Tour de France

As I do most certainly not object to an opportunity to destroy myself in other areas than the Dolomites, I have no problem with organizing my own versions of the ‘Tour de France’.

Although my cycling heart belongs to the Dolomites, Paula is more charmed with the French part of the Alps, so sometimes you have to compromise 🙂

We planned a first trip there for the summer of 2010, but Paula ended up in the hospital on our day of departure, so those plans were put on ice until 2014. In September 2017, I went back for another ‘Tour de France’…

Regions

RhĂŽne-Alpes

Certainly one of the areas popular among cyclists, more specifically the (Haute-)Savoie and IsÚre regions.

If you’re looking for famous climbs like Alpe d’Huez, La Plagne, Croix de Fer or Madeleine to name a few, as well as Europe’s highest natural pass the Iseran, this region is for you.

The Lautaret (IsÚre) and Télégraphe/Galibier (Savoie) are also waiting for you here and they both connect to the neighboring Haute-Alpes.

On the Iseran

Alpes-CĂŽte d’Azur

South of the RhÎne-Alpes, this region is most known for the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and the Haute-Alpes, although the Vaucluse is home to the infamous Ventoux.

In the Haute-Alpes you’ll find a score of well known climbs, like the Lautaret/Galibier (the other end, from Briançon) the Izoard and Risoul. The Agnel is leading into Italy, the Vars is connecting to the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.

There, you will find the Allos, Bonette and Cayolle, both of which, like the Col des Champs, connect to the southern Alpes-Maritimes.

Where to stay?

Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

I really enjoyed our stay in Jausiers, close to Barcelonnette. I guess Barcelonnette can be compared to a village like Cortina d’Ampezzo or Val Gardena.

And there are plenty of cycling adventures to undertake from there.

View form Jausiers towards the Bonette

You can even get a ‘Brevet des 7 Cols d’Ubaye’, for which you need to climb the Bonette, Vars, Cayolle and the Allos. Plus three lesser known and smaller climbs: Saint-Jean, Pontis and the MontĂ©e de Sainte-Anne. These last two are quite steep by the way…

Other than those, the area offers some climbs to other ski resorts, like Pra Loup and le (Super) Sauze and the Col de Larche. A little further out, on the south side of the Bonette, you can go from Isola to Isola 2000 and the Col de la Lombarde.

While we were there, I was able to squeeze in a stage involving the Agnel (French side) and the Izoard, so those are not too far out either, though you have to get over the Vars first…

Hautes-Alpes

Looking at the map of the area, either Guillestre or Briançon looks like the place to start your cycling adventures and the two cities are ‘connected’ by the Izoard.

Guillestre is also at the base of the Vars and Risoul. Getting over the Vars brings you to the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence…

Briançon is located at the base of the Lautaret and the climb up MontgenÚvre, leading into Italy.

Near Briançon, a few kilometers up the Lautaret, you can find the Col du Granon.

And as it is close to Italy, Sestriere and the Finestre are within reach, as I experienced during the Tour de France 2017.

Savoie

Both during our training stage and our first week in the Tour de France of 2014, I discovered that the area around Moutiers is not so bad either. In 2014 we were based close to Bourg-Saint-Maurice, with three major cols starting from there: Petit Saint-Bernard, Cormet de Roselend and the highest ‘natural’ pass of Europe, the Iseran.

Actually, there are five cols to be had, if you count the dead end climbs to the ski resorts of les Arcs and the more famous La Plagne.

From Moutiers you can eat your heart out on the 35+ kilometer long climb to Val Thorens, near the summit of which we stayed during our training in 2012.

Just north of Moutiers, you can find the Madeleine…

IsĂšre

Probably the obvious choice for this area, would be Le Bourg-d’Oisans, although Allemond or Vaujany offer good alternatives. We stayed in Villard-Reymond during our 2012 Alpe d’HuZes, but that village turned out to be rather remote…

Tour de France 2017

In September of 2017, I paid another visit to the French Alps for my very own Tour de France 2017.

Other than during my previous Tour in 2014, when we switched locations four times, I picked a single location for our base camp that year: Briançon.

Like Bourg-Saint-Maurice and Jausiers in 2014, the city of Briançon is strategically located at the base of several mountain passes…

More on this trip here.

Tour de France 2014

After I had a taste of the French Alps during our 2012 training for Alpe d’HuZes, I eventually organized my first Tour de France in 2014. We were located close to Bourg-Saint-Maurice and Barcelonnette respectively.

