Friday, 9 July 2010

Swiss Roll - Day 6 Route

It's just a week until I set off with my brother to cycle from Dunkerque on the French Channel coast to Zurich in Switzerland. As well as the sense of achievement, we'll be raising money for Leukaemia Research.

I've been posting the day-by-day routes, and here's the penultimate day, 61 miles from Le Thillot to Basel:

Bike route 385878 - powered by Bikemap 

Day 6 takes us over the Col du Ballon d'Alsace, which was the first official mountain climb of the Tour de France in 1905.

montée du ballon d'alsace
Cycling up the Ballon d'Alsace

The mountain pass is 1,171m (3,841ft) high. But we will be staring from Le Thillot, which is already at 497m (1,633ft), almost halfway up. It's 4 miles in the valley and then 5 miles up to the top, at an average gradient of 7%, which is steep enough.

Col du Ballon d'Alsace - Gradient...

We've both cycled up Mont Ventoux (I've done it twice), which is steeper and nearly twice as high - and from a lower starting point - although not with panniers.  We'll just have to take it steady...

Then it's downhill for most of the rest of the day, with a short climb near the end, until we get to Basel in Switzerland for our last night before the final day.