The Tour de France never before visited Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne, a village 50 kilometres north of Lyon. The yellow caravan goes eastward to penetrate the Jura Mountains. The end station is the summit of the Grand Colombier, a mountain that was first used in the 2012 La Grande Boucle. This will be the fifth inclusion, while it will be the second finish at the top. The first Grand Colombier finish happened in 2020.
Back then, the race was kicking the peloton all over the Grand Colombier. Literaly. The riders tackled the colossus from several sides before eventually pushing on all the way to the top. That day, Le Tour served Montée de la Selle de Fromentel (11.1 kilometres at 8.1%), Col de la Biche (6.9 kilometres at 8.9%), and the Grand Colombier (17.4 kilometres at 7.1%) in the last 75 kilometres. Strangely, nothing much happened. Jumbo-Visma set a blistering pace and eventually their leader Primoz Roglic was outsprinted by Tadej Pogacar. A nasty stain on a perfectly executed strategy.
The approach is less demanding this time, and let’s hope it inspires the peloton to more action. The riders climb to the Lèbe observatory – a long drag at shallow gradients, peaking out at 900 metres – before descending to Artemare. Some 10 kilometres the finish climb begins in Culoz. Which is the same as in 2020, so the last 17.4 kilometres climb at 7.4% to the line.
The Grand Colombier peaks out at over 1,500 metres. Since there are no surrounding mountains the panoramic 360° view is fantastic.
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Tour de France 2023 stage 13: route, profile, more
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