Col du Granon has been featured in the Tour de France only once, but wow, did it make a splash in 1986. It was on the Col du Granon that Greg Lemond worked with Swiss rider Urs Zimmermann to open a gap on his teammate, Bernard Hinault, and wrest the yellow jersey from him by finishing 3:21 ahead of Hinault. As we know, LeMond never gave the jersey up after that and became the first American to win the Tour de France in 1986.
We begin this climb on the opposite side of the valley from several ski resorts around Le Villard Laté. We see the steep slopes of Serre Chevalier to our north and behind us as we climb for 5.8 steep miles (9.3 kilometers). The views are quite nice and the road very little travelled through this brief but challenging climb.
Early into the climb (mile 1/km 1.6), we encounter 5 big switchbacks over 2.4 miles (3.9km) with an average grade of 9%.
The steepest quarter mile (14.4%) and ½ kilometer (13.85%) are located in the final 800 meters of the climb.
Cafe at the top