Start: Bourg d'Oisans - 717 metres / 2350 feet
End: Alpe d'Huez - 1860 metres / 6100 feet
Distance - 14.5km / 8.9 milesHeight Gain - 1121 metres / 3750 feet
Minimum gradient: 7.9%
Maximum gradient: 14%
Record Time: 37.35 Marco Pantani 1997
Aspect: South facing, so hot in the afternoon
The route starts off with a short flat section from the town centre, after which, you are straight into possibly the steepest section of the climb. After four hairpin bends the gradient relaxes off marginally after the small hamlet of Gard.
The gradient relaxes off marginally here as you pass through some meadows and tree lined roads. (this repeats the above?)
This is the heart of the climb with some tight switch backs snaking up what looks like an impassable rock face, before passing through Saint-Ferréol and the famous church at what’scommonly referred to as 'Dutch Corner', thanks to the huge gathering of Dutch cycling fans during the Tour de France.
Above Huez the landscape becomes more open as you reach a section of Alpine meadows and the lower winter ski slopes. The bends become further apart and you catch your first real glimpse of the resort of Alpe d'Huez. Here you will pass a couple of professional photographers,whose images you can buy online or down in Bourg, so smile and look like you're enjoying it.
After a steeper climb from the final bend through the lower village of Alpe d'Huez, many peoplechoose to stop at what is known as the 'Tourist Office finish line'. Here there is an official looking line on the road, banners, podium and various shops and cafes lining the street. However the official Tour de France finish is a much more low key point further up through the village. Carry on up through the tunnel and follow signs through town. The Tour de France finish line is at the top end of the resort, where there is loads of open space, for the entourage that goes along with the Tour.