Key Climbs of the 2015 Tour de France

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The 2015 Tour de France is set to be one for the climbers (if they all make it through the cobbles) with 12 stages finishing at the top of a hill of some kind and a few more testing mountain stages with descending finishes. The early, classics style climbs will certainly make the initial competition for the yellow jersey more exciting with the puncheurs looking to take the lead, but the main GC battle will be decided on the classic climbs of the Pyrenese and Alps. Checkout some of the key climbs of the race below.

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Critérium du Dauphiné 2015 Stage 7 Preview

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The Critérium du Dauphiné is always one of my favourite races of the year, primarily for the awesome scenery of the high mountains and this year is (hopefully) set to deliver again. Stage 7 is undoubtably the Queen Stage heading from Montmélian to the ski station at Le Bettex perched above the idyllic mountain town of Saint-Gervais. Five 1st category climbs stand between the two towns with the last two basically making up one HC climb with a short and potentially tricky descent thrown in to disrupt the rhythm. I was “lucky” enough to test out those final two climbs for myself and noticed my Garmin reading as much as 20% gradient!

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Milan – San Remo, The key climbs (Cipressa & Poggio) and descent

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At 293 km the Milan – San Remo is the longest one-day race for the Pro peloton and has one of the most climactic and open finishes of any of the races. With two short (and not actually that steep) climbs in the last 30 km you see all types of rider attempting to make winning moves. Climbers on the way up, the Rouleurs on the way down and the Sprinters in the last 200 m. Which of those will end up being the move of the day will be anyone’s guess. Here we will have a look at those three sections of the route that will decide the race: the climbs of the Cipressa and the Poggio along with the plummeting descent down to the finish in San Remo.

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Tour of Britain 2014 – The Climbs

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The World Tour pro peloton returns to the British shores with the 2014 Tour of Britain. The highlight of the year for the domestic professional teams as they get to ride against some of the best in the world. But with some using the race to sharpen their form ahead of the World Champs, the local riders will have their work cut out. The race starts and finishes with city centre criteriums in Liverpool and London but the stages in between contain some classic British climbs.

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Etape du Tour 2014 (Stage 18) – The Route and Climbs

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Every year thousands of cyclists get to tackle a full stage of le Tour on closed roads as part of l’Etape du Tour. This year’s route takes in two of the most famous climbs of the Pyrenees: Col du Tourmalet and Hautacam. There are even a couple of category 3 climbs thrown into the run-in to help loosen the legs but the route’s full 3D profile shown below puts these into perspective of the two Hors Category ascents still to come. Best of luck to all those riding this year’s Etape, hopefully these graphics will help build the excitement for what’s in store!

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Tour de France 2014 Stage 10 – 3D Elevation Climb Profiles

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Stage 10 was thought to be the first major GC battleground but only a short glimpse at the current standings is enough to show that a lot of excitement has already happened in this year’s Tour.  Many metres of climbing are already in the legs of riders prior to these first “proper” climbs of the race but with the added appeal of Bastille Day and a rest day tomorrow expect nobody to hold back.  With the race still young and the main favourites still unsure of each other’s form then I’m sure we’ll see for offensive tactics rather than defensive often seen near the end of the race. Enjoy!

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Tour de France 2014 Stage 2 – 3D Elevation Climb Profiles

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Despite all the talk to the contrary, the 1st stage of le Tour turned out to be a sprinters stage after all, with the throngs of spectators filling the roads along with the odd road narrowing looking to cause more delays to the riders than the hills themselves. Rather than any lack of severity of the climbs themselves it was probably due in larger part to the 50km of near flat roads that followed the final climb of the day. Fear not, stage 2 will be completely different! (Apart from maybe the fans and the narrowing roads). 9 categorised climbs but plenty of uncategorised hills in between (i.e. England’s longest, continuous climb (and bunting) of Cragg Vale) will make for a tortuous day in the saddle. Couple that with technical descents and narrow roads for the last 37 km with the final, 33% Jenkin Road just 5 km from the finish and the end result will be anyone’s guess!

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Tour de France 2014 Stage 1 – 3D Elevation Climb Profiles

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And we’re off! Le Tour departs grandly from Yorkshire’s Leeds through the majestic countryside of North Yorkshire on its way to the spa town of Harrogate. 3 categorised climbs on this stage might end the hopes of that yellow jersey for some sprinters but with so much at stake expect those sprinter’s teams to make sure that doesn’t happen. A distinctly rolling finish into Harrogate as well but with the speed of the peloton at that point expect the momentum to get even the heaviest of sprinters easily over the rises.

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