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Col De La Madeleine

Consistently uphill...compared to most cols where there is a little up and down, or at least an easier section where you can take a little recovery, the Col de la Madeleine from the south side is not for the fainthearted - pretty much a straight ramp all the way from 450m up to 2000m.  This means that the 19km climb averages out at 8% - more than any of the other cols in the region except the Col du Parquetout (which whilst steeper, is only 7km long).  From the town of La Chambre the Madeleine starts by winding up through the trees and meadows around some small villages.  As it gets higher, you pass through the small ski resort of Longchamp 1650, and at the top there is a restaurant where you can get a Col de La Madeleine cycling jersey to prove you did it!

The Col de la Madeleine has been included in the Tour de France 23 times, and is also featuring in the 2012 tour on stage 11 - which takes in the Madeleine, the Col de la Croix de Fer, the Col du Mollard, and finishes in the ski resort of La Toussuire.