The 2018 Etape du Tour will take place on Sunday July 8, with sportive riders set to tackle stage ten of the Tour de France from Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand in the Alps.
The 169km course, announced as part of the 2018 Tour de France route presentation, features four major climbs – the Col de la Croix Fry, Montée du plateau de Glières, Col de Romme and Col de la Colombière – and a stretch of dirt road on a historic plateau.
The climbing begins after 40km with the Col de la Croix Fry, which climbs to 1,477m. The long descent feeds into the Montée du plateau de Glières, featuring in the Tour de France for the first time and one of the toughest climbs in the Alps on paper. The ascent may only be seven kilometres long, but the average gradient is over 11%. The toughest pitches are saved for the final kilometre, which averages a thigh-numbing 13%.
The summit arrives at 1,390m and riders will be faced with 1.8km of unpaved road on a plateau where members of the local resistance hid during the Second World War. A fast, technical descent follows before a short, uncategorised climb, another descent and approximately 15km of valley road.
The Col de Romme, featuring in the Tour for a second time, provides another stern test – the 9.3km climb averages 8.8%, with a maximum pitch of 12% – and the subsequent descent launches immediately into the Col de la Colombière.
The highest point of the Etape (1,618m) is reached via just over seven kilometres of climbing, much of it over 8% – and a final kilometre over 10%. Low gearing will be key to this Etape du Tour. A 12km descent will then drop riders to the finish in Le Grand-Bornand.
Registration for the 2018 Etape du Tour will open on Monday October 23, with event-only entry priced at €109 until December 17, before rising to €139. Entry and accommodation packages are available through a number of operators.
Website: Etape du Tour