Champoléon, France

The Orcières-Merlette is a col with a length of 10.1 kilometer. This is a category 2 col. It is located in Champoléon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France. The average grade of this col is 5.7% with a maximum of 7.8%. The Orcières-Merlette ascents from 1.207 meter at the start, to 1.797 meter at the top, with a total of 590 ascending meters.


Orcières-Merlette Profile


Distance 10.1 km
Elevation gain 590 m
Average grade 5.7 %
Maximum grade 7.8 %
Climb category 2
Minimum elevation 1207 m
Maximum elevation 1797 m

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Orcières-Merlette was first used as a Tour de France stage host in 1971 edition, when it was used for the finish of stage 11. Luis Ocaña won stage 11, attacking from a group of leading contenders and soloing for the final 60 km. He also gained the yellow jersey as leader of the general classification with a finishing margin of 8:42 minutes over the former leader Eddy Merckx.
Four days later in the Pyrenees on stage 14, a thunderstorm passed as the riders traversed the Col de Menté mountain pass. Race leader Ocaña crashed on the wet roads during the descent and afterward was hit by two other riders. He left the race with an injury, with Merckx reluctantly taking over the Tour lead. He comfortably held the yellow jersey for the remaining stages, ending the Tour with the victory.

The Tour returned to Orcières-Merlette the following year when it was again used across a rest day. Lucien Van Impe took victory at Orcières-Merlette in the initial stage 12.
The next time Orcières-Merlette was visited by the Tour was ten years later in 1982, when it was used for the finish of stage 15, won by Pascal Simon.

In 1989 there was an ITT of 39 KM starting in Gap, in which the riders needed to climb the Col the Manse and the climb to Orcières-Merlette. Steven Rooks won the time trial stage but it was Gert-Jan Theunisse who was the fastest rider on the Orcières-Merlette climb.

- Tour de France 1971 - Stage 11
- Tour de France 1972 - Stage 12
- Tour de France 1982 - Stage 15
- Tour de France 1989 - Stage 15
- Tour de France 2020 - Stage 4