2012 Etapes in the Alps and Pyrenees

etape du tour 2010, col du tourmalet, col du marie-blanque, col du soulor

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.

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Simon Richardson
Magazine editor

Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling 1989 when watching the Tour de France on Channel 4, started racing in 1995 and in 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium. During his time at CW (and Cycle Sport magazine) he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He became the 130-year-old magazine's 13th editor in 2015.