The ugly Alp?

Cyclist magazine has run its top 100 climbs in this months magazine.

Strangely as I thumbed up and down the list, Alp D’Huez was only just able to scrape into the top 50.

I agree with the magazine’s protestation that its not the most visually endearing climb as you ride up it or on the white knuckle descent back down it.

I also concur that there are more scenic routes nearby with the Sarenne and Villard Regulas. I would also say that the summit of the Croix der Fer is more appealing.

I also agree that the town at the top is set up to take cyclists credit cards and hammer them! The first time I rode up I wobbled my way back down with a jersey and a bottle stuffed down the back of my jersey.

But.

When your wheels go over the roundabout out of Bourg D’Oisans and turn left past the campsite you are transported to a different world.

A world where Steve Rooks and Andy Hampsten are grinding their way up through the forested area. Where a wide eyed teenager would watch the tv highlights before heading out across the fens looking for a flyover or small drag to get his jersey zipper open to imitate his heroes.

So whilst if you judge it purely on aesthetics there are better climbs, if you judge it on the experience of riding up it in the wheel tracks of legends, there is none better.