As much as Monaco isn't exactly high on our list of interesting places, the nearby mountains have made for some classic days out. This ride turned out to be quite the epic, with 105km of riding including 2800M of vertical (2200M on the way). You can start closer to the col though.
Where is it?
The col itself is around 50km North of Monte Carlo, in the South of France. It's right at the Southern end of the Alps, which means it's not exactly warm in the winter months. The World Rally Championship has used this Col in the winter, which often results in snow. Sospel is also a good place to start, as it's a lot closer and you're essentially at the start of the climb.
What's the riding like?
A mixed bag until you get to the Col itself (which is no mean feat). There are a whole host of different ways to approach it, so we won't go in to that in detail. But the Col itself is such a cracker. It's 24KM long. Yep, 24. Starting in Sospel, you're going to gain 1268M of vertical. Once it gets going, the switchbacks are absolutely beautiful and a true delight to ride. It averages 5.2%, hitting 7.6% for the final stretch. The scenery you're riding through is absolutely unreal, between rocks and waterfalls. It's next level.
Keen? Here are some details.
- It's another alpine one, so winter isn't the best time to ride
- No need to actually stay in Monaco, Sospel is probably a better idea (and is at the foot of the climb)
- Take your phone, the photo ops are endless!