Too Tough For The Tour de France? | A Truly Epic Alpine Climb

Published by Darron Toy on



[Applause] come on salad do it on Welsh like me this is gonna be good ah Tour de France the pinnacle of bike racing and one of the hardest sporting events in the world but is it as hard as it should be I mean this is the bottom of what will be the final climb in this year's race to 2019 Edition potentially the scene for an epic showdown in the fight for the yellow jersey and what a location I mean this is a 33 kilometers long climb all the way up to Valtor n which is the highest ski resort in the out an eye-watering 2,000 370 meters is that is this anomalies America we've got huge mountains things Jeremy no I mean although we do at Val Thorens is only the beginning we think if you've got the bike and the legs you go all the way to the top of C de cone which means that the entire clan would be 40 kilometers long averaging 6.5 percent but the last 8 kilometers would be all gravel and you would be it's really see that sounds great yes it does sigh riding gravel has taken the world over lately but one area that's not really talked about and I'm not sure why is the high mountains of Europe I can't understand it there's a huge network of amazing roads and trails that go far beyond the limits of tarmac right up the ridge lines into the top of these beautiful summits as Jeremy said we think that you are gonna need the right bike for this eleska paid your standard Tour de France Superbike just might not cut the mustard although we don't actually know yet this dirt is from last night's warmup right anyway as you can see we have come prepared look the French manufacturer have very kindly loaned us a couple of bikes now they've got a lot of pedigree in the Tour de France including being able to claim that they made the first-ever carbon fiber bike to win the race but this has come a long way since then this is the 765 gravel RS although these bikes look the same mine is actually the look II seven six five sigh has basically brought a knife to a gunfight mine has an electric motor the fazool evasion I got an e-bike baby take that Tour de France riders OH seriously can someone explain to me why Jeremy has the e bike behind – Valtor Ennore seemed a car starts in a place called Uchee a a quintessential Alpine town the croissant are unmistakably French and the coffee – is unmistakably French here's hoping that by the time we get back it'll be time not for pastries though but for pasty and raclette a local delicacy of potatoes smothered in molten cheese this road up to the ski resort is a dead end when you ultimately get there which means other than you've got to come back the same way is that traffic is really light almost non-existent in fact yeah it means 33 kilometers on tarmac to the top at an average gradient of 5% it's a slow curve you have to grind in there you want to hold my wheel and I'll just I'll keep an eco mode and I'll go hurt okay let's do it please tell me you're pressing on the pedals I'm pressing on pounds but still this is eco this is what 50 maybe you guys still here you might we're gonna get for a while your mama to come back if you like an hour shake some like that think so yeah [Applause] Wow make look at that Wow you know what mate one of those is seemed a Carol wow that looks really far away we're about half way now and you haven't missed much it's absolutely brutal and it's not to say is it beautiful because it is but it's just so long oh man isn't it just it's a little ironic I think Jeremy given how hard this climate is and given that it's the final climb of voice countless other super hard climbs in the Tour de France there were even entertain the question about whether the race to curdle should be harder but there is a good reason for it and that's that when the tour started out 116 years ago it was intended to be utterly brutal they stages lasted 17 hours they raced through the night funnily enough on gravel tracks or and I biked there were twice as heavy as ours today and there wasn't even a hint of an electric motor let alone one that puts out 250 watts so yes who's doing the math last night this is only weighing in at 4 more kilograms for this whole set up and that that blonde my Mike is that off that's like 80 extra kilograms which is a ton I could wait 80 extra kilos and when that motor would mean you go the same speed yeah we're getting close to Val Thorens now sigh and the pavement is about to end and we're about to hit that gravel it's uh it is high up here though oh man the altitude is kicking in no much oxygen do I sense a bit of weakness oh my gosh dude if this was the tour I would attack the crap out of you right now man that's some climb it really is yeah that is a serious one hey you feelin okay wait dot you give me an O well this might not be the exact place that the Tour de France stage is gonna finish but it feels appropriate symbolic doesn't it we've got one pinch with a belt around written on it pretty sick set me just how much bashing you got left I didn't have it on what yeah no I I didn't use it all right I'm joking did you see that did you see that no got like 60 or 70 percent left and yeah it's we I I've been kind of saving because I know that the big stuff is coming we've got like 8 kilometres of gravel left and that's where it's gonna get really steep and I'm gonna want that engine oh then you ready to hit it let's go let's do it so I'm just gonna let a little bit of pressure out because when I was doing the long road section to get here I wanted that more Road like feel and this bike does have that feeling especially with