Cycling Alpe d'Huez Bourg d'Oisans

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Alpe d'Huez - Bourg d'Oisans

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Basic data & ranking

Average grade: 8.1 %

Length: 13.2 km

Height start: 744 m

Height top: 1815 m

Elevation gain: 1071 m

Maximum: 10.6 %

Alpe d'Huez rankings

Difficulty ranking world: 643 (all)
Ranking France: 114 (all)
Ranking Alps: 246 (all)
Difficulty score: 124.44 what?

Alpe d'Huez ratings

(4.5) Overall

(3.5) Road

(2) Traffic

(3) Amenities

(4) Surroundings

(rate it)

 
Description

Alpe Dhuez souvenir

Alpe d'Huez is one of the top climbs of the Tour de France. The Alpine village owes its fame to the "Grand boucle". In itself, it is certainly not the toughest climb in the French Alps.

The average percentage is quite high for a climb to a ski area, but with a length of 13 kilometers and less than 1,000 heightmeters, the Alpe d'Huez is not in the top of the toughest climbs.

Alpe d'Huez is also known as the Dutch mountain. This has mainly to do with the many Dutch riders who won a Tour stage on the Alp (8 wins in total so far, by Hennie Kuiper, Joop Zoetemelk, Peter Winnen, Steven Rooks, Gert-Jan Theunisse).

With each passage of the Tour de France, a Dutch legion is waiting for the riders in the famous bend 7, also known as the Dutch (or orange) curve. Also during the annual cycling event Alpe d'HuZes in June, for the benefit of cancer research, many Dutch amateur cyclists find their way to the top.

Each of the 21 hairpin bends of the climb is named after one (sometimes two) of the stage winners, depending on where they placed their ultimate attack. You can see a video of all bends of Alpe d'Huez on the YouTube page climbbybike.

The Alpe d'Huez is situated in Rhone-Alpes and belongs to the Alps . Starting from Bourg d'Oisans, the Alpe d'Huez ascent is 13.2 km long. Over this distance, you climb 1071 heightmeters. The average percentage thus is 8.1 %.

Look for other sides to climb the Alpe d'Huez.

Since 2005, the Alpe d'Huez will be/was climbed in the following big tour stages:
Tour de France 2013 :  Gap - l'Alpe d'Huez on 18/07/2013
Tour de France 2011 :  Modane > Alpe-d’Huez on 22/07/2011
La Marmotte 2010 :  Marmotte 2010 on 03/07/2010
La Marmotte 2009 :  Marmotte 2009 on 04/07/2009
Tour de France 2008 :  Embrun > L'Alpe-d'Huez on 23/07/2008

 
 
Profile & route

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Location info

Find all information on climbs and cycling in Rhone-Alpes and find all climbs in Rhone-Alpes on a map.

Other climbs close to the Alpe dHuez: within 10 km - within 20 km - within 50 km

 
Stories, information and comments from Alpe d'Huez climbers
Story by from New York, Central African Republic, submitted on 07/09/2014
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Story by Jake Bridges from , United Kingdom, submitted on 30/05/2014
Did this in July 2013 while doing the full route of stage 18 of the 2013 tdf so I had the "pleasure" of doing it twice in a day. It was scorchingly hot the first time up (39C) and this was made worse at the bottom as the heat seems to reflect of the concrete walls at the start of the climb. The bottom is definitely the worst bit with the first 4 bends being steep and tough so don''t go too hard here. Once you get beyond that then the gradient is consistent and you can get into a decent tempo and by the time I reached ''Dutch corner'' I was enjoying it. Second time up was actually easier as it had cooled down and even though we were a week ahead of the tdf proper there were lots of people in camper vans on the side of the road who gave us loads of encouragement. If you are going to do it twice then save some energy for the Sarenne which is a decent climb in itself and the descent demands total concentration as it is highly technical.
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Story by Simon Philp from Redshard Lane, Langford, United Kingdom, submitted on 18/10/2013
Never tried anything like this but at 46 years old I thought it was now or never. I was staying in Alpe D''huez itself so did the descent first - pretty cold in October and at the bottom I made my first schoolboy error - I didn''t really warm up, I just turned around and started climbing. I initially thought things were pretty steep - and the first 3Kms are - but then I got into a rhythm and I actually started to enjoy it. This wasn''t as bad as I thought! But then my lack of stretching and warm up caught up with me - for some reason my glutes began to tighten up. For years I had heard Phil Liggett say that someones legs had gone on a climb but I had never heard this about muscles in your backside! By hairpin 3 (they are in reverse order from the bottom up) I was in a bit of bother but I was determined to make it. One more energy gel and I was in the village, a swoosh around the roundabout and the big wide finishing straight - yippee! Walking was a bit of a problem that night due to my tightened muscles but I had done it. 2 days to recover before I was going to tackle Mt Ventoux!
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Story by Nick from , Australia, submitted on 11/10/2013
Climbed Alpe d''Huez in June this year (2013). Am 66 yo and 59 kg and have ridden approx 10,000k per year for the last 10 years. Did a lot of hill training in addition to normal rides, including 7 repeats of a local hill to get 20k of distance at approx 8% gradient. Took my own bike (Look 595)and did the Alpe on a 39x27 in a steady 1hr 20m (no stops). Had another go a few days later and used a 39x30 but still did the same time. Would thoroughly recommend the trip and rides around Bourg d''Oisans. Fantastic cycling country. Also did Galibier and Ventoux later in the week, all in blue skies - fantastic!
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Story by Chris Patient from Zermatt, Switzerland, submitted on 09/10/2013
Finally Alpe d'Huez! After all these years I finally climbed by bike the famous Alpe d''Huez. And on my birthday too. What better way to celebrate, than to climb by bike, such a famous and prestigious cycling landmark,the twenty one hairpins of the Alpe d''Huez.

