This challenging route takes in the southern aspect of the Madeleine and a 3km stretch of stunning road. One might assume that it was purposely made for the alpine cyclist.
La Chambre in the Maurienne Valley is the starting point for the day, with a 10km easy spin leading to the bottom of the Lacets de Montvernier. In our opinion one of the most amazing stretches of road we have ever cycled. Although only 3km, the climb features 18 hairpin bends stacked one on top of each other on the cliffside.
Commencing in 1928, it took 6 years to overcome nearly 400m of vertical gain to link the Arc Valley to the village of Montvernier. We must say it was worth all the effort!
Following the Lacets, we’ll hit the Col de Chaussy; a tough 12km stretch but more than worth it for the views of St Jean de Maurienne from the cliffs on the way up. Once at the top we’ll follow deserted mountain roads to join the Col de la Madeleine where we'll climb through the ski resort of St Francois Longchamp to reach the top. On clear days, there are wonderful views of Mont Blanc. The descent is 26km and really worth all of your effort to get to the top.
Key climb - Col de la Madeleine
Length of climb: 19.2km
Start altitude: 470m
Summit altitude: 1999m
Elevation gain: 1529m
Average gradient: 8%
Max gradient: 12%