Col du Grand Ballon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Col du Grand Ballon
Col du Grand Ballon.jpg
The col viewed from the slopes of the Grand Ballon
Elevation1,343 m (4,406 ft)
Traversed byD431
LocationVosges, France
RangeVosges Mountains
Coordinates47°54′17″N 7°6′12″E / 47.90472°N 7.10333°E / 47.90472; 7.10333Coordinates: 47°54′17″N 7°6′12″E / 47.90472°N 7.10333°E / 47.90472; 7.10333
Col du Grand Ballon is located in Alps
Col du Grand Ballon
Col du Grand Ballon
Location of Col du Grand Ballon

The Col du Grand Ballon (elevation 1,343 m (4,406 ft)) is a mountain pass situated close to the summit of the Grand Ballon (1,424 m (4,672 ft)) in the Vosges Mountains of France. It connects Cernay (Haut-Rhin) with Le Markstein winter sports station.

Details of the climbs[edit]

Pavė section after Col Amic

There are several different directions from which the Col du Grand Ballon can be climbed:

From Cernay (south-east), the total distance is 23.3 km (14.5 mi) at an average gradient of 4.5%, gaining 1,046 m (3,432 ft) in height. This route follows the Route des Crêtes over the Col de Herrenfluh (835 m (2,740 ft)) after 9.5 km (5.9 mi). After a short descent, the road climbs again to the Col de Silberloch (906 m (2,972 ft)) before descending to the Col Amic (828 m (2,717 ft)). From here, there remain 6.8 km (4.2 mi) at an average of 7.6%. In the forest on this final section, there are two short paved stretches. 3 km (1.9 mi) from the summit, the gradient increases to over 8%.[1]

From Willer-sur-Thur (south), the ascent (via D138) is 16.0 km (9.9 mi) long, climbing 974 m (3,196 ft) at an average of 6.1%. This route joins that from Cernay at the Col Amic.[2]

From the south it is also possible to climb on minor roads from Saint-Amarin or Moosch, both on the N66; these routes join together at Geishouse. Both routes are approximately 12.5 km (7.8 mi) long at an average of over 7%, with a kilometre section near the summit at 12%.[3][4]

From Soultz (east), the route follows a minor road for the first 12.0 km (7.5 mi) at a steady average gradient of 4.6%, before joining the other routes at Col Amic. In total, the climb is 19.0 km (11.8 mi) long, climbing 1,072 m (3,517 ft) at an average of 5.6%.[5]

From Kruth (west), the climb (via D27) is 22.9 km (14.2 mi) long gaining 853 m in height at an average of 3.7%. This climb joins the D431 at Le Markstein.[6]

Tour de France[edit]

The Tour de France first crossed over the Col du Grand Ballon in 1969, when the leader over the summit was Lucien Van Impe.[7] It has been crossed on a further six occasions, the most recent in 2014.[8]

Year Stage Category Start Finish Leader at the summit
2014 9 3 Gérardmer Mulhouse  Tony Martin (GER)
2005 9 2 Gérardmer Mulhouse  Michael Rasmussen (DEN)
1997 18 2 Colmar Montbéliard  Francesco Casagrande (ITA)
1992 11 1 Strasbourg Mulhouse  Laurent Fignon (FRA)
1976 7 3 Nancy Mulhouse  Giancarlo Bellini (ITA)
1973 5 3 Nancy Mulhouse  Charly Grosskost (FRA)
1969 6 3 Mulhouse Ballon d'Alsace  Lucien Van Impe (BEL)

Amateur cycling[edit]

The Col du Grand Ballon is also used by amateur cyclists on the "Trois Ballons" sportive ride held in June (together with the climbs over the Ballon d'Alsace and the Ballon de Servance).[9]


  1. ^ "Grand Ballon: Cernay". Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Grand Ballon: Willer-sur-Thur". Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Grand Ballon: Saint Amarin". Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Grand Ballon : Moosch". Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Grand Ballon: Soultz". Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  6. ^ "Grand Ballon: Kruth". Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  7. ^ Woodland, Les (2003). The Yellow Jersey Companion to the Tour de France. Yellow Jersey Press. p. 263. ISBN 0-224-06318-9.
  8. ^ "Le Grand Ballon d'Alsace dans le Tour de France" (in French). ledicodutour. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Les Trois Ballons Ride Report". 24 June 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2012.

External links[edit]