L’Alpe d’Huez is a ski resort at 1,250 to 3,330 meters (4,100 to 10,930 ft) in the Central French Western Alps, in the commune of Huez. The climb is used regularly in the Tour de France, including twice on the same day in 2013. Despite it is certainly not the toughest climb in the French Alps and in Europe, it is one of the most iconic climbs of the Tour de France.

Alpe d’Huez in the Tour de France

Alpe d'Huez, Fausto Coppi
Fausto Coppi climbing up to Alpe d’Huez, 1952. “Il campionissimo” was the first rider who conquered Alpe d’Huez, in history.

The legendary Alpe d’Huez was first introduced in the Tour de France in 1952. It was also the first mountaintop finish in the Tour de France history. Fausto Coppi, “il campionissimo” won that first stage.

Coppi attacked 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the summit to rid himself of the French rider Jean Robic.He turned the Alpe into an instant legend because this was the year that motorcycle television crews first came to the Tour. The veteran reporter, Jacques Augendre, said:

“The Tourmalet, the Galibier, and the Izoard were the mythical mountains of the race. These three cols were supplanted by the Alpe d’Huez. Why? Because it’s the col of modernity. Coppi’s victory in 1952 was the symbol of a golden age of cycling, that of champions [such as] Coppi, Bartali, Kubler, Koblet, Bobet. But only Coppi and Armstrong and Carlos Sastre have been able to take the maillot jaune on the Alpe and to keep it to Paris. That’s not by chance. From the first edition, shown on live television, the Alpe d’Huez definitively transformed the way the Grande Boucle ran. No other stage has had such drama. With its 21 bends, its gradient and the number of spectators, it is a climb in the style of Hollywood.”

Fausto Coppi wins the first Alpe d’Huez stage in the 1952 Tour de France

Hairpins

Alpe d’Huez has a total of 21 hairpin bends. All these hairpin bends are named after the winners of stages. In 2001, Lance Armstrong was the 22nd winner, so naming restarted at the bottom with Lance Armstrong’s name added to Coppi’s.

Names on the hairpins are (Alpe d’Huez stage winners):

  1. Fausto Coppi (1952), Lance Armstrong (2001)
  2. Joop Zoetemelk (1976), Iban Mayo (2003)
  3. Hennie Kuiper (1977), Lance Armstrong (2004)
  4. Hennie Kuiper (1978), Frank Schleck (2006)
  5. Joachim Agostinho (1979), Carlos Sastre (2008)
  6. Joop Zoetemelk (1979), Pierre Rolland (2011)
  7. Peter Winnen (1981), Christophe Riblon (2013)
  8. Beat Breu (1982), Thibaut Pinot (2015)
  9. Peter Winnen (1983), Geraint Thomas (2018)
  10. Luis Herrera (1984)
  11. Bernard Hinault (1986)
  12. Federico Echave (1987)
  13. Steven Rooks (1988)
  14. Gert-Jan Theunisse (1989)
  15. Gianni Bugno (1990)
  16. Gianni Bugno (1991)
  17. Andrew Hampsten (1992)
  18. Roberto Conti (1994)
  19. Marco Pantani (1995)
  20. Marco Pantani (1997)
  21. Giuseppe Guerini (1999)

The Dutch Mountain

Alpe d’Huez has been nicknamed the “Dutch Mountain” since Dutchmen won eight of the first 14 finishes in the Tour De France.

Alpe d'Huez
The famous “Dutch Corner” on Alpe d’Huez climb.
Alpe d'Huez climb profile
Alpe d’Huez climb profile. The climb is 13.2 km long. You gain 1071 meters in total, so the average gradient is 8.1%. According to the Climb by bike website, the climb is ranked 808 in the world. The maximum slope is 13%.

