Col du Sapenay, Col de Cessens, and Col de la Chambotte


There is a currently a lot of snow around. So it’s either stay on ploughed roads or brave the powder.

The ride: A great little loop in the Jura mountains with fabulous views of Lac du Bourget – the biggest lake in France.

Starting in Ruffieux -the little road up to Col de la Chambotte is superb. Below me ever improving views of Lac du Bourget, and views of the two most challenging climbs in the entire Jura mountains. Over my shoulder: the Jura Giant “Grand Colombier“, and across the lake: the equally imposing Mont du Chat.

After Chambotte, I took a road to Laval that ended up being an uncleared narrow path to Laval (last photo above) – no idea how it was marked as a road on Google maps.

From Laval it’s a nice, small climb to Cessens – and above to Col de Cessens (see map below). I searched for a Col sign – no luck. ;(

From here the road was closed – including two big “no bikes” signs – but I don’t think they meant me. 😉

It was much harder going from here on. Generally possible to pedal in a tire track …. but a little difficult – but soft powder everywhere so crashing was no worry.

How much snow? I passed some very cheerful cross-country skiers sharing my road. Still, I was in good spirits as the snow was fresh and the ride beautiful.

It’s a nice hairpin-filled descent from Col du Sapenay but with the snow, it was pretty exciting/treachorous.

All in all, a great ride. A lot more fun sliding on snow than pedalling an indoor trainer. 😉


Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Magnifique sortie et paysages ! Je ne connaissais pas le Col de la Chambotte et le Col de Cessens, ça donne envie de les faire 😉

  2. Beautiful pictures of what looks like a great road. I love the tunnel on Col de la Chambotte. Very motivating to see that regardless of the weather you stay focused on finding new, interesting cycling roads.

  3. I have to say… I always love the hairpin turn shots and the wide mountain shots. But my favorite pic this post is the last one. Absolutely awesome. Thanks again!

  4. Pingback: Lac du Bourget and Surrounding Cycling Climbs

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