From Saint Jean de Sixt we planned a route that would take us to Albertville via two cols. We prayed for quiet roads after two days of the opposite and ended up with our wish granted.

First up was the Col du Marais. It was a great warm up col as we left early in the morning to beat the traffic and the heat. The slopes were consistently mild and the pastoral landscape was pleasant.

After a descent to the cheerful village of Faverges, we found ourselves at the base of the Col de TamiĆ©. The nice thing about climbing in France is the cycling specific signage. At the base of every climb is a sign that gives you the climb’s statistics: total length, elevation at the top of the col, an elevation profile that breaks down the average gradient of each kilometer of the climb. It’s a great way to wrap your head around how much energy you expect to give to make the summit.

TamiƩ was 11km long with no average gradient greater than 6 percent. The climb went well. It was so nice in fact that we decided to tack on a bonus climb to an old fort, which just happened to give us stunning views of Albertville the valley below and the snow covered Mont Blanc in the distance. It was an unexpected gift that kept giving as we descended from the fort to Albertville.

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