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Curious to what's your favorite. I did Ventoux last year which was hard as hell. Off to the French Alps soon and the Pyrenees later this summer. Which climbs does everyone like best?
 

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merckxman
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Beautiful views from top of Galibier. I very much liked the starkness of Izoard. Alpe d'Huez was ok, yes it's famous but I kind of like the rugged mountain tops instead (ski village atop Alpe ).
 

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I can echo merckxman's comments while adding that the most beautiful pass in the Alpes (to me) is the Col de la Madeleine. The Col de Glandon (not far from L'Alpe d'Huez) is also one of the beautiful ones.

If you go to the Pyrenees you'll want to do the Tourmalet from the Luz St Saveur side. This side has the more impressive views (and the last kilometer is steep!).
 

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+1 to all of the above. St. Jean de Maurienne is the place to base out of for a bunch of climbs like the Madeleine, Croix de Fer, Glandon, Galibier, Lacets de Mont Vernier etc. More of an industrial town than a tourist hotbed, but well located. If you're keen on the other side of the Galibier, Izoard, Lautaret, Les Deux Alpes, Alpe d'Huez, etc. La Grave is the place to stay.

The Tourmalet and surrounding passes are great as well. Hard to go wrong in the Alps.
 

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Yes, well, I should have used the small "a" alps as in peaks of southern France or northern Spain. Yes the Tourmalet is in the Pyrenees along with lots of other cool and beautiful climbs.
 

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+1 to all of the above. St. Jean de Maurienne is the place to base out of for a bunch of climbs like the Madeleine, Croix de Fer, Glandon, Galibier, Lacets de Mont Vernier etc. More of an industrial town than a tourist hotbed, but well located. If you're keen on the other side of the Galibier, Izoard, Lautaret, Les Deux Alpes, Alpe d'Huez, etc. La Grave is the place to stay.

The Tourmalet and surrounding passes are great as well. Hard to go wrong in the Alps.
I've spent some time in St. Jean de Maurienne, I'd second all he says. The Glandon is a fantastic decent. Riding the lacets and then traversing over and hitting the Madeleine part way up is really nice too. I prefer secondary white roads over the major passes, there're usually narrow, empty and the tarmac is good.
 

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Both the Pyrenees and the Alps offer those climbs which are the iconic cols of the T de F and they are fun to ride because we've heard and seen so much about them from following the race. But also in both the Alps and the Pyrenees there are a myriad of smaller cols that that are just as challenging and often offer a more tranquil and scenic ride. It's great to ride the giants but when you've done that, you'll be ready to search out the unsung climbs that the locals ride.
 

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Mt. Ventoux if you are close. There are 3 different routes up. All the famous Alps climbs are great. I have never been over to the Pyrenees.
Check out climbbybike.com and you can get profiles of all the climbs in whatever area you are going to.
Also, France closes off car traffic on most of the famous climbs for one day during the summer. You should be able to find the schedule for each hill online. Thousands of riders usually show up on these days, great fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mt. Ventoux if you are close. There are 3 different routes up. All the famous Alps climbs are great. I have never been over to the Pyrenees.
Check out climbbybike.com and you can get profiles of all the climbs in whatever area you are going to.
Also, France closes off car traffic on most of the famous climbs for one day during the summer. You should be able to find the schedule for each hill online. Thousands of riders usually show up on these days, great fun.

I did Ventoux as part of a Fondo ride. Hardest climb I've ever done. Maybe once more but that would be it for me.
 

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Hi
i am french from paris And often in the alps.
especially the southern ones which I love as much as the northern ones (all the previous replies are correct about glandon galibier and so on, the top !)
but I would also particularly Highilight a very special ride around the 3 cols (allos, champs, cayolle) starting from a quaint little Town callled barcelonnette (full of beautiful houses build by locals who emigrated to the americas, found fortune and came Back There)
124 kms 3300m positive ascent, no flat bits, not for te faibthearted
very few cars rugged landscapes influenced by the mediterranean climate.
here is the Link of the cycling event in august riding that loop
Barcelonnette > Col de la Cayolle 2325 m > St martin d'Entraunes 1060 m > Col des champs 2045 m > Colmars 1232 m > Col d'Allos 2247 m > Arrivée au centre Jean Chaix à Saint Pons
3 ravitaillements

http://www.ccubaye.com/les-3-cols-2016/


 

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Addendum
if at the end you are still keen for more climb, you can climb up the col d'allos from barcelonnette, ride it down (one of the greatest col descente with the col de la madeleine) And you would be close to the total ascent of the famed marmotte cyclosportive event (5000m)
if you want to overtake the 5000m mark, Easy peasy : on the ride down just before reaching barcelonnette you take a road on the left which will hike you up an other 800m to the well know ski resort called pra-loup
famous not for the ski (although top stuff) but famous for the old Tour de France aficionados like me as it is in that climb that Bernard thevenet overtook eddy Merckx and won the stage and the tdf, sealing the end if Merckx glory period !
 
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