Stage 1 - Alpe d'Huez - Alpe d'Huez

Original - 123km | 3700M+ · July 12

The 2019 Haute Route Alpe d’Huez begins with a 123-kilometer stage with 3700 meters of climbing, featuring ascents of the Col de la Croix de Fer in two directions before climbing to the finish in Alpe d’Huez via Villard-Reculas.

Starting from the town of Alpe d’Huez, riders will be escorted in a secured convoy 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.

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 for some recovery. Reaching 2,067m at the summit, this is the highest col riders will summit during the event, and one of the most famous Tour de France climbs in the Alps.

The 15-kilometer descent will be a welcome opportunity to recover, refuel, and enjoy the tremendous views. The ascent back up the Col de la Croix de Fer starts with a small loop before rejoining the road riders came down.

Once you reach the summit of the Col de la Croix de Fer for a second time, riders get to enjoy the amazing descent. Remember, however, that those two short descents you enjoyed on the way up will now be short climbs on your way down.

With just one climb left, riders will recognize 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 compared to either the Sarenne riders climb on Stage 2 or the famous 21-switchbacks of the Alpe d’Huez itself. 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.

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