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Tour de France: Here Come the Mountains!
 
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 7/11/2003
Tour de France: Here Come the Mountains!
 

Col de la Ramaz Photos

The Category 1 Col de la Ramaz is climbed less than 20 km from the finish, though the riders must also tackle a Cat 3 climb before the final downhill levels out to the finish.

 


This is the first time ever that the Tour visits the Col de la Ramaz. Fans and many Tour riders discovered it at the Dauphiné Libéré in June. Photo © Peter Geyer.

 


Laurent Dufaux (Alessio) leads a group up the Col de la Ramaz during the Dauphiné Libéré. Photo © Peter Geyer.

 


Patrice Halgand (Jean Delatour) takes off on his own as riders in his group find the Col de la Ramaz tough going. The next day, Halgand was still attacking, even after Lance Armstrong was on the ground! Photo © Peter Geyer.

 


At 14.3 kilometers long, the Col de la Ramaz will leave some riders isolated. Photo © Peter Geyer.

 


CSC team leader Tyler Hamilton, second from left, was slowed by stomach problems in the Dauphiné Libéré and did what he could to hold on in the mountains before dropping out prior to the start of the last stage. Now he returns to the Col de la Ramaz with a broken collarbone! Photo © Peter Geyer.

 

Col du Galibier Photos

Tour originator Henri Desgrange said of the Hors Category Col due Galibier, the first year it was run in 1911,  "O, col Bayard, O, Tourmalet... a côté du Galibier vous êtes de la pâle et vulgaire bibine." (Oh, Bayard, Oh, Tourmalet... next to the Galibier you are mediocre and common beer.) Indeed, there may be no more awe-inspiring ride although the road on the mountain has varied through the years, changing the length of its course. This year, the mountain is tackled just past the midway point of the stage, and on the way they tackle the Col du Telegraphe. After that the riders face the final uphill of the Alpe d'Huez finish.

 


Sallanches, the start town for stage 8, is ready to welcome the Tour and offers fantastic views of Mont Blanc. Photo © Peter Geyer.

 


The Col du Galibier is a formidable obstacle along the way to l'Alpe d'Huez. Photo © Peter Geyer.

 


View from the Col du Galibier. Photo © Peter Geyer.

 


Lance Armstrong in pursuit of Iban Mayo on the Galibier at the Dauphiné Libéré. Will Mayo or someone else seriously challenge Armstrong here again? Photo © Peter Geyer.

 


Armstrong teammates, including Floyd Landis and "Slava" Ekimov, are expected to make stage 8 as tough as possible for rivals. Photo © Peter Geyer.

All photos copyright © by Peter Geyer www.cyclingfans.com. Captions courtesy of Pete Geyer, course profiles courtesy of Le Tour/ASO.

 
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