Oct 22, 2016 – After a second rest day, in Le Puy-en-Velay, and a sprint stage to Romans-sur-Isère, the peloton in next year’s Tour de France (#TDF2017), announced this week, heads to the country’s fifth mountain range: the French Alps. The first of two stages in the High Alps, stage 17, features three of the Tour’s iconic climbs: the Croix-de-Fer, Télégraphe and Galibier—which is at the 2017 Tour’s highest elevation of 8,668 feet (2,642 meters). The Galibier was first included in the race in 1911 and has been climbed a total of 58 times in Tour history.
#PelotonShorts by John Wilcockson/Photo by Yuzuru Sunada
The last time the tour tackled the northern approach to the Télégraphe-Galibier combo was in 2011, when it was the last mountain stage (with a stage finish at L’Alpe d’Huez). It was the last chance for previous champion Alberto Contador to turn things around after he lost time to ultimate winner Cadel Evans and the Schleck brothers (Andy and Fränk) the previous day on a stage that climbed the other side of the Galibier.
This image shows Contador making his all-out attack on the Galibier’s southern descent, hugging the very edge of the road above a thousands-of-feet drop-off. Next year, this will be the scenario of the 28-kilometer downhill to the stage finish in Serre-Chevalier. Perhaps Contador, now with the Trek-Segafredo team, will again be on the attack…