Stage 10 of the 1926 Tour de France has been called the hardest stage ever! What was it like? Stage 10 of the 1926 Tour was a turning point for the event. With a 40% cutoff rate and nicknamed “The Circle of Death,” the Haute Pyrenees became known as “the place dreams go to die.” After 1926, the Tour was decided to be too hard; shorter stages, time trials, and derailleurs were allowed in future years. What many people overlook when comparing tours of the past to the modern era is that most stages of the historic Tours took place on dirt roads. The surface conditions of the time challenged the complexity of the race in many ways; testing riders’ equipment and even their skill sets.
In this episode of the Impossible Route, Jeremiah Bishop invites "The Vegan Cyclist" Tyler Pearce for a “Tour de Gravel” to recreate the experience of the hardest-ever stage in the Tour de France’s golden era.
Their goal is to experience first-hand why this was called the toughest stage. Can they complete the stage within the same time cut that the Tour de France riders faced? Can they accomplish it within the classic rules?
In this episode The Impossible Routes delves into the legend of the Tour’s gravel days. The riders attempt to traverse the Pyrenees over at least 25% dirt roads and within two days. The route ideates the gravel passes and experience of the original golden age of gravel.
Impossible Routes: Tour de Gravel premieres online November 23, at 8AM (PST).