New Paved Cycle Col to link Méribel and Courchevel
13th April 2019 | Trois Vallees
Every year hundreds of people flood to the French Alps to ride a road bike and challenge themselves on some of the hardest col climbs in the world. If you’re one of these people, check out our blog on the infamous cycle climbs you can’t miss. For people who live here it is one of the main activities of the summer. With the lycra and the 30 degree weather what’s not to love?!
One of the slight dangers is, of course, cycling up the roads. Generally the people who work and live in the Alps in the summer are used to the cyclists up the roads, but nevertheless you still have to be fairly careful and have your wits about you. Which is why the introduction of a new, paved cycle col is a more than welcome addition, and certainly something to be getting excited about.
The Col de la Loze starts in Courchevel 1850 at the moment and that part of the pass opened in Summer 2018. By the end of last summer they had also progressed to paving a fair amount of the col from the Méribel side too. Picture a nice wide, winding path with smooth tarmac. Not a pot hole in sight! (Although we are wondering how it will have fared under all of the snow for the winter).
But the best thing by far is…no motorised vehicles allowed! Cyclists can take their time to face the climb without the worry of cars or trucks passing by on narrow hairpins.
The track has used some of the pre-existing access paths in areas, but a lot of it will be brand new and it will join Méribel and Courchevel at the top of the Col de la Loze where the incredible views will be fairly hard to top of a road bike! The path from Courchevel is 5.8km and has a 377m vertical…but it is does have sections of more than 11%, which is certainly not for the faint hearted!
The top of the col being 2,300m means it will be the 11th highest paved col in France.
It will be the third highest pass in the Savoie (after the Iseran and Galibier).
The inaugural ceremony will be on 30 June, but it will be accessible as soon as the snow has melted. It’s great to see the region putting more emphasis on road biking. Rumour has it that the road has been created in an attempt to tempt the Tour de France back to the area – another great tourism pull. It is also said that they are planning to extend it to Val Thorens as well – meaning that the col will go from Courchevel all the way to Val Thorens on a private, paved col road with no motorised vehicles which will be the road cyclists dream in terms of accessibility.
Over this summer, the col will host these events:
- Eiffage Trophy
- Felt Trophy
- 3 Valleys Addict Tour
- Haute Route
Bring on the summer! We’ll no doubt update you when our team have been brave enough to take on the challenge.