Was I disappointed? Certainly not. Did it live up to my expectations? Perhaps not. There are better climbs and harder climbs to be found. But I could certainly appreciate the history and I enjoyed reading the names of the cycling greats on each numbered corner and looking at all the paint on the road as I climbed. I was lucky to do it off season on a relatively quiet day and I only passed a handful of other roadies making the pilgrimage.

The climb starts very steeply, and I was not warmed up so it hurt, but as the gradient eased off I found a good cadence all the way to the top.

I was surprised by a photographer who took my photo and handed me his card. He must do very well in high season when hundreds of cyclists make the climb each day! Approaching the resort it is a little confusing as to which way to go. The thing to do is to follow all the paint on the road. To go to the official tour finish you have to turn left under a tunnel and make two more turns to the top.
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Story by Robert alias "PinkSanta" from Helsinborg, Sweden, submitted on 06/08/2013
Due to the bad wheather day before I took on a climb in Villenueve...that would be a bit costly for Alpe d''Huez today ''cus my legs were ok but not superfine like the day before. There were part in Villenueve up to 26% insane!!! But superfun...

Alpe d''Huez isn''t bad at all inclination wise. I don''t think my computer showed above 12% anywhere. If you just train a bit for continuous resistance for hour and a half you''ll be fine. Just make sure your gearings right.. i went with 53/39 in the front and 29 to 12 on the back and did a time of 1h12m. I would say I''m fairly well fit.

With a really hot day like today 36celsius mid day...I rode five a clock in the evening still hot like hell on some parts and I love the heat, the two regular bottles was just about right if fill up your water levels properly. And whatever you do...do not stop...just slow down and keep on going.

For the descent go with something to cover your breast...if you go around 50-70kph you will need it and not caught up by any car(without being insane). I used rainjacket which I stuffed inside.

I Loved that you could still could read the names of the riders from tour de france on the asfalt...all the way up.

I''ve done what those guys do for a living...I''m proud
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Story by Andy willson from Bruxelles, Belgium, submitted on 02/08/2013
I came to ride the famous Alpe d''Huez climb because of its history but on arrival the receptionist in the hotel suggested that I also include the 2013 tour route over the col de Sarenne. Fantastic advice ! The whole circuit, including the 21 hairpins took me, 50 years young, 2 hrs 48 min. It was like being on a high octane thrill ride, one of the best three hours of my life. The col de Sarenne is wild and spectacular. The 21 hairpins were tough but doable. I''ll be back to do more !



