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Alpe d'Huez: TDF Fastest Ascent Times 1982-2018

Alpe d'Huez: TDF Fastest Ascent Times 1982-2018

Update of the Alpe d'Huez climbing times and speed chart previously posted here, here and here. Read those previous posts for discussion of context.

Thanks to https://twitter.com/ammattipyoraily for the posting the data, which can be found here:


This chart shows the average speed of the five fastest ascents up the Alpe d'Huez climb for each year the Tour de France included this climb, with the exception being the times from the 1980s which are the average speeds for fewer riders (as data on five fastest ascents in those years is not available to me).

As a reminder, I chose to average the 5 fastest ascent times for a couple of reasons:

  • it reduces the individual noise in the data for year by year comparisons
  • the 5 fastest were most likely to have been giving it close to maximal effort and would be representative of the quality at pointy end of the field
  • the available historical data I have on ascent times doesn't permit increasing that sample size all that much in any case.

Here's the data in table format, along with some extra context information. I've also ranked the average ascent speeds of the 5 fastest for each of the 14 occasions during 1991-2018 that Alpe d'Huez was climbed. I left out ranking 1980s ascents as I don't have times for all 5 fastest riders for those years (IOW the actual average speed of 5 fastest would be lower).

As we can see, 2018 ranks as the 12th fastest TdF ascent out of 14 ascents over that period.