An Etape with a sting in the tail
With lots of focus being put on the early climbs of the Etape I feel it is really worth mentioning the last 2 climbs.
As you draw close to the finish of this year’s Etape you will be greeted by 2 Cols, firstly the Col de Romme, 10K of steep tarmac wall awaits you as you turn off the main road and head up, you as many before you will be asking how long does this go on for like this? Well 6 of the 10K are brutal and will leave you wishing for more gears. After 6K things do get a little easier but by no means easy.
Once over the Romme the event organisers have left you with the 7 hardest Kilometer of the Col de la Colombiere, some classic switch backs through La Reposoir then the last 3K of 11% will just about push you to your limits, once up and over you will have an amazing descent to the finish in Le Grand-Bornand.
So that was the doom and gloom, all is not lost. You need to ride a little conservative on those first few climbs to make sure you do not over stretch yourself, which will leave you walking or DNF. Think about the last 2 climbs as you take on the first 2 and this will help you hold back a little.
As always nutrition and hydration are going to be so important and if this hot run of weather continues fluids will be of the utmost importance, have a plan don’t wait until you feel thirsty or hungry stick to your plan. Be it every 20 mins drink every 30 mins food.
Watch the weather while you ride, the alps create their own weather and the forecast is not always the most accurate, prepare for 4 seasons in one day and hope for a cool, dry day.
I have just spent the last week taking riders over the last section of the Etape and have ridden these climbs more times than I can remember, so this knowledge is first hand.
Good Luck and if you have any questions please do and I will be happy to help.