The 6% average gradient of the Toussuire can lead you into a false sense of security. There are some flatter sections, but with the climb spanning 18.5km there’s plenty of time for some tough, steep sections as well and it was a tough opener for Curistas on Stage 3, 2015.
La Toussuire has a limited, but infamous, Tour history: it was here that Floyd Landis famously cracked in 2006, before his “miraculous” recovery and attack on the Joux Plane the following day. Michael Rasmussen (ahem) went on to take the stage at the Toussuire summit finish. In 2012 Pierre Rolland won Stage 11, but the stage is more famous for Chris Froome appearing to desert his team leader, Bradley Wiggins, in pursuit of a stage win, before being given orders by Team Sky to wait for the eventual yellow jersey. In 2015, Nairo Quintana soloed to victory, but couldn’t overhaul race winner Chris Froome in the overall standings.