One of the classics of the alps and steeped in history, it is believed the Carthaginian general Hannibal used this very route. The road connects Bourg St Maurice on the edge of the Isere in France with the Aosta Valley in Italy, via the French resort of La Rosiere, and La Thuile on the Italian side. With stunning views, spring snowbanks, a steady climb and a flowing, open descent it is a great introduction to big col riding.
After a short transfer we usually begin and finish this ride in Aime, however, it can easily be extended further.
We warm up with a spin along the river path from Aime to Bourg St Maurice.
Through the often bustling Bourg and the little village of Seez, before heading onto the Col du Petit St Bernard for the 22km cycle to La Rosiere. It's a pleasant climb with a steady gradient, but at 30km, a decent distance.
Just past La Rosiere the road swings right and gives up its first glimpse of the impressive St Bernard Statue and the hospice waiting at the top.
Once at the top, there is an opportunity to stop for a coffee and have some lunch in either France or Italy! It's a must-do climb and an experience not to be missed, as is the descent back to Bourg!
Once in Bourg why not enjoy a pint or glass of vino, or there is always the option to cycle back to La Tania if you wish!
Key climb - Col du Petit Saint-Bernard
Length of climb: 29.9km
Start altitude: 809m
Summit altitude: 2190m
Elevation gain: 1382m
Average gradient: 4.6%
Max gradient: 8%