Col de la Croix de Fer

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  • STATS:

  • 31.6kms; 1,650 metres ascent  
  • Start: Rochetaillée Top: 2,067 metres
  • Last Climbed: July 2006

Col de la Croix Fer is a beautiful climb that first appeared in the tour de France in 1947 when the organizers wanted to add a little difficulty to a stage befor climbing Cold du Galibier via Télégraphe It has now appeared more than a dozen times. Don’t forget to visit the Top of the Col du Glandon, a 2 minute detour about 2.5 kilometres from the top.

Col de la Croix Fer is the first climb in the popular cyclosportive “La Marmotte.” In fact in 2006, I was obliviously climbing Col du Glandon when suddenly several thousand Marmotte riders appeared descending from Croix de Fer – yikes!


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Blog Entry May 2005 – After a huge day yesterday, I wasn’t sure what was left in the legs – and when it rained during breakfast – I was thinking it would be a rest day.

But we drove out to the base of my planned climb and the weather held!

The Col de la Croix de Fer (Col of the Iron Cross) is a famous climb that often features in the Tour of France – It was featured in stage 17 last year which Armstong won. So the road is littered in Tour de France grafitti. In actual fact, the race went 2 kms short of the top turning left at the Col de Glandon. So I of course rode to both – so I could could complete two big Cols with only one climb.

It’s an absolutely beautiful 30+ km ride through a tight valley with high mountains on both sides full of waterfalls from melting snow. It’s a little more than 1,500 metres in ascent (+5,000 feet) although only 1,300 top to bottom with a couple of short but steep descents. There are two beautiful lakes created by hydro-electric damns along the way, not to mention some extremely steep stretches. I survived a few tough kms and a short descent, then 2 crushing kms above 10% grade and was thrilled to find that my legs had enough to fly (fly being a relative term) up long stretches of grade between 4% and 8%. GREAT!

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Happiest while cycling uphill. More enthusiastic than talented, my 2014 Challenge is to cycle 50 great rides, slowly.

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Cycling Challenge » Cycling » Alpe d’Huez - Five Different Rides

  2. Pingback: Reise til Frankrike — Fredrik’s Blog

  3. Reise_Edelbert on

    Wirklich toller Blogpost. Unser Urlaub soll im September auch schön entspannend werden. Ich fahre mit meiner Schwester 2011 an die Adria. Unser bester Urlaub war bis jetzt im Jahr 2002 in Malaysia, dieser war wirklich wunderbar. Freundliche Grüße

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