Alpe d’Huez


Alpe h’Duez.  Is this the world’s toughest climb – 13.8 km with an average grade of 8.1% (maximum 13%), an elevation gain of 1071 meters and 21 hairpin turns?  It is beyond categorization.  An HC climb.  Hors catégorie.

I marvel every time I watch the Tour de France riders struggle up this climb and, every time I see selfies at the summit taken by enthusiastic, recreational cyclists that completed it.  I have 2 local mountains about the same length with an average 6% grade.  I have climbed them both and they are challenge enough.

Do I need to add this to my Cycling Bucket List?

10 thoughts on “Alpe d’Huez

  1. Not when they can do that in a half hour. They’ve got some 20-25% climbs in there that really bring out the pain faces. I wouldn’t say that it’s the toughest so much as it’s a cool classic climb.

  2. Hi PedalWORKS, I’m afraid Larry is probably right – looks like the Stelvio Pass to me. Stelvio is far more beautiful than Alp d’Huez, but d’Huez has featured on so many TdF and is certainly an iconic ride. I would suggest putting the route of the Marmotte on your bucket list as it takes in many of the best climbs in that area of the Alps including Alp d’Huez and they often feature in the TdF if they complete a stage on d’Huez. At 110 miles and with over 5000m of climb the Marmotte is a bit of a beast, but if you spend a week based in the area (I recommend Bourg d’Oisans) then you can happily work your way over many of the passes/climbs 🙂

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