Embrun is a regular on the Tour de France. The town hosted five stage starts since 2008 and this time the riders set off to head for Isola 2000. They are to conquer the Col de Vars and Cime de la Bonette to get there. The first is an 18.8 kilometres climb at 5.7% and the second is a colossus of 22.9 kilometres with an average gradient of 6.9%. At 2,802 metres, it’s the highest point of the Tour de France. In fact, Cime de la Bonette is the highest through road on asphalt in Europe.
The road, which actually is the Col de la Bonette Restefond with an extension underneath the Cime de la Bonette – or, in English, Peak of the Bonette -, was built in 1961 and was included in the Tour the following year. Federico Bahamontes was the first rider to crest the Alps giant.
The 1993 Tour de France also featured the Cime de la Bonette in a race that finished almost 60 kilometres later in Isola 2000. The stage was won by Toni Rominger, who outgunned Miguel Indurain in a two-up sprint. Claudio Chiappucci came home in third, 13 seconds down on the two. It was the only time until now that Le Tour finished in Isola 2000.
Just like 31 years ago, the riders will fly down the Cime de la Bonette to Isola, where the finish climb kick in. The ascent to the ski area adds up to 16.1 kilometres, while the average gradient sits at 7.1%.
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Tour de France 2024 stage 19: route, profiles, videos
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