ETAPE DU TOUR 2011
ISSOIRE to SAINT FLOUR
Set in the beautiful Auvergne region, this stage crosses a number of peaks. It is a moyenne montagne stage – literally average mountains. Although the altitudes are not very extreme, there will be plenty of climbs. Some of them are steep! The stage is 208 km, or 130 miles long – fairly long for a stage of the Tour de France.
Starting at the valley town of Issoire, the ride crosses the picturesque Volcans area, with its extinct volcanoes, two of which feature on the ride – Puy Mary and Plomb du Cantal, a favourite site for paragliding.
Three of the most challenging climbs of this stage are:
Plomb de Cantal: 1392 meters, 8.2 km of 6%
Col du Perthus, 1300metres, with 4.4 km at a gradient of 8% with
Col du Pas de Peyrol (Puy Mary): 1589 meters, 5.5 km of climbing:
Though the average gradient of Pas de Peyrol is 8%, though some sections are somewhat steeper!
The ascent of Pas de Peyrol in 2004:
Descent from Col du Pas de Peyrol