that higher pressure now that we're gonna hit the gravel though I want to get down to like 35 pounds of pressure these tires are 37 C but this bike can hold up to 50 or even more probably if you put 650 b's on it this rather unprepossessing lucky spot is literally a penny where the tour's going to finish very conveniently it also marks the start of our gravel extra adventure they could literally Gerry just keep on going I'm ready yeah I'm yeah yeah got my salad do it I'm well psyched mate this is gonna be good I'm excited I love an adventure it's so for a job foggy saying oh thanks ah this is a very good excuse to stop right now yeah yeah the roads kind of split I think ours judging from what the computer is telling us it's going up this way and it looks pretty Savage mate what are you reckon oh do you see how insanely steep that's gonna be I do see how it's a nice – that's gonna be I honestly don't know if we're riding bikes up there what is that road biker ball what we've just done everything's Road bikable but it's definitely not gonna be a nice ride and it doesn't mean that you won't get a ton of flats no that's that's gravel territory yeah anytime you see big chunks this is in my opinion that's gravel so we're we're gonna have to fuck to some kind of bike change scenario into our Tour de France pitch here that's gonna you know which I'm getting really excited about the idea of this think about it like when they're doing that TT thing and then they like decide okay we need a lighter bike and not as much aerodynamics they switch to the road bike yeah really light road bike boom now they're on the road bike do a quick switch imagine if they were doing that like they finish here burn all through me nibbly thomas they're all at the bottom and then boom they come anywhere as a group and then they switch to their gravel bikes they're 40c gravel bikes and then they start going bananas like this to climb to the top of one of these like can you imagine the way the crowds would be and can you no seriously just think about that like you up painting quite a picture Jeremy I'm sold when we get to the top they will Wilkin Cox I'm gonna pitch to the air show and then we'll sell it to them I think we could do it yeah I think I could do it I have a lot of energy for this let's do it and you know what if the tour doesn't go for it maybe we could just organise something this could be 12 in their territory yeah these final few kilometers are ridiculously steep you can see we're really grinding up and honestly we haven't quite expected it to be this tough that is the reason we left the gearing on our bike setup for both the karna riding that we normally do and not this venture into mounted bike territory we've seen Froome do this before he's fine but that said at less than 9 kilos I'm definitely benefiting from the lighter weight of my bike compared to a mountain bike and as for Jeremy well I can officially tell you that he is finally in rocket mode which means he's getting up to an extra 400 watts and he needs every one frankly because we're now close to 3,000 meters in altitude and I could do with a few extra myself I'll tell you what Jeremy you're absolutely killing me on your bike yeah it doesn't hurt I mean I had kept it in Eco mode for you yes you have maybe on one section I wanted up but I have to say this thing is so much fun uh-huh it hurt me this is like a wall [Applause] ie by core now that is a mighty impressive bit of riding you have no idea how Steve is [Applause] okay let's be clear we're not suggesting the Tour de France is easy not by a long shot I mean nine of us have ever ridden it so we can't actually say but the fact is this is utterly bonkers the epic question is do we want the Tour de France to go back to those days where it used to pioneer new ground riding over the hardest crimes that were imaginable on bicycles I don't think we do I think it's pretty sweet the way it is but as much as I want to see it come up here and as much as I would love it I think the fans would freak out I mean we were both talking about this I'm not sure that it's safe no no the fact is it's pretty extreme out there I mean admittedly we're pretty soft we live at sea level but you've got 750,000 fans up here you've got like a gazillion tour personnel and infrastructure in teams yeah I'm not entirely sure it's gonna happen but something needs to race up here Jeremy it's something on two wheels whether that be gravel bikes or mountain bikes someone needs to come up here and we need to be able to watch it streamed live on the internet it would be crazy it would be crazy so let us know in the comments section if you if you would like to see that happen in the meantime stick with us because we've got a 42 kilometers long descent like it man you know Jerry's that way it's a double black a penny I've followed that buddy Jerry hey Jeremy [Applause] well as you can see we haven't quite made it to the bottom of the Valtor and descent a bit of an afternoon thunderstorm hot chocolate emergency that kind of vibe but we'll finish you off later I'm having a proper English tea side and it's delicious you think you have an English chef Peppa's just that disappoint this is the French Alps Jeremy I highly doubt it that's anyway what an amazing ride that has been it absolutely phenomenal yeah make sure you give the video a big thumbs up if you've enjoyed watching it see we hope you have and if you want to check out the bikes that we were riding Ali did a good bit of a presentation about them he's a hit we normally call in videos but yeah all you did a presentation about them go check them out


