Sign up for our newsletter

Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: Number 3

4 May 2020

3 Col du Galibier (inc. Col du Telegraphe), Rhone-Alpes, France, 18.1km, 6.9%/11.8km, 7.3%)

For the bronze medal spot we have bent the rules a little to include two climbs

Words Joe Robinson Photography Alex Duffill/Geroge Marshall

Morecambe and Wise, Shearer and Sutton, fish and chips. The Col du Galibier and Col du Telegraphe are cycling’s addition to the wonderful world of double acts.

Each can hold its own alone, but together they form an unforgettably formidable force. Hence why we have bent the rules to combine both climbs for the bronze medal in our list.

It is almost impossible to picture one without the other. After all, to get to the giant slopes of the Galibier from the north, you’re forced into an 11.8km of the Col du Telegraphe by way of a warm-up.

Ironically, while steeper, the Telegraphe is the easier climb, not least because it’s a full 6km shorter but also because its constantly sweeping road helps distract the mind from the task at hand.

In fact, ask those who have ridden it, and they will likely tell you the Telegraphe is one of the best climbs they have ever tackled. Never too hard, never too easy.

The same cannot be said for the Galibier. When standing on its tiptoes, it reaches a height of 2,642m, making it the eighth highest paved road in the Alps, and to rub salt into the wound, the hardest part is near the climb’s crest.

Add in the fact that the higher parts of the climb are often battered by strong winds, creating what feels like a permanent headwind, and you will soon realise why this beast is so revered and feared by the professional peloton.

The Tour de France first visited in 1911. Emile Georget was the first to the summit, followed some time after by Paul Duboc and Gustave Garrigou, the trio being the only riders not forced into walking up the climb at some point.

Despite many appearances at the Tour since then, only once has the Galibier played host to a stage finish. That was in 2011 when Andy Schleck produced one of the greatest solo performances ever witnessed to roll across the line after 60km of riding alone.

See the ultimate Col du Galibier 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 and create your free account today.

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

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