Andy
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Story by John Frazer from Edinburgh, United Kingdom, submitted on 22/07/2013
Although primarily a mountain biker I took the chance to climb the 21 hairpins the day before this years Tour.. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE.. I have given the rating as 5, I am sure there are many more difficult climbs but expect there are very few that can provide the atmosphere of Alpe D''Huez.. They say around 1000 people climb by bike every day over the summer but I think the number will have been well into the 10''s of thousands around the TDF..I was happy with the time of 1.16 to the Tourist Office and after my one day as a Roadie I could well be back one day to try again....
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Story by Matt Dixon from Reading, United Kingdom, submitted on 07/01/2013
Not much I can say that hasn''t been said a thousand times before. This is an epic climb, definately a tough climb, especially bends 21 to 17. That said, I didn''t find this quite as hard as I was expecting and really enjoyed the whole thing. I am a big heavy rugby player and managed the climb in 1hr 35. Not the fastest but I was really proud. Would I do it again? Hell yeah!
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Story by Rick from Discovery Bay, Hong Kong, submitted on 29/06/2013
If you are thinking about doing this climb, don''t hesitate, do it! Myself and a friend did it on a 24 hour layover in Milan, from Hong Kong. Jet-lagged, after a 4 hour drive, we headed straight up the hill. Yes the first couple of Ks are a bit steeper than the average, but it is good to get that out of the way. Loved counting down the turns. Take time to look up and around as the views are awesome. After cresting the top we carried on over the Col Du Sarenne and then down to Clavans-En-Haut Oisans. This route was ridden in the Dauphine this and will also be used on stage 18 on the TDF. I would not recommend that unless you are adventurous. There is about 10K of poorly paved, gravel strewn access road which is a challenge on the road bike. AS I said the TDF is doing this stretch this year before going back around to do the Alpe D''Heux climb again. It will be must see TV! All in all a great fun day which every cyclist MUST do if able!
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Story by David Lawrence from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 11/03/2013
Drove from Grenoble to the bottom the day before the Tour was due in 2011.

Straight on the bike and up. To be honest I didn''t think it was that bad. We did the Col de Le Lautaret the next day which was harder, then the Galibier, which is significantly worse.

Helped my the fans massing for the tour, especilly Dutch Corner.

The weather at the top was terrible. Cold with the rain lashing down. I had to go to a gear shop and invest in a jacket and arm warmers.

Drank hot chocolate as if it was going out of fashion in an attempt to stop shivering.

Going out next week skiing but taking the bike as I expect the roads to be open. Also taking a few more clothes this time.
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Story by Glenn Howard from Melbourne, Australia, submitted on 08/02/2013
I had the pleasure of climbing Aple d''Huez on the morning of the 2008 Tour De France ascent. Started our ridae at 10am. The road ws lined with cycling fans that cheered us up the mountain. Toughest ride ive done in my life. Greatest achievement of my life on the bike. Found a great restaurant on the right hand side just past the overpass in the village. wined and dined all day and watched the riders past. Had a pint or two of beer, before decending at the end of a wonderful day. Warning...the police start shutting down the final 1km about 11-12 pm, so if you want to cross the finish leave early as i was cut short of the finish line. Wonder place, people , experiance...must do for all cycling fans!
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Story by Gawain Morris from Portsmouth, United Kingdom, submitted on 08/10/2012
Hi,



A group of us were lucky to cycle L''Alpe this September for charity and with a mixture of adrenalin and a good nights sleep we rode this most wonderful of Mecca''s in world sport.

The stretch leading to bend 21 is brutal for a middle aged man with a Michelin around his waist but grit and determination made this a life changing experience.

With a finishing time in just under 1hr 45 and

running a compact campy with a 34/26 made it slightly uncomfortable at times but all the more rewarding when you make it to the top.



The Location, the people and those 21 bends make this a must for keen cyclists.
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Story by karen from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 09/06/2012
So...11 months after my the birth of my first child, I decided to climb Alp D''Huez. We probably chose the wrong day in that it was 35 degrees (certainly too late in the day) but I managed it in 77 mins to offical finish line. The first part as you set off from below seems very easy, until you start the first climb to the first bend...I must admit I did have thoughts of turning around and giving in. The first 4 bends are the worse...once you get these out of the way, you begin the mental countdown to the next bend. I Managed it non-stop and I think towards the end you get into a good routine and it does become easier! I will try again next year but with a bit of hill training this time beforehand! Hubbie did it in 54 mins!!!



K
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Story by Joost van Dooren from Almere, The Netherlands, submitted on 08/06/2012
My first climb of Alpe dHuez, also my first climb in the Alpes in my life, was last August 2011. With a little training (no mountains in NL), I (man 41 yrs in normal / good condition) started at first gear and remained in first 75% of the climb, with a rental bike.

I did not know what to expect, concerning time and exhaustion.

