Etape du Tour 2008
For once, the 2008 etape du Tour course is easy to analyse!
1. Undulating section
The first 50 miles of the route is flat or undulating. There are a couple of climbs, but most of the first 50 miles is fairly flat.
The net height gain in the first 50 miles is around 1000 feet (330 metres). The average gradient is therefore less than 0.5% (though some bits are steeper).
2. The ascent of Tourmalet
The ascent of Tourmalet climbs nearly 1600 metres in 25 miles. The gradient is generally reasonable, but rises to 12% on some sections. The gradient of Tourmalet is reasonably consistent, making for a steady climb.
3. The descent of Tourmalet
The main feature of the descent is its length – 22 miles of fast downhill riding!
4. The ascent of Hautacam
The ascent of Hautacam rises from 500 metres up to 1520 Metres, giving a climb of just over 1000 metres in a distance of 12.5 km ( 7.8 miles). It is therefore quite steep, and the gradient is quite variable, making for some steep sections. The last 3 km is easier however, with some memorable views.