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Marmotte tunnels - needing lights ?

Was that Contador stopped for not having lights in the tunnel thats on the Marmotte ? :wink:


  • AndyRubioAndyRubio Posts: 880
    Great post from the Kingston Wheelers forum where the OP gets to meet Bertie soon after.
  • term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
    When I went through those tunnels doing the marmotte a couple of years back, I didn't see anyone with lights. Do remember to remove your sunglasses at the start of the tunnel. Watch out for the trafic slowing right down for no apparent reason. I ended up overtaking a couple of slow moving coaches. Even when its dry outside, the road always seems wet, and unless they've improved the surface in the last couple of years expect a few bumps. There weren't too many other cyclists going through on the times I've ridden there, but I'd imagine it would be a little hairier if you are going through in the main peleton mixed with tourist coaches and day trippers.
  • chrisbachrisba Posts: 91
    I did that bit of the route a couple of weeks back. I would definitely recommend a rear light to stop people bumping into you, I could see very little other than the others in our group. I had a small front light too, not sure if that was useful, but if you had a mechanical or puncture in the tunnel, it would be vital. The first tunnel road surface was very bumpy, so take it slowly unless you are trying to set a time.

    Don't forget to take your sunnies off, as I did in the first one, which came rather suddenly after a bend. Push them down your nose and look over the top of them.

    The longest tunnel was very cold in the middle, but not for long as it was fast downhill.
  • The local police in the valley of La Grave (Lautaret) have been stopping and handing out Euro 90 fines to cyclists who do not have lights or retro reflective gillets.

    It appears this is in response to a recent high number of cyclists riding without due care through the tunnels 2 or more abreast, and yes it is apparently true that Contador was forced to get into his team car rather than suffer the fine..

    So the advice is carry a small back light and or a gillet with reflective panels for the longer darker tunnels, or encourage the local councils here to buy some more light bulbs and solve the darkness issues !!
    Chalet Michelle, the cycling guest house in the Alps
  • The garndames are gonna have a hard time stopping 7000 cyclists.....................
    is there anybody hiding there in the dark?
  • malcolmfrostmalcolmfrost Posts: 211
    Rear lights in the tunnels (and I include the ones up to Val d'Isere) are vital if only for self preservation. Try driving the route the day before to see exactly what you see in the tunnel as a driver. Nothing!
    Take sunglasses off (there are quite often potholes in the tunnels) and try to leave some space behind you for drivers eyes to acclimatise once they enter the tunnel.
    It's also incredibly noisy!

    P.S. It's Gendarmes! In my experience the police are generally very supportive of cyclist, but will take action if they see a problem. It would be very easy to close the tunnel to cyclists, and that would kill the Marmotte stone dead.
  • is there anybody hiding there in the dark?
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    AndyRubio wrote:
    Great post from the Kingston Wheelers forum where the OP gets to meet Bertie soon after.

    Yep, Richard did meet Bertie at a cafe at the base of the climb. I wasn't with Richard but I was also staying at the KOM last week. I was on the Galibier the same day as AC and we also got stopped by the police, but we had lights. It seems AC and his team were told to stop and put their bikes in the cars. Wiggo, Basso and Cadel Evans were also out reccing the local climbs, with Sky on Alp Duez on Friday. I flew home on Saturday night.
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