**2014 ROUTE ANALYSIS**

**The 2014 Etape du Tour
route has 5 sections:**

**1. ****The Undulating Section**

The first 42
miles of the route is quite flat, with a few interesting hills which will spark
off some friendly competition!

The route heads
southwards from Pau along the undulating and picturesque Heureuse
Valley, which has two beautiful climbs, each over a mile long with gradients of
5% or 6%. After the initial excitement, for the next 7 miles or so the course
is then fairly flat a chance good chance to shelter behind the huge peloton
and get your breath back! A supple style of riding is recommended there are
some big mountains ahead!

When we reach the Cote
du Benejacq there is a further 1.7 miles of 6.7%
climb but beware it includes a third of a mile of 10%!

After a flat section,
the next hill is 1.25 miles of 5%.

The Cote de Loucrup follows at 39 mile from the start of the Etape, and
has a constant gradient below 7% for 1.25 miles.

The net height gain in the first 42 miles is only around 300 metres! After Bagneresde--Bigorre we reach the initial gentler slopes of Tourmalet. Then after Sainte-Marie-de-Campan we really leave the hills and hit the mountains!

**2. ****The Ascent of Tourmalet**

The ascent of Tourmalet starts along the Ardour valley. After an initial 5%
gradient, it becomes quite easy, before rising to 8% after about 3 miles into
the climb. The final 7.5 miles of the climb have a steady gradient of 8% to 9%,
enabling a good riding rhythm. At the steepest section, around the Avalanche
shelters near La Mongie, the gradient rises to 10%
and briefly 12%, but apart from that the gradient is reasonable.

**3. ****The Descent of Tourmalet**

After putting on a wind proof layer at the top, and negotiating the first winding steep section, we will have the joy of a fast descent with long straight sections, down towards the town of Luz-Sainte- Sauveur. Apart from the first steep 15% section, the main feature of the descent is its length nearly 12 miles of fast downhill riding!

**4. ****The Gorge de Luz**

** **This is probably the most pleasant
section of the entire route. It has a gentle downhill gradient, as it follows
the river down the gorge, and allows riders a chance to recover for the final
climb. It is probably best to resist the temptation to race this section
there is a huge climb ahead!

**5. ****The Ascent of Hautacam**

On paper, Hatacam looks similar to Tourmalet only smaller with 1000
metres of climb. However, Tourmalet has for the most part a fairly constant
gradient unlike Hautacam! Hautacam
even has a downhill section then makes up for it later! Although the average
gradients over 1km are 7.5% to 10%, in places there are slopes of 13% or 14%.

After the
cattle grid above the tree line, breathe a sigh of relief it flattens off top
to a mere 7% to 8% - easy compared to what has gone before-

**The finish is in
sight!!!!!**

!