Alpe d'Huez (1830m)
The legendary climb which all road cyclists in the French Alps have probably thought about doing one day. 13km long, an average gradient of 8% over 21 bends of pure grit, it’s not the steepest or longest climb, but it’s relentless. The road is testament to its cycling heritage with the names of pro cyclists and flags spray painted all the way up. If you want to see it in all its glory then check it out after the tour has been up, after La Marmotte Sportive or after the yearly Dutch charity event Alpe D’Huzes where a single or team of riders climb it 6 times!
The Alpe D’Huez profile is a relatively constant slope, where the only relief is for a few seconds at every hairpin. The stretch of flat road at the base of the Alpe is a good warm up before you hit the 11% slope at the bottom where you should start your stopwatch!
The steepest section of the climb is during the beginning 4 bends, naturally then this is the hardest part. Once you have breached them though you should be on your way to conquering the climb. Each bend showcases TdF history by brandishing a board complete with the names of previous Alpe d’Huez stage winners and the number of bends left, starting with bend 21 at the bottom.
The first course is 12.35km finishing at the tourist information office, this equates to a 1023m climb. The second is 13.65km long taking you all the way to the top (the official TdF finishing point equating to 1072m vertical ascent. As wind is rarely a factor, the relative consistency and steepness of the climb, allows a fairly accurate calculation of your effective power based on times achieved when climbing Alpe D’Huez.
During the summer, timed ascents from Bourg d’Oisans are organized by the local tourist offices (please see our competition page for more details). For €5 you receive a number to put on your bike and a chip which enables you to be timed from the base of the mountain. On completion you are issued with a certificate detailing your official time and presented with food to regain that valuable energy.
|Distance Travelled from Allemont||23km|