Col de la République

Saint-Étienne, France

The Col de la République is a col with a length of 12.8 kilometer. This is a category 2 col. It is located in Saint-Étienne, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France. The average grade of this col is 4.4% with a maximum of 6.8%. The Col de la République ascents from 603 meter at the start, to 1.161 meter at the top, with a total of 556 ascending meters.


Col de la République Profile


Distance 12.8 km
Elevation gain 556 m
Average grade 4.4 %
Maximum grade 6.8 %
Climb category 2
Minimum elevation 603 m
Maximum elevation 1161 m

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The Col de la République or Col de Grand Bois (1,161 m) is a mountain pass in the Pilat massif within the Pilat Regional Natural Park in the Loire department of the Rhône-Alpes region in southern France. The col de la République was the first pass of over 1,000 meters crossed by the Tour de France, in 1903 during the second stage of the first Tour de France (Lyon - Marseille via Saint-Étienne) when Hippolyte Aucouturier was the first rider to reach the summit.

The following year, in the 1904 Tour de France, it was the scene of some of the most notorious violence in the history of the tour when supporters of the regional favorite Antoine Fauré attacked his opponents. This caused the organizers to avoid the Loire department until the 1950 Tour de France. In 1905, the tour's organizer Henri Desgrange chose to ignore the col de la République, and focused instead on the introduction of the Ballon d'Alsace, because he saw that he had missed the opportunity of publicity previously.

In the 1904 incident, Andre Fauré led the race and 200 fans tried to stop the rest of the cyclists from following him. Garin hurt his hand during the incident, and Giovanni Gerbi had to give up with broken fingers. The situation was only solved after race officials fired shots in the air. Further on, nails and broken glass had been spread along the road, which caused many flat tires. Because of this help, Fauré was the first on top of the col but was overtaken by the favorites later.

At the summit a signpost says

Col de la République
1er col à plus de 1000 mètres franchi par le tour de France cycliste le 5 juillet 1903
(The 1st col higher than 1,000 metres traversed by the cycling Tour de France on 5 July 1903)

- Tour de France 1903 - Stage 2
- Paris-Nice 2015 - Stage 5