Cormet de Roselend is located in the Alps in France, relatively close to the Italian border. First featured on the Tour De France in 1979, Cormet de Roselend has featured 13 times since (most recently in 2023) and offers idyllic views of the picturesque Lac de Roselend, a reservoir situated near the peak of the pass. What’s more, by starting in the popular town of Beaufort you can sample some of the finest delicacies in France, including their world-famous cheese!
When to ride the Cormet de Roselend
Some routes up Cormet de Roselend offer tree-lined beauty and much-needed shade during the warmer months, when conditions can be very hot. Additionally, due to Cormet de Roselend’s popularity having featured on the Tour De France, the route can become very busy in the summer. Despite this, the best time to ride Cormet de Roselend is during the summer months of June to late-September, with quieter periods in May and October – with advice to be wary of conditions at these times. The climb is closed during the winter period.
Riding Cormet de Roselend
Cormet de Roselend’s climb statistics make for alluring reading, with a 20km distance starting in the popular resort of Beaufort and finishing just short of 2,000 metres above sea level, making for an average gradient of around 6%. As a result, this is generally considered one of the easier climbs in this geographical area. Cormet de Roselend is located on Route des Grandes Alpes, the road connecting Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean Sea – hence its popularity.
As you depart Beaufort, you have two options on which route to take. Heading out of town on the D295 offers the more traditional route for the Cormet de Roselend, but taking the D218A via Arêches is also an exciting ride. Leaving Beaufort, the ride begins with a 12km climb of more than 7% gradient – taking you to Col de Méraillet at 1605m above sea level.
After you pass Col de Méraillet, there is an easier point in the climb as the road flattens out to pass the Lac de Roselend. Thereafter, the last 6km are perhaps the hardest part of the ride, with gradients differentiating between 5.5% and 8% – meaning training is recommended before you tackle this climb.
At the summit of Cormet de Roselend, 1,968m up, is a perfect place to stop and take in the scenery, with a roadside cafe serving sandwiches, drinks and refreshments – overlooking some beautiful Col’s.