The climb up to the ski resort of l'Alpe d'Huez is arguably the best known road bike climb in the French Alps thanks to it's popularity on the Tour de France,it has featured in the Tour on 27 occasions. Alpe d'Huez is also the last climb in the 'La Marmotte', a popular cyclosportive that is held each year on the first Saturday in July.
The climb is 14kms long starting just outside Bourg d'Oisans and it reaches a height of 1880m. Famously the road has 21 bends, each one of these bends is marked and riders can count them down on the way up.
The first few kilometres average over 10% while the remainder continue to climb at 7-9%.
MAP OF ALPE D'HUEZ
Note that I have marked the Tourist arrival in the village of Alpe d'Huez. The official Tour de France finish is another 1.5kms further on.
ROAD BIKE ON ALPE D'HUEZ
The Alpe d'Huez climb really kicks up from the base with the gradient over the first few kilometres averaging over 10%. After the 3rd bend the average drops but it does maintain a steady 7-9%. The only relief on the ride up is on the flat sections around the engineered bends.
In the Summer months the temperatures can get high during the day, increasing the difficulty of the ride.