2017 Tour De FrancePost by Admin October 6, 2016
Tour de France 2017 Etape 13 St Girons to Foix
After much speculation the route for 2017 has finally been revealed and we here at bedbreakfastbikespyrenees are delighted that Foix is to play host to the finish of the 13th stage on the 14th July, which so happens to be Bastille Day!!!
A Few Facts
- The Pyrenees has been synonymous with the TDF since 1910 when it first featured – Stage 9 Perpignan to Luchon and Stage 10 Luchon to Bayonne.
- The towns of St Girons and Foix have hosted the start and finish in recent Tour history – St Girons starts 1984, 88, 95, 03, 13 & 1 finish 2009 and Foix – starts – 2001 & 2007 / finish 2008 & 2012.
- The col de latrape first used in the Tour in 1956, and last seen 2011 – 5km in length, ascent 368m and average gradient 7.4% – steepest 10%.
- Col d’Agnes first seen 1988, latterly 2011, 10.2km 826m average gradient 8.1 steepest 10.6%.
- Finally the Mur de Peguerre – although scheduled for the 1973 TDF to be climbed from the direction of Foix, it was deemed that the descent was too dangerous; it was first seen in 2008 although not categorised, and again in 2012 when tacks were thrown down at the summit leading to numerous punctures. 9.8km in length, 726m with average gradient of 7.4 the steepest at over 18%.
A compact but tough route
Christian Prudhomme’s comment
‘Precisely 100. In terms of kilometres, never has such a short format been on the menu of the Tour since halfstages disappeared. It’ll be a total contrast compared to what the riders witnessed on the previous day but the terrain will be just as favourable for, I hope, audacious initiatives. Dynamism linked to distance will be joined by a degree of difficulty in the climbs: the Col de Latrape followed by the Col d’Agnes and finally the Mur de Péguère and its gradients that can reach 18%.’
From the starting point of St Girons to the finish in Foix you will not be disappointed from a riding and visual point of view. The route is peppered with typical ancient pyrenean villages and small towns – Seix, Aulus les Bains, Massat.
The roads are well kept, and apart from when the Tour hits the town, they are very very very quiet, you will often see more cyclists than cars. There are switchbacks aplenty and some fine mountain scenery to behold. With good road surfaces the descents are fast, furious and thrilling. The final few kilometres descending the Peguere into Foix, the road is tree lined and offers some comfort from the intensity of the summer sun. And Foix, oh Foix, our favourite town. This hustle and bustle Ariege town is the administrative centre for the area. The medieval chateau perched on a rocky outcrop dominates the town, and can be seen from its many cobbled back streets full of restaurants, cafes and individual shops. A beautiful place to be and should prove to be an excellent host to a finish on Bastille day where evening fireworks are the norm for this historic day.
Don’t be deceived this stage may be short but definitely not too sweet!!!