Top 25 Deux Mille climbs

TOP 25 - BEST DEUX MILLE CLIMBS

Consensus list based on inputs from our members

TOP 25 OVER THE BEST DEUX MILLE CLIMBS

There are spectacular ones, there are tough ones and there are legendary ones. We have asked notable members to populate their list of best Deux Mille climbs, taking everything into consideration. Without further ado, here is the consensus list.

DISCUSS HERE

#25 COL DE LA CAYOLLE

From: Bayasse 
Altitude: 2,315 m
Length: 8.9 km
Avg. gradient: 5.9%

Keywords: Solitude. Rough landscape. More great climbs in the area. 

#24 CALAR ALTO

From: Gergal
Altitude: 2,156 m
Length: 23.1 km
Avg. gradient: 6.2% 

Keywords: Panoramic. Rough roads. Quiet. Dry landscape.

 

 

 

#23 STEINIGBODA

From: Nufenen 
Altitude: 2,018 m
Length: 4.8 km
Avg. gradient: 9.6%

Keywords: Hidden gem. Old farmer road, barely paved. Very steep.

#22 COLLADO SABINA

From: Visitantes El Dornajo
Altitude: 2,136 m
Length: 7.1 km
Avg. gradient: 6.7%

Keywords: Hipster climb. Side road from Granada to Sierra Nevada. Solitude.

#21 LAC BESSON (HUEZ)

From: Le Bourg d’Oisans
Altitude: 2,080 m
Length: 16.6 km
Avg. gradient: 7.4%

Keywords: The famous 21 hairpins of L’Alpe d’Huez plus four more kilometers.

#2O CROIX DE FER

From: Le Verney
Altitude: 2,067 m
Length: 23.6 km
Avg. gradient: 5.1%

Keywords: Iconic climb. Known from La Marmotte Grandfondo. Goes on forever.

#19 COL DU SANETSCH

From: Conthey
Altitude: 2,232 m
Length: 24.0 km
Avg. gradient: 6.9%

Keywords: Shifting landscape: vineyards, forest, switchbacks, the gletcher, tunnels in the rocks and the dam.

#18 ST GOTTHARD PASS

From: Hospental
Altitude: 2,091 m
Length: 9.0 km
Avg. gradient: 6.7%

Keywords: Cobblestone climb. 38 hairpins. Important north-south axis in Europe.

#17 PASSO GARDENA

From: Corvara
Altitude: 2,133 m
Length: 9.0 km
Avg. gradient: 6.3%

Keywords: TBA.

#16 PETIT ST BERNARD

From: Seez
Altitude: 2,188 m
Length: 27.1 km
Avg. gradient: 4.6%

Keywords: Long but easy climb. Picturesque. Bourg-Saint-Maurice is the home of Deux Mille climbs.

#15 SUSTENPASS

From: Gadmen
Altitude: 2,205 m
Length: 14.7 km
Avg. gradient: 7.1%

Keywords: Bucket list climb in Switzerland. Giant. Tunnels. Little traffic.

#14 COL DE LA BONETTE

From: Jausiers
Altitude: 2,715 m
Length: 22.0 km
Avg. gradient: 6.4%

Keywords: Second highest pass in France. Army monuments along the road. Legendary climb.

#13 COL MADELEINE

From: Frisson-sur-Isère
Altitude: 2,000 m
Length: 24.7 km
Avg. gradient: 6.1%

Keywords: Legendary. Beautiful. Never seems to end. One to be proud of. 

 

#12 PASSO PORDOI

From: Canazei
Altitude: 2,256 m
Length: 12.3 km
Avg. gradient: 6.6%

Keywords: Coppi momument. TBA.

#11 TRE CIME LAVAREDO

From: Cortina d’Ampezzo
Altitude: 2,279 m
Length: 21.5 km
Avg. gradient: 4.7%

Keywords: Very hard work. Tremendous scenery. Amazing place.

#10 COL DU SABOT

From: Le Verney
Altitude: 2,130 m
Length: 14.4 km
Avg. gradient: 9.0%

Keywords: Brutal. Solitude. Road to nowhere. Perfect.

#9 KAUNERTALER

From: Gepatsch Stausee
Altitude: 2,750 m
Length: 11.6 km
Avg. gradient: 8.3%

Keywords: Brutal climb. Steep. Solitude. Magnificent view at the top.

