Col de la Madeleine from La Chambre in the Savoie
Col de la Madeleine is in the Savoie area of the Alps, and at an altitude of 1996m, the Madeleine links two of the most popular cycling areas of the Alps, the Maurienne and the Tarantaise.
Whilst both sides of the climb to the col are tough, the climb from La Chambre is considered the more challenging by dint of the steeper average gradient. It rises up rapidly by a road criss-crossing meadows. Over the first kilometers the climb offers up a beautiful view over the valley.
Saint-François-Longchamp station marks the beginning of the final stretch of the climb with a peak at 4.5 kilometers and a few brief moments of rest. This is a beautiful but difficult climb.
The col has been crossed by the Tour de France no fewer than 25 times and has been ranked as HC (hors categorie) every year since 1995.
Height at start: 471m
Height at finish: 1993m
Average gradient: 7.7%
Maximum gradient: 12.5%