During that tour, that was originally planned for 2010, the ‘Brevet des 7 Cols d’Ubaye’ was on the to-do list.

I also engineered a ‘little detour’ to pay a visit to BĂ©doin, with the objective of obtaining the CinglĂ© du Mont Ventoux.

You can find everything you never wanted to know about that trip here.

What about the Pyrenees?

As of now, I have not yet gathered a lot of ‘intel’ on the Pyrenees. I very nearly organized another Tour located in the area, but that plan didn’t make it, in favor of another Giro.

However, I most likely will get there eventually…

After all, my (cycling) life will never be complete if I have not cycled up legendary cols like the Aubisque, Peyresourde, Tourmalet or Luz-Ardiden 🙂

The Col Informer

Cyclopaat’s life being what it is, this is yet another project dedicated to his idiotic cycling adventures.

On these pages, you will find info on the more ‘famous’ climbs he’s had the pleasure to die on himself.

The info you find on great sites like CyclingCols are often too generic – just profiles, which usually mean jack shit  – to give you the whole picture.

The guys at The Col Collective provide great short movies on them, in which it looks even easier to climb a giant like the Bonette, than Cyclopaat can possibly make up writing about it, so they’re added if available.

Anyway, have fun – or walk away while you still can – and feel free to share this page with your enemies…

NameCountrySummit
Grossglockner Austria2571
Col AgnelFrance2744
Col de la BonetteFrance2715/2802 (Cime)
Col de l'IseranFrance2764
Col du GalibierFrance2556/2642 (loop)
Alpe d'HuezFrance1860
Croix de FerFrance2068
Passo GaviaItaly2621
Passo delle StelvioItaly2758
Passo del MortiroloItaly1852
Monte ZoncolanItaly1735
Passo GiauItaly2236
Colle FaunieraItaly2478
FurkapassSwitzerland2436
GrimselpassSwitzerland2164
St. GotthardSwitzerland2091
UmbrailSwitzerland2501

Cycling the Alps

Coming from a basically pancake-flat country – he actually lives below sea level – it’s amazing how much Cyclopaat likes cycling the Alps. Even on a good day, he’s an average climber at best, but he claims it’s all about the views.

More often than not he barely makes it up a (famous) mountain pass, returning afterwards to his apartment half past dead, only to prepare himself to take yet another beating the next day.

It’s anybody’s guess what might be going on in that head of his, but he seems to be determined to ‘conquer’ every single climb he can find in the Alps.

Or maybe that should read ‘be conquered by’…

This destructive desire – he calls it ‘grinta’ – doesn’t allow for basic things like a ‘rest day’ once in a while.

“I WILL REST WHEN I’M DEAD!” is his standard answer to pleas to DO have a rest day every now and then…

Despite his efforts, during every cycling the Alps trip he discovers many more climbs for him to die on, so the list of links on this page to the reports of his insane expeditions will most likely continue to grow.

Read moreCycling the Alps

The Col Collector – Been There, Done That

There are many climbs that I’ve put on the bucket list over the years and on this page you’ll see an overview of the ones I’ve been able to tick off.

Other than those, I discover (many, many) more, every time I plan a new expedition 🙂

For more info on cols I have made more detailed information pages on myself, click on their names.

Other cols have a link to CyclingCols.com behind their names if available, or another alternative if I can find one, like quaeldich.de (German only, just a few).

You can find reports of my struggles on every respective climb by clicking the link next to the starting point / place of it.

This list only contains climbs with a summit above 1,000 meters and includes some in other areas than the Alps or Dolomites, mainly the Vosges, the Eifel, the Black Forest and on Gran Canaria.

And although I’ve been on Majorca, even a more famous climb like Sa Calobra, does not meet that 'over 1,000 meters' criterion.

In the French Vosges, I've seen - among others - the summit signs of Le Markstein (1,183) and Le Breitfirst (1,280), but I passed these while traversing the ridge between Le Grand Ballon and the Col du Platzerwasel.

That meant they were reached/passed relatively effortlessly and I do not qualify them as (separate) climbs.


