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Alpe d'Huez

Alpe d'Huez is a mountain at 45°03′N 6°02′E in the Central French Alps, located on the territory of the commune of Huez, in the Isčre département. Alpe d'Huez is also a famous ski resort 1850 metres (6,069 ft) high.

Tour de France

It is one of the most famous of the mountain climbs on the Tour de France. While the route varies from year to year, l'Alpe d'Huez has hosted a stage finish almost every year since 1976. The Tour de France first finished a stage on l'Alpe d'Huez in 1952. That stage was won by the Italian cyclist Fausto Coppi.

The climb up Alpe d'Huez is 14km at an average gradient of 8% with 21 hairpin bends marked with panels honouring the winners of each stage that has finished there. Having finished there for the 22nd time in 2002 the authorities have had to start again at the bottom with a double panel honouring Fausto Coppi and Lance Armstrong.

As the most legandary climb in recent Tour history, the Alpe has been the scene of chaotic crowds in the past 10 years. In 1999 Giuseppe Guerini won the stage despite being knocked off his bike by an over-enthusiastic spectator who stepped into his path to take a photograph (the photographer sought out Guerini later to apologize.) The 2004 Tour de France route featured an individual time trial up Alpe d'Huez, which became a chaotic scene crowded with nearly a million fans, some of whom could not resist pushing their favorite rider toward the top. Lance Armstrong won the stage, but his time was one second slower than the record set by the late, great Marco Pantani of 37 minutes, 35 seconds.

The peak also serves as the finish of La Marmotte - a one-day, 175km cyclosportive ride with well over 5000m of climbing. It is also used for downhill, or Alpine skiing.

Winners of the Alpe d'Huez stage at Tour de France

Year

Name

Country

2004

Lance Armstrong

 United States

2003

Iban Mayo

 Spain

2001

Lance Armstrong

 United States

1999

Giuseppe Guerini

 Italy

1997

Marco Pantani

 Italy

1995

Marco Pantani

 Italy

1994

Roberto Conti

 Italy

1992

Andrew Hampsten

 United States

1991

Gianni Bugno

 Italy

1990

Gianni Bugno

 Italy

1989

Gert-Jan Theunisse

 Netherlands

1988

Stephen Rooks

 Netherlands

1987

Federico Echave

 Spain

1986

Bernard Hinault

 France

1984

Luis Herrera

 Colombia

1983

Peter Winnen

 Netherlands

1982

Beat Breu

 Switzerland

1981

Peter Winnen

 Netherlands

1979*

Joop Zoetemelk

 Netherlands

1979*

Joaquim Agostinho

 Portugal

1978

Hennie Kuiper

 Netherlands

1977

Hennie Kuiper

 Netherlands

1976

Joop Zoetemelk

 Netherlands

1952

Fausto Coppi

 Italy

*In the 1979 Tour de France, there were two stages at l'Alpe d'Huez.

Fastest Alpe d'Huez ascents

Rank

Time

Name

Year

Country

1

36' 50"

Marco Pantani

1995

 Italy

2

36' 55"

Marco Pantani

1997

 Italy

3

37' 15"

Marco Pantani

1994

 Italy

4

37' 36"

Lance Armstrong

2004

 United States

5

37' 40"

Jan Ullrich

1997

 Germany

6

38' 05"

Lance Armstrong

2001

 United States

7

38' 10"

Miguel Induráin

1995

 Spain

8

38' 10"

Alex Zülle

1995

 Switzerland

9

38' 15"

Bjarne Riis

1995

 Denmark

10

38' 20"

Richard Virenque

1997

 France

All ascents are timed from 13.8 km below the summit, to the summit.


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