A leg-sapping 1,300 metres of relentlessly ascending tarmac, with an average gradient of nine per cent, and a crippling peak gradient of 22 per cent, it offers Flèche a denouement to match any in cycling.
Little wonder then that the world’s best riders were leaving nothing to chance by heading out onto its slopes the day before the race, testing their legs on its ferocious gradient.
World number one, Joaquim Rodriguez, his Katusha team-mate, Dani Moreno (last year’s winner), and Team Sky’s formidable young talent, Peter Kennaugh, were among those training on the Mur today.
Tomorrow, this iconic slope will be lined on either side by thousands of cheering spectators, and we’ll bring you a full report and photo gallery, as well as post-race analysis of the action.
For now, we’ll whet your appetite with this full-width gallery from official UCI WorldTour photographer, Stefano Sirotti.