Sitting high above Verbier at an impressive 2,174m, this is an unrelenting slog of a climb. 1,700 metres of ascent over 22 kilometres at a fairly steady 7-9%. Punchy. Le Cure took it on in glorious sunshine from the west on day 1 of the 2020 edition.
After having racked up a few sedate few kms after lunch beside the Rhine, the first stretch up of the climb up to La Tzoumaz was a wide, exceedingly well surfaced road (Switzerland after all). However, the paved ran out just after La Tzoumaz, and from there, we were treated to a compacted gravel track, with some paved remnants, which winds its way up through the forest before emerging above the tree line in traffic free bliss. An epic climax to day 1, and probably our toughest opening start since the infamous Iseran on day 1 in 2015
The eastern ascent of the col featured in the Tour de France in 2009 (Bertie Contador in 2009), but the rumours are that the harder western face is on the cards in the near future. The ASO route planners are obviously following our Strava account.