Col du Télégraphe Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

6.3
FIETS
7.3 mi
DISTANCE
2,705 ft
GAINED
7.1 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

INTRO

Cycling Col du Télégraphe is the first leg of the longest cycling climb in France.  This climb (along with Galibier)  will be included in Stage 11 of the 2022 Tour de France, but categorized as 2 separate climbs.

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ROUTE MAP
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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Col du Télégraphe - wooden chalet style sign reading Valloire 

Cycling Col du Télégraphe

Ride 11.7 kilometers gaining 829 meters at 7.1% average grade.

We have documented the Col du Telegraphe PLUS route (Telegraphe + Galibier), but the true Col du Telegraphe climb is 11.7 km beginning in Saint-Martin-de-Maurienne.  Most cyclists use the Col du Télégraphe as a link to Col du Galibier, one of the most famous bike climbs in the world.

Cycling Col du Télégraphe - photo collage shows street signs along the climb

Climb begins in Saint-Michel-De-Maurienne which just south of the epic cycling center of Saint Jeanne de Maurienne.

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Cycling Col du Télégraphe - photo collage shows pastoral country scenes on first few KM of climb.

First few kilometers of the climb.

Cycling Col du Télégraphe - PJAMM Cyclist rides on side of roadway and takes selfie showing two tour busses passing him

Since this is the primary route to the popular ski resort town of Valloire, there can be a fair amount of traffic (and buses!) depending on the time of year and day you climb.

Cycling Col du Télégraphe - photo colage shows Valloire KM marker signs on side of roadway

Col du Télégraphe got its name from the television and radio towers near the summit.

Cycling Col du Télégraphe - photo collage shows street signs along the climb, one-lane roadway surrounded by greenery

The gradient is steady throughout and the steepest kilometer only 8.5%.

We are surrounded by forest much of the climb, which blocks the wind and makes for a calm and peaceful climb.  This is a contrast to Col du Galibier - the next climb on this route - which is above tree line most of the climb.

Cycling Col du Télégraphe - photo collage shows beautiful French Pyrenees mountain views along the climb, Maurienne Valley

There are some wonderful views of the Maurienne Valley as we climb.

Cycling Col du Télégraphe - photo collage of kilometer markers along the route

Kilometer monuments keep us informed of what’s ahead as we climb.

 Cycling Col du Télégraphe - photo collage shows kilometer markers along the route

Cycling Col du Télégraphe - photo collage, climb finish, Fort du Telegraphe, street signs

Have a meal or snack at Fort du Télégraphe at the finish.

Google Reviews.

CYCLING COL DU TÉLÉGRAPHE AND COL DU GALIBIER

Cycling Col du Télégraphe - photo collage, cyclists climb on two-lane roadway toward snow dotted mountain tops, PJAMM Cyclist stands with bike in front of green mountain views, road sign for Galibier

From Col du Télégraphe descend 4.8 kilometers at -3.5% (188m) to the ski resort of Valloire, and from there experience one of the greatest cycling experiences in France and the world - Col du Galibier.  The BIG climb (Telegraphe + Galibier South) elevates Telegraphe to one of the most challenging climb segments in France and ranks it high in the Top 200 World Climbs at 35.2 km (20.7 mi), 2,115 m (6,648’) ascent at 5.4% average grade (7.1% climb only - removing the Col du Telegraphe to Valloire descent).

Cycling Col du Télégraphe - photo collage, signs for Galibier, KM marker, large statue of elk 

Cycling Col du Télégraphe - photo collage shows green mountain views on the Galibier climb 

Cycling Col du Télégraphe - PJAMM Cyclist John Johnson poses with bike at mountaintop finish for Col du Galibier

COL DU TÉLÉGRAPHE APPEARANCES IN THE TOUR DE FRANCE

The Tour has made Col du Télégraphe a famous climb in France and the world, first appearing in the Tour in 1911, along with Col du Galibier (the highest point in any tour for a long time to come).   Riders of the TdF have ridden up or down this climb twenty times between 1947 and 202.  The 2022 tour will mark it’s twenty-first appearance.  Télégraphe is never a mountaintop finish and always a link to the mighty Col du Galibier.  

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