Cycling the Alps – Day 3

Cycling the Alps – Day 3


Cycling the Alps – Day 3


By Alastair McNeill


Cycling the Alps Day 3 along the Routes des Grandes Alpes from Geneva to Nice


Day 3 took us from Bourg Saint Maurice to Bourg D’Oisans, and included the climbs of La Col De La Madelaine (1550m) and La Col de Glandon (1472m).

Our first day of bad weather, we decided to deviate from the route and rode down the valley on the N90 into Moutiers. After a little while spent trying to work out where the road went (our map was 10 years old and a new bypass around Moutiers had been built in the mean time) we set off on the Col De La Madeleine.

Cycling the Alps - Day 3
Wet start in Bourg Saint Maurice


A favourite of the Tour De France and most recently featuring in 2012, I had always been keen to ride it. Ross’s warning about how hard it was proved largely accurate, and after 26km, the last 5 of which were 10 percent I was glad to see the rocky top amongst the clouds in front of me.


Cycling the Alps - Day 3
Col De La Madeleine


The weather at the bottom of the valley in La Chambre was back to 30 degrees, though that gave way to ominous cloud again once we were heading up the Col Du Glandon, with its 21km of twisting narrow road that gets steadily steeper to finish with 2km of 11 percent to the top.


Cycling the Alps - Day 3
Out of clouds below Madeleine


The route down into Bourg D’Oisans is long and undulating, with some incredibly fast sections through the woods down Col De La Croix De Fer. I can honestly say I have never travelled that fast on a bike before – I dont know what got into me!


Look out for more tomorrow…




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