The Alpe d’Huez is a mountain with many faces. It is the ultimate challenge for a novice mountain goat. It offers a fine climb with 21 turns for a well-trained tourist rider and it can be a ruthless executioner – in the Marmotte or, as in 2015, the Tour de France. Alpe d’Huez is a classic for the Dutch, who in a distant past celebrated monumental triumphs, when the chaplain would ring the bells of his church after a Dutch stage victory. Even on a quiet workday those images urge a rider on. At turn 7 there is no escape. In spite of its deafening silence I hear people cheering, see my name painted on the asphalt and notice how the whole mountain is decked out in Orange.
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