Little St Bernard Pass

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Little St. Bernard Pass
Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard - cromlech.jpg
View of the stone circle crossed diagonally by the road. Remains of World War II fortifications are also visible.
Elevation 2,188 m (7,178 ft)
Traversed by N 90/SS26
Location Rhône-Alpes, France
Aosta Valley, Italy
Range Alps
Coordinates 45°40′49″N 06°53′02″E / 45.68028°N 6.88389°E / 45.68028; 6.88389Coordinates: 45°40′49″N 06°53′02″E / 45.68028°N 6.88389°E / 45.68028; 6.88389
Little St Bernard Pass is located in Alps
Little St Bernard Pass
Little St Bernard Pass
Location of Little St Bernard Pass
Col du Petit Saint Bernard

The Little St Bernard Pass (French: Col du Petit Saint-Bernard, Italian: Colle del Piccolo San Bernardo) is a mountain pass in the Alps on the France–Italy border. Its saddle is at 2188 metres above sea level. It is located between Savoie, France, and Aosta Valley, Italy, to the south of the Mont Blanc Massif, exactly on the main alpine watershed. There is also a Great St. Bernard Pass and a San Bernardino Pass.

Although damaged by a road that runs through it, the pass is the site of a stone circle measuring 72 m (236 ft) in diameter. A standing stone once stood in the middle. It has not been precisely dated but from coin finds it has been attributed to the Iron Age, possibly being a ceremonial site of the Tarentaisian culture (c. 725 BC–450 BC). A Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter was later erected nearby along with a Roman mansio serving travellers along the pass, and it is thought that Carthaginian general Hannibal used this route.

The stone circle was partly restored in the 19th century.

Details of climb[edit]

For fit cyclists climbing the pass represents an interesting and historic challenge; from Bourg-Saint-Maurice to the south-west, the Col du Petit Saint-Bernard is 26.5 km long. Over this distance, the climb is 1,348 m (4,423 ft) (an average slope of 5.1%), with the steepest sections at 8.1% at the start of the climb. The first 15.5 km (9.6 mi) to La Rosière forms the Montée d'Hauteville climb.

From Pré-Saint-Didier (in the Aosta Valley region of north-western Italy), the pass is 23.5 km (14.6 mi) long. Over this distance the climb is 1,184 m (3,885 ft) (an average slope of 5%).

Appearances in Tour de France[edit]

The Little St Bernard Pass was first crossed by the Tour de France in 1949 and has been featured three times since.

In 2007, Montée d'Hauteville was climbed on stage 8 of the Tour de France.

The pass was featured in the 2009 Tour de France Stage 16 on 21 July from Martigny (Switzerland) to Bourg-Saint-Maurice, 160 km, which also features the Great St Bernard Pass.[1]

Year Stage Category Leader at the summit
2009 16 1 Franco Pellizotti
1963 17 2 Federico Bahamontes
1959 18 1 Michele Gismondi
1949 17 2 Gino Bartali

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Grande Chenalette". 12 July 2009.