COL DU PETIT ST BERNARD
The Col du Petit St Bernard at 2188m is on the border between France and Italy. The climb on the French side starts in Bourg St Maurice, it is 28km long and gains 1280 metres in height.
At the top of the road across the top of the col passes through an ancient stone circle believed to date back to the iron age(1200-200BC).
The road passes through the ski resort of La Rosiere on the French side and La Thuile on the Italian side. The road above La Rosiere is closed in the Winter.
The Col du Petit St Bernard has featured in the Tour de France on 4 occasions, most recently in 2009 climbing from the Italian side and finishing in Bourg St Maurice.
MAP OF THE PETIT ST BERNARD
ROAD BIKE ON THE COL DU PETIT ST BERNARD
Like the Cormet de Roselend
we often start this ride in Aime, using the cycle path to Bourg St Maurice as a warm up. The climb from Bourg is long at 28km but the average gradient is relatively gentle at less than 5%. The initial part of the climb is a bit steeper but eases off after a few kilometres.
The summit is on the French/Italian border and is a great place for a cafe stop/lunch.
The ride back down is popular with cyclists that are nervous on normal alpine descents as a result of the easier gradient.