Tuesday, August 26, 2014


executive summary by darmansjah

WHAT Churcill Downs is to horse racing and the Kentucky Derby, the Alpe d’Huez is to cycling and the Tour de France. East of Grenoble in the French alps, its 21 switchbacks climb 3,687 feet in just under nine miles, pretty much deciding Tour winners since 1952. For this summer’s centennial race (starting june 29 in Corsica), cyclists will tackle the fabled French summit twice in one punishing day, July 18- giving savvy fans a sneak peek at the possible outcome three days later at Paris’s champs Elysees evening finale.

Race day brings out a crush of raucous fans who line the incline along hairpins, each marked by plaques touting pas t winners of the stage. After the day’s mayhem, spectator gather at pubs up and down the mountains over cheesy tartiflette and Savoie Gamay red wine. May through September, the Alpse d’Huez perovides an unofficial stage (and a diploma) for amateur cyclists who conquer the climb, arms raise triumphantly

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