Col de la Madeleine & PROMPT D211

12 Sep
Ascending the Col de la Madeleine

Ascending the Col de la Madeleine

The Col de la Madeleine links the Tarentaise & Maurienne valleys. Even though the panel at the summit reads 2,000m, the real height is 1,993m. The Madeleine has been used in the Tour de France 25 times and also forms part of the Route des Grandes Alpes – a route developed by the Touring club de France to promote cyclo and automobile tourism whilst linking all the valleys of the Alps from north to south.

The southern ascent of the Col de la Madeleine is 19.3km long at an average gradient of 8%. Starting from La Chambre, the climb is very regular – a constant battery of 8-9% through thick woodland. The ski resort of Saint-François-Longchamp provides a brief respite and the woodland clears. From here you can see road winding towards the peak of the Cheval Noir below which the summit of the col is perched.

Last week Phil lead a vehicle supported tour to the Col de la Madeleine. After dropping all but one at the top of the Croix de Fer, the guys descended towards La Chambre via the short climb up the Col du Mollard. From here they started the ascent of the Madeleine and met Phil at the summit. After the descent all but one got in the minibus to start the journey home over the Col du Glandon. The ‘one’- Crawford – decided Phil’s vehicle support was obviously not up to scratch and so decided to ride the whole route. This monstrous ride takes in the Col de la Croix de Fer, Col du Mollard, Col de la Madeleine and finally the Col du Glandon before returning to Bourg d’Oisans. A ride of 180km with a total ascent of 6000m! At the summit, Phil also met a Dutch group who were using PROMPT D211 rental bikes. They had also set out on aforementioned route!

PROMPT D211 at the summit of the Madeleine

PROMPT D211 at the summit of the Madeleine

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