A few weeks ago, I looked back at the Top 10 highlights from the 2015 Tour de Travoy. This week, I have picked out my Top 10 highlights from the 2016 Tour. I have also included the Top 10 tweets from over 100 tweets sent during 2 months away on the 2016 Tour. Incredibly, the article that got the most hits by far from the 2016 Tour de Travoy didn’t make my Top 10 list but I have included it below as it will form part of the 2017 Tour de Travoy.
#01 – Looking back at the 1987 Tour de France, which was won by Stephen Roche after an epic fightback on the slopes of La Plagne
#02 – Recalling Saipan and the bust-up which split Ireland in two in 2002 while passing through the seaside resort of Deauville
#03 – Visiting Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah beaches in one day left an incredible impression as to the scale of the D-Day landings
#04 – A grand day for climbing the Grand Saint Bernard mountain pass into Italy
#05 – Car crash TV as England brexit from Euro 2016 after taking a hell of a beating from Iceland
#06 – What a day as we get to see one of the most controversial wheel changes ever in the Tour de France
#07 – Behind enemy lines in the Ardennes watching Belgian TV’s coverage of Ireland against Belgium at Euro 2016
#08 – Cycling across the River Seine on one of the longest bridges in the world, the Pont de Normandie
#09 – On the road to ruin, sorry Rouen, on the same road that hosted the world’s first bicycle race in 1869 and also the world’s first motor car race some 25 years later
#10 – Cycling 100 km along the frontline of the 1914 Battle of the Marne, which was arguably the biggest and bloodiest battle of all time
Most popular article from the 2016 Tour de Travoy
However, these Top 10 highlights do not include what was the most popular article from the 2016 Tour de Travoy. Looking at my WordPress statistics, an article I started writing during a rest-day in Bourg Saint Maurice about where Hannibal crossed the Alps in 218 BC was by far the most popular.. This one article has got almost as many hits as all the other posts from the 2016 Tour de Travoy put together. The original article is very long (almost 7,000 words) so to make it easier to read, I recently split it up into 3 parts discussing whether Hannibal crossed over the Col de la Traversette, Col du Clapier/Mont Cenis or the Petit Saint Bernard. For the 2017 Tour de Travoy, I am hoping to return to the Alps and maybe visit some of these passes that Hannibal may have used. Full details of the 2017 Tour de Travoy will be published on the 05th of May as I am still working on some parts of the route. But I can reveal I hope to make it to the Alps in time to see the Tour de France tackle Stage 18 to the Col d’Izoard on July the 20th. The Col d’Izoard is not far from the Col de la Traversette and the Col du Montgenevre which Hannibal may have used. I also hope to complete the Route de Grandes Alpes from Menton near Monaco to Thonen les Bains near Geneva which I didn’t have time last year to finish. This will take me past the Col du Clapier/Mont Cenis which, in recent times, has been the most popular location for Hannibal’s crossing. The Route des Grandes Alpes will also take me back to the Petit Saint Bernard which is the climb I believe that Hannibal used. Some passes are easier to get to than others eg Mont Cenis is only about 2 hours cycle from Lanslebourg whereas Col de la Traversette is at least 6 hours from Chateau Queyras. My schedule for the 2017 Tour de Travoy is very demanding but hopefully, if the weather co-operates and the everything goes to plan, I should have enough time to visit all the above mentioned passes. As to whether, I will continue to believe that Hannibal used the Petit Saint Bernard to cross the Alps after my own crossing of the Alps, remains to be seen.