Col de Vence

The Col de Vence has been the battle ground for many an epic battle in Paris-Nice. 2018 saw stage 6 go over the mountain and cause a decisive split in the race. 

The climb is not in itself hard, being 6-7% gradient over about 10km. However it is very exposed, so you are at the mercy of the weather. In the summer it can feel like an oven, and in the rare cases the weather is bad, the wind and rain chills you to the bone. 

The Climb in Detail

“It (the Col de Vence) is almost a mini Ventoux” - Rouleur


The Ascent

The main ascent up the Col de Vence is from Vence village itself. Nearly all the way up, it is a steady 6-7% gradient. There are a few hairpins, but its openess draws comparison with Ventoux. In the winter this can be a blessing as you can descend and climb in the sun, however if the weather is bad, or hot, then there is no escape. It often feels like an oven in the hot summer months. If you can tear your eyes off your stem in the final few kilometers there is a great view of the Med and a panorama from Italy to Cannes. 

Paris Nice

The climb is used extensively in Paris Nice and is a great training climb for those pros including Chris Froome, Ian Boswell and Ritchie Porte who live in the area. 

Strange going ons

The top of the Col de Vence has had many reports of UFO sitings! Objects flying and strange lights have all been seen. Keep your eyes peeled!

"There is a ranch near the top of the Col de Vence; this fact will tell you a lot....Vence is the driest and dustiest and most open of the hills near Nice" - Café du Cycliste

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