The Col de la Madone (927m) is a famous climb on the French Riviera, near the French-Italian border. Many cyclists who visit this area base themselves in Nice, about 30km away.
It’s a popular climb among professional cyclists and is often used as preparation for big races such as the Tour de France. Lance Armstrong frequently tested himself on this climb to gauge his Tour de France readiness.
There are two ways to ascend the Col de la Madone,
- From Menton (southeast)
- From La Turbie (south)
Starting point : Menton
Menton sits at sea level (41m) and is southeast of Col de la Madone.
Because of its popularity, there are many Strava segments for Col de la Madone, each with a slightly different starting point. The most common starting point is the Intermarche-Menton supermarket along the D22.
From here, the climb up to Col de la Madone is 12.7km long and averages 6.5%. The gradient is consistent throughout the climb, allowing you to set a steady pace.
|Col de la Madone from Menton|
|Strava segment||Col de la Madone from Menton|
Starting point : La Turbie
La Turbie is southwest of Col de la Madone and sits at a higher elevation of 461m. This side up the Col de la Madone is lesser-known; thus, you won’t see many cyclists on the road.
The climb from La Turbie is easier at 11.7km long and averages 3.7%. There is a 3.5km false flat section in the middle before it gets steep again for the last 4km.
|Col de la Madone from La Turbie|
|Strava segment||Col de la Madone from La Turbie|
Col de la Madone in the Tour de France
The Col de la Madone is probably the most popular climb in France that has never been featured in the Tour de France.
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