Tour de France 2021 – Base Camp

As mentioned in my previous post, we will stay in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, capital of the Maurienne Valley in the Savoie, for my Tour de France 2021.

It’s easily one of the French Alps cycling hotspots – like Corvara and Bormio in the Dolomites – and there are a lot of cols within cycling distance of our base camp.

The mountains on the southern side are the Dauphiné Alps and the Cottian Alps.

On the northern side is the part of the Graian Alps known as the Vanoise.

In this post, I’ll discuss the climbs that start at our doorstep.

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Col de la Croix de Fer


The Col de la Croix de Fer (2,067 meters) connects the Isère and Savoie regions. The area – on both sides – attracts many cyclists, as there are many famous climbs to be found, besides this one.

In Isère – centered around Bourg-d’Oisans – these include the Lautaret, Les Deux Alps, la Bérarde and “the most famous of them all”, the Alpe d’Huez.

In the Savoie region, centered around Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, you’ll find – among others – the Glandon, Télégraphe / Galibier and the Madeleine.

At the time I published this page, the Croix de Fer had featured in the Tour de France 17 times since 1947, most recently in 2017.

In 2015 it was included in 2 stages: stage 19 via the Col du Glandon from la Chambre and stage 20 from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

The latter stage was the result of an alteration, since the original stage route over the Télégraphe / Galibier was blocked because a landslide had made descending the Lautaret unsafe.

In stage 18, the climb from Rochetaillée was included too, but that took the left turn over the Glandon…

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