The Etape du Tour is justifiably up there as one of the most prestigious sportives in the world, taking in a stage of the Tour de France just a few days before the race tackles the same roads. The 2015 route was 138km with 4,400m of climbing but the 2016 route, despite being slightly longer at 146km, looks to have a fair bit less climbing at around 3,500m. But it isn’t all good news, the fearsome Col de Joux Plane, often touted as the hardest of the main cols in the Alps, is saved till the end with just the roller-coaster descent to Morzine to follow. More details on the four climbs of the day below.
The Aviva Tour of Britain has established itself as the main alternative preparation race for the World Championships (the other being the Vuelta a España). The parcours is tough and often ridden very hard with the domestic teams wanting to show their pedigree whilst the top WorldTour riders looking to get some hard day’s racing in the legs to help rebuild their form. Team Sky always want to fare well being the teams, main, home race but the top tip could well be ORICA GreenEDGE’s Yates brothers looking to take control of the race on their home roads of stage 2. Here are more details of all of the climbs from each stage. Interactive profiles and full stats available on the climbs page.
Hopefully lots of you will have seen the 3D profile images being showcased on Eurosport throughout the Tour de France coverage this year. I have now massively improved the way you can get hold of your own 3D profile images of rides, runs or segments to make it much easier for you (as well as me) to attach to your Strava activities or share on social media from your phone, tablet or PC/Mac.
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.
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 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!
I’ve had my interactive 3D profiles since 2013 and they have become a core feature of VeloViewer allowing you to view segments and your own rides in a really engaging way. I encourage the sharing and use of these profiles as long as you abide by the terms and conditions below.
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.
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. View interactive 3D profiles of all the main climbs below.