Cycling Col de la Loze from Meribel
Ride 22 kilometers gaining 1,690 meters at 7.7% average grade.
This magnificent climb is located in the heart of French Ski Country and in the Graian Alps subrange of the French Alps. Col de la Loze is one of the best cycling experiences in Europe, as much of its length is on a roadway dedicated exclusively to cyclists, and it is ranked the hardest bike climb in France.
Road markers each kilometer.
Photo: Starting km marker.
The final kilometer marker is located at the Vallee de Courchevel ski resort.
Summit in cycling season . . .
. . . summit in ski season.
We ride to the top of the mountain . . . no trams for us!
The below Climb Summary was written by Ties Arts, Netherlands (photographs by Ard Oostra, Switzerland):
The cycling world is dynamic and so popular these days. In les Trois Valles in France there is an ambitious plan. A plan to connect les Trois Vallees (which includes the well known ski destinations of Courchevel, Meribel, and Les Menuires) not only via skis but also with visitors on two wheels! The purpose is to make this very popular winter site more attractive during the rest of the seasons for cyclists.
The first step is connecting Meribel with Courchavel. And so Col de la Loze was born, with 2304m altitude. Col de la Loze is the third highest col in Savoie area (after the well know Col de I’Iseran (2770m) and the Galibier (2642m).
Nothing beats the Col de L’Iseran for altitude, but . . .
Col du Galibier is not far behind (below . . . )!
Col de la Loze already existed before this plan, although the last 6 kilometers from both the east and west side were not paved. These have been paved recently and are accessible only to cyclists - a true cyclist’s heaven!!
There is an excellent 51 kilometer loop beginning and ending in Brides les Bains which should be done counter-clockwise to approach the col from the north. This approach is the most difficult one, at 22 kilometers gaining 1,690 meters at 7.7% average grade (15% steepest ½ kilometer; 12.3% steepest 1 kilometer).
This is a beast of a climb with many nice hairpins saving the best for last: 8.2 kilometers at 9% after passing Meribel.
This climb is a wonderful, unique and epic experience.
That’s a wrap!
Thank you Ard!
Col de la Loze - host to Stage 8 of the Tour of L’Avenier
23 kilometer time trial up France’s top ranked bike climb.
Photo: Tour de L’Avenir
Tour de l’Avenir (“Tour of the Future”) is a race similar to the Tour de France, but for amateurs and semi-professionals. It has been won by TdF-to-be champions Felice Gimondi (‘64), Joop Zoetemeik (‘69), Greg Lemond (‘82), Miguel Indurain (‘86), Laurent Fignon (‘88), Nairo Quintana (‘10) and Egan Bernal (‘17).