With a summit at 2645m above sea level and over 100 years worth of tales of the Tour de France to tell, the col du galibier is a true monument in cycling history.
First appearing in the Tour in 1911 and part of the 2017 parcours, the Galibier always offers drama.
The northern ascent starts with a 10k drag out of Valloire but the Galibier is usually ridden from Saint Michel de Maurienne to include the Col du Télégraphe giving it a total length of 35k with an average of around 6% and an elevation gain of over 2000m.
The southern side of the Galibier joins the Col du Lauteret which heads south into Briancon or north into Bourg d’Oisans, the town at the foot of Alpe d’Huez. This section is the latter part of the route of the Marmotte Sportive which takes place in July each year. For those training for that you will have the opportunity to ride the north ascent during your stay.
Near the tunnel at the summit on the south side there is a monument to Henri Desgrange, the first organiser and race director of the Tour de France. Desgrange was editor of L’Auto at the time and used the Tour as a way of increasing circulation of the publication. L’Auto was printed on yellow paper, hence the colour of the yellow jersey worn by the race leader.
Col du Galibier stats
Distance from Chalet Cairn: 120k (or 100k via Col de la Madeleine)
Length (Foot to summit, including Col du Télégraphe): 35k
Summit altitude: 2642m
Elevation gain: 2120m (including Col du Télégraphe)
Average gradient: 6.1%
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