Details of the 2011 L’Etape du Tour have been announced – with the ASO changing tact by offering two Tour de France stages on different days.
Next year’s Tour celebrates 100 years in the Alps and riders have the chance to take on stage 19 from Modane to Alpe d’Huez on Saturday July 11.
The route tackles the 1,556m Col du Télégraphe, goes over the 2,556m Col du Galibier and finally up the 21 hairpins to the ski resort of Alpe d’Huez at 1,850m.
The ride, at just 109km, comes in at a considerably shorter distance than previous Etapes, failing to provide a truly epic battle for riders. This year’s edition from Pau to the summit of the Col du Tourmalet measured 181km.
Organisers opted not to run the 189km stage from Pinerolo to the summit of the Galibier, reportedly citing difficulties in running the route on both Italian and French roads.
However, not content with offering a short stage, albeit with 4,000m of climbing, the second Etape takes in the 208km stage nine from Issoire to Saint Flour, through the Massif Central.
The lumpy route tops out at 1,589m and is classified by the Tour as a medium mountains stage, although will fail to strike the same chord with riders looking to pit themselves against the Alps.
Riders will reportedly be able to ride either event, or both if they want, although full details are yet to be confirmed.