My Fat Cyclist Jersey arrived and i was thrilled to christen it by riding up the Cormet de Roselend, a beautiful climb that was part of Stage 8 of this year’s Tour de France via the classic north route via Col du Meraillet.
Fat Cyclist is a terrific cycling blog run by the Fat Cyclist – that I enjoy reading. The beautiful pink cycling shirts are in support of his wife Susan who is bravely battling cancer – with proceeds going to the Lance Armstrong foundation. It was an honor to wear pink today. Photos below.
Cormet de Roselend was part of Stage 8 in the Tour this year – and also in the Tour in 2005. It’s a truly beautiful climb with a giant dam plus lake at 1600 metres and great views of Mont Blanc at the top (road reaches just under 2,000 metres).
I had climbed the classic Tour route via the Col du Meraillet in 2005. So today, along with Barry and his new bike, we decided to climb via the much harder Col du Pré (this route is described as “Mythic” by the Beaufort Tourist office). The climb starts right from Beaufort, so we rode briefly towards Albertville to warm up a bit.
Not sure about Mythic, but Col du Pré certainly is steep. This is cycling country so the climb has kilometre markers announcing the altitude and the steepness of each kilometere, including the 2nd last kilometre averaging 10.7%! Hard work and lots of hairpins.
At the top, views of the lake and mountains are stunning. This way then descends down for a couple of kilometres, crosses the dam itself, and rejoins the classic route for the climb up to Cormet de Roselend. Around 1,500 metres (5,000 feet) of climb – a big day.
For a more challenging and quiet ascent of Roselend, Col du Pré is the way to go. But if descending back to Beaufort, take the classic way down (turn right at Col du Meraillet) for a wider, less technical and much better surfaced road.