Saturday, April 21, 2012

Greatest cycling climbs #7 Puy de Dôme

Anquetil vs Poulidor in Puy de Dome (1964 TdF)

Puy de Dôme is a large lava dome and one of the youngest volcanoes in the Chaîne des Puys region of Massif Central in south-central France.

Puy de Dôme is located approximately 10 km away from Clermont-Ferrand. The Puy-de-Dôme département (with hyphens) is named after the volcano.

The road is only open for cyclists during very limited periods (when other vehicles are prohibited). In 2006 this is 7-9am on Wednesdays and Sundays between 1 May and 30 September.

Puy de Dôme has appeared 13 times in Tour de France:

1952 Stage 21 17 July Limoges – Clermont-Ferrand 245 km Fausto Coppi (ITA)

1959 Stage 15 10 July Puy de Dôme – Puy-de-Dôme Mountain TT 12 km Federico Bahamontes (ESP)

1964 Stage 20 12 July Brive – Puy du Dôme 217 km Julio Jiménez (ESP)

The 1964 Tour de france was one of the greatest races of all time. Anquetil had come off his Giro victory that ended just 14 days before the Tour started and was tired. His battle with Poulidor culminating in a titanic side-by side climb up Puy de Dôme in stage 20, where Anquetil had conserved just 14 seconds of his lead, is one of the legends of the sport.

See the great fight at: Video Ina

1965 Stage 20 21 July Limoges – Clermont-Ferrand/Puy de Dôme 222 km Felice Gimondi (ITA)

1969 Stage 20 18 July Brive – Le Puy-de-Dôme 198 km Pierre Matignon (FRA)

1971 Stage 8 5 July Nevers – Puy-de-Dôme 221 km Luis Ocaña (ESP)

1973 Stage 18 20 July Brive – Puy de Dome 216.5 km Luis Ocaña (ESP)

1975 Stage 14 Aurillac – Puy de Dôme 174 km Lucien Van Impe (BEL)

In 1975, Puy de Dôme was also memorable: Merckx was battling up the climb when, almost within sight of the finish, a French spectator emerged from the crowd and punched Merckx in the stomach.

1976 Stage 20 16 July Tulle to Puy de Dôme 220 km Joop Zoetemelk (NED)

1978 Stage 14 14 July Besse en Chandesse – Puy de Dome Individual TT 52 km Joop Zoetemelk (NED)

1983 Stage 15 16 July Clermont-Ferrand – Puy-de-Dôme ITT 16 km (9.9 mi) Ángel Arroyo (ESP)

1986 Stage 21 25 July Saint-Étienne – Puy-de-Dôme 190 km Erich Mächler (SUI)

1988 Stage 19 21 July Limoges – Puy-de-Dôme 188 km Johnny Weltz (DEN)

See the profile of Puy de Dôme at

Puy de Dôme is not a savage but challenging:

Average: 7.5 %

Length: 14 km

Height start: 368 m

Height top: 1415 m

Gradient: 1047 m

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