Col d’Izoard – South Side


For a more recent post with map and details of both sides of Izoard, see here.

Yikes.  After climbing the Col de la Cayolle in the morning (60 kms there and back) I had an itch to climb the legendary South side of Izoard (Doreen and I both climbed the North side on Sunday.   It is HARD (rated Hors Categorie) and my legs were bien cuit (cooked) after 6 big days in a row.  But we were leaving the region so …. why not.  The Tour climbed just over a week ago, so plenty of fresh road art.

I knew it would be painful and it was.  I asked Doreen not to drive too far ahead as I might quit.  But after an awful first 45 minutes I finally started to get a rhythm and did OK on the last very steep 7 kilometres (averaging +9% with short stretches much steeper).  An antique car parade was descending, I could hear thunder as a storm threatened, and my legs were screaming.  Net, very noisy.  I would have quit without Doreen’s constant cheering and support.



Monument to Cycling legends Bobet and Coppi 2 kms from the top.

Coppi / Bobet Monument


The famous Casse Déserte  .. almost there!



Woohoo.  Am I exhausted.  But content.  2,360 metres (Almost 8,000 feet) up. 








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Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Hi Will,
    Planning to climb Izoard in July incorporating a loop from Briancon through Guillestre.
    Which would be the best side to climb/descend?
    Maybe we would be better off climbing & decending both sides if you think the route from Briancon to Guillestre boring or a bit busy.


  2. Hi Nathan,

    Hmm this is an old post. See here for a more recent post showing both sides.

    The south side I think is better. Especially since it includes the famous Casse Deserte at the top. Bith sides are great. But the south side …. is special.

    If you can manage it, climb up and down both sides. The road between Briancon and Guillestre can be a little busy with fast traffic — although there are perhaps some side roads to reduce this. I have only driven the low down link road.

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