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Cycling's Holiest Places

As Chris put it in his Giro preview, "Like Alpe d'Huez or Mont Ventoux or the Ghisallo sector of Lombardia, this stage features one of the holy lands of cycling, the loop over the Mortirolo from/to L'Aprica."  Cycling, like climbing, surfing and golf, makes mythology out of certain geographic spaces as much as it does the participants in the sport.  In climbing, for example, anyone can trek out to Yosemite and plop down in front of the Columbia boulder in Camp 4 and watch heroes throw themselves up Midnight Lightning, a problem that is as entwined with the history of the sport as Ron Kauk and the late John Bachar (pictured below), the first and second ascentionists, respectively.

Bachar-midnight-lightning_medium

via www.climbing.com

Likewise, a golfer with enough time and money can book a tee time and play a round at Pebble Beach or, possibly St. Andrews, literally walking in the footsteps of people like Palmer, Nicklaus, Hogan, Faldo or Player.  And anyone can drive up to famous surf breaks like Steamer Lane, Pipe, Rincon, J-Bay and the like and imagine the legends of the sport paddling into beautiful, frosty, sugar coated bombs while lapping up the stoke like a puppy would a bowl of clean water.

23469d9c-3921-46ae-b1bc-b7d503801fa2_medium

via www.surfholidays.com

(Yes, that's insane Pipeline. No, you don't want to be out there when it's like this.)

Cycling may have an even greater mythology built up around its holy places.  It is with this in mind that I ask the great and good of Podium Cafe what they (i.e. you) consider cycling's holiest places. 

What say you, PdC?  Where are cycling's Delphi, Jerusalem and Lumbini?

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