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.
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
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.
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What a wonderful life! Any ideas on where to stay?
Steve – there aren’t that many hotels in Bourg d’Oisans or the area – especially above 2 stars – here’s a link to hotels in area
But personally, I have always stayed up top in the ski resort. More scenic and interesting than down low.
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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.
Last I looked there is this at the official finish. As we as a “podium” off to the right. But I think there is no altitude sign.
I may be wrong …. and all 21 hairpins do have altitude signs.
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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