Col du Grand Colombier

Culoz, France

The Col du Grand Colombier is a col with a length of 17.4 kilometer. This is a highest category (HC) col. It is located in Culoz, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France. The average grade of this col is 7.3% with a maximum of 11.1%. The Col du Grand Colombier ascents from 248 meter at the start, to 1.498 meter at the top, with a total of 1.250 ascending meters.


Col du Grand Colombier Profile


Distance 17.4 km
Elevation gain 1250 m
Average grade 7.3 %
Maximum grade 11.1 %
Climb category HC
Minimum elevation 248 m
Maximum elevation 1498 m

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This pass is less well known than the Alpine passes, in particular because the Tour de France had never used it until 2012; the Tour de l'Ain caravan, on the other hand, regularly passes through it. However, it is considered by cyclists to be one of the most difficult in France, because of the gradient that can significantly exceed 10% for many kilometres over more than 1,200 m of gradient. Since 1992, a cycling fraternity, the "Fêlés du Grand Colombier", has gathered several hundred cyclists from all over Europe who have climbed 2, 3 or 4 of its access roads in the same day.

The Col du Grand Colombier was for the first time at the passage of the 2012 Tour de France during the tenth stage, climbed by Culoz. It was classified out of category, which makes it the first ascent of the Jura massif to be classified at this level and the only ascent out of category outside the Alps and the Pyrenees since the puy de Dôme can no longer accommodate the Tour (until the introduction of the Col de la Biche and the return of the Mont du Chat relay in 2017). It was Frenchman Thomas Voeckler who took the lead at the top.

In stage 14 of the Tour de France of 2020, it became clear that Egan Bernal was not going to succeed himself as the winner. In the stage that was more or less the same as the stage in the Tour de l'Ain (where Primoz Roglic won) of that year, Egan Bernal (and also Nairo Quintana) was put at 7 minutes by Tadej Pogačar (who won the stage) and Primoz Roglic.

- Tour de France 2012 - Stage 10
- Tour de l'Ain 2019 - Stage 3 (Mountain Top Finish)
- Tour de l'Ain 2020 - Stage 3 (Mountain Top Finish)
- Tour de France 2020 - Stage 15