Isère Tourism

The 21 Bends of L'Alpe d'Huez

The high point of the Tour de France, L'Alpe d'Huez and its 21 bends make up the inescapable leg of the Grande Boucle passage. 21 marker boards are dotted along the racers’ arduous route in a countdown of 14 km over a 1,120 m climb.The 21 Bends of L'Alpe d'Huez

On average, nearly 400 cyclists a day make the legendary climb, more than 7,000 cycle tourists participate at La Marmotte and 1,000 are awarded a diploma with an official record of their ascent time. L'Alpe d'Huez is really the Mecca for cycling, and above all it’s a race to complete at least once in your lifetime! Number of bends: 21. Start at Bourg d’Oisans: 717 m. Finish at Alpe d’Huez: 1860 m. Change in altitude: 1121 m. Distance: 14,454 km. Average gradient: 7.9%. Maximum gradient: 14%. Record ascent time: 37’35’’, average speed of 23.08 km/h (Marco Pantani in 1997). The cycling challenge finishes at La Marmotte (174km).

Top tips

The Timtoo chronometric microchip automatically records your time. On the website you can keep track of your performance, updated hourly.  These chips are available from the Bourg d'Oisans Tourist Office. The chip is priced at 36 Swiss Francs, and an annual subscription is available, priced at 12 Swiss Francs.

L’Alpe d'Huez Tourist Office awards more than 2,000 diplomas to cycle tourists who complete the 21 bends, officially recording their ascent time. The diploma is awarded to participants for a token €1, which is given to the ELA Association.