L’Etape du Tour – Stage 2

Course: Casse-Pattes
Distance: 47km/2 Laps

I got to ride the new Tour de France roads in Zwift today. Two Laps of the Casse-Pattes course which takes in the outer loop and includes a short climb to the aqueduct and a tougher climb called the Petit KOM.

I think about 3000 riders were signed up although the pen never looked anywhere near that full at the start. Riders were assigned jerseys and Trek bikes. Oddly the bikes were all different colours. I assume randomly dished out.

The ride kicked off like any race. Fast. I’m lucky enough to have ridden an actual L’Etape du Tour and a few fondos in France and Italy and to be honest it played out in similar fashion. Balls out until small groups or trains form. Riders try and get into a selection and then work in their group to catch the group in front. The groups ebb and flow and the climbs usually mix it up again before you start again on the descent.

The course starts in the Marina and heads out of town along the coast over a few pave laden bridges until you spot Le Mont St Michel on your left. The course heads inland through some lovely countryside with a french flavour until the aqueduct KOM. Its really a simple 400m drag at about 4%. Nothing too taxing.

More countryside through a village with a lengthy section of pave until you meander to the foot of the Petit Kom. Its a 2.3km long climb with a max gradient of 8% right at the top but averages about 5%. Its tasty enough to stretch the fittest of rider and its stacked with tight hairpins.

After the KOM, its a lengthy straight, fast descent back to the Marina. The finish line comes quickly as you ride under the bridge and enter the town.

Good course. Zwift have done a good job. I look forward to trying the Ventoux climb now

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