D211B Villard Reculas s(u)

This is one of the balcony-like roads, that line the mountain sides above Bourg d'Oisans. One view, that (I think) would entice any avid cyclist to ride this, is from a descend of Col d'Ornon. From that vantage point it seems hard to believe, that a road could reach this group of houses on top of folded rock layers, that seem like a 1000m high layered croissant, cut cleanly with a knife.

My 1:200 000 Michelin map of the Rhone alps shows the name Col du Poutran at this location. However I checked in with the tourist department in Villard Reculas, and sure enough - Col du Poutran can be accessed by bike, but an MTB would be much better. It is located on a trail of sorts in the ski area, and several lifts carry the same name. They have a detailed map to prove it.


1.(00.0km,726m) START-END NORTH: la Fonderie in Allemond
2.(01.2km,800m) profile turns right after crossing dam over Lac du Verney
3.(11.6km,1452m) Villard Reculas
4.(13.1km,1538m) TOP: point of highest elevation
5.(15.2km,1429m) road joins Alp d'Huez road; profile turns right
6.(24.2km,715m) START-END SOUTH: jct N91 - road to Alp d'Huez, on the north west end of Bourg d'Oisans


From North. North of the village Allemond the main road climbs up to a dam, and then traverses it, giving a nice overview of the town. The road to Villard Reculas branches off this main road after it has crossed the dam. A wide road affords better and better views of the Belledonne chain of mountains, as it climbs to the south. But the even more dramatic views are still to come. After providing a elaborate work out, the road switches onto the north side of the ridge, and now for the first time gives an impression of the full depth of the Gorge de la Romanche. The point of highest altitude comes after going through the village of Villard Reculas. Here the view shed changes to take in the north of the valley. The road along the summit is much narrower and many benches line the hillside, providing a wide selection of a lunch pique-nique sites. Up here you have little idea that you are actually on top of a very precipitous cliff. But looking across the hillside, and seeing the corresponding rock layers, sliced down to the valley, as if cut with a knife, gives a good idea of what this side looks like

From South. The road continues to traverse the hillside, giving more of what a balcony road has to offer - balcony views, and then enters the lower older part of Huez. The drop between the high point and the jct with the Alp d'Huez climb measures a little more than a 100m on the map, making this a summit as opposed to a shoulder summit.

A Dayride with this point as intermediate summit is on the page: Col de Solud

The last summit ride with different start and end points on this Extended Tour is on the page: Col de Morte

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