A beautiful, hilly loop on deserted roads (maybe because the climbs were all still strangely signed as closed?). As the map profile shows, the ride was pretty much either uphill or downhill the entire way.
Lac du Bourget is surrounded by great cycling climbs – many of them on steep, quiet roads with great views of the lake. For example, Mont Du Chat, Grand Colombier, Mont Revard, Col de l’Epine, and the 3 climbed in this loop.
This loop started with Col de la Chambotte: a moderately steep 5 km climb on a narrow cliff road with superb views of the lake below – a nice little gem.
The route then climbs the back side of Col du Sapenay through quiet rural French countryside …. with stunning views of the Alps in the distance. I don’t have a profile for this, but it’s definitely the easier side of Sapenay (the steeper west side is profiled here). More great lake views during the descent of Sapenay brought me back to the start.
The car just happened to be at the beginning of the climb to Col du Clergeon. My cleverly planned bail-out option.
Last year, I bailed and just got in the car at this point, but today I decided to add this steep climb.
Maybe due to the sun, I had a little trouble getting photos that looked as good as it did in person. My friend Bastien did a similar loop a couple of weeks back and has much nicer photos here.
It’s actually a 4 Col loop as on the way to Sapenay, the route passes Col de Cessens – see map.