Lacets du Grand Colombier au dessus de CulozLacets du Grand Colombier au dessus de Culoz
©Lacets du Grand Colombier au dessus de Culoz|Laurent Madelon

Cycling on the Grand Colombier

Regular stage of the Tour de France, the Grand Colombier has become a legendary climb for all riders. Getting to the top is a real challenge for cyclists, it is possible to climb it from 4 different sides. Discover its twists and turns, incredible panoramas and its steepest parts at 22%!

Will you be “crazy” enough to join the local bortherhood “Les fêlés” (the loonies) by climbing this hors categorie climb two, three or four times in a single day?!

A legendary climb

A memorable stage of the 2012, 2016, 2017, 2020 and 2023 Tour de France, the Grand Colombier climb and its 4 sides is a legendary pass and a real challenge for cyclists with 18 km from Culoz (southern side of the Grand-Colombier), 1,262 m of elevation gain and steepest parts at 14%.

Located 30 min from Aix-les-Bains, 1h from Annecy and Geneva and 1h30 from Lyon, the Grand Colombier and its twists and turns are an mandatory climb for all cyclists wishing to take on a very difficult pass offering an incomparable view of the surroundings.

Dreaming of challenge yourself on one of the hardest climb in France?
Not afraid to ride 2, 3 or 4 climbs of the Grand Colombier by different sides in the same day?
You are ready to join the brotherhood of the Fêlés du Grand Colombier.

4 sides to discover

From Culoz: 18.3 km. D+: 1262 m.
Without a doubt the most beautiful road with these spectacular laces and a remarkable panorama that can be discovered over the first few kilometers above the town. This road is rather irregular and promises important heat in the first 7 kilometers between vineyards and cliffs especially in the afternoon. Halfway along the trail, the slope getseasier in the forest, allowing you to rest a little in the sun before attacking the second part, which is just as difficult as the first. An advice, save some strength for the end.
From Artemare, via Virieu-le-Petit: 15,9 km. D+: 1251 m.
The ascent of the Grand Colombier from Artemare (via Virieu-Le-Petit) is the most direct one. The road can be very straight with an horrendous part at 22% above Virieu-le-Petit…
From Anglefort: 15.7 km. D+ : 1251 m.
The ascent of the Grand Colombier by Anglefort is perhaps the least known but remains nevertheless formidable !
From Champagne-en-Valromey by Lochieu: 12,3 km. D+: 900 m.
This ascent of the Grand Colombier is known to be the least difficult of the four roads. The ascent is composed of several flat parts between its climbs at more than 10% all the same. The last two km, however, offer no rest; the final ramp is steep and often windy.

Cycling days

of the Grand Colombier

Grand Colombier is only for cyclists on the second Saturdays of June, July, August and September! In 2024, these carfree cycling days will be held on 8 June, 13 July, 10 August and 14 September.

Enjoy the climb with friends with the pleasure of not having to share the climb from Culoz and Anglefort with any cars at all!

The four events are free and no registration are required.

Snacks and food are offered by Ain Department, in collaboration with the brotherhood Fêlés du Grand Colombier at the top of the climb, a coffee is also offered by the Tourist Office at the bottom of the climb in Culoz.

Everything you need to prepare for your trip

FAQ

Cycliste dans les pentes du Grand ColombierCycliste dans les pentes du Grand Colombier
©Cycliste dans les pentes du Grand Colombier
  • What are the dates of the Grand Colombier 2023 cycling days?

    The cycling days will take place on the second Saturdays of June, July, August and September:
    Saturdays June 10, July 8, August 12 and September 9.

    What are the cycling days?
    The cycling days are free events, 4 Saturdays of the summer, the road of the Grand Colombier from Culoz is closed to cars and reserved for cyclists.

  • What are the opening and closing dates of the Grand Colombier roads?

    The 4 roads leading to the Grand Colombier are closed during the whole winter period. They are generally closed from November to the second part of April.

  • Are there any restaurants in the Grand Colombier?

