Day 5 of the Tour d’Enfer. Everyone else took a bus to cycle the north side of Galbier.
I wanted to do something new, so my plan was to finally cycle up the Col du Granon.
Summit: 2,404 metres (7,890 feet)
The Climb: 16.5 kms (10.3 miles); Ascent: 1,120 metres (3,675 feet);
A couple of year’s back Le Cycle magazine published it’s list of the 30 most beautiful cycling climbs in France. 18 were in the Alps. Until today, I had only done 17. Col de Granon was the missing climb.
Granon is high, steep, and spectacular.
Perfect weather and I really enjoyed the climb – lots of cyclists – and quite a few mountain bikers really suffering.
It appears possible to go over the top on mountain bike, but it’s pretty savage on the other side.
It’s less famous than nearby neighbours Galibier and Izoard primarily because it is a cul-de-sac at the top. But that’s great news for cyclists as less crowded.
Tour de France: Rated Hors Categorie, this climb has appeared only once in 1986, stage 17.
After Granon I returned to Briancon and road through a quiet, scenic valley for 20 kilometres up to Col de l’Echelle and the Italian border (I’ll add a map when I get a chance). An excellent ride for anyone looking for something easier than all the mre famous choices from Briancon.