Mike Cotty, Lezyne Ambassador and founder of the Col Collective, set out to create a video recon of stage 17 of the 2018 Tour de France. What makes this stage so noteworthy is that it’s only 65 kilometers (40 miles) but in that short distance it climbs over 3,000 meters (9,842 feet) with three back to back climbs. Join us for this special inside look at this soon to be legendary stage and its epic climbs. For more information on what the Col Collective is all about go here.
It’s always an exciting time, waiting in anticipation for the Tour de France route presentation. Weeks of guessing and dreaming about which cols may be used is finally put to bed as all the cards are laid out on the table. As the road unravels, stage after stage, we now know that the race will head to the Pyrénées for the final week for what looks to be one of the best finishes of the Tour … ever!
Mountains in the final week may not come as much of a surprise, but what did catch our eye (along with the rest of the cycling world) is the hyper-dynamic Stage 17, starting in Bagnères-de-Luchon with the Montée de Peyragudes, Col de Val Louron-Azet and the all new Col de Portet on the menu. Three climbs back to back with over 3,000 meters of elevation gain in just 65 kilometres! That’s right, 65 km from start to finish … crazy day!
With autumn quickly taking hold and the first dusting of snow on the higher peaks I never have a problem getting motivated for a big day in the mountains but with such an incentive so close to home there’s no way I could sleep until I’d checked it out, especially as this will be the first time the Col de Portet has ever been featured in the race, and at 2,215 meters in height it’s 100 meters higher than the legendary Col du Tourmalet. What a finish!
Having ridden and raced for over 25 years, these are the types of stages that really excite me. Short, explosive from the gun with nowhere to hide—just the mountains to conquer and a million fans lining the road all the way. What could be better? I for one hope that this is the start of a new era of this type of stage within the Grand Tours.
Start: Bagnères-de-Luchon Distance: 65 km
Highest point: 2,215 m
Elevation gain: 3,126 m
Max gradient: 13%
I very much hope you enjoy our route preview. The beauty of this stage is beyond words, definitely one of the best I’ve had the honour of riding.