Cycling Col du Granon
Ride 11.4 kilometers gaining 1,100 meters at 9.7% average grade.
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 that year became the first American to win the Tour de France.
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 mildly travelled through this brief but challenging climb.
Early into the climb (mile 1/km 1.6), we encounter five big switchbacks over 2.4 miles (3.9km) with an average grade of 9%.
Views southeast towards Saint-Chaffrey.
Saint-Chaffrey is a commune in Hautes-Alpes Department of France just five kilometers northwest of the cycling mecca of Briancon. You can read more about this area on the PJAMM Briancon Climb Area Page. The Tour de France finished in Saint-Chaffrey in 1974, 1975, 1986, and 1993, and started there in 1980 and 1993.
KM markers along the route.
Ski runs fill the mountainsides in this area.
Buildings just below the finish.
Cafe at the top -- Buvette du Granon.