The 2018 Tour de France features three mountainous stages in the French Alps, including the Col de la Colombiere, Col de la Madeleine and last, but definitely not least, the return of Alpe d’Huez.
After a rest day to recover from the brutal cobbles of Paris-Roubaix, the riders will receive a stern test on the route from Annecy to Le Grand Bornand.
The riders will take the route around Lac d’Annecy before the tackling the category one Col de Romme on the way to the summit of the Col de la Colombiere.
Finally on stage 10 is the Montee du Plateau des Glieres, a 6km climb at an average of 11.2% with a section of gravel. Certainly set to light up the stage.
A relatively short stage for the riders at 108km, but no recovery for them as they have another mountainous stage to deal with.
The riders will ride the HC category Col du Pre, almost 13km at 7.7% average gradient, on the way to the summit of Cormet de Roselend; the other side to the one featured in the Criterium du Dauphine last week.
The stage features a summit finish at La Rosiere; 17.6km at a relaxed average gradient of 6% although steeper sections could lead to attacks from the pure climbers.
The fearsome climb of Alpe d’Huez returns to the Tour de France, therefore a chance for the famous ‘Dutch corner’ to cheer on Tom Dumoulin.
The summit finish is the last of three categorised climbs on the stage. The first, Col de la Madeleine starting in Feissons sur Isere, is 25km long and I really hope to tackle the climb myself this summer.
Category 2 is the Lacets de Montevernier, just 3.4km long at 8.2%, followed by another 29km climb at Col de la Croix de la Fer.
Alpe d’Huez could be ever so crucial in defining the winner of the final yellow jersey.