Thursday, July 16, 2020

Top 10 best roads for cycling in France

The scary Parpaillon Tunnel! Long, unlit, wet, it has it all!

We cyclists are always dreaming of the best roads for cycling. Usually big mountains but not only them. Also other kind of roads with personality, with something special that makes most of us be willing to ride them and get another road ticked in our personal list.

The following is my personal list of best 10 roads in France. Did not ride all of them but I did most. And of course I am open to include other roads if they are proven to be better!

  1. Combe de Laval. When there is a list of the best gorges in France, this road in Combe du Laval comes always to the top. Please visit
  2. Col de la Loze : This is the brand new road only for cyclists linking the high ski resorts of Meribel and Courchevel. Opened in May 2019, and is the seventh-highest mountain pass in France. The ascent featured in the 2019 Tour de l'Avenir, and will also feature in the 2020 Tour de France. See video on top of the list.
  3. Gorges du Verdon. One of the nicest Gorges in France, amazing place for cycling close to the mediterranean coast. A couple of amazing cycling loops to discover the region:
  4. Voie Fignon (Tourmalet). Tourmalet is the most important climb in cycling history, linked to Tour de France. And a part of it is dedicated just to cyclists. Can you imagine that amazing spot without any car and amazing views? Voie Fignon, that's it.
  5. Ventoux/Gorges de la Nesque. That's the best and the most classic loop when you visit the big mountain in the Provence. The right thing to do would be climbing from Bedoin side (the steepest), then Simpson monument and the top. Back same way to Chalet Reynard and then direction to Sault and Gorge de la Nesque to Bedoin again.
  6. Lacets de Montvernier. Included in the Tour de France for the first time in 2015 (and also later in 2018), there are very few roads as scenic as the Lacets de Montvernier, stunning. The Lacets are in the Alps, close to the famous Col de la Madeleine.
  7. Cirque de Navacelles. Little unknown place southern France, but fantastic spot.
  8. Cirque du Litor. One of the key places in the Pyrenees on the way to Col d'Aubisque from Col de Soulor. You are lucky if you get it on claer day witout mist, with amazing views.
  9. Passage de Gois. Another little road discovered by the Tour de France in 1999. This road is covered with mud as it is under the sea 12 hours a day (high tide). And then, when the low tide you can ride it. Weird feeling riding there.
  10. Tunel de Parpaillon. This a scary no lit tunnel over 1 km long at 2300 mts height, one of the highest in the Alps. Very special place. Last half of the ascent is not asphalted, then MTB or gravel bike needed.
France has plenty of amazing roads, a dream for every cyclist. But this top 10 list is hard to beat. Do you agree? Any other road that should be on the list. Comment below!