Cycling Col de Joux Plane Samoens

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Col de Joux Plane - Samoens

Basic data & ranking

Average grade: 8.5 %

Length: 11.6 km

Altitude start: 702 m

Altitude top: 1691 m

Ascent: 989 m

Maximum: 12 %

Col de Joux Plane rankings

Difficulty ranking world: 911 (all)
Ranking France: 175 (all)
Ranking Alps: 334(all)
Difficulty score: 119.83 what?

Col de Joux Plane ratings

(4.8)  Overall

(4.2)  Road

(4.8)  Traffic

(4.2)  Amenities

(5)  Surroundings

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In 1997, Tour winner Marco Pantani up the Col de Joux Plane in 33 minutes! Three years later, the Joux Plane managed to make a victim out of Lance Armstrong. Not that surprising, because the southside of the climb, from Samoëns, is one of the steepest climbs of the Alps (most of the climb is close to 10%). But it is also one of the most beautiful!

The Col de Joux Plane is situated in Rhone-Alpes. This climb belongs to the Alps. Starting from Samoens, the Col de Joux Plane ascent is 11.6 km long. Over this distance, you climb 989 heightmeters. The average percentage thus is 8.5 %. The maximum slope is 12 %.

Look for other sides to climb the Col de Joux Plane.

Since 2005, the Col de Joux Plane will be/was climbed in the following big tour stages:
Tour de France 2016 :  Megève - Morzine on 23/07/2016
Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré 2012 :  Saint-Alban-Leysse - Morzine on 09/06/2012
Tour de France 2006 :  Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - Morzine on 19/07/2006

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Location info

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Stories, information and comments from Col de Joux Plane climbers
Story by Peter Sigal from , France, submitted on 31/05/2016
I was really excited to do the Joux Plane but I have to say it was somewhat anticlimactic. The bottom 3 kms are just brutal if you start from Samoens at the junction, but you''re pedaling through essentially suburbs (albeit at 10 pct gradient!). Once you''re into the climb proper it''s definitely tough, with some nasty ramps, but kms 7-10 are not as bad as I feared. I did it early in the morning on a cool day, so I could see how doing it when it''s hot would be a different story. The descent down to Morzine is really fun. You can make a nice 50-60 km loop back into samoens if you like.
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Story by Malcolm Hurrell from Macclesfield, United Kingdom, submitted on 07/09/2014
First time up the CJP and just loved it. Came up from Samoens side and yes the gradient is unrelenting and some of the steepest parts are in the final 5k. Got some great encouragement from other riders in the last 2 k who had completed it and resting on road side - just what I needed. Had come over from Les Carroz so including the climb back home this was my biggest test to date. Look forward to next time and carrying on over to Morzine to make a circuit of it
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Story by Garry from Dublin, Ireland, submitted on 07/08/2014
This is the climb that Pantani did on one of his superhuman EPO fuelled days in 34 minutes in the TdF.

You can hire a road bike in Samoens from Anthoniaz in the centre of town.

There are two places to start in Samoens-either in the centre of the town or follow the Col de Joux Plane signposts which bring you to the start at the edge of town. It is a good climb to do early in the morning as it is shaded before the sun starts baking the road. The edge of town start is a little longer and easier at the start and gives a flat section at 2-3 k to recover. There is little joy in going up the Joux Plane. The gradient is unrelenting. The guarded smiles of the cyclists coming back down are encouraging. They know what you are going through and don''t envy you.Only when you get to the last k do you see the chalet and know you are going to make it even though it is 9% for this k. Nice stop for a coffee, a cake and a pat on the back.
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Story by Ron Evans from Larkfield, United Kingdom, submitted on 26/07/2014
Now spend half our time living in Les Gets so this is a local climb. Always climb from Samoens as it gives a good warm up. One of the most challenging and rewarding climbs. All I can say is it is like doing a 1hr weights session and having no control over the weight you are pushing as the gradient is pretty consistant. When you reach an "easy" section you wish it hadn''t flattened as the average gradient for that particular 1k section is 8%....that means it must kick up again! Cafe at the official top and great views. Once you leave the "summit" and start to descend thereis another small kick up as you go over the final summit before dropping down to Morzine. French are very good at maintaining the roads but if tackling early in the year be cautious as winter repairs may not have been completed. And this year the summer weather has not been great and heavy rain has caused a few problems but they are quick making repairs to any dangerous sections. PS rumours are the 2015 TdF will include the Joux Plane first time since 2010:-)
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Story by Jackie Fraser from Edinburgh, United Kingdom, submitted on 04/10/2013
I cycled this in August, in the heat, after some ill advised drinking the night before. I am scottish, so heat is not good, and I rarely drink, so, oh, my head. We pootled along to Samoens from Les Gets, and then started the climb. I was on a rental bike, and the chain fell off 3 times before I bit the bullet and properly adjusted stuff (well, actually my husband did). So,I did not enjoy the very scenic bottom section. I loved the climb, it is great,I felt like baby bear - not too hard and not too gentle, just perfect. It is quite short though, I guess at 8-10% most of the way, that''s rather inevitable. I am a rubbish descender, despite this, I enjoyed the descent to Morzine too - especially the up section!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Michael Bettess from Melbourne, Australia, submitted on 08/11/2012
This was our favourite climb of the trip. September 2012, the weather was perfect and the scenery and gradient were both unrelenting. We were on carbon road bikes and I took about an hour to the lake from Samoens chasing my friend who danced away from me at the mid section and was up at the lake in about 55 minutes. The view from the summit was extra special so we were well rewarded for the mental and physical sufferance we all endured. I did miss the compact crank I have on my bike at home and as such I cracked badly in the last 3 kilometres. This climb was much harder than Alpe d''Huez, but it''s the ones that make you really suffer that you never, ever forget. Highly recommended. It''s a gem!
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Story by Oli Coote from , United Kingdom, submitted on 15/08/2011
Rode the CJP last week, came over from Flaine to Samoens and then up. I hadn''t researched it enough and it ended up as a mental and physical battle. Great climb though, was more than relieved to get to the top!
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Story by Mike from boca raton, United States, submitted on 27/07/2011
I''ve had the privledge of biking up many of the storied climbs in the French and Italian Alps. This one ranks right up there with the best. Having done it from the Morzine side first, I was stoked to climb it from the more difficult side. Well, the locals warned me. It was a absolute sufferfest. It did it on a Alum rental bike with a compact chainring and a 26 on the back. Highly recommended to anyone who wants to bring the pain
My personal climb rating:
Story by Michael Evans from Kent, United Kingdom, submitted on 30/07/2010
Just got back from a couple f days in the Alps. Did the Joux Plaine after a hard day in the saddle the day before and on an 8 speed cassette bike which wasnt the lightest machine! Took 45 minutes in the and was raining heavy! Excellent ride although didnt look around at the scenery too much. Was a little cold so stopped at the top for a coffee! Went back the following day and climbed the over side to the top- this was easier & quicker!
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Story by Ollie Burr from Norwich, United Kingdom, submitted on 09/04/2009
Did the col twice this week (september 2009). First time took me an hour, second after a few days training in the mountains managed to get it down to 55 minutes which I was content with. The cooler conditions the second time definately helped, although it was windy approaching the summit. I found both time that it is a good climb to find a rythm on, although the gradient is harsh.
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