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Stage Ten: Tour de France 2012

This is the first time Col du Grand Colombier has appeared in the Tour and the first day of high mountains. The riders will be rested after yesterday and some will be ready to prove their climbing ability. A true King of the Mountains (KoM) day. I imagine there will be a fight to reach the top of Col du Grand Colombier as it will be history in the making (as well as valuable KoM points). Col du Grand Colombier is a hors catégorie climb, in other words beyond category, the climb will be 1,501m, starting at a low elevation of about 250-300 metres. It’s going to hurt. It has long sections of 12% with the top section easing a bit to 7%, I believe some sections are steeper than 12% though! This is a beast of a climb, steeper than Alpe d’Huez  which is 11% average! The Col du Grand Colombier is located in the Jura mountains, not the Alps and is the first excursion out of the Alps and the Pyrenees since Puy de Dôme in 1988. Apparently the Tour will never return to Puy de Dôme, but I think we will see the peloton on the Col du Grand Colombier in the future.

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