tour of Lombardy 2016, brings us to Bergamo Alta after climbing the Miragolo San Salvatore and Selvino.
The Giro has just started, cause we yet have to cross the Alps and Dolomites.
The first stage there has 5400 height meters, climbing the Mortiroli, Passo dello Stelvio (from Bormio) and the Umbrail Pass, the only small part across the Swiss border.
Next we cross the easier Aprica and Tonale to finish in Canazei.
A traditional Sella Tour of 4000 heightmeters over the Pordoi, Valparola, Gardena and Pinei brings us to the Ortisei station.
» Tour de France 2016: The Tour innovates and challenges! The Tour 2016 is an atypical edition with lots of new starts, finishes and climbs and trips to Andorra, Spain and Switzerland. The start location near the “Mont”-Saint-Michel sets the tone for this Tour; climbing it will be. In total, no less than 28 climbs are on the menu, spread across nine mountain stages. There are four stage finishes on top and, in between, two solid time-trials with a lot of climbing. Thus, the Tour 2016 will be a real war of attrition.
Like last year, the Pyrenees come before the Alps. Normally, the sequence is switched to the year. Reason? The European Football Championship which will be held in France in 2016 which calls for a "calmer" run through the Pyrenees? Or the passage through the Mont Ventoux on quatorze Juillet which is easier to combine with a shorter passage through the Pyrenees? Or maybe it were the Swiss connections that determined the (anti-)clock of the Tour? Who knows? In any case, there is a lot of climbing fun, including in the Jura and Massif Central.
Already in the fifth stage, it gets serious with an arrival on top of Le Lioran in the Massif Central. Next, we reach the Pyrenees with an arrival at the Lac de Payolle after climbing the Col d'Aspin. After a classic climb stage from Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon over inter alia the Tourmalet, Peyresourde and Hourquette d'Ancizan, it goes further uphill towards Andorra. Through a fun, new passage in Spain where we cross, amongst others, the Puerto de Bonaigua, known from the Vuelta, we will arrive on top of Arcalis. Via Carcassonne and Montpellier we drive to the famous Mont Ventoux for a rousing finale on July 14.
Next, there is a time trial in the Ardèche before we continue north towards Jura, with a double ascent of the Col du Grand Colombier. In stage 16, the Tour crosses the Swiss to arrive in Bern, before attacking the Alps near the border between France and Switzerland. Below the lake of Geneva, in the view of Mont Blanc, three tough mountain stages await us. First, the Col de la Forclaz is climbed to arrive at the difficult Finhaut-Emosson. In the short time trial between Megeve and Salanches, there’s climbing and descending. Between Albertville and the arrival above Saint-Gervais near the Mont Blanc, again, the Forclaz is on the program. In the last mountain stage, the Joux-Plane is the last difficulty before arriving in Morzine.
In short, a surprising, original but very tough Tour 2016, with nice trips, numerous new climbs and of course, the Mont Ventoux. We are looking forward to it.
» Giro d'Italia 2016: Also in 2016, the Netherlands are hosting the start of a big cycling tour.
The bike mad region in and around Gelderland receives the Giro on its major "cols", the Posbank and Berg en Dal. Be there on time because the Giro will start on Friday this year!
This to compensate for the extra day of rest after the Dutch intro.
Next, we go immediately towards southern Italy to return to the Dolomites and Alps via the rugged Apennine Mountains and the beautiful Chianti region.
This time, it's not the traditional Giro cols alla Stelvio, Gavia, Mortirolo and Zoncolan that await us there. But that doesn't make the Giro 2016 more boring, on the contrary.
After the Sella-round, very famous among climb-crazy cycling tourists, and the Passi Giau and Valparola, there is a time trial on the Seiseralm (Alpe di Siusi).
The third individual time trial in this Giro. Quite different from the 2015 Tour...
Via the majestic Colle d'Agnello (with 2744 meters the Cima Coppi) we head towards France where the Tour is put a nose in its own country with an arrival on Risoul and a giant climb dessert over three 2000-ers; the beautiful Col de Vars, the mighty Col de la Bonette
and the Colle della Lombarda (via Isola 2000). Thus are back in Italy after a highly varied and surprising Giro.
» Vuelta España 2015: Vuelta 2015 has not less then 13 mountain and mid mountain stages with 10 top finishes.
