After reading Joe Friel's entry of how to calculate gradient in miles I went in search of how the metric version could be found. Google started spitting out maths and physics with pressure and diluting orange juice. I was clearly not on the right track but I pushed on. I didn't understand why he divided the reult by fifty and still don't but grade is basically broken down by diving the rise by the run. In simple terms that is the height of the climb divided by the distance of sweat lying in th eroad to get you to that point. So during the next few weeks as we listen to Sean Kelly & David Harmon decide who's going to get to the top of L'Alpe-d'Huez. There's a few gradients on Stage 17 that just hurt looking at never mind climbing, ca't wait. Richard highlighted the fact that the first Columbian to win a stage at the Tour and start the emergence of the Columbian climbing revolution was Lucho. I thought it quite relevant after watching todays stage and seeing last years Polkadot jersey holder go down in th elast few kilometers, Soler. He then almost went over one of the cement blocks at a turn in his determination to get back to the peleton. Looking forward to seeing him in the hills.
Update 06/07/08: Here's the gradient chart from Will's site. He has a full run down of the climb and even some alternative back routes to get to the top should you be lucky enough to be in the area: