2017 was Le Cure’s year of the southern Alps. Curistas had kicked off day 1 in the ski resort of Valberg before heading over the Col des Champs and then onto the Col d’Allos.
Starting from Colmars, the climb is 23.6 km gaining 1,005m, resulting in an average of 4.3%. However, these stats do not tell the whole story. The first first 11km are at an average of about 2.5%, and therefore barely scratch the side. The next 12.5km are a different matter, averaging 7% up to the summit at 2,247m
The Col d’Allos has featured in the Tour de France on 9 occasions, most recently in 2015, but most famously in 1975. On that occasion the legendary Eddy Merckx summited first, but before the stage was done, he cracked on the final climb of the day up to the ski station at Pra Loup. It was the beginning of the end of Eddy’s domination of the Tour.