» Tour de France 2015: As the biggest website for cols and climbing worldwide, of course we’re very enthusiast about this Tour 2015. It is surely one of the most challenging Tours of the last years and it has everything in it; time trials, a team time trial, cobblestones and… not less than 8 finishes uphill.
Starting with the short but steep walls of Huy and Bretagne for the finishers, leading to 10 climbing stages out of 12 after the first rest day. Probably unseen in the history of the Tour. And what a rides.
Three top finishes, starting with a new col, the Col de Pierre-Saint-Martin, in the Pyrenees. It’s just the appetite for two classical Pyrenees rides over the Aspin, Tourmalet to Cauterets and over the Portet d’Aspet, Col de la Core, Port de Lers to finish up the Plateau de Beille.
Next, we cross the Massif Central with its own difficulties before reaching the Alps. After the second and last rest day, a splendid last week awaits us there, with four great climbing stages.
First, there is a finish on Pra-Loup after crossing the Col d’Allos. Next, it goes, over the Glandon to finish down in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne after a short climb over the Lacets (hairpins) de Montvernier, another scenery newcomer in the Tour de France. The third Alpine stage is a big one over the Col du Chaussy, Col de la Croix de Fer, Col du Mollard to La Toussuire. And the last one is the shortest, but most classical ride over the Télégraphe and Galibier up to Alpe d’Huez. It’s the day before we arrive in Paris…
What can a climbing fan expect more from the Tour? Well, maybe just that all the stars join the party and… stay on their bike this time.
» Giro d'Italia 2015: After the criticisms of the last few years, the Giro is looking for a new equilibrium. Shorter, fewer and easier climbs, that's for sure. Fortunately, there are still some big climbs to look forward to. The Colle delle Finestre and the Mortirolo always offer spectacle, but we also look forward to the less famous Monte Ologna, Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Panthaléon.
» Giro d'Italia 2014: The Giro 2014 starts off in Northern Ireland. No (real) climbs there. All in all, less climbing then last year, but that doesn't mean the Giro 2014 will be boring.
Five mountaintop finishes and giants like the Passo Gavia, Stelvio and Zoncolan await the riders. There is a time trial on the infamous Monte Grappa and
five medium mountain stages give plenty of opportunities to attackers and climbers. Nice tour!
» Vuelta España 2013: Vuelta 2013 again criterium for climbers.
After a splendid 2012 edition with a most entertaining fight between Contador, Rodriguez and Froome on the most interesting climbs in the north of Spain, the 2013 edition is set to repeat all that. However, unlike its predecessor, the 2013 Vuelta edition travels through the most of Spain and its mountain zones and pays a visit to Andorra and France for its heaviest climb stages. The most difficult piece is kept for the end; the last climb to be battled is the Angliru.
You can discover all the interesting climbs below, on climbbybike.
» Tour de France 2013: The Tour de France celebrates its 100th edition in 2013. The first Tour took place in 1903. Some editions were cancelled because of the World Wars.
The 2013 edition refers to the 1903 edition with an all-France parcours and some finishes in the same cities, like Lyon and Marseille.
In between, the Tour travels through the country in a peculiar way, due to its start on the isle of Corse. There, the first climbs can be expected.
Next, it goes via the Mediterranean
coast towards the Pyrenees. A light-menu Pyrenees awaits the riders this year with a finish on Ax-3-Domaines. Via a detour in the Northwest of France,
the Tour returns to the south via the Massif Central.
mountain stage there finishes up the Mont Ventoux (side Bédoin). Next, there are two more top finishes in the Alps with the Alpe d'Huez (climbed twice in the same stage) and
Le Grand Bornand. Including also a time-trial,
the last week is expected to be all-decisive. All-in-all, the Tour 2013 is more difficult and balanced than its predecessor and has much better designed mountain stages.
» Giro d'Italia 2013: The Giro 2013 starts in the South of Italy in Naples and heads more southward through, inter alia, the beautiful Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast, before crossing the southern Apennines.
To the north it goes mainly with other means of transport than the bicycle. Apart from only a brief interlude in Tuscany, central Italy is practically beaten over.
Time for the Dolomites and the Alps with some very interesting mountain stages. The big guns are saved till the last. First, there's a trip to France with an arrival on top of the Galibier.
During the last days, the Gavia, Stelvio and Passo Giau are on the menu. In total there are five arrivals uphill.
