Cormet de Roselend (Beaufort-Col du Pre) Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

6.9
FIETS
15.6 mi
DISTANCE
4,836 ft
GAINED
4.9 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Ard Oostra, Switzerland.

INTRO

Cormet de Roseland has been included in the Tour de France 10 times since 1979.

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ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Strenuous
4
Road
4
Traffic
5
Scenery

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Apr 2, 2021
difficulty: Strenuous
scenery: 5
traffic: 4
road: 4
Apr 2, 2021
scenery: 5
traffic: 4
road: 4
This is the better route to take to do the Cormet de Roselend from Beaufort. The Col de Pre takes you on some narrow country roads with lovely Alpine scenery and not so much traffic. After the top you get a lovely view of the reservoir and then you descend and ride along it, including crossing the dam (the flatter parts on the profile). Beware that there are significant 10%+ stretches on narrow roads after Areches on the Col de Pre.
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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Cormet de Roselend - summit sign and road, mountains

Cycling Cormet de Roselend from Beaufort

Ride 20.1 kilometers gaining 1,198 meters at 5.9% average grade (6.3% climb only).

Cormet de Roseland is a popular and well known cycling climb located in the Savoy Alps region of the European Alps in northeastern France, near its borders with Switzerland (to the north) and Italy (to the east).

Cycling Cormet de Roseland: photo collage shows views looking down over roads winding through green mountainsides; yellow and white Tour de France kilometer markers, old historic town of Beaufort

We pass Lac de Roselend on the two Cormet de Roselend routes that begin in Beaufort.

Cycling Cormet de Roseland, France: photo collage shows informational and street signs along the route, including signs for Beaufort and Bourg St Maurice; beautiful river runs parallel to roadway

Starting from the charming town of Beaufort, you'll begin your journey by gradually climbing through picturesque alpine landscapes. As you pedal your way up, you'll be surrounded by lush green meadows, dense forests, and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The road is well-maintained, but you should be prepared for some steep sections and switchbacks as you gain elevation.

photo collage shows lush green forestation and grasses lining two-lane roadway; Tour de France kilometer marker shows 8% grade at km 18

Cormet means col or “pass” in the local dialect.  The col can be reached on the north side from Beaufort (famous for its Beaufort cheese) in the Beaufortain valley (via either the main route on D925, or by way of Col du Pre), or from the south side from Bourg-Saint-Maurice, which is on the route from northern France and Britain to the world famous ski areas of Val d’Isère and Tignes.  

photo collage shows multiple yellow and white Tour de France kilometer markers nestled in greenery on roadside along climb route

No doubt due to its frequent appearance in the Tour de France, there are markers each kilometer along the climb.

photo collage shows picturesque views along climb route, lush greenery along roadways, beautiful alpine vistas, and waterfalls cascading down huge rock faces on mountainsides; switchback along roadway

The steepest kilometer begins at km 5 and averages 8.7%.  Fifteen kilometers of this 20 kilometer climb average between 5% and 10% grade.

photo collage shows informational and road signs along route, and beautiful green mountainsides with large rock slabs peeking through grass

photo collage shows waterfalls, green pastures, and tranquil rivers as some of the scenic views visible on the Cormet de Roseland climb

photo collage shows turquoise waters of Lake Roseland

One of the highlights of cycling Cormet de Roselend is the stunning Lake Roselend, which you'll encounter along the way. The vibrant turquoise color of the lake contrasts beautifully with the rugged mountain peaks, creating a truly picturesque setting.

pastoral views of Lake Roseland, the Roseland Dam, and the lush green pastures surrounding it

The Roselend Dam was completed in 1962.  It's worth taking a moment to stop and appreciate the scenery before continuing your ascent.

photo collage shows the Chapel de Roseland, a small stone chapel overlooking the turquoise waters of Lake Roseland

Chapel de Roselend at kilometer 13.4.

photo collage shows bright orange and blue butterflies painted on roadway and concrete walls along climb route

There are a few locations along the climb where butterflies have been painted.

photo collage shows PJAMM Cyclist Ard Oostra standing next to road sign for Col du Meraillet

We pass over Col du Méraillet at kilometer 11.

PJAMM cyclist Ard Oostra on his ascent up Cormet de Roseland; green hillsides and stunning rock faces

The final 5.5 kilometers of the climb average 6.3%.  The rock formations, streams, and meadow views along this segment are sensational.

photo collage shows beautiful alpine setting, bright green hillsides and snow-capped mountaintops in distance

photo collage shows signs for Cormet de Roseland, road painted to read "Sagan the Great"

The tour has passed over this spot 14 times as of 2023.

PJAMM Cyclist Ard Oostra stands next to signs for Col du Meraillet and Cormet de Roseland

Thank you Ard!

Cormet de Roselend is a TdF fixture.

TOUR DE FRANCE HISTORY

2023 Tour de France, Stage 17 - letour.fr

Cormet de Roseland will be included in the 2023 Tour de France on July 19, 2023, at stage 17.  As of 2023, Roseland has been featured in 14 TdFs between 1979 and 2023, most recently in 2021 with Nairo Quintana of Colombia leading over the summit.

Stage 9 July 11, 1995 - Le Grand Bornand - La Plagne, 160 km

 

Alex Zulle wins Stage 9 04:41:18 by 00:02:02 over Indurain.

Photo:  90scycling.com

In 1995’s TdF, still with 50 kilometers to go, Alex Zulle made a solo break at the base of the Cormet in an effort to beat the fabled cyclist Miguel Indurain, who he was four minutes 29 seconds behind at the beginning of the stage.  Zulle won the stage in 02:02 from Indurain and thereby catapulted himself from ninth to second in the overall classification. Indurain went on to win his fifth straight and final TdF, while Zulle kept his place until the end, standing second on the podium in Paris on July 23, four minutes 35 seconds behind Indurain.

Stage 7 July 6, 1996 - Chambery - Les Arcs, 200 km

July 6, 1996 is a significant day in Tour de France history -- one that secured this col indelibly in the minds of professional cycling fans for many years to come.  Ten years had passed since a Frenchman had worn the maillot jaune into Paris.  On this day, France’s national road race champion, Stéphane Heulo, was wearing the yellow jersey for the third straight day, but with undisclosed knee trouble and major alpine climbs of Col du Madeleine, Cormet and Les Arcs ahead, Heulo began the day with quiet trepidation.  Heulo lost the leaders in sleet riding up the Madeleine, but with heroic effort caught them on the long northern descent to Albertville, but ultimately had to abandon the Tour and the chance at glory just two kilometers from the summit of Cormet de Roseland.

 

Stéphane Heulo (FR) led the Tour for three days before withdrawing two kilometers from the top of Cormet.

Photo:  rallyuhcccycling.com 

Other noteworthy events of the day were Johan Bruyneel’s terrifying crash wherein he flew off the Cormet and down a steep cliff, and Miguel Indurain cracking for the first time in his Tour career (he had before then won the last five TdFs).

Johan Bruyneel, climbing, missed a left turn and flew off the road.

Photo:  nieuwsblad.be

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