Obscure Passes on Tour de France – Cayenne Caucasus

Listing the less well known Pyrenees and Alps mountain roads in this year’s Tour de France.

Also, Porsche takes the Cayenne on an ambitious road trip through the Caucasus Mountains, including the Georgian Military Road.

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The Jaguar F-Pace prototype SUV made its public debut alongside the Team SKY on day one of the Tour de France in Utrecht on Saturday; unfortunately it won't accompany the riders in the Alps.

The Jaguar F-Pace prototype SUV made its public debut alongside the Team SKY on day one of the Tour de France in Utrecht on Saturday; unfortunately it won’t accompany the riders in the Alps or Pyrenees. Photo @Jaguar

The mountains roads on the Tour de France are almost scientifically chosen to maintain the challenge on the world’s toughest cycling race, with an eye on a photogenic background.

In among the classics – this year including Cols d’Aspin, du Tourmalet, Portet d’Aspet in the Pyrenees, and d’Allos, du Glandon, de la Croix de Fer and Alpe d’Huez in the Alps – there are several lesser known roads which are surely worth checking out.

The first day in the Pyrenees, Tuesday 14 July, sees the riders on a chain of passes as they make their way to the Spanish border at La Pierre Saint Martin: Col du Soudet, Col de Labays, Pas de Guilhers and finally the Col de la Pierre St Martin.

After Col de Portet d’Aspet on the final day, Thursday 16 July, competitors tackle Col de la Core and Port de Lers.

The first day in the Alps is Monday 20 July, on the Col de Cabre and Col de Manse on the way between Valence and Gap.

After a rest day, Wednesday 22 July sees Col des Lesques, Col de Toutes Aures, Col de la Colle-Saint-Michel – Col d’Allos – and Pra Loup.

The day after starts with N85 Route Napoleon and Col Bayard then Col de Malissol, Col de la Morte – Col du Glandon – and one of our most dreaded Alp’s roads, the tight, cascading Lacets de Montvernier.

Du Glandon features again on the Friday, in between Cols de Chassy and de la Croix de Fer then Col du Mollard and La Toussuire.

The penultimate day of the Tour, and final day in the Alps on Saturday 25 July, features Col de la Croix de Fer and Alpe d’Huez after the landslide on the Grenoble-Briancon road ruled out Col de Galibier.

The Tour de France Alps schedule: Sunday 19 July – Col du Bez, Col de la Croix de Bauzon and Col de l’Escrinet. Monday 20 July – Col de Cabre and Col de Manse. Wednesday 22 July – Col des Lesques, Col de Toutes Aures, Col de la Colle-Saint-Michel, Col d’Allos and Pra Loup. Thursday 23 July – Col Bayard, Col de Malissol, Col de la Morte, Col du Glandon and the Lacets de Montvernier. Friday 24 July – Col de Chaussy, Col du Glandon, Col de la Croix de Fer, Col du Mollard and La Toussuire. Saturday 25 July – Col de la Croix de Fer and Alpe d’Huez.

See here for the Pyrenees schedule, 14-16 July. See all these roads on PassFinder. Read a profile of Tour de France mountain roads on Podium Café.

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Porsche’s in-house Christophorous magazine takes a Cayenne on a road trip from Trabazon in eastern Turkey to Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, via the ‘Lord of the Rings’ landscape of the S2 Georgian Military Road through the Caucasus mountains. ‘We quickly learned that in Georgia, even if your road is marked on the map with a thick red line, it means nothing more than that the road exists… the further we drive into the countryside, the worse the roads become. They start off well paved, then we see a few potholes here and there, and suddenly we’re on a bumpy gravel road which soon begins climbing and winding its way through the Meskheti mountain range.’

Porsche’s in-house Christophorous magazine takes a Cayenne on a road trip from Trabazon in eastern Turkey to Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, via the ‘Lord of the Rings’ landscape of the S2 Georgian Military Road in the Caucasus mountains. ‘We quickly learned that in Georgia, even if your road is marked on the map with a thick red line, it means nothing more than that the road exists… the further we drive into the countryside, the worse the roads become. They start off well paved, then we see a few potholes here and there, and suddenly we’re on a bumpy gravel road which soon begins climbing and winding its way through the Meskheti mountain range.’

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