Tag Archives: Alpe d’Huez to Italy

PROMPT bikes on Holiday

2 Sep

Below are a few shots of PROMPT bikes on last weeks Alpe d’Huez to Italy tour. We are now approaching the end of the season and so the ex-rental bikes are available to buy as a complete bike (€1200) or frameset (€600). Do not hesitate to contact velo@prompt.cc if interested.

French-Italian Border (Col de Montgenevre)

French-Italian Border (Col de Montgenevre)

Andy on the Col de No-Name (warm-up for the Colle dell'Agnello)

Andy on the Col de No-Name (warm-up for the Colle dell’Agnello)

Chris exhausted atop the Agnel

Chris exhausted atop the Agnel

Andy desperately trying get the whole building into shot!

Andy desperately trying get the whole building into shot!

Prompt & More than 21 bends on the Col d'Izoard

Prompt & More than 21 bends on the Col d’Izoard

Climbs of Alpe d’Huez to Italy Part 3 – Colle dell’Agnello

31 Aug

The Col Agnel or Colle dell’Agnello links France with Italy. At 2744m, it is the 3rd highest pass in the Alps after the Stelvio and the Iseran. Leaving Pinerolo, we split the route of Stage 18 of the 2011 Tour de France (Pinerolo – Col du Galibier) over 2 days . The Italian ascent of the Agnel is very hard with the final 10km averaging 9.5%. There are ramps of 14% and lengthy sections of 11-12%.The lower slopes are gentle but still provide enough resistance to sap energy from the legs. The climb seems to go on for ever – leaving Pinerolo, you will climb 2400m upon reaching the summit.

Halfway through the interminable final 10km

Halfway through the interminable final 10km

Looking down on the gentle lower slopes of the Agnel

Looking down on the gentle lower slopes of the Agnel

It is by far the hardest climb I have ever done but its difficulty made it all the more worthwhile. A year in the Alps has taken the edge off reaching the summit of most Cols, however the Agnel was different. The thrill of conquering a mountain pass was rekindled and I soon forgot the impossibly difficult last 10km. It is a stunning climb and must be one of the hardest climbs in the Alps.

Exhaustion atop the Col Agnel

Exhaustion atop the Col Agnel

More exhaustion...

More exhaustion…

Climbs of Alpe d’Huez to Italy Part 2 – Sestriere

30 Aug

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Following the ascent of Montgenèvre, we continued into Italy via the Colle di Sestriere. The ride is similar to the northen ascent of the Galibier with one col(le) split into two separate climbs. From Cesana Torinese, the climb is 12km long at an average of 6%. As the averages suggest, it is fast and rolling with a couple of steeper pitches upon approach to the ski station. The scenery is stunning with snow-capped mountains and a ravine on your right hand side.

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Sestriere was one of the host towns for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games and on the descent towards Pinerolo, you pass the enormous ski jumps which are still in use. The descent is over 50km and very fast. On the descent you have the possibility of following stage 17 of the 2011 Tour de France by climbing the Colle di Pra Martino. Whilst the climb itself is pleasant, the plummet down the other side makes it really worthwhile. This is where Thomas Voeckler bunny-hopped into a driveway. The descent is very steep and the road surface poor. It twists and turns through tiny villages and the poor surface is hidden by the trees. However despite all of this, it is great fun and a worthwhile detour.

Vincenzo Nibali spooted testing his form before the  Vuelta

Vincenzo Nibali spotted testing his form before the Vuelta

Climbs of Alpe d’Huez to Italy Part 1 – Montgenèvre

28 Aug
Phil & me on the Col de Montgenevre

Phil & me on the Col de Montgenevre

Last week on the Alpe d’Huez to Italy tour, I climbed some new cols. I will blog each one of these cols with some pictures from the tour. The ski resort of Montgenèvre forms the border between France and Italy. From Briançon the climb is 11km long and averages 4.5%. It is a lovely climb and is never too taxing. The descent towards the Colle di Sestriere is fast and flowing on a great road surface. However there are some long avalanche tunnels as shown below.

Tunnels on the descent of Montgenevre

Tunnels on the descent of Montgenevre