On Sunday 30th August the Tour de France riders take off for the 2. stage that will lead them through stunning and rough landscape and quite a bit of climbing in mountains that are in the periphery of Mercantour national park.
The route is 187 km long with around 3700 meters climb, spread out on 2 major climbs and a smaller one.
Col de la Colmiane
Col de la Colmiane is the first major climb of the day at 1.503 meters altitude. The riders reach this after 40 km more or less flat riding from Nice. In Winter this mountain hosts a ski-resort and on the way up there are a few pretty mountain villages. The climb is 16 km long. It is not really steep, but it is a long and steady climb up to thin air.
Some riders might like to stop for a snack at the ski station at top, but they will quickly have to descent on the other side, pass through Saint-Martin-Vésubie and set gear for the next climb.
Col de Turini
Col de Turini is a legendary mountain. When you approach the top from the village La Bollène-Vésubie you are going on a merciless continuous 15 km climb with an average of 7,3%. Once you start climbing this sleeping beauty, the only way is up! There are not many flatter sections that give your legs a bit of rest.
Once the Col de Turini has been conquered the next challenge awaits as the riders descend by its many steep hairpins turns. The hairpins of Col de Turini have been made famous by the Monte Carlo Ralley which takes place here every year. It is a very technically difficult descent, hopefully we will not see any crashes on these roads.
The way back to Nice will be quick and the riders will probably not get many glimpses of the charming villages Luceram and L’Escarène as they pass.
Back in Nice some 750 meters of climbing still await and there is a last chance for the riders to get magnificent views towards the sea as they climb Col d’Eze.
Col d’Eze is a baby climb compared to the previous mountains, it is a beautiful 8 km climb from Nice with an average of 7% up to 500 meters. The riders finish stage 2 off by a loop called Col des Quatre chemins, which is cycling half way up the Col d’Eze and descending in Villefranche-sur-Mer. The last descent is very short before the winners of the day will be found in Nice.
In 2021 you get a chance to compete on the very same route in l’Étape du Tour de Tour de France, which had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis. The date is yet to be announced, but it is expected to take place in July 2021.
Why not go cycling yourself when you are visiting Nice for the Tour de France? We have bikes of all sizes available for you ride.
Happy Tour de France! Bike Trip