NameCountrySummitStart
Col de l'IseranFrance2764Bourg-Saint-Maurice (2014)
Passo delle StelvioItaly2758Prato (2008/2015/2020)
Bormio (2011-1 and 2011-2/2015/2020)
Santa Maria (CH) - see Umbrail
Col AgnelFrance2744ChĂąteau-Ville-Veille (2014)
Col de la BonetteFrance2715
- 2802 (Cime)
Jausiers (2014)
Saint-Étienne-de-TinĂ©e (2014)
Passo GaviaItaly2621Bormio (2011/2015/2020)
Ponte di Legno (2011/2015/2020)
Grossglockner Austria2571
- 2394
- 2571
- 2504
- 2369
Fusch (2009/2017)
- Fuscher Törl
- Edelweissspitze
- Hochtor
- Franz Josephs-höhe
Col du GalibierFrance2556
- 2642 (loop)
Via the Lautaret
- Le Clapier (2012)
- Briançon (2017)
Via the Télégraphe
- Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne (2014)
UmbrailSwitzerland2501Santa Maria (2011/2020)
Colle FaunieraItaly2478Demonte (2014)
FurkapassSwitzerland2436Realp (2015)
Gletsch (2019)
Col du Granon (link)France2413Briançon (2017)
FlĂŒelapass (link)Switzerland2383Susch (2019)
Davos (2019)
Col d'Izoard (link)France2361Guillestre (2017)
- D947/D902 (2014)
Briançon (2017)
Val Thorens (link)France2340Moutiers (2012)
Bernina (link)Switzerland2328La Motta (2011)
Tirano (I - 2015/2020)
Samedan (CH - 2015/2019)
Col de la Cayolle (link)France2326Barcelonnette (2014)
Tre Cime di Lavaredo (link)Italy2320Tre Croci / Misurina (2015)
Forcola de Livigno (link)Italy2315Livigno (2011/2020)
La Motta (2011/2019)
Albulapass (link)Switzerland2312La Punt (2019)
Tiefencastel (2019)
Passo del Foscagno (link)Italy2291Bormio (2011/2020)
Ponte del Rez (2011)
Julier (link)Switzerland2284Silvaplana (2019)
Tiefencastel (2019)
Passo Sella (link)Italy2244Ponte Gardena
- Ortisei (> Pinei 2015)
- Plan de Gralba (2011)
Canazei (2015)
- Gardena/Pordoi split (2020)
Passo Pordoi (link)Italy2242Canazei (2015)
- Gardena/Pordoi split (2011)
Arraba (2015)
Col d'Allos (link)France2240Barcelonnette (2014)
Passo GiauItaly2236Selva di Cadore (2011/2020)
Cortina d'Ampezzo (2015)
- Pocol
Sustenpass (link)Switzerland2224Wassen (2019)
Passo Pennes (link)Italy2211Vipiteno (2011)
Passo d'Eira (link)Italy2208Ponte del Rez (2011/2020)
Livigno (San Antonio) (2011)
Passo Valparola (link)Italy2192La Villa (2011/2015)
Cortina d'Ampezzo (see Falzarego)
Caprile (see Falzarego)
Col du Petit Saint-Bernard
Colle del Piccolo San Bernardo (link)
France
Italy
2188Bourg-Saint-Maurice (2014)
La Thuile (I - 2014)
Colle delle Finestre (link)Italy2176Susa (2017)
GrimselpassSwitzerland2164Oberwald (2015)
Innertkirchen (2019)
Pass dal Fuorn
Ofenpass (link)
Switzerland2149Zernez (2019)
- Punt la Drossa (tunnel) (2011)
Santa Maria (> Umbrail) (2019)
Arc 2000 (link)France2130Bourg-Saint-Maurice (2012)
Passo Gardena (link)Italy2121Corvara (2011/2015)
Ponte Gardena (2015)
- Plan de Gralba (2015)
Passo Falzarego (link)Italy2117Pocol (2011/2020)
Cernadoi (2015)
SplĂŒgenpass (link)Switzerland2114SplĂŒgen (2019)
Col de Vars (link)France2109Les Gleizolles (2014)
Guillestre (2017)
Passo Monte Giovo (link)Italy2094Vipiteno (2011)
St. GotthardSwitzerland2091Airolo (Via Tremola - 2015/2019)
Wassen (2019)
Col du Mont Cenis (link)France2081Lanslebourg (2014)
Susa (2017)
La Plagne (link)France2080Aime (2012/2014)
Croix de FerFrance2068Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne (2012)
Allemont (2014)
Passo Fedaia (link)Italy2057Canazei (2011)
Caprile (2015)
Col du Lautaret (link)France2057Le Clapier (2017)
- Le Freney-d'Oisans (2012)
Briançon (2017)
