Stage 1

Les Deux Alpes and Col du Sarenne

Rolling of the ramp with two HC-climbs

Stage summary

After a relaxing first evening getting to know your team, it’s finally time to get in the saddle. 
 
Each morning of the tour, you’ll be served breakfast, receive a short briefing about day ahead, and have a quick warm-up, before going on to tackle the stage.

It’s the first day, and your legs are still fresh. We’ll be riding an 89 km through the mountains, conquering ~2500 meters of altitude. After a gentle 15 km flat section, the road begins to ascend. On our way to the Lac du Chambon, a picturesque reservoir, we’ll experience a 300 m altitude gain with a moderate gradient of about 5%.

After a brief stop to refresh ourselves, we’ll ascend to Les Deux Alpes – the infamous climb which saw Jan Ullrich losing 8 minutes and 56 seconds to Marco Pantani in 1998. The 10.3 km climb, with an average gradient of 7.1%, brings to mind the legendary switchbacks of Alp d’Huez and will require your utmost effort, especially at the beginning.

Following a short, relaxed section, your concentration is required once again as we descend towards the base of the next mountain. The Col du Sarenne is one of the many routes that lead to the cycling Mecca, Alp d’Huez. Although lesser known, this route is a beautiful one to ride – far away from car traffic, and perfect for enjoying the breathtaking scenery of the region. However, be prepared to encounter a sheep or two along the roadside! With an average gradient of 8% and a distance of 12.5 km, it challenges Alp d’Huez in terms of its steepness, and becomes even more demanding in the final kilometres.

We’ll then descend into the centre of Alpe d’Huez, where you can choose either to enjoy a refreshing drink at 1800 meters or head back to your accommodation via the beautiful Pas de la Confession. Back at the hotel, a fresh pasta buffet awaits you and is sure to rebuild your energy stores!

Stage profile

Information

Stage details

Length 89.1km
Elevation gain 2467m
Refreshment zones: Les Deux Alpes

Difficulty rating

A difficult start with two long and steep climbs.

Thing to look out for

First stage and everyone is going to be nervous. Look after each other and just try to get into your rythm.