Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Which Ones Do We Choose? The Greatest Tour Climbs in the Alps

It took me awhile, but I managed to map out all the "big" climbs of the Tour that run through the Alps--I've got almost every famous climb and a few of the bigger "lesser knowns."
Step 1 is to email the hotel so we can nail down the reservations--that's done.  Once the hotel is confirmed, we can narrow down our list of climbs and leak the details of the trip.  Rest assured, we're so excited, we're about to soil ourselves.  If you click and enlarge the map, a list of the climbs should appear on the left.

View Larger Map

I got to thinking about what climbs would have to be on my "must do list" in the Alps. I started by researching on the web for awhile and it seems everybody  has a different opinion as to what the "greatest tour climbs" are.  Do you choose based on most times visited in tour history, or the longest, the steepest, most scenic, or the climbs which have been the backdrop to historic battles over the years?  For me the choice comes down to history, particularly over the last 10 years.  You see, I started riding just about the time Lance started wrecking everybody in the Alps, so my memory is full of all his epic battles and given that he has already crushed me up Columbine, I think it is only appropriate to see how bad it can get in the Alps.  How long and how steep the climbs are is irrelevant because all of them are beasts.  Number of times visited in tour history is kind of important--if I go over there and kill myself to climb these things, you'd better believe that I'm going to want to watch them on tv for years to come.  Scenery is also irrelevant--it's the Alps, 'nough said. 

So that's how I'm going about it--you make your list and I'll make mine and we'll see where we are--I'd love to hear your thoughts.             

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