Oberalppass (link)Switzerland2046Disentis (2019)
Andermatt (2019)
Nockalmstrasse (link)Austria2042
- 2024
- 2042
Ebene Reichenau (2008)
- GlockenhĂŒtte
- Eisentalhöhe
Sestriere (link)Italy2035Cesana Torinese (2017)
Sauze di Cesana (2017)
Pragelato (2017)
WĂŒrzjoch
Passo delle Erbe (link)
Italy2004Piccolino (2015)
Bressanone (2020)
Col de la Madeleine (link)France1993
(Sign: 2000m)
La Chambre (2014)
La LĂ©chĂšre (2014)
Col de Larche
Colle della Maddalena (link)
France
Italy
1991Les Gleizolles (F) (2014)
Argentera (I) (2014)
Cormet de Roselend (link)France1968Bourg-Saint-Maurice (2014)
Croix de Toulouse (link)France1962
- 1847
Briançon
- Paved section Rte du Pouët Ollagner (2017)
Lai da Nalps (link)Switzerland1953Sedrun (2019)
Klausenpass (link)Switzerland1948Wassen (2019)
Torri di Fraele (link)Italy1941Turri Piano (2011/2015)
Bormio 2000 (link)Italy1938Bormio (2015)
Pico de las Nieves (link)Spain (Gran Canaria)1930MogĂĄn - FreeMotion Trip 6
Col du Glandon (link)France1924La Chambre (2014)
Allemont (see Croix de Fer 2014)
Lukmanier
Lucomagno (link)
Switzerland1912Disentis (2019)
Mont Ventoux (link)
Cinglé du Mont Ventoux
France1912Bedoin
MalaucĂšne } (2014)
Sault
Gerlitzen (Gipfel/Alpen))Austria1911
1764
Arriach - Gipfelstrasse (2008)
Tschöran - Alpenstrasse (2008)
Passo del Tonale (link) Italy1884Edolo (2020)
- Ponte di Legno (2011)
Dimaro (2020)
Passo Campolongo (link)Italy1875Corvara (2015/2020)
Arabba (2011/2015)
Passo del Mortirolo
(Passo della Foppa)
Italy1852Mazzo di Valtellina (2011/2019/2020)
Edolo (2015)
- Bivio Monno (2020)
Edolo - via Aprica & Monte Padrio (2020)
Grosio (2020)
Col de MontgenĂšvre
Colle del Monginevro (link)
France
Italy
1850Briançon (2017)
Cesana Torinese (2017)
Risoul (link)France1850Guillestre (2017)
Alpe di Siusi (link)Italy1844Ponte Gardena (2015)
Montée de Saint-AnneFrance1840La Condamine (2014)
Maloja (link)Switzerland1815Chiavenna (2019)
Alpe d'Huez
(Alpe d'HuZes Challenge 2012)
France1815Le Bourg-d'Oisans (2012/Alpe d'HuZes)
Rochetaillée (2012)
Tre Croci (link)Italy1805Cortina d'Ampezzo (2015)
Lago di Misurina (2015)
Col de l'Echelle (link)France1762Briançon (2017)
Passo Furcia (link)Italy1759Longega (2011/2015)
Valdaora (2015)
Monte ZoncolanItaly1735Ovaro (Liariis - 2011)
Villard-Reymond (link)France1721Le Bourg-d'Oisans (2012)
Col des Saisies (link)France1657Beaufort (2014)
Col du Télégraphe (link)France1566Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne (2014)
Rossfeld (link)Germany1560Unterau (2012/2017)
Hallein (2012)
Passo Pinei (link)Italy1442Ponte Gardena (2011)
- Castelrotto (2015)
Col d'Ornon (link)France1373Le Bourg-d'Oisans (2012)
El Asserador (VOTT) (link)Spain (Gran Canaria)1345San Nicolas de Tolentino - FreeMotion Trip 3
Col Saint-Jean (link)France1333Pas de la Tour (D900/D954) (2014)
Grand Ballon (link)France1325Uffholz (2016)
Col de Pontis (link)France1301Pas de la Tour (D954/D7) (2014)
Kandel (link)Germany1241Waldkirch (2016)
Schauinsland (link)Germany1200Freiburg im Breisgau (2016 DNF)
Col de Platzerwasel (link)France1183Sondernach (2016)
Passo Aprica (link)Italy1176Tresenda (2015)
Edolo (2020)
Ballon d'Alsace (link)France1165Saint-Maurice-sur-Moselle (2016)
Petit Ballon (link)France1163Wihr-au-Val (2016)
Vorderbrand (link)
DĂŒrreckstraße
Germany1150Mitterbach (2012
Hochschwarzeck (link)Germany1040Ramsau (2012/2017)

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