Col d’Izoard from Briançon in the Hautes-Alpes
Col d’Izoard connects Briançon to the north with Guillestre in the south.
The climb starts from the edge of the city centre of Briançon, and after a tough ramp up out of town, you are soon on a quiet road that climbs gently and quite consistently up to the village of Cervieres. You start to get the first views of the larger mountains and the climb ahead. The road bears right at a small auberge, and then you start the main part of the climb, as the road twists and turns.
Trees provide shade and give you glimpses of the road ahead as it snakes up until you finally break out of the trees on to the last couple of kilometres. The top is barren and often windy but the view across to the south side shows you the infamous “Casse Déserte” which is a very bleak high mountain scenery.
The col has been crossed by the Tour de France no fewer than 34 times.
Height at start: 1239m
Height at finish: 2344m
Average gradient: 5.8%
Maximum gradient: 9%