AFTER an aperitif of medium mountain stages to whet the appetite last weekend at long last the Tour de France arrives into the first of the High Alps today.
And what a beast it is, too. The riders must contend with the hors categorie Col du Grand Colombier – stretching some 18.9km – on the 194.5km stage from Macon to Bellegarde sur Valserine.
The Alpine punishment will continue tomorrow with some of the hardest mountain climbs of the entire Tour, what has been dubbed 148km of torture, taking in the formidable Col de la Madeleine and Col de la Croix de Fer.
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