2018 Tour de France goes Gravel Grinding on Stage 10
The 2018 Tour de France will include the historically significant climb of the Col des Glieres in the Bornes Massif mountain range that features a 2km stretch of gravel
Tour director Christian Prudhomme says what will be Stage 10 will “undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the Tour de France” and it will also include the first unpaved roads to be seen on the Tour in “maybe 60 or 70 years”.
The ascent to the Plateau des Glieres is a six kilometre climb at an average gradient of 11%: "Per kilometre, the average does not go below 10%, which is very rare," Prudhomme added.
But it’s not just the climb that the riders will be wary of. The limestone plateau will see the peloton take to gravel tracks in a very rare off-road detour by Tour planners.
The 2 km stretch will be the first time in over half a century that such a section has featured in a Tour de France.
However, there’s more to the Plateau des Glieres than just spectacular scenery and challenging terrain.
The region was a significant one for the French Resistance in the Second World War, with a group of resistance fighters basing themselves there. A monument to those who lost their lives was erected in 1973 on the plateau. Prudhomme said:
"The Plateau des Glieres is one of the most important maquis of World War II, it is also a tribute to those who fought and gave their lives. 'Men here died to remain men', it is written and it gives goosebumps.".
Etape Du Tour
Stage 10 is also the same stage that over 15,000 amateur cyclists will tackle in the Etape du Tour.
The route of the Etape du Tour will allow 15,000 amateur cyclists to ride stage 10 of the 2018 Tour de France, from Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand in the Alps on July 8th
The 28th Edition of L’Etape takes place on July 8th, just nine days before the pro peloton tackle the same stage on July 17th, after the full 2018 Tour de France route was revealed today in Paris.
Registration for the 2018 Etape du Tour opens from October 23rd, with event-only entry costing around $130 (€109 or £97) until December 17 before prices increase.
Other packages are available that include accommodation, in addition to entry.
For more information and how to register, please go to letapedutour.com