,,One hell of a final climb up to the top of the Col de la Loze “, said Julian Alaphilippe. ,,Only a great champion can win at Col de la Loze“, concludes Tour director Christian Prudhomme about the finale climb of stage 17 in the common Tour de France. The riders will have another seven kilometers to travel to get to the finish, with sections consisting of slopes in excess of 20%, after having already climbed fifteen kilometres up to the ski resort of Meribel.
The unknown Col de la Loze is the toughest mountain of the upcoming Tour de France. Only in June 2019 the road was asphalted to a height of 2304 meters, making it the highest finish in this edition. It’s a very irregular col, which never has the same gradient longer than 300 meters.
For Christian Prudhomme, the Col de la Loze, with 2,304 metres the roof of the 107th Tour de France, is ‘the prototype of the col of the 21st century’. It is a succession of steep sections, one more brutal than the other. The real climbers will love this.”
It is not a gift, that Col de La Loze, discovered in the Tour de l’Avenir. Tour boss Prudhomme went on invitation of the organizer to look at this col. “Unbelievable, it frightened me myself. You arrive in the ski resort of Méribel and then you have seven kilometres to go. It’s not a route for cars, no, it’s really a route designed specifically for cyclists and mountain bikers. Only recently also paved with asphalt, because before, only the vehicles designed for the ski slopes used this road. It is incredibly steep, 21.5 kilometers long, at 7.6 percent, but especially the last 4.5 kilometers are incredibly steep, with stretches above 20 percent. Imagine, it’s three or four times the Mur de Huy.”
The figures of those last 4.5 km are: kilometre 17 is 11,2 % on average, kilometre 18 is 11 %, kilometre 19 8,4 %, kilometre 20 9,3 % and the last 500 metres up to 11 %. Sometimes it goes well over 20 percent for about 200 to 300 metres, then just 4 or 5 percent, and then back up again.