Top 200 all-time fastest climbs on the Alpe d’Huez

# | Cyclist | Time (min:sec) | Year

In reversed order (fastest in the end)

Notes:

  • These results are from the Tour de France. For example, Alberto Contador holds one of the fastest times of the climb with 37′ 30″, achieved during the 2010 Critérium du Dauphiné. It was not included in the list below.
  • The 2004 stage was an individual time trial.
  • Winning the stage atop Alpe d’Huez does not mean you are the fastest rider on the climb in that particular stage. For example, Thibaut Pinot won in 2015 but his time was 41:17. Nairo Quintana was the fastest on the climb that day with 39:22.
  1. Santiago Botero | 42:11 | 2004
  2. Laurent Fignon | 42:10 | 1987
  3. Simon Yates | 42:10 | 2015
  4. Pedro Delgado | 42:09 | 1987
  5. Laurent Fignon | 42:09 | 1989
  6. Pedro Delgado | 42:09 | 1989
  7. Andy Schleck | 42:09 | 2011
  8. Frank Schleck | 42:09 | 2011
  9. Damiano Cunego | 42:09 | 2011
  10. Thomas De Gendt | 42:09 | 2011
  11. Cadel Evans | 42:09 | 2011
  12. Peter Velits | 42:09 | 2011
  13. Roman Kreuziger | 42:08 | 2013
  14. Roberto Laiseka | 42:07 | 2001
  15. Igor G. de Galdeano | 42:07 | 2001
  16. Francisco Mancebo | 42:05 | 2001
  17. Oscar Sevilla | 42:05 | 2004
  18. Sylvain Chavanel | 42:04 | 2006
  19. Kevin Livingston | 42:03 | 1997
  20. Pierre Rolland | 42:03 | 2011
  21. Nairo Quintana | 42:03 | 2018
  22. Ruben Lobato | 42:00 | 2006
  23. Kim Kirchen | 41:59 | 2004
  24. Marzio Bruseghin | 41:58 | 2004
  25. Ryder Hesjedal | 41:58 | 2015
  26. Jakob Fuglsang | 41:58 | 2018
  27. Marius Sabaliauskas | 41:57 | 2004
  28. Richard Virenque | 41:57 | 2004
  29. Michael Boogerd | 41:57 | 2006
  30. Yaroslav Popovych | 41:57 | 2006
  31. Giuseppe Guerini | 41:56 | 1999
  32. Stefano Garzelli | 41:56 | 2006
  33. Wout Poels | 41:54 | 2015
  34. Yuriy Krivtsov | 41:53 | 2004
  35. Alberto Contador | 41:52 | 2013
  36. Jakob Fuglsang | 41:52 | 2013
  37. Mikel Nieve | 41:52 | 2013
  38. Pierrick Fedrigo | 41:49 | 2004
  39. Laudelino Cubino | 41:48 | 1995
  40. Laurent Dufaux | 41:48 | 1995
  41. Anthony Charteau | 41:48 | 2004
  42. Bernhard Kohl | 41:47 | 2008
  43. Christian Vandevelde | 41:47 | 2008
  44. Denis Menchov | 41:47 | 2008
  45. Cadel Evans | 41:47 | 2008
  46. Vladimir Efimkin | 41:47 | 2008
  47. Frank Schleck | 41:45 | 2008
  48. Alejandro Valverde | 41:45 | 2008
  49. Luis Herrera | 41:44 | 1987
  50. Benjamin Noval | 41:44 | 2004
  51. Alvaro Mejia | 41:43 | 1991
  52. Laurent Fignon | 41:42 | 1991
  53. Levi Leipheimer | 41:42 | 2004
  54. Santiago Perez | 41:41 | 2004
  55. David Etxebarria | 41:39 | 2004
  56. Laurent Brochard | 41:38 | 2004
  57. Thierry Claveyrolat | 41:37 | 1991
  58. Steven Rooks | 41:37 | 1991
  59. Ludovic Martin | 41:37 | 2004
