5 Classic Tour de France Climbs in Ski Resorts

With only a couple of weeks to go until the Tour de France arrives in the Alps, we thought it was time to look at some of the classic climbs in French ski resorts.

Col de la Loze, Méribel (2304m)

The obvious place to start is the highest point on the 2023 Tour de France. Skiers will know the Col de la Loze as one of the crossing points between the Méribel and Courchevel ski areas.

This year stage 17 of ‘Le Tour’ starts in St Gervais and winds its way through the mountains climbing into Les 3 Vallees via Moutiers, Courchevel Le Praz, La Tania, Méribel Village and then Méribel before climbing to the Col de la Loze before the final descent to Courchevel altiport.

With an average gradient of 7.64% and a maximum gradient of a very, very steep 20%, this will push the riders to their very limits.

Alpe d’Huez (1803m)

Perhaps the most famous climb in the Tour de France is the ascent to Alpe d’Huez. It was only in 1952 that the tour arrived for the first time, but since then the 21 hairpin bends have regularly featured on the schedule.

Almost half a million spectators can gather on the 13.1 kilometres, which has an average gradient of 8.19%.

With over 1000 amateur cyclists tackling the climb each day, you could argue that the resort is better known for its cycling, than the 250 kilometres of ski runs.

Le Col du Galibier, Valloire (2642m)

Another classic climb, not far from Alpe d’Huez, is the Col du Galibier, which connects the Valloire in the Maurienne valley, with resorts like Les 2 Alpes in the Hautes Alpes region.

The tour can cross in both directions. The approach from the south is 8.52km long with an average gradient of 6.9%, while the northern approach has a longer (18.1km), equally steep climb.

Le Col de l’Izoard, Briancon (2360m)

This lunar landscape is normally approached from the north via Briancon, the gateway to Serre Chevalier and Montgenevre.

It has been tackled over thirty times by the Tour de France and offers a long 19.2km climb at 5.92% from Briancon, or a slightly shorter route from the south over 15.9 km at 6.9%.

Le Col de l’Iseran, Val d’Isère (2770m)

This Col de l’Iseran connects the Maurienne and Tarentaise Valleys and is the paved road in the Alps.

If you ski in Val d’Isère in winter on the Pisaillas glacier, you’ll reach the Col de l’Iseran (in summer, it’s the access point for skiing).

More commonly, it’s a famous cycling climb, either the full 48km (at 4.1%) from Bourg-Saint-Maurice, or for many tourists the shorter climb of 16km (at 5.8%) from Val d’Isère itself.

Catered Ski Chalets

If cycling sounds like too much hard work, then why not let a ski lift take you uphill and ski down with gravity on your side.

Chaletline specialise in catered ski chalet holidays and can help you find the right accommodation for you in any of these resorts and you can take a look at these classic climbs, without having to do the hard work!

Call us on 01833 617761 for free advice.

This entry was posted in Alpe d'Huez, Courchevel, la tania, Meribel, serre chevalier, Val d'Isere and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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