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The Col du Grand Colombier is situated in Franche-Comté. This climb belongs to the Jura mountains. The Col du Grand Colombier via Culoz is ranked number 10 of the Jura mountains. This Col du Grand Colombier approach starts in Culoz. The Col du Grand Colombier climb is 18.3 km long. You gain 1255 heightmeters, so the average gradient is 6.9 %. The climb is ranked 863 in the world. The maximum slope is 14%. If you want to climb the Col du Grand Colombier, you can find more information on how to train to climb the Col du Grand Colombier here.

Since 2005, the Col du Grand Colombier will be/was climbed in the following big tour stages:
Tour de France 2020 :  Lyon - Grand Colombier on 13/09/2020
Tour de France 2016 :  Bourg-en-Bresse - Culoz on 17/07/2016
Tour de France 2012 :  Mâcon > Bellegarde sur Valserine on 11/07/2012
Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré 2012 :  Saint-Trivier-sur-Moignans - Rumilly on 08/06/2012


Climbbybike difficulty score (123.1)
Ranking Jura mountains
Ranking France

Col du Grand Colombier via Culoz popularity rank : 202

The Col du Grand Colombier has been climbed by 11 climbbybikers. It is ranked No. 202 as the most climbed climb in the world.
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Col du Grand Colombier via Culoz: 9 reviews


Seen this feature a couple of times in the Tour. The views from the Lacets above Culoz inspired me to ride up on a beautiful September afternoon. Only one car came past in 90 minutes of climbing.

As has been stated up thread, the climb hits you almost immediately on leaving Culoz. My Garmin showed plenty of 14% ramps up to the Lacets at about 7 kms in, which afford spectacular views down the Rhone valley towards Aix les Bains.

After the hairpins, the road cuts through the forest with extended straight sections of up to 17%. The only reason this climb averages about 7% is that there are a couple of kms which afford some recovery.

The last 3 kms take you above the tree line, and if the cloud cover is absent, there are wonderful views towards Mont Blanc.

This is a superb climb. The shade afforded by the forest would be precious protection in hot weather.


The Grand Colombier isn''t like the legendary alpine climbs for several reason, and that gives it a quite unusual character. Firstly the summit isn''t that high, just 1501 meters, so there is still plenty of vegetation up there. Secondly because it isn''t near a motorway or a big town, it''s really quiet, and that makes it much more relaxing to ride than many of the famous cols in the alps. Thirdly the views are simply stunning of the fecund farmland and magnificent river and lake below.

I started from Culoz because that''s the way the Tour and Dauphiné went this year, and the climb gets pretty steep right from the village. Pretty soon you are into the sinuous, narrow road that looked so good from the helicopters on tv this year. The middle section is very easy, almost flat, and then there''s a really nasty long straight ramp at over 10 per cent that really gets the legs burning.

Later you go over cattle grids into mountain meadows and then, apart from a few steepish bits, the difficult work is over.

I did a loop down the road towards Artemare. It''s pretty scary going down because it''s so steep, 19 per cent average in one stretch, so take care. There are some lovely pretty mountain villages at the bottom for a coffee.

Chris Patient

I climbed the Grand Colombier five days before the Tour de France 2012 was historically due to go over it. See the story by Jules B below. The barriers were being put up and the camper vans were already there to reserve a spot for that immortal moment when the pro''s pass by on the big day. It was easy to imagine it as we climbed by bike forever upward. It was a hot day with a cool wind at the top. The view from the top is spectacular and there is a huge cross within walking distance. The road surface was needless to say excellent and the descent very fast. There is an online club ( you can join if you climb all four sides of the Grand Colombier in one day. Crazy! Along the way up there are kilometer signs for cyclists showing the gradient. The Col du Grand Colombier must have been one of the best kept cycling secrets in France, but now,no longer; after the Tour de france put it on the map.

Hugo Suy

The Grand Colombier is part of the French JURA (part: Haut-Bugey), not the Alps!

Climb 2, 3 or 4 sides of the Grand Colombier (4 sides = 136km; grad.: 4800m) and become a member of ""les fêlés du Grand Colombier"". Or try Defi Bugiste (= 4 x Grand Colombier + 2 x Col de Biche; 208km; grad.: 7000m).

Jules B

After climbing the steeper ascent of the Grand Colombier last year (through Virieu-le-Petit), I decided to give this one a go in July 2010. This climb is a classic alpine ascent in every way, with stunning views, varied scenery and a typically great road surface. The gradients shown in the stats above should be ignored - most of this climb involves prolonged periods at 10-14%, which is tough by anyones standards. There are two flat sections on the way up which bring the average gradient down and offer a little relief. This route features in the 2010 Tour de lAin and is classed as Hors Category. Pros will climb it in around 45 minutes (compared to my less impressive 1hr30!). No Grand Colombier climbs have ever featured in the Tour de France, the reason for which, locals will tell you, is that its simply too hard. They may well be right!

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