My heart rate remaining around 150 I had some (too much?) energy left over in the last few corners.

The first few corners were heaviest. The last few I managed to pass some people who passed my on first few corners ;-)

At the end, my time was 1 h 18 min to Village and 1h 25m at official Tour de France finish. (No rest in between)

2012 I will beat this time with a few minutes.

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Story by Martin Stoel from IJsselmuiden, The Netherlands, submitted on 07/02/2012
Last year it was my first time to conquer Alpe dHuez. Every cyclist from Holland has to do this ones as it is the most famous climb because of the Tour the France.

I couldn't find a good gear with the right rpm so it was so hard to cycle to the top. After more than 5 times resting for a few minutes I arrived at the top in 1 hour and 40 minutes.

This year I will go again and this time I will prepare myself for this climb. Not easy because the longest climb in Holland is around 3 km long with a slope of 5%avg. I bought a Tacx Trainer to practise some climbing and hope to beat my time with a half hour!! Wish me luck!
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Story by Nick from Staffordshire, United Kingdom, submitted on 11/11/2011
Finally got to ride up Huez in August whilst on holiday.I decied to go as hard as I could up it,stupidly, after only 3 minutes warm up after not being familiar with the area then on to that first murderous slope that resembles a ramp in a multi storey carpark.I got to the top in 51 minutes on a 39/53,12-25t,my legs were shot,they''d had it and so had I.An iconic climb that won''t fail to hurt you if you want to get hurt, fantastic to go up it after featuring on so many TDF stages,if you''re into cycling you have got to go up Huez,cyclings mecca, a memory that I''ll never forget.
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Story by Neil from Singapore, Singapore, submitted on 31/10/2011
Rode Alpe d''Huez today on an amazing blue sky autumn day. Started from Alpe d''Huez, rode Sarenne, which was gorgeous in it''s Autumn colours, mind you lots of fallen rock hazard and sheep, of all things, it was like riding in Wales. From the bottom, rode Lauteret, and bac down to Oisans to take on this beastie. Not ridden any of the climbs before, and living in Singapore means I don''t do much on hills. I didn''t have much in the tank when I arrived at the foot of the climb, and it showed, with an almost pedestrian plod to the top. The climb itself is fantastic, the paint on the road from many Tours (and other comps) past, the signs on the hairpins, the view of the road climbing away from you as you reach Huez... I ended up racing the shadow up, and just beat it, so at least I didn''t freeze. It was a chilly 7C on the top. There is a real sense of history as you climb and it is a must for this reason alone. Something I''ve wanted to do for a long time. Iwill do it again too.
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Story by david price from Poole, United Kingdom, submitted on 07/09/2011
If you''ve never ridden the Alpe before, make sure to keep plenty in reserve if you plan to take it on after a day''s riding, as some do after riding Telegraphe and Galibier. The other issue later in the day will be the heat; in good weather it can reach 38 degrees plus. Riding it without stopping is manageable with a 25-11 cassette but most people will need a compact chainset, as I did. Many people will tell you that after the first few hairpins it becomes considerably easier; this was not my expericence of the Alpe - it keeps you working right to the top, with some long, steep sections. The heat - beating down from above, bouncing back off the road, coming off the side walls - requires the rider to switch off certain parts of their brain. Alpe D''huez feels like a truly iconic climb - you can feel the mood change in riders (of which there will probably be many) as you approach the climb; the names of Alpe champions on every corner add to this aura. Finishing here at the end of a very demanding day in the saddle left me feeling elated but also a bit like a zombie! I had to sit in the shade for 15 minutes or so drinking water before I felt ready to talk to anyone! Never to be forgotten, for good and not-so-good reasons. Enjoy.
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Story by Eddy Fogg from Great Yarmouth, United Kingdom, submitted on 19/07/2011
Climbed for the first time July 2011 in hot weather.Relentless steep slopes but with flat hairpins to give you a very brief rest!!!! Thouroghly enjoyed it and would do it again anyday.
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Story by from Davie, United States, submitted on 02/06/2011
Rode the Alpe d''Huez for the first time in May of 2011. It is all it is made out to be and then some. I had two objectives, the first being riding to the top and the second, riding it non stop. I am happy to say that I achieved both. I feel very satisfied with my achievement as bearing in mind I had a knee operation 5 months ago, am 68 years of age and live in South Florida, where it is flat as a pancake. It also puts into perspective how good the pro'' cyclists really are.
