Mont Vial


My Steel Wheeler friend Tim kindly hosted three of us in his home in Sigale (Alpes-Maritimes) for a few rides. This part of the south French Alps is completely new to me.

This post is the second of our four rides in the region (in addition to a dawn ascent of Bonette). Another beautiful route that would pass five small cols (labeled on map), but the highlight and highpoint (1549 metres) of the ride was the truly fantastic climb to the top of Mont Vial.

Mont Vial viewed from Sigale

  • This is the red route on the map below.
  • See here for the orange route: 5 cols and 3 clues.
  • See here for the orange route: 5 cols and 3 clues.
  • See here for the pink route: Col de St-Léger and Auvare

Like yesterday’s adventure, this entire ride was on scenic, quiet roads. It’s fabulous cycling.



The boys looking pensive

Mont Vial

After a great cliff stretch just past the village of Toudon is the turn up to Mont Vial. The route goes roughly 7 kilometres higher (from 960 metres to 1549 metres) to a telecommunication tower on a paved but poorly surfaced road.

It’s often steep, but full of glorious hairpins.

The last two kilometres are on a summit ridge with views over the top. The paved road ends exactly at the communication tower. Yes, I took lots of photos here:


It’s a dead-end so we returned down the hairpins back to the start of the climb. From here it’s a very fun 10 kilometre descent to the town of Gilette (your best bet for a food/drink stop).

Then it’s 20 easy kilometres down low on a big, but quiet road beside a river in a relatively tight mountain valley – peaceful and pretty. Finally, a small climb back to the start in Sigale.

Near Sigale, finishing as some threatening clouds arrived.

What a terrific loop. And Mont Vial was a revelation. To top it off, from Tim’s house in Sigale we had unbelievable views of Mont Vial from the kitchen. Richard cooking us dinner: 🙂

Dinner with a View

Cafe du Cycliste has a very good article on Mont Vial with great photos and a route description from Nice. See here.

A 3D video of the ride:


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Happiest while cycling uphill.

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