Having done the Col d’Izoard a couple of days before, I was looking for a route the morning of this year’s queen stage. I knew everyone would be headed towards the Col d’Izoard. We were lucky that the peloton would be coming through Guillestre, the village we were staying in. I wanted something that would allow me to get some climbing in, not get stuck in any road closures, and have me back in time to take some photos of the riders.
The Col de Vars was part of the route and it didn’t seem like too bad of a climb. Just outside of Guillestre was Risoul, a climb which was used in the 2014 Tour de France. If I did both of these climbs, I could add 2 more HCs. My legs were tired, but I was planning on hammering these.
Climbing Col de Vars was pretty easy, since there were switchbacks at the bottom but straightened out into a long climb past ski areas. When I got to the top, there were plenty of spectators perched there and down the other side of the mountain. I turned around and enjoyed the fast, very scenic descent. Risoul was a harder climb with more switchbacks at the bottom and some rougher road surface. I took my time and just enjoyed the mostly wooded climb. There were sign markers with previous Tour stars along the way.
Having the Tour come through Guillestre was pretty cool. I was able to get some good photos of the riders, which you can see below. I then watched the finish up the Col d’Izoard on TV. I can’t believe my visit to France is nearly over!
Here’s my Flickr album (aka, the really nice photos from my DSLR) of Stage 18…