By Chris Smith

Tuesday 12th June 2018

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Bourg d'Oisans Routes

 


There are some great routes in the Bourg de Oisans valley. It is one of the most iconic places to ride a bike. The tour comes here on avaerage every other year.  The valley is most famous for the climbs of Alpe d'Huez, the Glandon, the Croix de Fer and the Lauteret. the climbs top out over 1800m in height, so if you are staying here you are going to have to bring your climbing legs. 

La Serenne:

You can do this route from Bourg de Oisans,  Frency d'Oisans or Allemond with a little modification.

La Serenne is the back route to Alpe d'Huez and I think is the much nicer way to climb Alpe d'Huez, devoid of traffic and with a gentler start to proceedings. The Col sits 200m above the official summit of Alpe d'Huez and is mainly known for for it being home to the longest black ski run in Europe. The road is much narrower and winds through the mountain side in complete contrast to the 21 beds of the Alpe that you would have just ridden if coming from the west. The climb averages at just under 4% but tricky parts of 9% and the undulating terrain makes this one of our classic climbs. 

The road itself was really only used by locals and for the workings of the ski resort and is fairly remote in comparison to a lot of the Alpine climbs you can ride in this area. The Tour de France made is debut in 2013 for the spectacle of riding the Alpe d'Huez climb twice in one stage as it was a way for the Peloton to get over and around the Mountain they had just climbed. The road is still fairly cut up even though a lot of it had been redone for the Tours arrival.

This route takes you down the classic climb of Alpe d'Huez and then round the balcony road with stunning views of the valley below and little traffic. 

Croix de Fer and Galibier: This is a hard day in the saddle. Starting in Bourg de Oisans you climb to the top of the Croix De Fer.  Before a fast descent, climb to the Col du Mollard and then a hair pin descent through a dense forest to the valley floor. Take a breather through the valley floor and stock up on supplies, before you tackle the Telegraph to Valloire. Sitting at 1586m, the climb averages 7% for 12km's. This climb is the nicest of the day with a steady gradient. Valloire is your last chance to grab something to eat, before tackling the beast of the Col de Galibier. From the top, its a 50km fast descent (take care of the three tunnels) back to Bourg de Oisans. 

 

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