Albertville – La Toussuire/Les Sybelles (148km) Click for route map
Today the riders tackled some of the highest Alpine mountain passes on the route of the Tour this year crossing the Col de Madeleine, the Col de la Croix de Fer and the Col du Mollard before finishing high at the ski resort of La Toussuire. More stunning alpine scenery with some interesting geology en route. These Fairy Chimneys (Cheminée des Fées) in the Maurienne valley, the geological name for them is Hoodoo, were photographed by the helicopter as the Tour descended the Col de Madeleine. Not easy to locate on the map, these seem to be near the ski resort of Albiez Montrond overlooking the 3 peaks of the Aiguilles d’Arves. Rock formations similar to these can be found in locations across the world, most famously in Anatolian Turkey at Göreme in the region of Cappadocia (a place I would love to visit). They are found elsewhere in France too and we once had a picnic among a moonscape of similar formations at Le Caylar in the Cevennes, close to Junction 49 on the A75 autoroute to the Mediterranean, also known as la Méridienne, (a busy road but an amazing drive).
At the end of the stage it was good that Wiggins was able to extend his lead for the yellow jersey and that Froome had moved up to second place.
The top five of Stage 11
1. Pierre Rolland (FRA) EUC
2. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) FDJ at 55″
3. Chris Froome (GBR) SKY at 55″
4. Jurgen van den Broeck (BEL) LTB at 57″
5. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) LIQ at 57″
Team placings after Stage 11
1. Team Radioshack
2. Sky Procycling
Jerseys for Stage 12
Yellow – Wiggins (2nd overall Froome)
Green – Sagan
Polka Dot – Kessiakoff
White – Van Garderen
For more information on the cyclists, their teams and how they were placed see the Tour de France official site.
Read my TDF posts covering this and previous years.