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Col de la Bonette

France

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A beastly height of 2802m – this mountain is mythical.

Cycling climb Col de la Bonette
Cycling climb Col de la Bonette

In the French Alps near the border of Italy, Col de la Bonette sits at 2715m. The summit reaches high at 2802m. The loop around the top is one of the highest paved roads in the Alps.

From Jausiers, the 24km climb ascends 1589m with an average gradient 6.6% (max 9%).

Cycling climb Col de la Bonette
Cycling climb Col de la Bonette

On a road from Jausiers – passing small towns and cutting through farmers' fields, the first few kilometres give a gentle warmup.

Cycling climb Col de la Bonette
Cycling climb Col de la Bonette

Once an old mule route, the road then ascends through the trees with a mixture of both tight and wide bends.

Cycling climb Col de la Bonette
Cycling climb Col de la Bonette

Already at 1640m – ears start to pop, and the scenery is filled with waterfalls, bridges and abandoned barns. It is a 13% grade arriving up to the restaurant, Halt.

Cycling climb Col de la Bonette
Cycling climb Col de la Bonette
Cycling climb Col de la Bonette
Cycling climb Col de la Bonette

It is only after a few wide turns and a long stretch of a steady grade that the finish may seem near.

Cycling climb Col de la Bonette

Cycling climb Col de la Bonette

Nearing the top of the valley, the views and switchbacks create a range of emotions – this col is high, and it is long.

Cycling climb Col de la Bonette

A big change in landscape when you near the Col.

Cycling climb Col de la Bonette

The bunkers that are the remains of military action at the final kilometre marker make this ride a truly unique experience. Hidden in the black slate rock, the line of the road to the summit is eye-level.

Cycling climb Col de la Bonette
Cycling climb Col de la Bonette