The queen stage of the 2017 Tour de France featured a finish at the top of the Col d’Izoard. Of the 34 Tours that have featured this climb, none had every finished at the summit finish. The Col d’Izoard is legendary for it’s barren moon-like landscape, not to mention how hard the climb is. The Tour this year would climb from the south side, which was easily accessible from where we were staying in Guillestre. I decided to ride the Col d’Izoard a few days before the actual race. It didn’t make much sense to me to ride up it with all of the crowds on race day. I’d be happy watching from the comfort of Guillestre in which the Tour would go through…😊
Starting from Guillestre, it was a relatively easy and scenic ride along the D902. The only downside was that it was a little warm in the mid-80s. It wasn’t very humid though, but knew it would make climbing a little more difficult. For some reason, my Garmin lost contact with satellites along the way, so I had to stop and reset it. Thankfully, everything was good for the actual climb.
After having just done the Col du Tourmalet and Alpe d’Huez, the Izoard climb didn’t seem that bad to me. Sure there were some steeper pitches and I pushed the pace, but I actually enjoyed it. I think the hundreds of people already camped out along the route helped. In fact, there wasn’t a spot left the last 5K. I’ve only seen this on TV, so it was interesting seeing it in person.
At the top, it was a day for great views!