#8 SAN BERNARDINO 

From: Hinterrhein
Altitude: 2,066 m
Length: 7.7 km
Avg. gradient: 5.9%

Keywords: Short. Fun. Easy. Plenty of hairpins.

#7 PASSO GAVIA

From: Ponte di Legno
Altitude: 2,617 m
Length: 16.0 km
Avg. gradient: 8.1%

Keywords: Tunnels, forest, lakes, cracked roads, gletchers, long and never ending. The total package.

#6 COLLE DEL NIVOLET 

From: Borgiallo
Altitude: 2,587 m
Length: 15.4 km
Avg. gradient: 6.4%

Keywords: Extremely beautiful climb. Third highest pass in Italy. Great hairpins. Famous dams/lakes.

#5 COL DU GALIBIER

From: Valloire 
Altitude: 2,642 m
Length: 18.1 km
Avg. gradient: 6.8%

Keywords: Most popular Deux Mille climb. Epic. Rough. Relentless final half.

#4 COL DU TOURMALET 

From: Luz-Saint-Sauveur
Altitude: 2,115 m
Length: 18.9 km
Avg. gradient: 7.4%

Keywords: Becomes increasingly beautiful. Legendary Tour de France climb. Best in the Pyrenees.

#3 PASSO SELLA

From: Canazei
Altitude: 2,228 m
Length: 5.6 km
Avg. gradient: 7.3%

Keywords: The beauty of Sella Ronda.

 

 

 

#2 COL DE L’ISERAN 

From: Val d’Isere
Altitude: 2,770 m
Length: 13.8 km
Avg. gradient: 6.1%

Keywords: Highest pass in Europe. Stunning scenery. In the middle of a Deux Mille hotspot.

#1 PASSO STELVIO

From: Prato allo Stelvio
Altitude: 2,758 m
Length: 23.5 km
Avg. gradient: 7.7%

Keywords: Amazing looking up, amazing looking down. Valley-like landscape turns into 48 numbered hairpins. First through the forest, then, around bend 24, you will get that notorious view with the top visible almost 900 vertical metres above and still with 9k to go. From bend 14 and to the top you ride along the mountain wall. Equal numbered bends gives you a clear measurement of how far away to the top is. The last part has painted kilometer indicators on the road. All of a sudden, they are all there; souvenirs shops, restaurants, hundreds of bikers and the signs to prove you are finally there.

An absolute must-do climb for any col hunter.

 

OTHER BLOGS

Top 25 Deux Mille climbs

TOP 25 OVER THE BEST DEUX MILLE CLIMBS There are spectacular ones, there are tough ones and there are legendary ones. We have asked notable members to populate their list of best Deux Mille climbs, taking everything into consideration. Without further ado, here is the...

My first Deux Mille

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OUT OF RUNWAY With two weeks left until the start of La Marmotte 2019, I find myself out of runway. I want to be in greater shape, ride faster and lose more weight, before the race, but it is too late now. It is tapering time. We all need to believe that what we put...

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SPRING TIME IS HERE Time to get out on the open roads and get some miles in the bag. La Marmotte Alpes is a 8-11 hours race and while you do not have to simulate the hours, it is a good idea to build up endurance by doing longer and longer (time-wise) rides up to 5-6...

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TIME TO LOSE WEIGHT It almost feels like spring now. Time to get out on the open roads for those who do not mind a bit of cold. This is also where the change from relatively short and intense training sessions can be replaced by longer sessions, which will help on...

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IF IT JIGGLES, IT'S FAT Christmas time is over us and we all know what that means to the weight – and maybe even lack of efforts in a busy December. On the other hand, this is the time of the year, where we all hold the biggest motivation to get rid of the gained...

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FOLLOW A TRAINING PROGRAM THAT SUITS YOU We will start training towards LM19 this week, but first of all, we will establish our starting points: Tuesday: Weigh yourself in the morning Tuesday: Conduct a 20-minutes FTP test and write down your average power in watts....

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The most complete preparation for LM19 Come July 2019, we will be ready for the next huge Granfondo target; the Alp version of La Marmotte 2019. Once a month, starting 1 November, we will blog about the plans and progress of three athletes, who will be given their own...

