Who has never dreamed of climbing the Col du Galibier with its legendary snow walls on either side?
This coming weekend the Tour de France’s most iconic and oldest climb will be open for the first time this season for cyclists to ride up it’s snow-lined roadway to the 2645 metre summit boarding Savoy and Hautes-Alpes.
The Galibier Challenge on 13 June is the first high mountain cyclosportive on the French calendar and offers a 110 kilometre route with 3350 metres vertical, including Cols Beauplan, Télégraphe and the still snow-covered Galibier.
The Col du Galibier has been crossed 61 times by the Tour de France since 1911, the year of the first ascent when only three riders made it to the summit without walking their 20kg single-speed bikes up the then gravel goat path road.
“You don’t find any other climb that is comparable to Galibier,” Pro cyclist Andy Schleck once told Cycling Weekly. “You are so, so high up. It’s not like one of these climbs where you look up and see the trees above you, you just go up and it’s like you’re riding into the sky.“
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