COL DE LA MADELEINE
The Col de la Madeleine has become one of the famous classic climbs in the French Alps. It climbs to an altitude of 1993m linking the Tarentaise Valley with the Maurienne Valley.
The modern road was opened in 1969 and featured in the Tour de France the same year. In total it has featured in the Tour de France 24 times, most recently in 2012.
The northern ascent is the closest to the Cycle Hame chalet, it is approximately 26km long with an average gradient of 5.4%. The second half of the climb becomes more challenging with stretches of 9-10%.
MAP OF THE COL DE LA MADELEINE
ROAD BIKE ON THE COL DE LA MADELEINE
The Col de la Madeleine is a great ride but it is challenging. The start of the climb on the North/West side is approximately 20km from the Cycle Hame chalet Grange a Charlotte.
As stated in the description the climb is about 26 km and it gains an altitude of approximately 1500m. The first part of the climb is relatively comfortable, starts a bit steeper but the gradient eases off up to around the 8km point. Then the next few kilometres are easier, with flat sections and even a gradual descent at 1 point. With about 12 kms remaining the ride gets tougher, some sections get up to 9 or 10%. At around 7kms remaining there is another gentle section offering some relief before the final 4 kms of 7-9%.
The average gradient is only 5.4% but this is deceptive, the flat sections bring this figure down, the road is long and the top half is more difficult.