Out of runway

LA MARMOTTE ALPES

Out of runway

OUT OF RUNWAY

With two weeks left until the start of La Marmotte 2019, I find myself out of runway. I want to be in greater shape, ride faster and lose more weight, before the race, but it is too late now. It is tapering time.

We all need to believe that what we put in of hours of training the last 4-8 months will be good enough. And of course it will be enough.

You can see the progress of our training partners in the Progress Table here. Also find the complete training programs here.

EXPECTATIONS

If Strava is to be believed, my fitness level is where it should be, but I reached fatigue level 100  during this week, which was quite alarming. I am backing down on training now, to be ready for the big day.

As per 22 June 2019, I have trained 103 hours since 1 November 2018. That is 84 hours less than I did in the same period last year, and 70 hours less than the year before that. Compared to the other years, I have done no altitude training either.

I am trying to prove a point with HIIT approach; quality in training instead of quantity. When I look at my friends, who hav done 235 hours of training in the same period, I have my doubts, but my numbers look right and I believe in them. It might not enough to beat them, but it should be enough to beat the man in the mirror. I aim for 9h 30m. In 2018 I did it in 10h 08m.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

OTHER BLOGS

Top 25 Deux Mille climbs

TOP 25 OVER THE BEST DEUX MILLE CLIMBS There are spectacular ones, there are tough ones and there are legendary ones. We have asked notable members to populate their list of best Deux Mille climbs, taking everything into consideration. Without further ado, here is the...

Out of runway

OUT OF RUNWAY With two weeks left until the start of La Marmotte 2019, I find myself out of runway. I want to be in greater shape, ride faster and lose more weight, before the race, but it is too late now. It is tapering time. We all need to believe that what we put...

The race card

10 weeks to go You can almost feel it now. The roads are packed with riders, the weather is (occasionally) great and all you need now is to put in the miles each of the last ten weeks leading up to La Marmotte. Easy, right?! Follow the progress of our users in the...

To the finish line

SPRING TIME IS HERE Time to get out on the open roads and get some miles in the bag. La Marmotte Alpes is a 8-11 hours race and while you do not have to simulate the hours, it is a good idea to build up endurance by doing longer and longer (time-wise) rides up to 5-6...

Conquering the beast

TIME TO LOSE WEIGHT It almost feels like spring now. Time to get out on the open roads for those who do not mind a bit of cold. This is also where the change from relatively short and intense training sessions can be replaced by longer sessions, which will help on...

From Glandon to Telegraphe

OUT OF EXCUSESWe are all running out of excuses, if we want to be in the best of shapes at the starting line in July. Progress must start no later than now. While we wait for better weather, which is probably still 6-8 weeks away, spend the time on core strengths...

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IF IT JIGGLES, IT'S FAT Christmas time is over us and we all know what that means to the weight – and maybe even lack of efforts in a busy December. On the other hand, this is the time of the year, where we all hold the biggest motivation to get rid of the gained...

Improvements all around

IMPROVEMENTS! What a start to our joint preparations for LM19! All members who have submitted their FTP test scores have improved after four weeks of training. It would premature to jump to conclusions already, but here are some early pros and cons on our three...

Let the training begin

FOLLOW A TRAINING PROGRAM THAT SUITS YOU We will start training towards LM19 this week, but first of all, we will establish our starting points: Tuesday: Weigh yourself in the morning Tuesday: Conduct a 20-minutes FTP test and write down your average power in watts....

Preparing for La Marmotte Alpes

The most complete preparation for LM19 Come July 2019, we will be ready for the next huge Granfondo target; the Alp version of La Marmotte 2019. Once a month, starting 1 November, we will blog about the plans and progress of three athletes, who will be given their own...

The race card

LA MARMOTTE ALPES

The race card

10 weeks to go

You can almost feel it now. The roads are packed with riders, the weather is (occasionally) great and all you need now is to put in the miles each of the last ten weeks leading up to La Marmotte. Easy, right?!

Follow the progress of our users in the Progress Table here. Also find the updated training programs here.

THE RACE CARD 

Based on the last four months of blogging (see below,) here is our La Marmotte race card recommendation. See it as our piece of advice to those who have not done the race before. Of course, you are the expert. You know how you perform best.

