Cycling the Col de Montgenèvre Pass

From France to the Italian border

This area of the Alps is relatively close to Italy and it has been a trading route since the days of the Roman Empire. Setting off from Briançon this ride of the Col de Montgenèvre Pass will take you to the Italian border at the summit of the climb. The mountain pass has been featured both in the Tour de France as well as the Giro d’Italia.

Gentle gradients on the Climb of the Montgenévre Pass

Cycling the Col du Montgenèvre will provide you with a good introduction to cycling in the Alps. There is a kind average gradient of 5% for the entire climb. The road is never too steep, with the maximum gradient not exceeding 8%. Along the climb you will have some hairpins to negotiate, winding your way to the summit. Definitely make sure to take in the commanding views back along the valley to Briançon which are simply breathtaking. Be mindful, this is the main road in the Alps linking France to Turin in Italy. This road, in particular, can get quite busy with traffic.

An option to ride to Italy and tackle the Colle de Sestriere

The riding route mapped out below will take you out to the summit of the pass before turning back around to head back to Briançon. It is possible to continue on to Italy. If you are feeling more adventurous you could choose to continue on and descend the other side. From there it would be possible to take on the more challenging climb of the Colle de Sestriere and not to mention savor a proper Italian coffee! This will certainly make for a very big day out on the bike so the coffee certainly won’t go astray!

Suggested cycling route

Distance: 12.3km / 7.7mi

Start elevation: 1219m / 2388ft

Max elevation: 1850m / 6069ft

Metres climbed: 754m / 2475ft

Metres descended: 754m / 2475ft

Categorised climbs: 1


  • Enjoy stunning views of the valley and Briançon as you make your way to the top.
  • It isn’t every day you can say you have ridden to the border of another country – this ride will take you to Italy!

Food and water

You can refuel with both food and water in the ski resort village of Montgenèvre just prior to the summit.

Climb statistics and gradient profile

Gradient profile for Col de Montgenevre from Briancon

Col du Montgenèvre Pass

Length: 12.3km / 7.7mi

Average gradient: 5%

Start point: Briançon

Elevation at top: 1850m / 6069ft

Discover our comprehensive guide to Cycling in the French Alps

The ride of the Col de Montgenèvre Pass is just one of many great cycling routes near the town of Briançon which you can enjoy. This area of the French Alps is very popular with cyclists year-round owing to the great mountain passes nearby which have been made famous by the Tour de France.

If you are not familiar with the French Alps then, our comprehensive guide will help you plan everything you need for your cycling holiday. The guide includes information such as:

  • a map of the French Alps with climbs and towns marked
  • where to base yourself whist on your cycling holiday
  • cycling hotels and lodges
  • bike hire outlets
  • getting to and from Nice
  • non-cycling attractions and activities in the region

Click here to see a list of cycling routes we have mapped out in the French Alps.