July 12, 2003
Web tour of Alpe d'Huez
Like most of you, I will not be lining the 21 fabled switchbacks up to L'Alpe d'Huez on Sunday.
Here are a couple of web travelogues that are almost like being there yourself:
Well, it is not a "pass" it its real sense. But of course Alpe d'Huez is a legend for every cycling fan, even if there are steeper mountains, more beautiful streets and also more idyllic places. Often Alpe d'Huez is the aim of a Tour-de-France-stage, in these days there is an atmosphere like in a football stadium. 21 numbered hairpins lead upwards, each one with the altitude and the name of a former stage winner. The street was developed for the olympic winter olympic games in 1968. It is generally 9 m wide and open all year.
This site has some gorgeous pictures of the mountain, including some of the stage in 2001, which Lance Armstrong won.
Bicycle Ride up l'Alpe d'Huez is an account of one man's ride up the legendary mountain, with closeup pictures of most of the switchbacks.
And here's a Tour de France.cz photo gallery from the 1992 Tour, most of them of riders suffering up L'Alpe d'Huez, including Greg LeMond in the Z jersey which is still my all-time favorite, Miguel Indurain, Stephen Roche, Andy Hampsten, and Gianni Bugno. Text is in Czech, but it's almost all photos. There's also a link to this year's pre-Tour festivities.
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