Col d Agnel

Sitting on the fence at the Col d Agnel - France/Italie

Date: 25th July 2023
Ride No. 92
Grade: 9/10
Location: Ville-Vielle

Segment ID:16645449
My Time: 1:43:58


 I need pain and suffering

After the interesting ride to Sestrieres, I decided a rest day on Monday was a good idea.

Well, to be exact, the weather forecast dictated that.

My three weather apps forecasted all day rain with thunder.

In fact, it turned out to be a dry and bright day.

I frustratingly regarded this as a day wasted,  and I was eager to make amends.

Pain and psuffering in the form of the 20Km, 9/10 Col d Agnel from Ville Vieille would be the cure,


Up and down but always up

Starting my climb from the boulangerie and over the bridge it was a short gentle start, before the 9%, leg awakening.

Within a few Kms the ggradinet relented to 5% before returning to 9%.

The climb had now become a roller coaster and I thought of it as, “Dolly Parton” (I was working nine to five).

So disruptive and tiring when trying to maintain a cadence.

With an easing gradient I passed through the deserted village streets of Pierre Grosse.

Any expectation, that this would be the end of the rolling gradients was dampened.

As the gradient picked up so did the wind in the now open landscape

The wind bounced around the valley.

One minute it was a head on and the next it was pushing you sideways.

Together with the rolling gradient this was ‘fun’ until a respite.

Ahead of me I coudl see a significant gradient drop and it was enough to risk a deft finger chain lift.

With the large chain ring fired up it was time to make the most of the opportunity.

With 6Km the inevitiable 9-12% wall towered in front of me.

Crashing back down to the small chain ring I picked up my cadence much to the cheer of two roadworkers.

As I sweated and struggled I offered a smiliing gesture (I think).

My legs were really enjoying the. 9-12% gradients and variable winds :-(.



Despite the appearance of a nice summer day the sweat on my shirt and bandana was now chilling in an icy wind.

With less than 2Km to the summit I decided that it was not worth while stopping to put on a jacket.

It would have just filled with sweat.

As I reached the small car park at the summit, cars, motorcycles, and a few cyclists were all jostling for shelter from the wind for that essential photo. (So was I, of course).

Besides offering magnificent views the the summit of the Col d Agnel is also an Italian-French border with a very distinct border line.

I wondered who would look after me if I collapsed from hyperthermia on that line? (A bit like the TV series the Bridge but hopefull it would all be me and I would be alive).

With my descending top now on, and a fresh bandana, I headed back down through the chill.

I don’t think I warmed until the final 2Km on this great roller coaster, but it was a stunning ride and well worth the effort.

The Col d Agnel is truly a demanding and  great climb.