Guillestre - Izoard - Guillestre
The 14km of the climb that makes the Izoard has created legends in our sport. Coppi, Bobet and Thevenet in the glory days of steel. Chiappucci, Van Impe, Botero, and Garzelli in the modern era of lightweight bikes and carbon. It is a very unique place, with a harsh beauty that bakes you in the summer. The day we climbed it was a blistering 93 degrees. We rode it from Guillestre up and back down the stunning ravine section along the Guil River. The climb before the climb, a steady 10km up to the left hand turn onto the foot of the Izoard. It is always good to mention these things when trying to convince others to ride HC climbs. The road after the village of Cervieres is an 8-9% drag up the valley towards the imposing peaks looming over the Casse Deserte. When you get yourself around those final hairpins on the last corner before the entrance to the Deserte you will see a view that will do one of two things. You will stop in your tracks and your heart will sore, or it will drop right down into your cleats. There in front of you will be one of the most desolate beautiful scenes in the Alps, and a perfect view of the last 5km of climbing through the iconic Casse Deserte to the summit. It is a huge natural amphitheater that has seen some of the greatest showdowns in cycling.