25 Comments

Julian Allen · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

What are the red plastic pods worn on the back of key rider's helmets in this TdF? Are they GPS pods, trackers, concussion measurement recorders or what? #askgcnanything

Robin D · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

#Askgcn Why wouldn’t they ride the gravel section? Last year the ASO tried something new by starting in a F1 grit setup to spice up the spectacle. That didn’t work (in my opinion).. I think this will! Not all stages should be like this but a few could really make the race for the GC more interesting.

Matt Locascio · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

ive been using a bike this entire year, i got a new one today, its twice as fast. there are a lot of plastic parts… any ideas?
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Kent-700c-Thruster-Fixie-Men-s-Bike-Black-Red-For-Height-Sizes-5-4-and-Up/23810254

Brendan Heisler · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

You guys need to do a behind the scenes for one of these epic rides and dive into how the camera crew gets these great shots and all the prep behind shoots like this!

Hugo Oliveira · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

GMBN vs EMBN vs GCN vs GCN SPAIN to the top of that climb… what do you say GCN?! #GCN #GMBN # EMBN

kozepz · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Tour 19 2019 perfect illustration for the suggested added gravel bike to the TDF

Brian Brown · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Awesome video. Stunning ride. You guys are a joy to watch. A race to the top would be epic.

Tommy John · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

all I can think of is top gear and Jeremy throwing Hammonds t-top off the clif hahahahahahah

woolfel · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

awesome video and thanks to Si for going along with the prank!

henry evans · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

8:27 Si's face. Priceless.

Koeur · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Whats on Si's lip?

Ken George · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Incredible job lads

Mikko Rajakangas · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

YES YES YES !! We don't want to see it, we NEED to see it!

Butch James · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Awesome stuff, not to mention the camera work which we all take for granted.
Sometimes I'd rather climb than descend when traction looks to be a problem – intelligent handling, never let gravity get the better of you, and trustworthy brakes are essential.
Great video guys.

Carl Brown · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

GCN now stands for Gravel Cycling Network right? or is it a sponsoring deal from Bike manufacturers to make us have to buy another bike?

thestrauss · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Who is the American presenter?

Patrick Varas · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

come to Australia already

Lukas B · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Awesome, awesome, awesome! 😎 👏🏿

oliver izzard · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

You'd lose all the sprinters …

Basile H. · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

ahah pourquoi toujours mettre une vieille musique française cliché ? Eh merce la France pour le vélo hein

Mark Lonergan · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

What is on Si's face?

The TimeWarp Cyclist · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

was there friday to monday, the altitude was a killer, out of breath just walking, respect! i hear they are changing the gravel somewhat for the pro's

The Novice Cyclist · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

I can only assume you get your spare water carried for you how are you doing 80 km on 500ml of water. Mad men

Paul McNeil · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

great video. Si and Jeremy really work well together.

Chris Vela · July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm

So with bikes being so light that they're weighted why are teams not putting dropper posts on their bikes so riders can descend in a safer position? Gravel bikes have adopted this technology. Just an idea. Thanks for the great content GCN team!

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