The Hollywood Climb Of Cycling

On Thursday, July 14, 2022, the Tour de France competitors will compete in Stage 12 of the race, which starts in Briançon and finishes on the Alpe d’Huez. The final climb is one of the most iconic routes in cycling and is often named the greatest in the sport.

The “Hollywood climb” reputation comes not just for the difficulty of the section but also because of the stunning backdrop and the notorious party atmosphere that is present among the diehard cycling fans who gather there.

Vingegaard and Pogacar make stage debuts

This year we will get to see highly rated climber Jonas Vingegaard take on the mountain for the first time as he seeks to prevent 4/6 Tour de France betting favorite Tadej Pogacar from winning a third-straight year. Pogacar will also be making the climb for the first time.

Vingegaard came second in last year’s race on his debut and is priced at 7/2 to win the 2022 edition in the latest cycling odds. He is priced marginally longer than three-time Grand Tour winner Primoz Roglic, currently priced at 16/5.

Roglic climbed the route in 2018 and finished sixth. The 2018 winner Geraint Thomas became the first British rider, and the first yellow jersey wearer, to win on the Alpe d’Huez. Thomas will tackle the route again this year but may struggle to challenge the other three riders who are all expected to be in contention for the general classification.

A 70-year history

The Alpe d’Huez was first included in the Tour itinerary in 1952 but it wasn’t an instant hit with cyclists or fans. But as the sport developed and fan culture changed, so did the status of the big climbs. The stage returned in 1976 and has now made over 30 appearances on the Tour, the last one coming in 2018. This year’s route also sees the return of the dreaded cobblestone sections.

The climb covers 13.8km and is known for its 22 hairpin bends named after former champions. The climb can be a make-or-break ride for champions, and cyclists from all over the world come to experience the pain for themselves. This is why the Alpe d’Huez is regarded as the ultimate “bucket list” climb.

More than just a climb

It is not the steepest climb in the world, but it is relentless with an average gradient of 8.1 over the full distance. At its steepest, the gradient reaches 13. The fastest ascent was recorded by Marco Pantani, who reached the top in 37 minutes and 35 seconds in 1997.

The stage has become a legendary location for Tour de France spectators, many of whom start gathering days before the race. A party atmosphere builds in the lead-up to race day with music and dancing bringing fans from all over the world together, often in fancy dress. All this makes it one of the most coveted locations to watch cycling in the world.

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The Hollywood Climb Of Cycling — Bike Hacks