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Is there a list of the legendary climbs to do in France?

daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,857
edited March 2016 in Road general
Does anyone have, or has anyone seen a list of the legendary (I don't want to use the word iconic...) climbs specifically those that have featured in Le Tour, but also any one day races as well I guess?

Basically, one day I want to arrange to go over to France for a week or so, so am looking for a map of where all, or the best climbs are, and then I can use that to help me decide where to base myself out of.
Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
Scott CR1 SL 12
Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
Scott Foil 18

Posts

  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Greatest-Cyclin ... 0711234825

    His books are generally good and I am guessing he'll have done his research on the ones that have been used the most etc. (Tourmalet being used more than any other by quite some way).

    Doesn't help with the one day and smaller races, which means that areas like Cevennes are probably under-represented in the book.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,857
    This forum is amazing eh - thanks chaps.

    4 minutes for two VERY useful replies :-)
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • john_wrjohn_wr Posts: 50
    How about this list from another thread, which gives you the open and closed passes.

    http://www.sport-passion.fr/parcours/etat-cols.php

    John.
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    If you can understand German, this site is pretty useful, not just for France but for the whole of the region

    http://www.quaeldich.de/paesse/
  • alex222alex222 Posts: 598
    Worth having a look at Col Collective for some great videos on some of the big climbs. In addition the Inner Ring blog has a list with detailed commentary on lots of the famous climbs
    http://thecolcollective.com/
    http://inrng.com/roads/
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,491
    A decision has to be made first.
    Alps or Pyrenees.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    The Inner Ring list is good. It features some climbs you may never have heard of, but are majorly important in the history of the sport.

    I used it when planning a fast tour this summer and look forward to visiting Velocio's memorial and bagging the first ever 1000m Col featured on the Tour (in the first edition in 1903).

    http://inrng.com/2013/02/roads-to-ride- ... epublique/

    Hoping to also manage, from their list, Mont Ventoux, Mont Aigoual and at least look at Puy de Dôme (depending on what time I get there, I might be able to sneak up it if the train isn't running etc.!).
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,857
    pblakeney wrote:
    A decision has to be made first.
    Alps or Pyrenees.

    Well indeed, this is where my knowledge is lacking, what do the masses feel?
    I was erring towards Pyrenees.

    Thanks for all of the other replies, plenty of reading and research to be done there over this weekend 8)
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,241
    Don't take the Tour as gospel as to whether a climb is a good one. For instance, were you to base yourself in Bourg d'Oisans the obvious option would be to ride up Alps d'Huez, but in my opinion, the better climb is up to Villard Notre Dame, which is a stunner but because of the nature of the climb has never been used in a race (and will never likely be).
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,808
    phreak wrote:
    Don't take the Tour as gospel as to whether a climb is a good one. For instance, were you to base yourself in Bourg d'Oisans the obvious option would be to ride up Alps d'Huez, but in my opinion, the better climb is up to Villard Notre Dame, which is a stunner but because of the nature of the climb has never been used in a race (and will never likely be).

    Very true... same applies to the Giro: when they visit the north west, they always go up to Cervinia, which is a censored climb, but the region is dotted with gems, too narrow for a carovane of vehicles to get through.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Just googling Villard Notre Dame fpr pictures makes me go all tingly.... That looks lovely.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,241
    fenix wrote:
    Just googling Villard Notre Dame fpr pictures makes me go all tingly.... That looks lovely.

    It's a belter, just make sure you take a light so you can see in the tunnels :)
  • adr82adr82 Posts: 4,002
    phreak wrote:
    Don't take the Tour as gospel as to whether a climb is a good one. For instance, were you to base yourself in Bourg d'Oisans the obvious option would be to ride up Alps d'Huez, but in my opinion, the better climb is up to Villard Notre Dame, which is a stunner but because of the nature of the climb has never been used in a race (and will never likely be).
    I didn't manage to do that one when I was over last year, sounded great but just didn't have time. From what I remember you can ride it as the first part of a loop that takes you back over to the Ornon road somewhere, did you do it that way or just up and back?

    Taking the cliff road from the (I think) 5th hairpin on Alpe d'Huez along towards the Sarenne is well worth doing as well, you're high up on the opposite side of the valley from the Notre Dame road and the views are amazing.

    There was another less popular climb nearby that I did do, up to a tiny village called Oulles across the valley from the Alpe. Not too long but steep the whole way. Extremely quiet as well, I think I saw about 3 other cyclists and two cars on the whole way up+down. And afterwards if you're still feeling good you can just head on up the much easier Col d'Ornon when you reach the bottom of the descent.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,491
    Daniel B wrote:
    pblakeney wrote:
    A decision has to be made first.
    Alps or Pyrenees.

    Well indeed, this is where my knowledge is lacking, what do the masses feel?
    I was erring towards Pyrenees.

    Thanks for all of the other replies, plenty of reading and research to be done there over this weekend 8)
    I have no personal experience to help, yet. I picked to do the Pyrenees this year.
    From what I understand, the Alps are higher, longer and steadier. The Pyrenees has more variety of gradient. But that will no doubt be a generalisation.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,241
    adr82 wrote:
    phreak wrote:
    Don't take the Tour as gospel as to whether a climb is a good one. For instance, were you to base yourself in Bourg d'Oisans the obvious option would be to ride up Alps d'Huez, but in my opinion, the better climb is up to Villard Notre Dame, which is a stunner but because of the nature of the climb has never been used in a race (and will never likely be).
    I didn't manage to do that one when I was over last year, sounded great but just didn't have time. From what I remember you can ride it as the first part of a loop that takes you back over to the Ornon road somewhere, did you do it that way or just up and back?

    Taking the cliff road from the (I think) 5th hairpin on Alpe d'Huez along towards the Sarenne is well worth doing as well, you're high up on the opposite side of the valley from the Notre Dame road and the views are amazing.

    There was another less popular climb nearby that I did do, up to a tiny village called Oulles across the valley from the Alpe. Not too long but steep the whole way. Extremely quiet as well, I think I saw about 3 other cyclists and two cars on the whole way up+down. And afterwards if you're still feeling good you can just head on up the much easier Col d'Ornon when you reach the bottom of the descent.

    I just went straight up and down. There's a dirt track that apparently takes you back round to the Ornon road but it was a short trip so we went straight back down. Speaking of the Col d'Ornon, if you head up and over it (from Bourg), you also get to another nice climb that the Tour hasn't been near called the Parquetout. It's like a shorter version of the Mortirolo in terms of both gradient and view.

    1642.gif
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