Col de l’Iseran from Bourg St Maurice in the Savoie
Col de l’Iseran is the highest paved pass in the Alps and connects the valley of the Isere in the Tarantaise to the valley of the Arc river in the Maurienne.
The climb to the col from Bourg St Maurice is 48km. The start of the climb follows the Isere river, and only picks up in gradient past the village of Sainte Foy Tarantaise; the climb passes la Thuile and steepens a little past Tignes and the impressive dam. A flattish 9km continue on to Val d’Isere where the climb proper starts.
It steepens up after Pont-Saint-Charles, but eases off as you near the top after several hours of climbing with great views over the Grande-Sassiere at almost 4000m.
The col has been crossed by the Tour de France 7 times in its history, most recently in 2007. Plans for the col to be crossed by the Tour in 1996 had to be abandoned due to bad weather.
Height at start: 815m
Height at finish: 2770m
Average gradient: 4.1%
Maximum gradient: 7%