Grand Colombier

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Le Grand Colombier 1501 metres

A beast, a brute but totally beautiful a true classic.

Starting the ride from the town of Culoz near to Lac Bourget gradients of 9% kicked straight in. I did not realise we would be climbing this big lump of rock, at times I can be so naive. A warm day would make this a very hot ride. Tarmac was melting beneath our tyres on the famous hairpin bends. A rest to catch the breath and gaze at the expansive view below. Next came one of the two sections of 14%. Luckily this sign was viewed after the ride up.

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREA few shaded spots and a welcome flatter section of around 4% and we seemed to be circling round the mighty mass of mountain. Different views down the valley enjoying the meander of the quiet road.  Other Cyclists start to pass and are seen struggling ahead. The next 14% and what a ramp a straight, straight climb not relenting, by this was hard.

 

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREWe emerge out into a pasture, flatter sections and a couple of cattle grids keep the Cows enclosed. The views just get better, soft mountain peaks and Turquoise lakes below and across to the right ‘Mighty Mont Blanc emerges the higher we climb.

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The last bend and boy was it a struggle and with no cafe at the top, it was time to just enjoy the view and chat with a few fellow cyclists. Funny how the climb is forgotten and normal breathing resumes.

 

 

 

Exif_JPEG_PICTURESurprisingly the Tour de France has only once travelled over this beautiful Col in 2012 and hero’s names are still clearly marked.

 

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