Col du Grand Colombier,Jura

sniper68
sniper68 Posts: 2,910
edited June 2017 in Tour & expedition
Stage 9 of the Tour takes in this climb(I'm sure it was featured in the Dauphine too?) and it looks a bit of a beast.From what I can get off the internet there's four ways up but the route from Culoz in the South is the classic and the route the Tour takes?
My question is has anyone ridden it?
We're staying about 100km away in August(Lac de Chalain) and I was wondering if it's worth the drive to do one(or two) of the ascents or if anyone can suggest a loop if I were just do the classic ascent.
Or would it be better to do the classic ascent,loop around and descend to Anglefort?
Any help/advice will be much appreciated
Map of routes here:-
http://www.cycling-challenge.com/col-du ... lombier-2/

Comments

  • Solis
    Solis Posts: 166
    Climbed it from Culoz as part of the 100 cols tocht this time last year. To give you an idea of the severity it was rated as 6th toughest with an index of 7.6 behind Ventoux 11.1, Tourmalet 11.0, Bonette 9.3, Aubisque 8.3, and Mente 7.8 but in front of climbs such as Izard and Marie Blanque. If my memory serves me correctly it was a lovely climb with a few steepish (for France) maybe 14% ramps, I'd suggest go for it :)
  • dish_dash
    dish_dash Posts: 5,619
    I rode it a few years ago. Rode down from Geneva to go up it from Culoz. It was hot, and climb was tough as exposed and with some nasty ramps. It's well worth a ride.

    Just remember about French lunch hours. We got there looking to grab a baguette to eat before the climb. No such luck, everything shut. Ended up having a bizarre six course set menu Sunday lunch in a very random restaurant... ended with a communal fruit bowl being passed around the entire restaurant...
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,778
    dish_dash wrote:

    Just remember about French lunch hours. We got there looking to grab a baguette to eat before the climb. No such luck, everything shut. Ended up having a bizarre six course set menu Sunday lunch in a very random restaurant... ended with a communal fruit bowl being passed around the entire restaurant...

    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
  • sniper68
    sniper68 Posts: 2,910
    Thanks.
    The more I look at it the more I'm edging towards going.I was only about 120km from Ventoux last year had planned to drive over but didn't end up going(and the day I was supposed to go turned into a disaster)and don't want to make the same mistake twice!
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    I did a loop that took me up there, It was a very hot day and it probably didn't help that I had a few lumpy miles in my legs at the time. It was a lovely climb though, but tough. The descent I did was pretty technical and difficult to do at too much speed in case of unexpected traffic coming up:
    https://www.strava.com/activities/74902780/

    I don't recall there being much at the top so make sure you take water and food (Culoz is obviously good for the last minute restock).

    I was also staying in Lac du Chalain so my loop was based on trying to minimise driving and get on the bike...but not too far away from Culoz or risk struggling too much on the way back as it was fairly rolling territory. Worked out great and very memorable. I was lucky as the route I picked was based on a TdF one so still had loads of road paint for most of it, nice to be riding along seeing all the "Go Wiggo" and stuff on the road. I suspect my pace meant I got to see it more :-)
  • sniper68
    sniper68 Posts: 2,910
    Cheers Bobbinogs.I'll probably try to do a shortened version of that,maybe 60-70miles is I can shorten it at the Northern end!
  • cc78
    cc78 Posts: 599
    Great climb, BUT...

    The classic route up to Grand Colombier from Culoz (including the famous lacets that were a highlight of the Tour stage last year) is closed "indefinitely" after a major landslide in March. Certainly there is no prospect of it being open this summer.

    http://bugeysud-tourisme.fr/blog/2017/0 ... boulement/

    The other route on the east side (the D120A from Anglefort) and the two on the west side, are unaffected (as is the route of the Tour this year).
  • sniper68
    sniper68 Posts: 2,910
    cc78 wrote:
    Great climb, BUT...

    The classic route up to Grand Colombier from Culoz (including the famous lacets that were a highlight of the Tour stage last year) is closed "indefinitely" after a major landslide in March. Certainly there is no prospect of it being open this summer.

    http://bugeysud-tourisme.fr/blog/2017/0 ... boulement/

    The other route on the east side (the D120A from Anglefort) and the two on the west side, are unaffected (as is the route of the Tour this year).

    Thanks for that!
    With that in mind and the 3hrs+ driving I might have to rethink :|
  • cc78
    cc78 Posts: 599
    ibbo68 wrote:
    cc78 wrote:
    Great climb, BUT...

    The classic route up to Grand Colombier from Culoz (including the famous lacets that were a highlight of the Tour stage last year) is closed "indefinitely" after a major landslide in March. Certainly there is no prospect of it being open this summer.

    http://bugeysud-tourisme.fr/blog/2017/0 ... boulement/

    The other route on the east side (the D120A from Anglefort) and the two on the west side, are unaffected (as is the route of the Tour this year).

    Thanks for that!
    With that in mind and the 3hrs+ driving I might have to rethink :|

    you could do Mont du Chat and/or some smaller cols on the east side of the Lac du Bourget

    Col du Biche is also good, to the north of GC

    and there is what is maybe the best patisserie in France in Seyssel, I'd say it's worth the trip for that alone
  • sniper68
    sniper68 Posts: 2,910
    cc78 wrote:
    ibbo68 wrote:
    cc78 wrote:
    Great climb, BUT...

    The classic route up to Grand Colombier from Culoz (including the famous lacets that were a highlight of the Tour stage last year) is closed "indefinitely" after a major landslide in March. Certainly there is no prospect of it being open this summer.

    http://bugeysud-tourisme.fr/blog/2017/0 ... boulement/

    The other route on the east side (the D120A from Anglefort) and the two on the west side, are unaffected (as is the route of the Tour this year).

    With that in mind and the 3hrs+ driving I might have to rethink :|
    I'll investigate tomorrow cheers!
    you could do Mont du Chat and/or some smaller cols on the east side of the Lac du Bourget

    Col du Biche is also good, to the north of GC

    and there is what is maybe the best patisserie in France in Seyssel, I'd say it's worth the trip for that alone
    I'll look into that tomorrow cheers!
  • davidof
    davidof Posts: 3,065
    I spoke with someone who rode the Colombier from Culoz yesterday, he said there was no problems and the road has been repaired. It is scheduled to reopen shortly. It is by far the best way to the top (and bottom for that matter). There are steeper ways to the top, but not that interesting. If you ride over the top and down the other side you can find water on the descent. The Columbier with a tour of the lac du Bourget is a nice day out - however there are some road works by the col du Chat you would have to be aware of, I think the tunnel du Chat is closed (to add a cycle path) and the main road traffic has been redirected over the col du Chat (not the Mont du Chat).

    On the climb I don't remember any water so take a couple of bottles.

    Other than that you should find some nice cycling in the Jura. The Tour de Saleve is also worth thinking about, the climb from Collonges is very hard, but thankfully short. Take care around Geneva, the roads are very busy with lots of poor drivers.
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  • sniper68
    sniper68 Posts: 2,910
    Thanks for the info davidof 8)
    We're staying in the French Jura but not a million miles from Geneva so that is an option too.Infact it's quicker to get to Geneva than it is to Grand Colombier!
    As it's a family Holiday and I have to organise a couple of rides with my son Grand colombier might just be too far(3hr round trip by car plus riding!)so your suggestion of The Tour de Saleve might be a better option!