  60. Andy Schleck | 41:35 | 2008
  61. Samuel Sanchez | 41:35 | 2008
  62. Alberto Contador | 41:35 | 2011
  63. Vincenzo Nibali | 41:29 | 2018
  64. Primoz Roglic | 41:29 | 2018
  65. Pietro Caucchioli | 41:27 | 2004
  66. Samuel Sanchez | 41:26 | 2011
  67. Pascal Herve | 41:25 | 1994
  68. Javier P. Rodriguez | 41:25 | 1997
  69. Oscar Camenzind | 41:25 | 1997
  70. Michele Scarponi | 41:23 | 2004
  71. Mikel Landa | 41:23 | 2018
  72. Thomas Davy | 41:21 | 1994
  73. Gerd Audehm | 41:21 | 1994
  74. Bjarne Riis | 41:21 | 1994
  75. Bobby Julich | 41:21 | 1997
  76. Peter Luttenberger | 41:21 | 1997
  77. Jose Maria Jimenez | 41:21 | 1997
  78. Jean-Cyril Robin | 41:21 | 1997
  79. Patrick Jonker | 41:21 | 1997
  80. Roberto Laiseka | 41:21 | 2003
  81. Ivan Basso | 41:21 | 2003
  82. Tyler Hamilton | 41:21 | 2003
  83. Joseba Beloki | 41:21 | 2003
  84. Haimar Zubeldia | 41:21 | 2003
  85. Francisco Mancebo | 41:21 | 2003
  86. Lance Armstrong | 41:21 | 2003
  87. Chris Froome | 41:20 | 2018
  88. Davide Rebellin | 41:19 | 1997
  89. Romain Bardet | 41:19 | 2018
  90. Tom Dumoulin | 41:18 | 2018
  91. Thibaut Pinot | 41:17 | 2015
  92. Geraint Thomas | 41:16 | 2018
  93. Richie Porte | 41:15 | 2015
  94. Pedro Delgado | 41:15 | 1991
  95. Tadej Valjavec | 41:14 | 2006
  96. Christophe Moreau | 41:14 | 2006
  97. Claudio Chiappucci | 41:13 | 1991
  98. Sylvain Chavanel | 41:13 | 2004
  99. Axel Merckx | 41:13 | 2004
  100. Fernando Escartin | 41:08 | 1997
  101. Francisco Mancebo | 41:08 | 2004
  102. Jean-Francois Bernard | 41:05 | 1991
  103. Gilberto Simoni | 41:03 | 2004
  104. Christophe Moreau | 41:00 | 2004
  105. Alejandro Valverde | 40:59 | 2013
  106. Oscar Sevilla | 40:58 | 2001
  107. Juan Miguel Mercado | 40:57 | 2004
  108. Mikel Astarloza | 40:57 | 2004
  109. Damiano Cunego | 40:57 | 2006
  110. Floyd Landis | 40:56 | 2004
  111. Chris Froome | 40:55 | 2013
  112. Richie Porte | 40:55 | 2013
  113. Alexandre Vinokourov | 40:54 | 2003
  114. Johan Bruyneel | 40:52 | 1995
  115. Gilberto Simoni | 40:50 | 2006
  116. Sandy Casar | 40:49 | 2004
  117. Fränk Schleck | 40:46 | 2006
  118. Georg Totschnig | 40:45 | 2004
  119. Armand de las Cuevas | 40:43 | 1994
  120. Fernando Escartin | 40:43 | 1994
  121. Pascal Lino | 40:43 | 1994
  122. Oscar Pellicioli | 40:43 | 1994
  123. Chris Froome | 40:42 | 2015
  124. Alejandro Valverde | 40:42 | 2015
  125. Manuel Beltran | 40:40 | 1997
  126. Jose Enrique Gutierrez | 40:40 | 2004
  127. Ivan Gotti | 40:34 | 1995
  128. Richard Virenque | 40:34 | 1995
  129. Christophe Moreau | 40:34 | 2001
  130. Mikel Astarloza | 40:33 | 2006
  131. Luc Leblanc | 40:32 | 1991
  132. Oscar Pereiro | 40:32 | 2004
  133. Miguel Indurain | 40:31 | 1991
  134. Gianni Bugno | 40:30 | 1991
  135. Haimar Zubeldia | 40:30 | 2006