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Story by Sjur Dyb Berg from Nesodden, Norway, submitted on 21/12/2010
I climbed Alpe dhuez when i was in France to watch Tour de France in 2010. Earlier in the week i had climbed Mount Ventoux on the time 43:23. It was 39C this day, so it got abit hot under the helmet but i mannaged to ride Alpe dHuez on 1:05. Sjur (14)
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Story by joe from aix, France, submitted on 14/11/2009
I hate this climb so much! It was the last climb I did on a climbing holiday in the alps with my bike that was built in 1972. I broke a spoke after the 3rd turn and had to remove a rear brake block to let the wheel turn enough for me to continue. The drivers are not as friendly as they are on other climbs and the road is just unreal the way its so steep. I was trying to climb it in under an hour and failed to do so, then on the decent my front brake blocks started melting and I thought my tubular tyre was going to explode from the heat of the rim. I had to cool the rims down with water at every turn and to keep them cool I would try not to use my brakes on the strights. I thought I was going to die on the decent and was tempted to walk down but it was getting really dark and the camp site was far from the bottom of the hill. I could not loose enough speed for the last corner and went round it Moto GP style using the full width of the road and even onto the shoulder on the turn exit, then cried a little at the bottom. looking forward to next year, 5 stars
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Story by ian from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 29/09/2009
So now Ive done it. After tacking the Galibier in the morning I did the Alpe in the afternoon on my sturdy Trek Mountain Bike with lots of cogs, teeth and cranks. No idea how many of each I have mind. I made it to the top of course and I cant see what all the fuss is about - its an easy climb if you stop at every corner, take a picture of the signs, have a drink, look at the views take a few more pictures and then poodle off again. Time taken? Over 2 hours. But I do have lots of photos.
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Story by Phil from Grenoble, France, submitted on 09/02/2009
I did this on the ski bus a few times last year, 30 mins. My knees were a bit sore because the seat in front was too close, and I was desperate for the toilet and I spilt some hot chocolate on my ski jacket, but the views are nice. :P Wouldnt want to do it on a bike though. Looks mental.
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Story by Raj Soni from Bristol, United Kingdom, submitted on 08/05/2009
One of my favourite ever climbs just behind Mont Ventoux and the Angliru. Did it in May 2008 when i was 13 in a time of 56:48 at the end of a week of cycling over the croix de fer, glandon etc. Tough at the beginning and had a small amount of drink and every time i got out of the saddle i needed a huge gulp of it so forced myself to sit down for most of it. Recommend it to anyone who enjoys cycling to do this historic climb.
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Story by Brian from Concord, MA, United States, submitted on 29/07/2009
I did this climb with a tour in 2003, after riding over the Galibier earlier in the day. That was a hot summer; while I didnt find the Galibier too tough (in fairness, we started after the Telegraph climb), as it was relatively cool, Alpe dHuez, which was much hotter, nearly killed me. My tongue was dragging on the pavement. I was so zonked I actually lost the route once I got into town near the top. I eventually found the finish, rode back down, and pretty much fell off my bike next to the tour bus. Wiped out. Lance didnt look much better the next day (though of course he was going 2x as fast as I had been)- that was Lances ""off"" year.
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Story by mark fairoak from , Argentina, submitted on 07/06/2009
This is history! You can feel it in the village, you can feel it on every hairpin, this is simply a mecca for cyclists. I decided to see how far up I could go on my big ring and made it the 4th hairpin and keeled over and died. Rest of journey was 39x23, more lactic acid but turning that big ring was no longer possible. The climb is not as beautiful as La Plagne or the Roseland but if you decide to try the Alpe you will see for yourself what a pilgrimage it is and why
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Story by David Schubert from Scarborough, United Kingdom, submitted on 17/04/2009