Strava segment Distance Total Gradient Recommendation
Depart Marmotte (to dam switchbacks) 10.5 10.5 -1% Suck wheels.
Allemond to the foot of Glandon 5.5 16.0 2% Feed well.
To Rivier d’Allemont 5.8 21.8 8% Patience. It is a long race.
Glandon from the river  13.0 37.4 6% Do not get into red.
Descent from Glandon 19.6 57.0 0% Neutralised. Feed well.
False flat to Telegraphe 22.5 79.5 1% Suck wheels.
Col du Telegraphe 12.1 91.6 6% Maintain 70-75% of your FTP
Valloire to Plan Lachat 10.1 106.3 6% Have easily digestive things in your pockets.
Plan Lachat to Sommet du Galibier 7.9 114.2 8% Keep it going.
Galibier top to foot of Alpe d’Huez 48.3 162.5 -1% Save energy for the last climb.
L’Alpe d’Huez (finish) 13.0 175.5 8% Fill your bottles with pure water. Grind it out.

 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

OTHER BLOGS

Top 25 Deux Mille climbs

TOP 25 OVER THE BEST DEUX MILLE CLIMBS There are spectacular ones, there are tough ones and there are legendary ones. We have asked notable members to populate their list of best Deux Mille climbs, taking everything into consideration. Without further ado, here is the...

Out of runway

OUT OF RUNWAY With two weeks left until the start of La Marmotte 2019, I find myself out of runway. I want to be in greater shape, ride faster and lose more weight, before the race, but it is too late now. It is tapering time. We all need to believe that what we put...

The race card

10 weeks to go You can almost feel it now. The roads are packed with riders, the weather is (occasionally) great and all you need now is to put in the miles each of the last ten weeks leading up to La Marmotte. Easy, right?! Follow the progress of our users in the...

To the finish line

SPRING TIME IS HERE Time to get out on the open roads and get some miles in the bag. La Marmotte Alpes is a 8-11 hours race and while you do not have to simulate the hours, it is a good idea to build up endurance by doing longer and longer (time-wise) rides up to 5-6...

Conquering the beast

TIME TO LOSE WEIGHT It almost feels like spring now. Time to get out on the open roads for those who do not mind a bit of cold. This is also where the change from relatively short and intense training sessions can be replaced by longer sessions, which will help on...

From Glandon to Telegraphe

OUT OF EXCUSESWe are all running out of excuses, if we want to be in the best of shapes at the starting line in July. Progress must start no later than now. While we wait for better weather, which is probably still 6-8 weeks away, spend the time on core strengths...

The patient ride to Glandon

IF IT JIGGLES, IT'S FAT Christmas time is over us and we all know what that means to the weight – and maybe even lack of efforts in a busy December. On the other hand, this is the time of the year, where we all hold the biggest motivation to get rid of the gained...

Improvements all around

IMPROVEMENTS! What a start to our joint preparations for LM19! All members who have submitted their FTP test scores have improved after four weeks of training. It would premature to jump to conclusions already, but here are some early pros and cons on our three...

Let the training begin

FOLLOW A TRAINING PROGRAM THAT SUITS YOU We will start training towards LM19 this week, but first of all, we will establish our starting points: Tuesday: Weigh yourself in the morning Tuesday: Conduct a 20-minutes FTP test and write down your average power in watts....

Preparing for La Marmotte Alpes

The most complete preparation for LM19 Come July 2019, we will be ready for the next huge Granfondo target; the Alp version of La Marmotte 2019. Once a month, starting 1 November, we will blog about the plans and progress of three athletes, who will be given their own...

To the finish line

LA MARMOTTE ALPES

To the finish line

SPRING TIME IS HERE

Time to get out on the open roads and get some miles in the bag. La Marmotte Alpes is a 8-11 hours race and while you do not have to simulate the hours, it is a good idea to build up endurance by doing longer and longer (time-wise) rides up to 5-6 hours.

Follow the progress of our users in the Progress Table here. Also find the updated training programs here.

TO THE FINISH LINE

 

By the time you reach the top of Col du Galibier, you will be very tired. Chances are your legs will cramp, you will feel hungry but have a hard time digesting anything and you will walk around feeling dizzy. The good news is that you are about to start a massive 48 kilometers descent to Le Bourg d’Oisans, by the foot of Alpe d’Huez. 

