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Alpe d'Huez by bike

The ascent of Alpe d'Huez is a legendary route for cyclists. Every year in summer, many enthusiasts come to our campsite at the foot of Alpe d'Huez to meet the challenge of these 13 km of climb. The average slope is about 8%. But in major events such as the Tour de France or the Marmotte circuit, this legendary ascent comes at the end of an already trying course! With a total vertical drop of 1,077 meters, the ascent takes less than 50 minutes for cyclists who evolve at a professional level. Good level amateurs can hope to meet the challenge in 1h30. By mountain bike, allow 2h30 to go up.

The start of the ascent

While many start the stage at the exit of Bourg d'Oisans, bringing the distance of the course to 14 km, there is an official start for this mythical ascent: it is 800 meters after the Bourg-d roundabout. 'Oisans, at a place called Ferrière. The altitude is 737 meters. The start line is marked with a flag, which allows challengers to start their stopwatches precisely.

A first steep section

From the starting line, the serious things begin, with 2 km very difficult: the slope shows an average of 11%, and even briefly reaches 13%. At 806 meters above sea level comes the first turning point in the long series that will lead to the summit. The slope remains steep up to La Garde-en-Oisans, rarely dropping below 10%.

A respite around La Garde-en-Oisans

The parish of Garde-en-Oisans is reached after a 2,500-meter drive. The altitude is then almost 1000 meters. After a very short flat passage, the slope remains around 8% for about 1 km. It’s a respite to be enjoyed before challenging the remaining 11 km. After this kilometer a little smoother, it will indeed be necessary to attack again a slope of 10% with passages at 12%. The effort should be maintained for about 1 km, after which the slope will stabilize until Huez between 8 and 9%. At an altitude of nearly 1,400 meters, the arrival in Huez is marked by a new, short-lived respite. On the road which then reaches the resort of Alpe, the slope increases to maintain at 9 or 10% for almost 2 km. After the last bend, a beautiful straight line of 700 meters awaits you to the first buildings of the resort.

The station and the final effort

Upon entering the Alpe d'Huez resort, an arch marks the start of the final sprint: 1,500 meters remain before reaching the top. The slope became weak again at this level. Continue for 500 meters through a tunnel. At the level of the Camigane chalet, you finally reach the red flame of the last kilometer. The arrival is looming: after passing two roundabouts, take Avenue du Rif on your left. You only have 300 meters to go before the finish line!

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