Second time so far, first time set off too settled as heard stories of some people dropping after 5Km, 1:15. Last year did it in very humid weather, set a fair pace from start and stuck to it 1:07. Looking to break the hour this year, but, where is the top? Last year I went past the cafe with the 12 Km line next to the cycling shop and a couple of other riders that I was trying to catch stopped and got off with people cheering, I cycled through and under the tunnel to where my speedo said 13.3 km at the square, but couldnt remember where I stopped my speedo last time. I looked for that last bend on the tour but couldnt find it. Noticed I had now done the 13.8Km set in so stopped with the time of 1:07, Any directions please. I went up a few days after the tour, it was fantastic with all the names on the road esp Carlos Sastre. I got to the cafe for a coffee but the weather started coming in, set off back in a thunder storm and then took cover in a waste hut 3km down with some Dutch, Once the worst had passed we set off. To keep myself warm and brakes dry I cycled down all the way with the brakes on (anyone done that before?). Going in mid August this year camping again but think tour isnt doing it this year.Any tips appreciated.
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Story by Anthony Lue from Toronto, Canada, submitted on 14/11/2008
Climbed the Alpe twice from Bourg DOisans on July 19, 2008 and again on July 23, 2008 (prior to TdF Stage 17) as part of a 16 day cycling vacation in the French Alps. This is the mythical climb, steeped with history and the battles fought on this 8 mile (13 kms) stretch of asphalt, made it the stuff of legends. Although, not the longest, hardest or most scenic of the climbs in the Alps. Perhaps, because of its history in the TdF - its is at the top of every climbers list. And after 1 hrs 20 mins. from the start (no stops), Success!! Climbed the Alpe again to watch stage 17 live - it was fantastic, beat my first time by 2 mins - 1 hr 18 mins. Climbing up the Alpe again while it was closed to cars & both sides lined with thousands of fans was incredible, a once in a lifetime experience! After getting to the top, I found a great spot about 500M away from hairpin 1. I was standing right at the 2 km to go banner with a lot of Aussie fans. Saw Sastre blowing everyone away on the climb, it unreal how fast these pros are going uphill! All in all, an unbeliveable experience, this alone made the trip worthwhile. Cheers.
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Story by Dave Short from Durham, United Kingdom, submitted on 10/10/2008
I climbed this in early October with my eldest son and my father who is 75. We enjoyed good weather and wondered if anyone knew the age of the eldest person to finish this climb
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Story by Charlie Randour from Albuquerque, United States, submitted on 29/08/2008
My wife and I went to France June 2008 to attend a relatives wedding. I told her if Im going all the way to France Im going to climb Alpe dHuez. I rented a bike in Bourg dOisans and rode up on June 5,2008. There was a charity ride going on were the riders were doing the ride over and over. The bike I rented was a little to small and I had a wicked back ache about half way up. I had to stop for 6 minutes until the pain went away. This is one steep road. The coolest part was at the top where it is not as steep I could ride pretty fast and about 100 people were cheering as I finished. I felt like Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France. It took me 1hour 40 minutes. Not very fast but I am 56 years old.
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Story by Dan Bill from Stratford upon avon, United Kingdom, submitted on 17/08/2008
Climbed alpe dhuez on a wendnesday after driving from mont ventoux which we climbed twice on the monday and tuesday. Cuz it took nearly 4.5 hrs to get there i hit the climb with no warm up what so ever (not recommended) with the aim of riding it as fast as possible (individual time trial). The steepest bits at the bottem felt fine and i felt great up until the village of huez, then it got hard. i tried to keep a good rythem and cadence and got to the top trying to look as slick as possible. i did the climb in 50 mins with an average power of 285 watts (taken from a powertap). Fantastic and sureal experiance.
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Story by Floris from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, submitted on 07/09/2008
I climbed lAlpe dHuez 8 times on one day, the 5th of June 2008. Average climb time: 01:14:58. This was all part of a fundraising event for the Dutch Cancer Society (no one in his right mind would climb it 8 times otherwise). Now an annual event, which goal is to climb the Alpe 6 or more times for individuals or relay-teams, called Alpe dHuZes (Dutch for Alpe dHuSix). After 8 climbs on one day, you kind of know every meter by heart. LAlpe dHuez is not the most beautiful climb, yet I have come to love it.
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Story by mliptrot from st helens, United Kingdom, submitted on 06/02/2008
At the end of May I drove all the way from northern England - arrived at Bourg dOisans at five oclock in the afternoon. At seven oclock I set out for my first alpine ride - Alpe dHuez. The first ramp was quite hard and I remember thinking ""I hope this is part of the climb and not just the lead up. I was relieved to see the first hairpin marker - number 21. It stays steep up to 18 and then relents a little. Depending on the wind direction some of the ramps feel quite easy. I made a point of reading all the bend markers - but this was only to get the maximum relief at each bend. It was very eerie at the top riding into a totally deserted Alpe dHuez. One hour and twenty minutes - I am not a very good climber.