In general, La Marmotte consists of four main segments:

  • Part 1: Le-Bourg-d’Oisans to Col du Glandon (40 km)
  • Part 2: Col du Glandon to Col du Telegraphe (45 km)
  • Part 3: Col du Telegraphe to Col du Galibier (23 km)
  • Part 4: Col du Galibier to L’Alpe d’Huez (66 km)

 

CONCENTRATE

The whole concept of getting a 70-90 minutes break from pedalling and climbing is, at this point, the best value proposition in the world. Beware of not taking chances. You are tired and small mistakes can have a huge impact on the descent. 

I cannot remember a more scenic view than the one you get from Galibier through Col du Lautaret and further down to the small town of La Grave. It is amazing. Particularly the La Meije gletscher. The first 20 kilometers of the descent requires nothing but concentration. After that, it will be more hilly, but still mostly descending. Groups will establish themselves and split again. 

Lessons learned from LM18: It was hard to eat anything at the top of Galibier. I wish I had filled my pockets with food and salty crackers, and eaten it on the easier parts of the descent. Do not follow groups that are way quicker than you. Save your energy for the last climb. You will need it.

You have done about 48-50 kilometers of climbing to get to the last climb. Only 13 kilometers left. That is a great motivation. To be honest, it is a brutal climb to finish with. While the first 2.5 kilometers to La Garde are very steep (10% average,) at least they are done with some enthusiasm. It is the boring middle section that is mentally tough and in the baking sun, you will appreciate any wind; even a strong headwind.

The good news is that you will not experience any sudden attacks from the peloton. Everybody are as cooked as you. After 12 kilometers you will get to the tourist finish line and get a very short break. From there, you know you made it. The ride through the town to the finish line is a formality and crossing the line is a proud moment.  

Lessons learned from LM18: Fill your bottles with pure water at the feed zone by the foot of Alpe d’Huez. I went for energy drinks and my stomache hated me all the way up. Moreover I needed water to cool my self down in the sun, but did not have any.

The Alpe d’Huez climb is available on Bkool for home trainers.

 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

OTHER BLOGS

Top 25 Deux Mille climbs

TOP 25 OVER THE BEST DEUX MILLE CLIMBS There are spectacular ones, there are tough ones and there are legendary ones. We have asked notable members to populate their list of best Deux Mille climbs, taking everything into consideration. Without further ado, here is the...

Out of runway

OUT OF RUNWAY With two weeks left until the start of La Marmotte 2019, I find myself out of runway. I want to be in greater shape, ride faster and lose more weight, before the race, but it is too late now. It is tapering time. We all need to believe that what we put...

The race card

10 weeks to go You can almost feel it now. The roads are packed with riders, the weather is (occasionally) great and all you need now is to put in the miles each of the last ten weeks leading up to La Marmotte. Easy, right?! Follow the progress of our users in the...

To the finish line

SPRING TIME IS HERE Time to get out on the open roads and get some miles in the bag. La Marmotte Alpes is a 8-11 hours race and while you do not have to simulate the hours, it is a good idea to build up endurance by doing longer and longer (time-wise) rides up to 5-6...

Conquering the beast

TIME TO LOSE WEIGHT It almost feels like spring now. Time to get out on the open roads for those who do not mind a bit of cold. This is also where the change from relatively short and intense training sessions can be replaced by longer sessions, which will help on...

From Glandon to Telegraphe

OUT OF EXCUSESWe are all running out of excuses, if we want to be in the best of shapes at the starting line in July. Progress must start no later than now. While we wait for better weather, which is probably still 6-8 weeks away, spend the time on core strengths...

The patient ride to Glandon

IF IT JIGGLES, IT'S FAT Christmas time is over us and we all know what that means to the weight – and maybe even lack of efforts in a busy December. On the other hand, this is the time of the year, where we all hold the biggest motivation to get rid of the gained...

Improvements all around

IMPROVEMENTS! What a start to our joint preparations for LM19! All members who have submitted their FTP test scores have improved after four weeks of training. It would premature to jump to conclusions already, but here are some early pros and cons on our three...

Let the training begin

FOLLOW A TRAINING PROGRAM THAT SUITS YOU We will start training towards LM19 this week, but first of all, we will establish our starting points: Tuesday: Weigh yourself in the morning Tuesday: Conduct a 20-minutes FTP test and write down your average power in watts....

