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L'Alpe-d'Huez (6102 ft) is one of the great ski resorts in the northern French Alps and - with its 21 bends - one of the most famous ascents of the Tour de France.
We start - as does the Tour de France - in the village of Le Bourg-d'Oisans (2395 ft).
After passing the villages and the bridge across the Romanche, the difficult, 8 mile-long ascent to L'Alpe-d'Huez begins.
On this track the difference in altitudes is 3707 ft, with an average incline of 8% to be overcome.
The first few miles with an average incline of 10% and short passages of as much as 15% allow us to gain altitude quickly. Even in the middle, the incline is approximately 8% and only becomes somewhat flatter (5.5%) towards the end.
After reaching the finishing line of the Tour de France, we continue our tour towards Col de Sarenne on roads of increasingly poor quality.
Riding downhill we enjoy the beautiful mountain landscape. Later on we cross a little bridge over a stream and we begin the extended ascent of the last 656 ft in altitude up to the pass summit of the Col de Sarenne at 6558ft above sea level.
Now, we ride the upper part of the descent (approximately 7.5 miles) down to the reservoir Lac du Chambon (3432 ft). In the beginning, the road surface is bad, however, further downhill at the village of Le Perron (5299 ft) it suddenly improves.
In order to get back to our starting point at Le Bourg-d'Oisans, we do not take the N1, rather, we ride the same route back (in reverse) via the Col de Sarenne to L'Alpe-d'Huez, to finally arrive - in a terrific downwards ride - at our starting point in Le Bourg-d'Oisans.
All in all, a beautiful but exhausting classic.
Distance: approx. 69 km
Length: 175 Minutes