1km to the top of Alpe du Huez
Well what an experience it was watching the tour! I met up with Brad and Colin Stroberg and joined their tour group, Bike Style Tours, for the day to ride from Grenoble up to Alpe du Huez.
Crowds on Alpe du Huez
Alberto “I ate contaminated meat-ya right” Contador
We set off quite early in the morning and the closer we got to the foot of the climb the more the campers, spectators, cars and cyclists piled up. It was crazy to think so many people had come to watch this.
The climb of Alpe du Huez is 13.8 kilometres long and has 21 switchbacks. I would say it is one of the top 3 all-time famous Tour de France climbs if not the most famous.
As we set up, many other cyclists clearly had the same idea as us and it was awesome to be a part of it all. Highlights on the way up included the Schleck and Dutch corner. When Brad and I got to the top we got some food and headed down the climb a bit to find a good spot to watch the race.
It was quite a long wait until the leaders came through but the junior race and tour caravan helped pass the time and add to the whole experience which makes the tour what it is.
The Gruppeto-World Champion Thor Hushovd far right
More of the Tour Caravan
After the GC men, and finally the grupetto had come past we started to make our way down. Ever been in a bike jam before? It took us an hour to ride down the climb; it was quite scary with many cyclo tourists who didn’t have much idea of the others around them swerving in and out of groups.
Anyway we made it down safely and started the ride back to Grenoble.
All in all it was a great day and experience I will never forget.