  136. Cyril Dessel | 40:30 | 2006
  137. Marcos Serrano | 40:27 | 2004
  138. Orlando Rodrigues | 40:24 | 1997
  139. Roberto Conti | 40:20 | 1994
  140. Abraham Olano | 40:19 | 1997
  141. Marco Fincato | 40:16 | 1997
  142. Laurent Jalabert | 40:16 | 1997
  143. Ivan Parra | 40:15 | 2006
  144. Cadel Evans | 40:15 | 2006
  145. Michael Rogers | 40:15 | 2006
  146. Oscar Pereiro | 40:15 | 2006
  147. Joseba Beloki | 40:13 | 2001
  148. Laurent Jalabert | 40:10 | 1995
  149. Michael Rogers | 40:07 | 2004
  150. Jan Ullrich | 40:03 | 2001
  151. Alex Zülle | 40:01 | 1994
  152. Piotr Ugrumov | 40:01 | 1994
  153. Pavel Tonkov | 40:01 | 1995
  154. Tony Rominger | 39:58 | 1995
  155. Stephane Goubert | 39:58 | 2004
  156. Ivan Basso | 39:58 | 2004
  157. Carlos Sastre | 39:57 | 2004
  158. David Moncoutie | 39:56 | 2004
  159. Laurent Madouas | 39:53 | 1997
  160. Roberto Conti | 39:53 | 1997
  161. Udo Bölts | 39:53 | 1997
  162. Beat Zberg | 39:53 | 1997
  163. Paolo Lanfranchi | 39:52 | 1995
  164. Claudio Chiappucci | 39:52 | 1995
  165. Joaquim Rodriguez | 39:52 | 2013
  166. Nairo Quintana | 39:49 | 2013
  167. Pietro Caucchioli | 39:47 | 2006
  168. Michael Rasmussen | 39:47 | 2006
  169. Denis Menchov | 39:47 | 2006
  170. Fernando Escartin | 39:45 | 1995
  171. Vladimir Karpets | 39:41 | 2004
  172. Santos Gonzalez | 39:41 | 2004
  173. Giuseppe Guerini | 39:40 | 2004
  174. Vladimir Poulnikov | 39:37 | 1994
  175. Carlos Sastre | 39:32 | 2008
  176. Luc Leblanc | 39:30 | 1994
  177. Miguel Indurain | 39:30 | 1994
  178. Bjarne Riis | 39:22 | 1997
  179. Nairo Quintana | 39:22 | 2015
  180. Francesco Casagrande | 39:21 | 1997
  181. Levi Leipheimer | 39:15 | 2006
  182. Jose Azevedo | 39:14 | 2004
  183. Andreas Klöden | 39:12 | 2004
  184. Iban Mayo | 39:09 | 2003
  185. Carlos Sastre | 39:01 | 2006
  186. Richard Virenque | 38:55 | 1994
  187. Laurent Madouas | 38:44 | 1995
  188. Jan Ullrich | 38:44 | 2004
  189. Andreas Klöden | 38:36 | 2006
  190. Floyd Landis | 38:36 | 2006
  191. Richard Virenque | 38:21 | 1997
  192. Bjarne Riis | 38:16 | 1995
  193. Alex Zülle | 38:14 | 1995
  194. Miguel Indurain | 38:14 | 1995
  195. Lance Armstrong | 38:04 | 2001
  196. Jan Ullrich | 37:41 | 1997
  197. Lance Armstrong | 37:36 | 2004
  198. Marco Pantani | 37:15 | 1994
  199. Marco Pantani | 36:54 | 1997
  200. Marco Pantani | 36:50 | 1995

Sources

Alpe d’Huez on Wikipedia
Alpe d’Huez climb details on Climb By Bike website

M. Özgür Nevres

I am a software developer, a former road racing cyclist (at the amateur level) and a science enthusiast. Also an animal lover! I write about cycling on this website, cycling-passion.com. You can check out my social media profiles by clicking on their icons.

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