Col de Sarenne - Alpe d'Huez




Bike Ride

5991 ft

Begins in:
Bourg D'Oisans, France
Created By:
This is a loop for anyone who&#039;s already done Alpe d&#039;Huez and is looking for something more interesting in the Bourg d&#039;Oisans area. It&#039;s also considerably harder than the normal climb to Alpe d&#039;Huez, a climb that isn&#039;t nearly as difficult as myth would have it. Start point for this loop is near Allemond to provide some distance to warm up the legs before tackling the first ramps (and in fact the hardest part of the normal climb with 2 Ks averaging over 10%) up towards Alpe d&#039;Huez. First objective is the village of la Garde where you turn right and take a small road that traverses across the mountainside just above the big cliffs dropping vertically to the Oisans valley. Follow this road towards Auris but before arriving there, you&#039;ll see a road dropping right to la Balme. If you miss the turn, doesn&#039;t matter; just keep going to Auris then follow the road to le Freney d&#039;Oisans where you catch the Route Nationale heading towards the Col du Lautaret. Cross the damn and immediately afterwards turn left onto the road for Mizoen. <br> &lt;br&gt; <br> <br> &lt;br&gt; <br> The first K and then some instantly lets you know if your legs are in form or not with an average grade of 11,5%. Then life gets easy for a K, including a few hundred meters of steep descent, over 9%. Get all the acceleration you can here because that quick plunge is followed by 2 Ks at almost 10% to just shy of the village of Clavans-en-Haut-Oisans where you get almost 2 Ks of not far off flat climbing. Then it gets hard again with 7 sustained Ks of steep climbing. The last 3 plus Ks are a series of at times brutal ramps, some with grades in the low teens that can make you wonder why you came this way. At least until you stop staring at the road under your front wheel and gaze out at what is as fine a mountain vista as you&#039;ll ever find in the french Alps. Bring a camera along because the views will astound you plus you&#039;ll have a good excuse to stop from time to time to ostensibly take pictures rather than stopping to give your legs a break. A spectacular route in every respect. <br> &lt;br&gt; <br> <br> &lt;br&gt; <br> Then it&#039;s a very fast though not so smooth downhill for 3 Ks followed by another 3+ Ks of mixed easy climbs and short descents to the finish line of the Tour de France stage. Now you can really let the bike fly because from this point down the roadway is smooth (especially after the surface to and from the Col de Sarenne) and wide. Watch out for the switchbacks because they&#039;re way too tight for big speeds. And slow down when you&#039;re coming into Huez because that&#039;s where you&#039;re going to turn right to take a terrific road that rolls across the mountainside back to Allemond. This is the easy route up to Alpe d&#039;Huez with the majority of the distance featuring grades in the 6% range and even easier. The hardest K in fact is only around 8%. The result is a vastly more enjoyable descent than that on the normal Alpe d&#039;Huez road because you can really roll on the big ring without having to constantly brake hard for the switchbacks. <br> &lt;br&gt; <br> <br> &lt;br&gt; <br> All in all a great ride in my opinion and much more interesting that the standard route, both in terms of scenery and in the challenge department. But that said, if you haven&#039;t ridden the normal route to Alpe d&#039;Huez, do so if only because it&#039;s so historic and lets you know just how strong the pro riders really are. Or if you want to combine the two, Alpe d&#039;Huez and the Col de Sarenne, do the normal road to Alpe d&#039;Huez then just keep going to Col de Sarenne and do the rest of the described route in the reverse direction until la Garde where you can either turn left and drop down back to Bourg d&#039;Oisans or turn right and head up to Huez and the road across the mountain to Allemond.
Bike Ride


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Climb Details

Rating Start/End Points Length Start/End Elevation Avg Grade
Cat 1 4.86 mi/10.59 mi 5.73 mi 2,349 ft/4,206 ft 6.1%
Cat 5 12.52 mi/13.65 mi 1.12 mi 3,736 ft/3,961 ft 3.8%
Cat 1 15.39 mi/25.49 mi 10.09 mi 3,114 ft/6,555 ft 6.5%
Cat 5 27.48 mi/29.29 mi 1.81 mi 5,691 ft/6,058 ft 3.8%

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