Alpe d’Huez


The last day of vacation.  Climbing Alpe d’Huez is a great way to end a great trip.  I woke up early and descended to the bottom of mountain.  I tried to ride a few flat kilometres to warm up before the ride but it is the biggest travel day of the year and so I soon lost patience.  

alpe dHuez

The first two kilometres of this legendary climb are the hardest and it is a real jolt to the system.  I was almost hyper ventilating.   But I soon settled down and was grateful that I had given my legs a rest yesterday.  This climb is hard!  Once I found my rhythm I made good progress.  But as a sign of how scared I was, I planted a spare water bottle about half was up behind a rock, so I didn’t have to carry the extra pound and a half up the first part of the climb. 

While I rode from the bottom, Doreen up above  rode to the remote Col de la Sarenne and also up to the Alpine Lake Besson … so we both had big mornings.  THen on the highway home – passing a huge traffic jams in the other direction.Phew.

The map below shows the various ways up Alpe d’Huez.

  • The Dark Blue Line is the Classic Route
  • The Green Line includes the beautiful remote Col de la Sarenne
  • The Purple line is an alternate way up starting in Rochetaille and joining the classic
  • The Red line show a great extension up to Col de Poutran and Lac Besson

Clicking the link at the bottom will give a bigger zoomable map with an index

View Larger Map

The satellite photo below highlights the 21 hairpins – each signposted and named for a rider that has one a stage in the Tour de France here.

  The 21 Turns of Alpe d'Huez



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Happiest while cycling uphill.


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  4. Hi Will

    Just a quick one.

    Does Alpe D’Huez have a sign at the top with it’s elevation?

    Last year I went I couldn’t find it.

  5. Hi Will

    Nice picture!! Im guessing that was taken straight away to capture the moment of just how difficult a climb it is.

    I remember two years ago when I ascended and I couldn’t find the finishing line, so I assumed it was where the big square was. And just stopped?!

    But now I know from your picture it is that sign, I will most definitely look out for it.

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