|Scene from the 1924 ascent of the Galibier|
It may be time to finish on Alpe d'Huez for the 27th visit to that peak, but on the way the Tour is paying an honour to another Alp.
Last year we celebrated the centenary of the Pyrénées, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Galibier first appearing in the Tour. Having taken on the Pyrénées the year before Henri Desgranges wanted his race to take on the high Alps. On the 12th July 1911 the Tour left Grenoble heading for Nice, but for the first time passed over the Col du Galibier in the Dauphiné Alps.Yesterday we may have finished on the Galibier, but today we take the same approach as in 1911 and it is harder than yesterday's ascent.
|Monument to Henri Desgranges on the Galibier|
The Galiber became an established part of the Tour from then and the following year they were back. This time Eugène Christophe rode the Télégraphe and Galiber five minutes faster that Georget's time. Even though he fell three times in the last 400 metres of the Galiber due to the sticky nature of the road.
In 1919 the year of the introduction of the Maillot Jaune in the first post war Tour it was Christophe who first wore it on the slopes of the Galiber. The jersey intended to spot the leader was hardly needed at this stage as there were only 11 of the 65 starters still riding at that point. Not wishing any bad omens on Thomas Voeckler but on that day the penultimate of that Tour he lost the yellow jersey to his team mate Firmin Lambot (the man who famously in 1913 mended his broken forks on the Col du Tormalet). In 1922 he hit a rock on the descent of the Galibier and changed his pick for volunteers on the course twice before again losing his Maillot Jaune.
- In 1979 Lucien van Impe peaked on the Galiber first only for Joop Zoetemelk to reach Alpe d'Huez first.
- 1986 it was Luis Herrera on Galibier but Bernard Hinault and Greg Lamond to race side by side for that iconic stage finish as team mates, the Frenchman took the line first
- 1989 Gert-Jan Theunisse was the first and thus far only man to summit both peaks first on the same stage
- 1992 Franco Chioccioli took honours at Galibier for Andy Hamsten to be the first American to win on Alpe d'Huez
- 2003 Stefano Garzelli lead on Galiber but Iban Mayo took the honours on d'Huez
- 2008 it was Stefan Schumacher only for Carlos Sastre to win on Alpe d'Huez
Here is that iconic 1986 finish.