Embrun – L’Alpe-d’Huez (210.5 km) Click for route map
The Tour started from Embrun once again heading up to the Col de Galibier.
The Col du Galibier was first used in the Tour de France in 1911. The original summit was at 2556m but with the closing of the tunnel in 1976, the tour route now goes over the pass closer to the mountain peak at 2645m.
At the south portal of the tunnel, at the edge of the road, there is a monument to Henri Desgrange, instigator and first director of the Tour de France. The memorial was inaugurated when the tour passed on 19 July 1949. Whenever the tour crosses the Col du Galibier, a wreath is laid on the memorial. The “Souvenir Henri Desgrange” is awarded to the first rider across the summit of the highest mountain in each year’s tour.
The Tour cycled through some beautiful scenery, including Valloire and the Défilé de Maupas. There was also vertiginous zig-zag route at the head of the dam, or barrage – the
Barrage de Grand Maison.
Finally the route crossed the famed Col de Croix de Fer and there was a mountain top
finish at L’Alpe-d’Huez, a ski resort famous for the 21 hairpin bends on route to the top.
RESULTS (British riders in italics)
Carlos Sastre – (CSC)
2nd Samuel Sanchez – 3rd Fränk Schleck
YELLOW (individual) – Carlos Sastre – (CSC)
2nd Fränk Schleck – 3rd Bernhard Kohl
GREEN (points) – Óscar Freire (Team Columbia)
2nd Thor Hushovd – 3rd Erik Zabel
POLKA DOT (climber) – Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner)
2nd Carlos Sastre – 3rd Fränk Schleck
WHITE (under 25) – Andy Schleck (Team CSC Saxo Bank)
2nd Roman Kreuziger -3rd Vincenzo Nibali
COMBATIVE – Peter Velits (Milram)
LEADING TEAM – Team CSC Saxo Bank