The Col de la Madeleine is one of the most famous climbs in the history of the Tour de France and has been tackled 25 times, first in 1969 and most recently in 2013, when Pierre Rolland triumphed on stage 19 in a race won by Chris Froome.
It’s a beautiful climb which connects the Maurienne and the Tarentaise valleys in the French Alps. While the northern ascent is longer (28.3km at 5.4 per cent), the southern approach is steeper (19km at eight per cent). Either way, the road tops out at 1,995m, though the summit sign rounds this up to 2,000m.
The Col de la Madeleine is one of the hardest climbs in the Alps and can be ridden as part of a route which takes in several of the area’s famous climbs, including the Col Croix de Fer, Col du Glandon and La Toussuire for a day in that saddle that will earn serious bragging rights.
Average gradient: eight per cent
Start elevation: 479m
End elevation: 1,995m