2012 Etapes in the Alps and Pyrenees

ASO, the organisers of the Tour de France, have announced mountain double whammy with the two Etape du Tour sportives that will take place next summer.

Both the Alps and the Pyrenees will test thousands of amateur riders wanting to take on the Tour route next year.

Etape du Tour Part 1
Albertville – La Toussuire, 139.5km. Sunday, July 8, 2012
This is the only full day in the high Alps in next year’s Tour de France and features four summits. It’s the easier of the two Etapes, but it’s still a tough day out. There isn’t a single kilometre of flat road and is more than likely going to be off on a hot summers day.

The climbs
1. Col de Madeleine
Summit: 2,000m
Length: 25.3km
Gradient: 6.2%
2. Col de la Croix de Fer
Summit: 2,067m
Length: 22.4km
Gradient: 6.9%
3. Col du Mollard
Summit: 1,638m
Length: 5.7km
Gradient: 6.8%
4. La Toussuire
Summit: 1,705m
Length: 18km
Gradient: 6.1%

Etape du Tour Part 2

Pau Bagnéres-de-Luchon, 196.5km. July 14, 2012
The toughest stage of the Tour, this is a ride not to be taken lightly. Four monster climbs will test everyone, including the pros that ride the Etape at the front of the event. If you want to ride this one, you’d better start training now.

The climbs
1. Col d’Aubisque
Summit: 1,709m
Length: 16.4km
Gradient: 7.1%
2. Col du Tourmalet
Summit: 2,115m
Length: 19km
Gradient: 7.4%
3. Col d’Aspin
Summit: 1,489m
Length: 12.4km
Gradient: 4.8%
4. Col de Peyresourde
Summit: 1,559m
Length: 9.5km
Gradient: 6.7%

ASO are also promoting the PAris Roubaix sportive (April 1, 2012), Liége-BAstogne-Liége (April 21, 2012) and the Etape Argentina by the Tour de France, October 2012.