The col Agnel on a bicycle
The ascent of the col d’Agnel can be done from Ville Vieille, in the municipality of Château Ville Vieille, or from the side of the Varaita valley in Villanovetta, municipality of Verzuolo. The ascent on the French side, starting from Molines, is regular and magnificent. The ascent takes 21 kilometers with an average slope of 6.5%. The last 5 kilometers require more effort with an average slope of 9%.
The ascent of the Italian side is particularly difficult. It takes more than 22 kilometers with an average slope of 6.5%, some passages vary between 11 and 14% average slope. The last 10-kilometer section before reaching the summit, between 1,800 and 2,740 meters, requires training with an average slope of 9.5%.
At the summit, you get an incredible panorama of the Barre des Écrins, Mount Pelvoux and the Meije, but also of the nearby Italian border. The Col d’Agnel offers a wonderful high mountain landscape.
Due to its location on the French-Italian border, the Col d’Agnel has welcomed both the Tour of Italy and the Tour de France. The Tour of Italy has passed through it 4 times in 1994, 2000, 2007 and 2016. The riders of the Tour de France passed it in 2008 for the first time. It was initially not supposed to be crossed, but was scheduled following a change in the route, as the Col de Larche was considered too dangerous.