Here is a preview of stage two of the upcoming July 2008 Lost Boys Tour d’Enfer.
A trip organized by my friend Leslie that will include people from the USA, Canada, France, Turkey, Germany, and Switzerland.
All 2008 Tour d’Enfer previews are here.
Day 2: La Clusaz to Bourg-Saint-Maurice
This will be a beautiful stage with three great climbs – Col des Aravis, Col des Saisies, and Cormet de Roselend – each of increasing difficulty. See below for details of each one.
We will be riding through cheese country, starting in the Aravis Alps famous for Reblochon cheese and then onto the Beaufortain Alps and its renowned Beaufort .
Col des Aravis
The Climb (from La Clusaz): 7.5 kilometres (4.7 miles); Ascent: 435 metres (1,430 feet)
Like Day One, the climbing starts immediately. Col des Aravis first appeared in the Tour de France in 1947 and has appeared 15 times, most recently in stage 17 of the 2006 Tour.
Remember at the top to say a quick prayer to Saint Anne – The Protector of Travelers (see photo) in the little chapel – we might need her help to survive the rest of this big day.
Col des Saisies
The Climb: 15 kilometres (9.3 miles); Ascent: 800 metres (2,625 feet)
Like La Clusaz, the town of Saisies is a medium size ski station. First appearing in 1979, the Col des Saisies has appeared 9 times in the Tour de France, most recently stage 17 in 2006.
There is a World War Two memorial at the top commemorating the Parachuting in of huge weapons supplies to the French resistance at the Col itself and the death of one of the American paratroopers (see photo).
Cormet de Roselend
The Climb: 20.5 kilometres (12.7 miles); Ascent: 1,240 metres (4,070 feet)
I love this climb. It was included in Le Cycle’s magazine list of the 30 most beautiful climbs in France.
First appearing in 1979, the Cormet de Roselend has appeared 9 times in the Tour de France, most recently stage 8 in 2007. There is still plenty of Tour Graffiti on the road (see photo)
It’s a steady climb for 12 kilometres until reaching the Col du Meraillet. Here, there is a huge dam creating a beautiful alpine lake. The route skirts the lake for a while and then starts to climb again.
For very strong riders (I’ll be skipping it!) there is a fantastic alternate – much harder – way up to the lake via Col du Pré (marked in red on the map). This very steep climb finishes well above the lake (see photo above), then descends to rejoin the classic route after crossing the dam itself. More info here.
Good News: After reaching the top of Roselend, it is a superb, hairpin-filled, 20 kilometre descent all the way to the bus.
- Start La Clusaz:
- Exit town towards South: Follow D909 and signs to Col des Aravis and Flumet
- Stay on D909 and climb and descend Col des Aravis into Flumet
- At Flumet cross the busy D1212 and take the D218b towards Saisies
- Stay on D218b and climb and descend the Col des Saisies
- A few kilometres from Beaufort the D218b ends
- Turn left on D925 into Beaufort
- Stay on D925 and climb Cormet de Roselend
- At very top, road becomes D902
- Descend on D902 into Bourg Saint Maurice
- Well done. A big day!