Where We Rode: Alpe D'Huez

It's one of the most famous climbs in the world after playing host to many of the finest cycling battles the world has ever witnessed... Yes, we're talking about the epic Alpe D'Huez Monster.

Where is it?

In France. The Alps, actually. But you knew that. Grenoble is the closest town, and if you're flying in - Geneva is the closest all-year round airport, with Chambéry offering flights ever now and then. It's around 2 hours from Geneva to the bottom, so nothing wild.

What's the riding like?

Long, tiring, endless. We're talking about 1,100M of climbing across 14.5km of road. The average gradient is around 8%, with it peaking at over 14%. Honestly, it's brutal. It's so brutal in fact, that we had to use a stock image because we forgot to take any pictures. Anyway. The road surface is really good all things considered, and with 21 corners standing between the top and bottom, it's nice and easy to pace yourself.

The first part of the climb is really brutal, and you'd do well to pace yourself for the first 6 bends or so - it averages around 11%. If you're wondering how long it takes... most riders will be between 50-75 minutes. So, prepare yourself.

Keen? Here's some details.

  • Although it's a mountain town, it's quite low so you can ride from March-November without many issues. If you're feeling brave, you can ride for most of the year if you fancy some spiked tyres. 
  • The town is fairly quiet in the summer, and you'll easily find a place to stay.
  • Grenoble is the closest city, and it's a fairly typical French town. It's actually the closest Ikea to our HQ in Chamonix, who knew, eh?