Awesome Tour de France stage forces riders to zig-zag up a 2,500-foot mountain

Thursday’s Stage 18 of the Tour de France took place in a mountainous region of southeastern France near the Alps and the Switzerland border.

It was the Tour’s second Alpine stage, and it featured seven categorized climbs.

Moreover, some portions of this course feature absolutely insane roads that look like someone scribbled pathways onto a mountain. The Guardian’s Lawrence Ostlere reports that the switchbacks on the Lacets de Montvernier, a 3.4km climb up a 2,500-foot-high mountain, are so tight and dangerous that fans aren’t allowed to line the roads for the main part of the ascent.

Riders have to zig-zag up Montvernier:

Look how steep this is:

Here’s another angle:

There are 18 switchbacks:

Here is the course map, courtesy of the Tour’s website:

It looks fairly tame from far away, but upon closer look, the map details some of these insane switchbacks:

Here’s the Lacets de Montvernier, which is just as crazy on a map:

French rider Romain Bardet won Stage 18 with a time of 5:03:40.

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