149km | 4600M+ · 14th July
After riding just 70km on the first stage, the second stage of the 2018 Haute Route Alpe d’Huez is more than twice the length with its 149km, and has even more climbing with a total of 4,600m and three categorized climbs.
Starting where they left things off the day before, riders will be escorted in a secured convoy out of the town of Alpe d’Huez and downhill via Villard Reculas. The timed stage will start on the Verney Dam, as the road quickly turns uphill towards the Col de la Croix de Fer.
Reversing the route from the 2017 course, riders first head up the Col de la Croix de Fer before heading to the Col du Glandon and then retracing their steps to Alpe d’Huez by climbing the mountain via Villard-Reculas.
The climb to the Col de la Croix de Fer is over 20km long and can be managed in three parts with two small descents during the climb that will allow you to recover. Reaching 2,067m at the summit, this is the highest col riders will summit during the event, ticking off in the process one of the most famous cols in the Alps from their bucket list.
The long descent and valley section that ensues will be welcome for most as an opportunity to recover, refuel and gather themselves for the ascent of another Alpine giant in the form of the Col du Glandon.
At over 20km in length, climbing the Glandon is no mean feat and will require riders to pace their effort and keep some energy in reserve for the final climb of the day back to Alpe d’Huez. Bare in mind the final 3km are the steepest and possibly toughest of the climb, try not to burn too many matches during this final push to the summit.
With just one climb left, riders will recognise the road back to Alpe d’Huez from descending it earlier in the day. Climbing back to the resort via Villard-Reculas, this is a longer but shallower ascent than the climb from Sarenne on day 1. With a slight descent two-thirds of the way up the climb and beautiful panoramic views from the Route de la Confession, riders should take this as an opportunity to recover and refuel one final time before the last push to the summit and finish line in Alpe d’Huez.
The stage cols will be available soon