Col du Grand Bois

Mountain Pass

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The Col de la République or Col de Grand Bois is located at 1,161 m. It was the first col the Tour de France did above 1000m. It was the second day of the first Tour d France in 1903. From Saint-Étienne (north), the climb is 17 km long. Over this distance, it gains 644 m at an average of 3.8%. The maximum gradient is 6.3%. From the south, the climb starts at Bourg-Argental; from here, the ascent is 12 km long, climbing 626 m at an average of 5.2%, with a maximum of 7.9%. At the top is a monument in memory of Paul de Vivie, who wrote under the pseudonym Vélocio and was important in the development of bicycle touring. The col de la République was his favourite morning ride. Every year since 1922 the volunteers of the 'Comité Vélocio de Saint-Étienne' have organized the Journée Vélocio (Vélocio Day-Trip), a 12.788 km climb of the col.

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