Do you have ‘King of Mountain’ (KOM) legs and aspire to climb Europe’s toughest road cycling climbs?
A regular feature in Professional tours, these mountains will literally take your breath away as you inch your way to the top, some standing at more than 2000m above sea level.
Alp de Huez (1,860m at peak)
Synonymous with Tour de France, you know the tour gets interesting when they get to Alp de Huez. Sparks fly with the mountain goats in the peloton, and you too can imagine yourself racing against the likes of Froome, Contador and Quintana in that part of the race.
Many epic parties have been reported over the years as massive crowds flock to its 21 switchbacks, over the 13.8km long climb, with an average gradient of 8.1%.
Col du Galibier, France (2,646m at peak)
Names you almost can’t pronounce, well, most French names seem that way anyway. Col du Galibier stand tall and mighty among the jagged peaks of the Dauphiné Alps in France. The long and steep climb traversing the narrow roads just etched out of the mountains, be sure to bring an extra gear or two on your adventure.
Grimsel Pass (2,165m at peak)
Some say Switzerland’s snow capped mountains are meant to be admired from a far, but KOM cyclists will say, “let me have a go at it!”. This regular feature in Tour de Suisse, will take you through granite mountains past two huge reservoirs, and is often closed between October and May, due to high snowfall.
Mont Ventoux, France (1,912m at peak)
Mont Ventoux came into the spotlight recently when eventual Tour de France 2016 winner, Chris Froome, infamously ditched his broken bike and continued running towards the finish line at the top of Mont Ventoux.
Now everyone is paying tribute in their own way, and some aspiring KOM cyclists might want to re-enact that scene, which will be the most talked about scene for generations to come. Be warned, it’s steep and it only gets steeper.
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