Galibier: An Act Of Adoration

08:24AM 25th Jul 2014

The Tour de France is revered for offering up some of the most challenging racing, the most iconic landscapes and the most gruelling climbs. We present to you, in association with Oakley, the third and final film in our exclusive three-part web series on the climbs of the Tour: Galibier: An act of adoration Credits: Script writer: Daniel Friebe Voice artist: Tony Haygarth Rider: Andrew Cruikshank Producer: Jim Eveleigh Camera: Paul Stevenson & Alun Pughe DoP: Paul Stevenson Editor: Chris Urmston Post production lead: Chris Urmston Colour grade and motion graphics: Tom Lee & Daniel Pearce Original score & sound design: Thom Thomas-Watkins Voiceover sound engineer: Rob Wills Here's the script written by Daniel Friebe: START What the founder of the Tour de France, Henri Desgrange, called “an act of adoration” to his race, the riders upon whom the Galibier was inflicted for the first time in 1911 believed to be an exercise in pure sadism. They said that Desgrange and whoever had put him up to this were “bandits”. At 2645 metres high, the Galibier was half a kilometre higher than even the Tourmalet. And for taking them up there the previous year, Desgrange had already been branded a “murderer”. The Galibier is in fact three passes in one, with the Cols du Lauteret and Télégraphe symmetrical waypoints on the opposite approaches to the main summit. The most famous of the two ascents is from the north, via the Télégraphe and Valloire. The road to the Télégraphe twists abruptly, sometimes frighteningly above the Maurienne valley floor; the second third of the climb up to and beyond Valloire slices straight between an imposing natural arcade, then into the hair­pinned spaghetti above Plan Lachat. It was here that Marco Pantani took flight on his way to Tour victory in 1998. It is also here, 2000 metres above the sea, that oxygen seems to drain from the air and the legs. A century ago, it seemed preposterous that the Tour de France could climb this high, and the stage finish on the pass in 2011 remains the most elevated in the race’s history. ENDS