Galibier vs Alpe D'Huez

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by stevelikesrice, May 15, 2011.

  1. stevelikesrice

    stevelikesrice New Member

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    I will be in France during the 2011 Tour, and can visit the stage finishing on the Galibier, or Alpe D'Huez (not both, unfortunately). I want to visit the stage that replicates what I see on TV: a motorcycle clearing a path through crowds that are 10 people deep on each side up the roads, crowds that are almost pushing right up against the riders as they climb to the finish. Anyone have experience with the Galibier or Alpe D'Huez? I think both would be epic climbs, but which would give me what I want? Thanks Steve
     
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  2. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    The crowds will be bigger and crazier on the Alpe. No doubt about that... ... But if you want a spot on the side of that mountain you'll likely not get one if you show up the same day. I know they used to close the roads 6 to 8 hours in advance - I suspect it'd be more than that now. The first 'ramp' to the first hairpin on the Alpe is always a dragrace and darned steep - an ace place to see riders really suffer and get shelled en masse :) see if you can get up with all the Dutch lads - they have the right idea. Copious amounts of booze and lots of partying. The stage that finishes on the Galibier is epic - not sure where you'd park though and it'd be a long hike if they made you leave the car on the Lauteret. The weather up there can change in a heartbeat too. It's a lot higher than the Alpe.
     
  3. stevelikesrice

    stevelikesrice New Member

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    Thanks for your suggestions.

    Based on where the Col du Galibier and the Lautaret are located (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=COL+du+GALIBIER&aq=&sll=45.037141,6.461334&sspn=0.250372,0.676346&ie=UTF8&hq=COL+du+GALIBIER&hnear=&ll=45.120053,6.523132&spn=0.250009,0.676346&z=11) I was thinking of coming from the opposite side of the mountain and parking at the top, then walking down.

    I keep looking at how close the Galibier and Alpe D'Huez are located (just going a little further west ...) and really want to do both ...
     
  4. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    yes very difficult choice, the Galibier stage is twice as long with the Izoard just before the Galibier, many things could happen on that stage.
    on the other hand the Alpe stage is only 100 K this year but they still have to climb the Telegraphe and the Galibier to get there so if the guys race flat out it could also be decisive.
    If you could find accommodation in Briançon for example, charming small Alpine town near the base of the Izoard, then you could decide on the spot where to go since you will be in the middle of all the action,
     
  5. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    In someways it's a pitty at Serre Chavallier decided to go for the summit finish on the Galibier - mainly to take back the "crown" of the highest summit finish ever in the Tour, after the Tourmalet took that one last year. Previously it'd had been on another summit close to Serre Chevallier and right outside of Briancon - the col de granon, a climb that makes the climb up the lauteret and galibier seem positively easy.

    Come to think of it, there's so many possible good summit finishes off, or near, the Lauteret than it's just silly.
     
  6. stevelikesrice

    stevelikesrice New Member

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    I was beginning to look for accommodation now. My main concern, assuming that I get to the summit where I want to be able to view the fireworks on the stage, is (1) when they close the roads (I've heard that Alpe D'Huez is the day before), and (2) getting back down and off to Lyon (hoping to catch a flight to Paris to see the final stage).

    I bet there's no parking either ...
     
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