The belle of the Alps.
In the Savoie region of the Alps, the Madeleine delivers a high mountain pass with magnificent views. Although never a stage finish, it is renowned for its special appearances in the Tour de France. Via Notre-Dame de Briançon, the climb is 24.5km, ascending 1543m to 2000m altitude. It averages 6.3% gradient with sections over 10%. It is a fairly steady climb.
It starts with gentle switchbacks, green pastures and alpine forests; it goes over stone bridges and around the sides of the mountain with cascading waterfalls.
After Les Granges and up to Bonneval, the road paces – even a slight descent. It's a roll past Villard Benoit and up into Le Crozat. A short mid-section when everything opens up.
At 10 km to go, things ramp up, and in Celliers there’s an option to fill bottles – before things really ramp up.
It is between 7km - 4km to go, things further open up, with far reaching views of meadows and peaks.
A special appearance of Mont Blanc. The final km is particularly stunning.
A view to the other side is the Glacier de Saint-Sorlin. And a great place to enjoy refueling.
Sant Pere de Rodes
From sea to monastery. In riding back over 1000 years as you climb from the sea to a monastery built in 878 BC – this climb is both enchanting and rewarding. It ticks all the boxes.