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Story by Andrew Robson from Wareham, United Kingdom, submitted on 06/01/2008
I did the climb 4 times during the last week in May 08. An extremely hard but spectacular climb. First time is hard to keep going and pace yourself managed 1 hour 12 minutes 40 seconds - the last time I did it in 1 hour 7 minutes 20 seconds. A definite mountain to climb for all keen cyclists.
My personal climb rating:
Story by john from greer, sc, united states, submitted on 24/07/2007
I did the Alpe twice, once on the North side, and once on the South side. I climbed the North side the day of the TdF ITT in July 2004. I left the village of Vizille and rode 40km to climb the backside, and made my way to a magical spot between turns 2 and 3. There, right before my eyes, my group and i watched Lance pass Basso to claim the Alpe dHuez ITT stage victory and almost assure himself #6. Coming off the backside, I hit my maximum speed on a bike, 58 mph. Two days later, I was able to return anc climb the South (classic) side. I am pretty big for a cyclist, 66" and 240 lbs, but managed 1.5 hours to the Arrivee.. including shooting pics all the way up, and negotiating a crowd in the streer 1 km from the finish. Not bad for a big ol guy! All in all, a great July 2004 trip to remember.. and photos to boot!
Story by JSauer from Kitchener, Ontario, submitted on 19/04/2007
Ive climbed the Alpe only twice. Once in 2004 the day before the Tour TT on that same mountain, and once in 2006 in the spring. The first time felt a bit easier, although there was much traffic on the climb and so pace was slowed. The second time I really felt its full force, and although I bested my previous time, I definitely suffered. All in all, the Alpe is a beautiful climb that any cycling enthusiast must try. I was happy with my 27 tooth cog the first time, and on my second ascent I used a 25 but with a compact crank set on the front.
Story by Oscar Leal from Los Angeles, CA, USA, submitted on 09/02/2006
The most famous of all the climbs. I just did it with the tour, it is an amazing experience clycling with so many people at the same time. We did it the same day as the tour. It is harder that what I tought, do not be fool by the 7.7% is more like 8.5%, the percantage lowers because the turns at the switch backs are flat, but the climbing part is steeper. I managed in about 1 hr and 10min, it was very hot (101 F), humid and too many people. Recomend a compact crankset and 25-27 sprocket. I saw Carlos Sastre at the end of the stage and he was using a regular cranckset and a 27 sprocket.
Story by Dennis from , , submitted on 02/06/2006
I climbed the Alpe dHuez 6 times. The first time was in 2002 on 30th of april. First I wanted to make a trip in holland for 3 days, with my other bike and luggage. I wanted to train for my trip to Munich later that year, but because of bad wetter in Holland I decided to go to the Alpe. I had heard about it from the Tour and I thought this was a good training as well. When I came to le Bourg dOisans, the first thing I did was to go by car up to Alpe dHuez. The way up was very steep, and I had doubts if I could do it. But when I came back at the hotel, I decided to try it. The first 200 or 300 hunderd meters of the climb went very well. I was cycling 42x17, but that was to hard after 500 meters :-) In the beginning I had the strength, because of a lot of fitness, but after 500 meters I had to shift quickly down to 30x23. With the 30x23 I rode the rest of the climb and I was very exhausted on the top. But I made it without taking a break on the way. Later that year, in july I didnt went to Munich but again to the Alpe dHuez. I was addicted. In july I went up set a time. The first time I forgot to reset my bike computer. This time I didnt go to fast in the beginning, but it wasnt easy as well. I came in 1 hour and 14 minutes at the top. In 2002 I weighted 87kg, because of a lot of fitness training. In 2003 I weighted 72kg and my stamina was improved. I had trained a lot in the winter and I was planning to go to the Alpe dHuez together with Hennie Kuiper (winner of Alpe dHuez in the Tour de France of 1977 and 1978)and 500 other cyclists. I had plans to set a time under 1 hour. But before I went to the Alpe, I had first a wedding of my sister. After the wedding I went directly to France. When I came at the Alpe, I wasnt fit. But still I could manage a time of 1 hour and 5 minutes. Later that year I rode the Marmotte and a few days later the Alpe dHuez again. This time a set a time under 1 hour. 56 minutes. I was in a very good sheap. In 2004 I went again to the Alpe dHuez, but I didnt train as hard as last year. I knew I couldnt beat my best time. I wasnt giving 100% that day and I came relatively fresh at the top. My time was 1 hour and 9 minutes. The last 1,5km I had an average speed of 18km/h

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