Col des Aravis

The Col de Aravis has been used 40 times in the Tour de France, but it's actually the lowest pass in the Aravis range of hills at only 1486m above sea level. It is classsed as a second category climb in the Tour de France. It is probably most famous for Pantani launching his 100km solo attack in 2000 on the climb. He finally cracked on the Joux Plan and abandoned the race the next day, never to return to the Tour. 


The Climb in Detail

“Hot, like an oven; and hard. At one point I thought I was going to die.” - A. Waldock, Bikecation Client


The Ascents

There are two ascents to the summit of the Aravis, each with a destinctive look and feel. The harder side is from Flummet, even though on paper it looks easier. A nice kilometer or so of climbing from Flummet warms you up before a slight descent/flat for 3km as you follow the river. Once you turn left over the river the climbing starts in earnest. The average from here on in is 8%, but it varies from 6% to 10%. 1km from the top there are four tight and sharp hairpins and then the road opens up with a stunning view of Mont Blanc and the cows on the Plateau at the top. The climb is 11km in total.

From the other side, the ride technically starts in Thônes, but most people agree the long drag from Thônes to La Clusaz doesn't really count (but you do feel it). From La Clusaz it is 7km and averages a nice 6%. 2 km from the top there is a steep bit of 9%, but the six beautiful hairpins keep it a very manageable ride.

The Ideal place for Lunch

There's not many climbs that we claim to be the ideal place for lunch! But there is a choice of 3 or 4 restaurants and a few shops to stock up on water, grab a coke or coffee or even have a three course Menu du Jour. The backdrop of Mount Blanc and cow bells makes it an idilic setting. 

"Used 40 times in the tour de France" 

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Annecy (GVA)
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