» Vuelta España 2012: Firework's expected in the Vuelta 2012.
The Vuelta 2012 should make up for a boring Tour de France without real stars.
The Vuelta 2012 has more stars to offer, both in the form of cyclists (Contador, Schleck A., Cobo, Froome (???), De Gendt, Cunego, Uran, Kreuziger...)
and climbs (Cuitu Negro, Covadonga, Bola del Mundo,...) than the Tour had.
There are 7 climb stages and 10 (TEN) stages arrive on a top! A special road was created up to Cuitu Negro for the hardest arrival of this Vuelta.
You can discover all the interesting climbs below, on climbbybike.
» Tour de France 2012: The 2012 Tour starts in cycling country par excellence, Belgium.
The organizers of the Tour have via Liege-Bastogne-Liege outstanding connections with the
French speaking part of Belgium. Philip Gilbert was able to get
an arrival uphill in Seraing (second stage). Next, it goes to the Vosges
with a finish on one of the more heavyr mountain passes in the region - the Planche des Belles Filles -
short but steep enough to ensure separation. In the beautiful Jura-mountains we discover a bunch of new
Alpine passes. The Alpine menu looks a bit lighter this year,
Although the first stage over the Madeleine and Croix de Fer (Glandon side) with
arrival in Toussuire looks quite heavy. As we ride with the clock, the focus
this year is on the Pyrenees, with the major stage crossing the Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin and Peyresourde.
In the last stage you will not find a flat meter either.
So quite an interesting tour, with many passes including some new that you
can of course, discover on climbbybike.
» Giro d'Italia 2012: The 2012 Giro starts in Denmark. Flat as a billiard. After a time trial in Verona, the Giro heads south along the Apennines with single runs in the highland and an arrival at the Rocca di Cambio. The Lago Laceno is the southernmost point. The return runs over medium high Apenines, through inter alia, Assisi and the Cinque Terre. Climbing gets really serious in the final week with the Passo Giau, Passo Manghen, Mortirolo and Stelvio to be conquered. A lot less heavy than the previous editions, but with much Gilbert-type rides.
» Giro d'Italia 2011: The Giro d'Italia 2011 starts off in Torino, near the Alps.
The Corsa Rosa is the official event for the celebration of the 150 anniversary of the unification of Italy.
Therefore, the Tour of Italy and the Alpine national meeting will be held on the same day in Turinstarting with a team time trial of 19.3 km near the Palace of Venaria the heart of Turin.
Next, the Giro will make a real tour of the country, crossing 17 Italian regions in 3.524,5 km.
There are 4 medium mountain stages (1 arrival on top) and 6 high mountain stages (all arriving on top).
Although the profiles below don't show too much red, and most infamous traditional climbs in the Giro are left aside, the fact that all mountain stages arrive on top offers real opportunities to the best climbers to win the Giro.
» Tour de France 2010: The Tour de France 2010 became an interesting battle between Andy Schleck and Alberto COntador. Andy Schleck lost the race on the Port de Bales. Due to a technical defect at his bike he lost 39 seconds that stage, exactly the difference between one and two in Paris. Lance Armstrong was not able to repeat his third place of 2009. His final Tour turned out to be a deception.
» Tour de France 2009: The Tour de France 2009 was the comeback-Tour of Lance Armstrong, 7-fold winner of the race. The Tour itself was overshadowed by the one but final stage to the Mont Ventoux. Eventually, no one was able to hurt Contador on the giant climb and the Spaniard won his second Tour de France. Italian Pellizotti won the polka dotted jersey.
Andy Schleck finished in second place and Lance Armstrong third.
» Tour de France 2008: The Tour de France 2008 was a small Tour, without a.o. Alberto Contador. Another Spaniard, Carlos Sastre, took the yellow jersey before Cadel Evans. The polka dotted jersey went to the Austrian Kohl who later was punished for doping.
» Tour de France 2007: In 2007, Alberto Contador won his first Tour de France, proably not his last. Alberto Contador was also the best climber in the Tour, but the polka dotted jersey went to the Columbian Marco Soler.
» Tour de France 2006: The Tour 2006 was a Tour to easily forget. After Floyd Landis was punished for doping and dismissed, the victory was awarded to Oscar Periro Sio. Michael Rasmussen, another doping criminal, got the polka dotted jersey.