Preparing for La Marmotte Alpes

The most complete preparation for LM19 Come July 2019, we will be ready for the next huge Granfondo target; the Alp version of La Marmotte 2019. Once a month, starting 1 November, we will blog about the plans and progress of three athletes, who will be given their own...

Conquering the beast

LA MARMOTTE ALPES

Conquering the beast

TIME TO LOSE WEIGHT

It almost feels like spring now. Time to get out on the open roads for those who do not mind a bit of cold. This is also where the change from relatively short and intense training sessions can be replaced by longer sessions, which will help on losing weight.

For those of us sensitive to cold, the home trainer might be the preferred partner for another month or so. It does not change the fact that training sessions need to be longer, if weight loss is in scope. Either way, get your intervals incorporated in your rides. Basically, they built your strength, while time in the saddle will help you lose weight.

Follow the progress of our users in the Progress Table here. Also find the updated training programs here.

TACKLING THE GIANT

So you made it to the top of Col du Télégraphe!? Good, but the race has not really started yet. There is no food at the top. Get some water, then descent to Valloire and start the Galibier climb. After five to ten minutes you will get to the feeding zone in Les Verneys. 

In general, La Marmotte consists of four main segments:

  • Part 1: Le-Bourg-d’Oisans to Col du Glandon (40 km)
  • Part 2: Col du Glandon to Col du Telegraphe (45 km)
  • Part 3: Col du Telegraphe to Col du Galibier (23 km)
  • Part 4: Col du Galibier to L’Alpe d’Huez (66 km)

“The race starts at Plan Lanchat”

Télégraphe is somewhat the start of the whole Galibier climb, which adds up 35 kilometers from St Michel de Maurienne to the top. 31 kilometers are uphill. It is 18 kilometers from Valloire to Galibier, and with no more help; no descents, no flats, just up up up.

I have heard people calling this segment a false flat. It makes no sense. It has the same average gradient as Télégraphe. The reason why it can be perceived as “flat” is because it is mostly a long, straight road that goes on forever and offers very little joy. The feed zone is located in Les Verneys, two kilometers from Valloire. The next, and last, benchmark before Plan Lachat are the two switchbacks after five kilometers. From there, it is a five kilometers drag to where the race really starts.

Lessons learned from LM18: It was a mentally tough segment, maybe because I thought it would be easier. I kept looking at the gradients on my Garmin Edge in despair. It sounds bizarre, but I was looking forward to the next, tougher segment, because at least I knew what to expect then. I needed salt badly. A piece of advice is to fill your pockets with salty crackers and other easily digestible things from the feed zone.

“The race starts at Plan Lachat,” some say. You will not doubt, when this segment starts. A sharp turn right over a bridge and the climb immediately gets even more intimidating. The first kilometer is great, because it is something different. It has switchbacks, the scenery is jaw-dropping and the view over hundreds of struggling riders below you will keep you going. After that, it is pure pain, where every kilometer mark is a benchmark for progress. The last kilometer before the tunnel consists of quick switchbacks, which is a nice change. From the tunnel to the top, it is a brutally steep kilometer, but at least you know it is the end of the climb.  

Lessons learned from LM18: It is really hard to give any piece of advice here. Keep it going. Do not stop. Get out of the saddle every now and then to stretch the legs. You cannot bluff your way through this segment. 

The Col du Galibier from Valloire climb is available on Bkool for home trainers.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

OTHER BLOGS

Top 25 Deux Mille climbs

TOP 25 OVER THE BEST DEUX MILLE CLIMBS There are spectacular ones, there are tough ones and there are legendary ones. We have asked notable members to populate their list of best Deux Mille climbs, taking everything into consideration. Without further ado, here is the...

Out of runway

OUT OF RUNWAY With two weeks left until the start of La Marmotte 2019, I find myself out of runway. I want to be in greater shape, ride faster and lose more weight, before the race, but it is too late now. It is tapering time. We all need to believe that what we put...

The race card

10 weeks to go You can almost feel it now. The roads are packed with riders, the weather is (occasionally) great and all you need now is to put in the miles each of the last ten weeks leading up to La Marmotte. Easy, right?! Follow the progress of our users in the...

