Col d’Izoard, Col de Vars

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Mr.Gib
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Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

Hi All,

Is anybody intimate with the route from Barcelonnette to Briancon and back. Looking at maps there doesn't seem to be a good loop. The only option other then reversing my route and going back over the Izoard and Col de Vars, is to take N94 down the valley to the West. N94 looks horrendous - busy, bad surface, and limited to no bike lane in places. This was basically stage 18 or the Tour last year but of course the road was closed for them. I've got no problem with 200 km and 12,000 feet of climbing, but going back over the two cols would add a lot more climbing and time - I am not sure there are enough hours in the day. Anybody done this?
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

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Roel W
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Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:39 am
Location: Belgium

by Roel W

I was there in 2016 to ride a 6-day cyclo.
Barcelonette to Briancon and back is quite ambitious. I would avoid N94 as well: too much traffic. Both Sides of col de Vars are totaly different: from Barcelonette you have the nicest views but from Guillestre is the most difficult side. Do not underestimate col d'Izoard: it's nice but heavy.
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by Weenie


cookiemonster
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 9:00 pm

by cookiemonster

You can also take the valley road that runs parallel to the N94 to make a loop of the Izoard. Its quite rolling and though, but easier than the Izoard.

A few years back I did something similar - Guillestre to Briancon on the valley road, back over the Izoard, but then up to Risoul and back to Guillestre. We did Vars and the one after the following day (cant recall its name - highest pass used by the tour I think, silly ring road at the top)

I think what you're suggesting is possible, but four major climbs is a big day. I'd be turning around at the top of the Vars and just rolling back down from there.

Mr.Gib
Posts: 3193
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

I looked at this a little closer and taking the smaller road(s) that parallel N94 would mean a lot of clever route finding decisions to link the various sections together and avoid N94. A few places put you on N94 anyway. With such a massive day we can't waste a minute finding the way or taking a wrong turn. I think the best play is an out an back - Barcelonette to Briancon and back. At least that way I'll get to climb both sides of the Izoard and Vars :unbelievable:

And the name you are looking for with the little ring road at the top is the Col de la Bonnette - highest paved pass in Europe. We do that the following day.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

basilic
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Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

I haven't done this as a day ride, and it would be a longish day. However from Briançon to Guillestre is about 36 km over Izoard, then 20 km to top of Vars. There is no point to riding all the way to Barcelonnette on the South side, turn around in Jausiers, of even Gleizolles, at the intersection with the road to col de Larche. So Briançon to Gleizolles and back would be 140 km and maybe 4200m.
A shorter similar ride I have done was Briançon over Izoard then up to col Agnel and back to B. over Izoard; Agnel is spectacular. That was more than enough for me, but if you have the legs, the italian side of Agnello is worth it too.

ps On the day you ride over col de la Bonnette, consider col de la Moutière from St Dalmas-le-Selvage, on the south side. A narrow one lane very quiet road that dead-ends. There is a rocky dirt road, about 3 km, from that col to the main asphalted road of Bonnette, doable on a road bike, but at some risk to your tires.

Mr.Gib
Posts: 3193
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

Thanks for the tips basilic. That's how I was starting to see this ride - no need to go all the way to Briancon. Yeah it's a big day but it will give my wife and I to train that much harder. I like to get to the point that I can do any ride up to 200 km without any issues - that usually takes the worry of blowing up 50 kms from home.

Would love to do the Col de Agnel but that would be another out and back and I definitely want to see the Izoard. I think my other route while I am in Barcelonette will be the Bonnette, col de Champ, Allos loop which will be similarly massive.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

basilic
Posts: 694
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

nice plan!
(sorry, I had you starting at the north end)

by Weenie


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