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BLOG: Tour de France vs. L’Etape du Tour

By Robert Kleiner

Penultimate stage of latest Tour de France gave us the best of breed road cycling fight. Very difficult parkour, unpredictable weather, dramatic downhills, two hills of highest HC category and peaking fight for podium and top ten placement was the main attraction.

It was the last opportunity to mix general classification and this was the reason of very, very fast introductory kilometers of the 20th stage. Fastest riders of L’Etape du Tour managed to overbear first short 3 minutes hill by very decent VAM 1500. Professional riders were beaten this time by whole minute and theirs VAM tended to 2000! They approached to the first classified elevation in 20 minutes a full 5 minutes faster then fastest riders from EDT!

But what interest us the most was “man against man” comparison at Jeaux-Plane uphill. This was the last, very difficult uphill on the latest Tour de France race and also last challenge on this year EDT. Jeaux-Plane is the mountain of the highest HC category, with near 1000 vertical meters difference. As we know from the previous article, the winner EDT Tao Quemere overcame this hill by an excellent performance in 40:45 and his VAM was outstanding – 1442.

This was very close to the pace of those riders at the Tour d France race, who were trying to escape into a stage victory. Riders on the overall standings, led by the second in the overall Romain Bardet and other TOP 10 contenders, however, noted VAM which was a full 200 meters higher – 1630 vertical meters in one hour! As you know, in addition they fought not only with steep inclines, but the persistent rain that has marred principally subsequent descent into Morzine town on Saturday race.

Theirs mastership in downhill racing can simply be demonstrated on the fact that those best were able to descend last 15 minutes descent only by one minute and a half slower than the best amateurs in the dry conditions have made. And if you believe that “amateurs” even in the dry conditions going slow, then we let you know that the winner of EDT was in the downhill from the Col de Colombiere a full minute faster than the forehead riders of the Tour de France in the same conditons!