3 Col Loop: Trébuchet, Laval, and Buis


My Steel Wheeler friend Tim kindly hosted three of us in his home in Sigale (Alpes-Maritimes) for a few rides. This part of the south French Alps is completely new to me.

This post is the third of our four rides in the region (in addition to a dawn ascent of Bonette). A super quiet, very scenic loop with three main climbs including the hyper-steep Col de Buis.

Forty kilometres into the route we’d seen more col signs than cars!

Quiet roads

  • This post is the blue route on the map below.
  • See here for the orange route: 5 cols and 3 clues.
  • See here for the red route featuring the amazing Mont Vial.
  • See here for the pink route: Col de St-Léger and Auvare

Starting from Sigale we rode through the Clue du Riolan soon turning onto a small road leading to Col du Trébuchet (1141m). It’s not steep or a hyper spectacular climb, but we never saw a car up through this very pleasant valley.

Catapulting up Trébuchet

The descent of Trébuchet is full of hairpins. Fun.

After descending Trébuchet we added a quick “there-back” to Col de Laval (1100 metres). Note, we joined the route part way up the profile, just below Col de Félines. This is another easy-ish but deserted and pleasant road. Across from the col is “Mont Blanc” (no, not “that” Mont Blanc).

Mont Blanc at summit of Col de Laval

Next, we doubled back and joined the climb to Col de Buis for its final super steep kilometres (but I’ve included the profile for the entire climb).

We were riding a perfect pace for me. Relaxed:

For the col hunters in the crowd, the final stretch of this loop included a minor climb that actually traversed three cols in quick succession; Col Saint-Roch (747m), Col Saint-Marc (725m), and Col de la Peire Plantade (690m) but the only “col sign” was far from impressive. 🙂

Strange Col Sign ?

Finally, we again rode through the cool Clue du Riolan as we reached Sigale.

Clue du Riolan

Yet another wonderful loop. Perhaps slightly less spectacular than the previous two rides, but so scenic and quiet. Highly recommended.

Alfie, Richard, and I are so grateful to Tim for hosting us on all these great rides. Tim seemed pleased at the praise. Proud as a peacock.

A 3D video of the ride:


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Happiest while cycling uphill.

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