Etape du Tour 2013
This year’s route is only 80 miles long, but don’t underestimate it! There is plenty of climbing!
After the first, fast, magnificent 7.5 km along the shores of Lake Annecy, the road as flat as you could imagine, we turn right at St Jorioz and the climbing begins!
It is quite a pleasant climb with winding roads with a gradient of 3.5% to 4.5%, only exceeding 5% at one point, then levelling off towards the top after 15km to the liquid feed station at La Chapelle-Saint-Maurice We are then at the Col de Leschaux (944m). We have now climbed the first 450 metres!
There follows a welcome section of flat and downhill roads. After the food, drink and repatriation area at La Motte-en-Bauges there is one minor climb as we reach La Chatellard,. At La Chatellard you will have completed 39km.
The ascent of Col de Pres is initially undulating, gaining only 200m of altitude in 15km. After Aillon-le-Jeune is becomes steeper, briefly peaking at 9% then easing off to around 7% for the last two km of the climb.
There follows an exhilarating descent but with a succession of sharp bends, the road dropping over 500m in around 11km.
At Saint-Jean-d'Arvey at the bottom, you will do well to take advantage of the liquid refreshment stop before the climb of Mont tevard, particularly if the weather is hot.
Mont Revard is a fairly reasonable ascent, the gradient being mainly less than 5%, very occasionally rising to 7% or more, climbing around 1000m all together. It is very much a typical Etape du Tour climb..
There follows a long, fast, enjoyable almost flat section but with a slight downhill gradient – but save some energy for Semnoz! Depending to some extent on the wind direction, slip streaming will pay dividends here – or better still working with a group of other riders. In the Etape there are so many riders, there should be a bunch going at the right speed for you!
And so to the final climb! It is quite a tough one! Stocking up on food and drink at Gruffy before you reach Semnoz will pay dividends, particularly if the weather is hot. Consuming further water at Quintel will also be worthwhile.
The climb up to Quintel is quite pleasant, and not too steep, but after Quintel the climb is tough, rising around 1000 metres in 10km, with stretches of 9.5% to 10.5%.
After passing the finish arch you will be able to enjoy the long descent back to Annecy!