Given that we’re a brand named after some of the greatest mountain climbs in the world, we thought it only fair that we offer up a guide to the must ride mountain passes in France. Here’s our top picks for stunning scenary, ribbon esque roads and gradients that get just a little bit the wrong side of cheeky. We’ve even included a dash of Tour de France History too…
1. COL DE L'ISERAN
The highest paved road in the alps – need we say more on why-oh-why it simply must be pedaled. With the option to pass through the famous skiing towns of Tignes and Val-d-isère, you’ll not be short of places to stop and enjoy the view. You can opt to take a slightly longer 48km more gradual road from Bourg-Saint-Maurice to the North, or take on the shorter 33km southerly route from Lanslebourg-Mont Cenis – although be warned, this one comes with a sting in its tail and a steeper section at the end.
General area: The Graiain Alps, near the Italian border
Peak altitude: 2,700m
Average Gradient: 5% if taking the Northern 48km climb from Bourg-Saint-Maurice, 5.5% of heading from Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis.
Max Gradient: 12%
Tour de France History: First used in the Tour in 1938