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June 12, 2016 – For the letter G in our A-to-Z countdown to the 2016 Tour de France (#TDF2016) we’ve chosen the Col du GALIBIER, which was first included in the Tour route in 1911 and has been climbed a total of 58 times in Tour history.
#PelotonShorts by John Wilcockson/Photo by Yuzuru Sunada
The Galibier was withdrawn from last year’s race because of rock falls lower down the valley, but it will probably be back next year. This view from the Tour’s 2000 edition shows the southern approach to the 8,678-foot (2,645-meter) summit that is dominated by the rugged Massif des Écrins section of the French Alps.
The Massif contains more than 40 peaks over 10,000 feet (3,048 meters)—including the highest, the 13,458-foot (4,102-meter) Barre des Écrins, which is lost in the clouds in this image.
In the 2000 Tour, the Galibier was the first climb of the 173.5-kilometer stage 15 from Briançon that also crossed the mighty Col de la Madeleine and finished on the climb to Courchevel—where the stage was won by Marco Pantani ahead of the Spanish climbers José Maria Jiménez and Roberto Heras.