To the finish line

SPRING TIME IS HERE Time to get out on the open roads and get some miles in the bag. La Marmotte Alpes is a 8-11 hours race and while you do not have to simulate the hours, it is a good idea to build up endurance by doing longer and longer (time-wise) rides up to 5-6...

Conquering the beast

TIME TO LOSE WEIGHT It almost feels like spring now. Time to get out on the open roads for those who do not mind a bit of cold. This is also where the change from relatively short and intense training sessions can be replaced by longer sessions, which will help on...

From Glandon to Telegraphe

OUT OF EXCUSESWe are all running out of excuses, if we want to be in the best of shapes at the starting line in July. Progress must start no later than now. While we wait for better weather, which is probably still 6-8 weeks away, spend the time on core strengths...

The patient ride to Glandon

IF IT JIGGLES, IT'S FAT Christmas time is over us and we all know what that means to the weight – and maybe even lack of efforts in a busy December. On the other hand, this is the time of the year, where we all hold the biggest motivation to get rid of the gained...

Improvements all around

IMPROVEMENTS! What a start to our joint preparations for LM19! All members who have submitted their FTP test scores have improved after four weeks of training. It would premature to jump to conclusions already, but here are some early pros and cons on our three...

Let the training begin

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From Glandon to Telegraphe

LA MARMOTTE ALPES

From Glandon to Telegraphe

OUT OF EXCUSES

We are all running out of excuses, if we want to be in the best of shapes at the starting line in July. Progress must start no later than now. While we wait for better weather, which is probably still 6-8 weeks away, spend the time on core strengths training, i.e. intervals. The longer rides can be used for losing weight, but longer rides are more inspiring outside than on a home trainer.  

Follow the progress of our users in the Progress Table here. Also find the updated training programs here.

SAVING ENERGY FOR GALIBIER

Last month, we looked at the first part of La Marmotte; from Le Bourg d’Oisans to the top of Col du Glandon.This time, we are looking at the second part of the race; the 45 kilometers from the top of Col du Glandon to the top of Col du Telegraphe.  

In general, La Marmotte consists of four main segments:

  • Part 1: Le-Bourg-d’Oisans to Col du Glandon (40 km)
  • Part 2: Col du Glandon to Col du Telegraphe (45 km)
  • Part 3: Col du Telegraphe to Col du Galibier (23 km)
  • Part 4: Col du Galibier to L’Alpe d’Huez (66 km)

Saving energy for Galibier

You arrived at Col du Glandon, hopefully with a lot left in the tank. Glandon is a stressful place. Hundreds of other riders are either just standing there, crossing the road, leaving their bikes for photo sessions, refilling water bottles or emptying their bladders. Chaos.

The time is neutralized when you arrive at Glandon. Feed well in the zone. Take it easy on the very steep descent. Really!.

Lessons learned from LM18: It is almost impossible to eat on the descent, since it is so steep and technical. Even if it is crowded and stressful at the top of Glandon, eat something solid. Then descent in a controlled manner.

Before the time starts again in Saint Etienne de Cuines, get dressed for the 23 kilometers in the valley and feed one more time, so you do not have to struggle with that while riding. This transport section in the valley is more hilly than expected and less inspiring than desired. Groups will form and groups will dissolve. The best piece of advice is to suck wheels. Do not spend energy on staying in a group that is bit too fast for you. 

Lessons learned from LM18: Suck wheels. Never mind if you lose a bit of time here, if it means you have saved energy for the climbs ahead of you. Do not spend time on water refilling at the foot of Telegraphe, if you feel you have enough for 50-75 minutes of climbing. Try to get some salt. You are going to need it. 

From the bottom of Col du Telegraphe to the top of Col du Galibier you will get 30 kilometers of climbing. People tend to say that Telegraphe is easy, but the first half of it equals the average gradient of Alpe d’Huez; 8.5%. You are exposed to sunlight and that can be one more tough factor to the climb. The climb becomes a tad easier towards to the end, especially the last 3 kilometers. 

Lessons learned from LM18: Be boring and try to maintain 70-75% of your FTP up to Telegraphe. There is no food at the top, which I panicked about myself. Get some water, then descent to Valloire and start the Galibier climb. After five minutes you will get to the feeding zone. Put something easily digestive food in your pockets. I wish I had taken salty crackers.

The Col du Telegraphe climb is available on Bkool for home trainers.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

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