Mûr de Bretagne climb is a focal point for cyclists in France’s most cycling-obsessed region, Brittany. It is short but tough, actually the first half of the climb is much tougher, where the gradient usually stays above 10%. The second half is much easier. The climb is 2.21 km long. Over this distance, you gain 144 meters of elevation. Thus, the average percentage is 6.5%.
Mûr de Bretagne location in Brittany, France:
Mûr de Bretagne in Cycling History
The Tour de France has finished atop Mûr de Bretagne climb twice in history (The tour revisit the climb in 2018 at stage 6).
Tour de France 2011 Stage 4
Stage 4 of the 2011 Tour was a 72.5 km going from Lorient to Mûr de Bretagne. Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard) was the defending champion (later, his results from July 2010 to February 2012 were voided, due to a urine sample he had given on 21 July, a rest day in the 2010 Tour de France, had contained traces of clenbuterol). In the early stages, he had a fierce battle with the other GC contenders, especially with the former world champion (2009) Cadel Evans of BMC.
With 1.3 km to go, on Mûr de Bretagne climb (categorized 3rd) El Pistolero attacked. Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) followed and brought him back. Then it was Gilbert’s turn to attack, with no avail too. In the last hundred meters, Evans opened up his sprint with Contador on his wheel. In the last few maters, Contador made a move to go past Evans. For one second, Contador thought he’d win – he threw his fist into the air. But Evans was the winner.
In the following stages, Contador would begin slowly fading, feeling the fatigue from the Giro d’Italia, where he won the GC. Late in the July, Cadel Evans would go win the Tour, becoming the first Australian to win the Tour de France.
Tour de France 2015 Stage 8
The Tour revisited the Mûr de Bretagne climb in 2015, at stage 8. This time, Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale) would won the stage. He attacked with 800 meters to go on the favorites group which include the yellow jersey and the eventual winner, Chris Froome (Team Sky), and crossed the finish line alone. Daniel Martin (Cannondale) was the only one who managed to escape the yellow jersey group and took the second.