Cormet De Roselend via Col du Pré – French Alps

Cormet De Roselend via Col du Pré – French Alps

This climb for Stage 11 of the 2018 Tour de France from Albertville to La Rosière, is the first time the Col du Pré will feature in the Tour de France. The Pros may be going twice as fast as me, but this challenging climb will definitely sort the wheat from the chaff in this years tour.

At a Glance Facts

Cormet Roselend via col du pré
Cormet Roselend via col du pré raw elevation
  • Length of climb: 25km
  • Start elevation: 780m
  • Summit elevation: 1968m
  • Elevation gain: 1188m
  • Gradient (avg): 5.6%
  • Gradient (max): 12.7%
  • Difficulty: 10/10

Col du Pré climb

The Climb

On my recent trip to the Alps we took the opportunity to test ourselves up this lesser known route.

Riding up and out of Bourg Saint-Maurice, over the Roselend, and down the main road D925 into the beautiful town of Beaufort. Was a challenging ride in and of itself, the descent into Beaufort is 20km of twisting hairpins through the woods dropping over 1100 metres.

Beaufort town centre
Beaufort town centre

Arriving into Beaufort we stopped at this lovely little cafe to regroup and grab a light lunch to refuel before heading up the 25km climb.

Nice place for a spot of lunch
Lunch in Beaufort

Unfortunately, unbeknownst to us we’d already started the main climb strava segment finding the spot to eat. I’m blaming this for not placing in the top 10 official times up the hill 😉

Heading up the D218A in the direction of Arêches the climb begins, the first section lulling you into a false sense of security as to the climb ahead. The climb of the Col du Pré is not to be underestimated.

Martin our local guide for the weekend gave us plenty of warning. This climb adds an extra 5km to the climb back up the hill to that of our descent, and those extra kilometres unfortunately do not flatten this out. The main chunk of this climb is often at 10% or beyond with little in the way of shade to shelter us from the afternoon sun.

Cresting the summit of the Col du Pré brings a sense of relief but also offers stunning views and turquoise water of Lac de Roselend.

This beautiful dam and lake nestled 6km from the summit of the Roselend was built in the 1950s to produce hydroelectric power for the region.

View of the lake at the top of Col du Pré
View of the lake at the top of Col du Pré

Taking a short descent down from the Col du Pré onto and across the Roselend Dam is a welcome break for the legs giving chance to recover before joining the main road from Beaufort and beginning the final 6km climb up to the summit of the Cormet du Roselend.

The final climb up towards the Roseland
The final climb up towards the Roselend


Looking back towards the Lac Roselend
Looking back towards the Lac Roselend and the Col du Pré

Thankfully this last section of climb fluctuates around 6-8% so you can look up and enjoy the beautiful scenery as it opens up around you on the way to the summit of the Roselend.

If you are ever in this area, this is a top climb to tick off. A great day in the saddle.

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