Eight mountain chains
In total we have 108 cols and 113 côtes in the route. We recommend to ride in the indicated direction. Not only because it is difficult to follow the itinerary in the opposite direction, but also because this is a good order, with a relatively easy start.
After a few cols in the Vosges (up to 700m) the route goes to Plateau de Langres, Bourgogne and Beaujolais (up to 1000m) with lots of cols. The Beaujolais is followed by Massif Central, with the infamous Puy Mary as the highest summit (15% ascent). After far but easy Gascogne with its many, short and tough climbs the Pyrenees come up next (up to 2000m) with tough climbs of 10 to 20%. Then we descend to the Cevennes, with easier climbs. The section from the Rhône to the Provence is fairly flat, but once we climb out of the Rhone valley, we quickly arrive at Mt.Ventoux, which is no doubt one of the toughest climbs especially since it's nearly always quite hot here. Then we go through the Alps. The first cols from the Alpes Maritimes only reach to 1000 m, but they are very steep. After this start the follows the Col de la Bonnette, one of the highest paved cols in Europe. Now the other giants follow one another, with the Iseran and Galibier as it's highest climbs and finishing it off by the spectacular climb (16%) to the Grand Colombier, which is in fact already in the Jura.
After the Alps the Jura and Vosges are much easier, though the Grand Ballon at 1400 m and 15km of climbing is quite difficult. Then we finish with many small, but tough climbs finishing off everything with a climb to the well known Ste. Odile's abbey.
The steepness of cols is varying. Most major cols are between 7 and 12% steep, but there are a few steeper climbs such as Marie Blanque, Menté, Portet d'Aspet, Peguere, Solperiere, Ventoux, Buis, en Grand Colombier.
In the 100 cols package you will find an accurate profile of all the slopes.
The toughests mountains
You ride successively through the next mountain areas. The list below shows only the most well-known cols.
|Bourgogne/Beaujolais||Brancion, Croix de l'Orme, Crie, Casse Froide, Cassettes|
|Massif Central||Baracuchet, Puy Mary|
|Pyrenees||Burdincurutcheta, Soudet, Marie Blanque, Aubisque, Tourmalet, Soulor, Aspin, Peyresourde, Menté, Portet d'Aspet, Port de Balès, Core, Agnès, Peguère|
|Cevennes||Mont Aigoual, Solpérière, Perthus|
|Provence||Mont Ventoux, Macuegne, Homme Mort, St. Barnabé|
|Alps||Buis, Couillole, Bonette, Vars, Izoard, Lautaret, Galibier, Télégraphe, Isèran, Saisies, Cormet de Roselend, Pré, Aravis, Croix-Fry, Mont Clergeon|
|Jura||Grand Colombier, Berentin, Croix de la Serra|
|Vosges||Ballon d'Alsace, Grand Ballon, Linge, Bonhomme, Ste Marie|
An overview of all cols can be found in the indexlist.