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Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 100 - 91

In-depth
20 Apr 2020
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The inclusion of Box Hill was what caused the most fierce debate within Cyclist HQ when we first looked at compiling this list. For us, the metropolitan city elite that we are, Box Hill has been a common hunting ground for many of the Cyclist staff for years and years as we've ventured from our London homes for anything that resembles a hill.

If you don't live close to the climb, it's nothing special and not worth the visit and if we were a magazine based elsewhere, it probably wouldn't make the cut.

But because we are and we all ride Zig Zag road so often, we had to find space for it somewhere.

The Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs

Introducing the Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 100 - 91  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 90 - 81  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 80 - 71  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 70 - 61  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 60 - 51  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 50 - 41  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 40 - 31  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 30 - 21  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 20 - 11  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 10 - 4  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: Number 3  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: Number 2  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: Number 1  

100 - Box Hill, Surrey, UK (2.4km, 4.9%)

Words Joe Robinson Photography George Marshall

‘Box Hill’s not a hill, it’s a speed bump! If you want to see a real climb, you should come to where I live…’

Yes, we get it, Box Hill is no Monte Zoncolan but it is still an iconic climb, the go-to test for any London-based cyclist south of the river and one of Strava’s most attempted segments thanks to the annual RideLondon sportive.

And for that reason, we think it makes the cut. Just.

See the ultimate Box Hill route on Komoot

99 - Silvretta-Hochalpenstrasse, Voralberg, Austrian Alps (13.3km, 6.9%)

Words Stu Bowers Photography Richie Hopson

The Silvretta might feel a bit hard done by being this far down the list. After all, it’s a mighty climb with 29 hairpins and two magnificent dams, their reservoirs brimming with turquoise glacial water.

Indeed, the stats don’t really do it justice. Most consider the true start point of the climb to be Partenen, but the road through the valley ascends gradually for some time before you reach that point, from where there is still a vertical kilometre to the summit in a little over 13km.

We demand a recount!

See the ultimate Silvretta route on Komoot here

98 - Grosse Scheidegg, Bern, Switzerland (16.4km, 7.7%)

Words Pete Muir Photography Patrik Lundin

Starting from the town of Meiringen in the Bernese Alps, this road passes the Reichenbach Falls, where Sherlock Holmes fell to his death in a fight against his arch-enemy Moriarty (or did he?!?).

It then winds upwards through fields of grazing cows, heading for the brooding cliffs of the Wetterhorn. So massive and sheer are the mountains here, it’s an ominous place to ride, made all the more so once you arrive at the summit and look over to the north face of the Eiger, an 1,800m vertical wall that has claimed the lives of 64 mountaineers.

Suddenly the 8% slope you’ve cycled up doesn’t seem so bad after all.

See the ultimate Grosse Scheidegg route on Komoot

97 - Col du Soulor, Pyrenees, France (7km, 8.2%)

Words Martin James Photography George Marshall

The 1,474m Col du Soulor is often overlooked in the pantheon of great Pyrenean climbs, largely through no fault of its own. Because of its proximity to the Col d’Aubisque, it’s often ridden in the Tour de France as part of the eastern ascent of the taller Aubisque, and so appears as an entirely uncategorised climb.

But whether you ride it on its own or on your way to the top of the Aubisque, the Soulor is a formidable test, with a higher average gradient than many climbs in the region and a maximum slope of 15%.

Respect.

See the ultimate Col du Soulor route on Komoot

96 - Mitzpe Ramon Road, Negev Desert, Israel (4km, 6.8%)

Words James Spender Photography Mike Massaro

If Formula 1 ever did a hill climb, this is where would happen. Yes, it’s quite short and not that steep, but if there is a more immaculate stretch of winding tarmac we’ve yet to find it.

Comprising four hairpins coiled uniformly atop each other and a tail end that stretches away into the endless Negev Desert, you’ll find it easy enough to get up in under 20 minutes, but you’ll want to spend far longer savouring the view at the top.

It’s the Makhtesh Ramon Crater – the largest of its kind in the world – that truly takes the breath away. And if you do the climb near dusk, you can appreciate one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world too.

See the ultimate Mitzpe Ramon crater route on Komoot

95 - Lagos de Covadonga, Asturias, Spain (16km, 7.4%)

Words Sam Challis Photography Richie Hopson

The Lagos de Covadonga is Spain’s version of Alpe d’Huez, being very similar in length, altitude gain and gradients, just with fewer hairpins. 

Like Alpe d’Huez, it also features regularly in its domestic Grand Tour. Any time the Vuelta a España heads into the far north of the country, there’s a good chance the pros will get to enjoy the picturesque and winding climb.

Being a dead end, once you’re at the summit there is nowhere to go but back the way you came. Luckily there is a restaurant at the top of the climb, which you are well advised to visit for energy and ballast on the way home.

See the ultimate Covadonga route on Komoot

94 - Mount Baldy, Los Angeles, USA (20.7km, 7%)

Words Stu Bowers Photography Juan Trujillo Andrades

Just a short hop from downtown LA, Mount Baldy is often referred to as the Mont Ventoux of the US due to it having similar stats and also because of the exposed nature of its summit.

The early part is relatively unspectacular on wide, gently sloping roads, but the latter section rises to a crescendo through a dozen hairpin bends with the gradient now significantly more challenging – 8%-15% – up to the ski resort at 1,967m that has hosted several decisive stage finishes in the Tour of California.

See the ultimate Mount Baldy route on Komoot

93 - Mur de Huy, Wallonia, Belgium (1.3km, 9.3%)

Words Joe Robinson Photography Alex Duffill

No race is as defined by a single climb as Flèche Wallonne is by the Mur de Huy.

Since 1984, this 1.3km Walloon wall has been the finishing line for the midweek Ardennes Classic and has consistently been the site of the highest drama.

Some say it’s a boring event – a 199km race being decided its final 1,300m stretch at 9.3% – but it is for that very reason, its sheer significance on an annual basis, that it earns a place in Cyclist’s 100 Classic Climbs.

See the ultimate Muur de Huy route on Komoot

92 - Passo Valparola, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy (11.8 km, 6.7%)

Words Peter Stuart Photography Juan Trujillo Andrades

The Valparola is probably best known as the sixth of seven climbs along the route of the annual Maratona dles Dolomites sportive. While that means that many riders will associate it with a sadistic challenge after having already completed 4,000m of climbing, it is also one of the most striking ascents in the Dolomites.

And if the towering limestone spires aren’t enough, you can always stop near the summit at the famous Tre Sassi museum and fortress, commemorating the role of the region in the First World War.

See the ultimate Valparola route on Komoot here

91 - Col du Noyer, Hautes-Alpes, France (7.5km, 8.5%)

Words Pete Muir Photography Geoff Waugh

All too often, when the Tour de France is transitioning between the Alps and the Pyrenees, it takes the quick route, serving up a sprint stage or two before the climbing starts again.

But just occasionally (four times, to be exact) it takes a slight detour to tackle the Col du Noyer.

It should do so more frequently because the Col du Noyer is rather pretty in a bleak, craggy, wastelandy sort of way. It throws in a couple of cheeky switchbacks, some magnificent views, and even has a little refuge at the summit that once belonged to Napoleon.

See the ultimate Col du Noyer route on Komoot

Ride the Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs with Komoot

Cyclist has teamed up with its good friends at Komoot to give you the ultimate route for each and every climb in the list.

If you are new to Komoot, it is offering a free regional bundle (worth £8.99). Simply follow this link to Komoot.com and create your free account today.

Alternatively, head to Komoot and enter the voucher code CYCLIST100. Valid until 31.07.2020