This very quiet Jura loop climbs three cols and passes two others (Col de Bérentin; Col de Colliard). It is in the same massif – but to the north – of the tougher and better known Grand Colombier, and Col de la Biche.
While not the steepest roads, this route is almost always going either up or down.
At the top of the first climb, Col de Cuvéry, is Plateau de Retord – one of my favourite cross country ski locations. But the snow has finally melted.
I consciously designed this loop counter-clockwise as it lets me descend Col de Bérentin (and its tunnel – I hate uphill tunnels). And it also lets me climb the very fun little road to Col de Belleroche. There was a sign near the bottom saying the road way closed in 3kms, I was worried there might still be snow on this north-facing forest route. But still decided to have a look.
No snow, they just haven’t yet got around to cleaning the road of winter debris. Fortunately, at the speed I climb, it was easy enough to avoid any rocks or branches:
After Col de Belleroche things get easier. On a sparsely populated plateau the route gently descends for 15 or so kilometres before re-entering the woods and climbing the easier side of Col de Richemond – there was still some road graffiti visible from the 2012 Tour de France.
The descent from Richemond is not too technical, and thus fun even for me, winding through the woods.
This is classic Jura mountains cycling: A hilly route where you will see more kilometre markers than cars.