Col Agnel (2,744)


col de la cayolle cycling


Col Agnel, known as Colle dell’Agnello in Italian, is one of the highest paved mountain passes in the Alps and forms a border between southeastern France and Italy. At an elevation of 2,744 meters, it is the third highest paved pass in the Alps, offering riders a grueling yet spectacular ride through some of the most dramatic landscapes in the region.

Starting from Ville-Vieille in France, the climb to Col Agnel stretches approximately 21 kilometers. The ascent from this side is marked by its gradual increase in gradient, starting gently and becoming progressively steeper, with the last kilometers ramping up significantly. This side of the climb is characterized by long, sustained stretches of road with gradients that challenge even seasoned cyclists, especially as they near the summit. The scenery is truly spectacular. The Italian approach is known for its sharp turns and steeper gradients, providing a relentless challenge as cyclists ascend through the picturesque landscapes of the Italian Alps. The road snakes through the scenic Valle Varaita, with its lush valleys and rugged mountain vistas.

The environment along Col Agnel offers breathtaking views regardless of the starting point. As riders ascend, they transition from dense Alpine forests to barren, rocky landscapes near the summit. The pass provides panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, with the stark beauty of the high mountains as a constant companion.

Col Agnel has been featured in major cycling tours, including the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia, highlighting its significance and challenge. It attracts amateur cyclists and professionals alike who are eager to test their mettle on its slopes.