Col de Sarenne is a climb located in the French Alps, connected to the legendary Alpe d’Huez. The climb is a distance of 21.2km, climbing a total of 1,282 metres with an average gradient of 6%.
When to ride Col de Sarenne
The area is home to ski resorts which are open in the summer. From June to late August/early September most of the hotels, restaurants and cafes are open, however the town is busy and vibrant all year round. The best weather for riding tends to be early June to early July, and then again from mid-August to mid-September. Although Alpe d’Huez has a far bigger reputation in the cycling world, it can be incredibly busy in peak months and Col de Sarenne offers a nice alternative in the same region for those looking for a quieter ride.
Riding Col de Sarenne
The route is popular with cyclists for its challenging nature, quiet traffic levels as well as allowing you to climb both sides of the famous Alpe d’Huez.
The start of the climb of Col de Sarenne begins as you leave the town of Bourg D’Oisans. Here you will cycle across the large dam at Lad du Chambon, where you will take a left and begin the Col de Sarenne.
Following this short, flat section, the gradient intensifies as you scale Alpe d’Huez’s world famous hairpins. Here, gradients average between 9 and 10%, and you will traverse across the stunning balcony road (pictured).
Thereafter, you will cross the Lac du Chambon and turn into the Ferrand valley and as you approach the village of Mizoen, the ascent gets tougher and four tough hairpins come in to play. The climb straightens out until the final couple of kilometres, where the final hairpins provide a tough test before you reach the summit of Col de Sarenne!