    – At the top, La Pause du Grand Colombier has many different kinds of local snacks. The Auberge du Grand Colombier and the Chalet d’Arvières are located in the ascent, on the Culoz and Lochieu (Arvière-en-Valromey) side.
    You will also find nearby Ô saisons du Grand Colombier in Virieu-le-Petit (Arvière-en-Valromey), the Séran in Artemare, Au Campagnard Autrement in Culoz, La Ferme du Marais and the Auberge, de la Paillère in Lavours.

  • What accommodations are there on the Grand Colombier?

    There is no accommodation at the summit of the Grand Colombier but in the surrounding villages. Find all information you need on our accommodation pages.

  • How to get to the foot of the Grand Colombier ?

    – By train: the Culoz train station at the foot of the Grand Colombier is located on the Lyon – Geneva railway line.
    – By car: several parking lots are accessible in Culoz near Maison du Vélo.
    To ride a few kilometers to warm-up before the climb, it is possible to park at the Lac du Lit au roi port and ride the ViaRhôna cycling path for about 12 km.

  • Where can I see Tour de France stage 13 in Grand Colombier?

    – For campervans:
    From Saturday July 8 to Friday July 14:
    No more access to the summit of the Col du Grand Colombier for campervans.
    Opening of car parks only for campervans (approximately 130 places) located a few kilometers from the summit at Selle de Fromentelle (Arvière-en-Valromey side) and La Frappe (Culoz/Anglefort side) within the limits of available places.
    Beware that campervans parked in these car parks will only be able to leave the parking lots after the end of the Tour de France stage.
    Once the car parks are full, the other campervans will no longer be able to access the roads of the Grand Colombier. Parking outside official car parks will not be authorized on Road D120 and 120A.

    – For cars:
    From Saturday July 8 to Friday July 14:
    Car parks located at Fenestrez (Culoz-Anglefort side) and Granges du Grand Colombier (Arvière-en-Valromey side) will be accessible within the limits of available places until Friday July 14 at 10 a.m.
    The summit of the Col du Grand Colombier will remain accessible to light vehicles until Thursday July 13.
    Once the car parks are full, other vehicles will no longer be able to access the roads of the Grand Colombier. Parking outside official car parks will not be authorized on Road D120 and 120A.
    The evening of Thursday July 13:
    Closure of Avenue Jean Falconnier. The crossing of Culoz will remain possible by the rue de Luyrieux and the rue du Rhône until the passage of the advertising caravan.
    The 14th of July :
    Car can park at the Rhône embankment within the limits of available places, it will only be possible to access Culoz and the ascent on foot (about 1.5 km to the bottom of the ascent).

    – For cyclists:
    The roads of the Col du Grand Colombier will be accessible by bike until 1 hour before the caravan announced at 3:04 p.m. in Culoz.
    As parking spaces are limited in Culoz, cyclists wishing to get closer by car are advised to park in the surrounding villages.

    – By public transport:
    No shuttle will be set up on the day of the stage.
    Access to Culoz can be done by train, located on the Lyon-Geneva railway axis, the Culoz station is 600 meters from the stage in Culoz and from the foot of the last ascent.

    – Tips for accessing the Grand Colombier by hiking:
    From Sur Lyand or La Combe du Cimetière (Col de la Biche) following the GR9 or the crests of Sur Lyand (about 7 km one way).
    From Culoz: access to the first part of the ascent by road, access to the second part by the GR9.
    Very sporty access possible from Lochieu, Virieu-le-Petit, Chavornay and Béon (elevation gain of almost 1000 m and limited parking spaces on site).

    Caravan is announced:
    at the Col de la Lèbe: 2:27 p.m.
    Belmont: 2:41 p.m.
    Artemare: 2:50 p.m.
    Culoz: 3:04 p.m.
    Grand Colombier: 3:32 p.m.

    Riders are announced:
    at the Col de la Lèbe: between 4:12 p.m. and 4:27 p.m.
    Belmont: between 4:26 p.m. and 4:41 p.m.
    Artemare: between 4:33 p.m. and 4:50 p.m.
    Culoz: between 4:46 p.m. and 5:04 p.m.
    Grand Colombier: between 5:12 p.m. and 5:32 p.m.

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