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Col du Galibier – which side is harder?

One question we get asked quite a lot, Which is harder, Col d’Telegraph + Col du Galibier or Col d’Lauteret + Galibier?

The classic route is the Telegraph + Galibier which is 35km with 1924m climbing & the Lauteret + Galibier is 43km with 1897m climbing

Having cycled both ways a number of times and because it’s the classic route we have always said the Telegraph & Galibier is harder. Well I have changed my mind!

After cycling the Lauteret & Galibier on Sunday I decided it was harder, why? I can’t really explain except to say I find the Lauteret a tough grind and always struggle after La Grave, maybe its the total distance, maybe it’s that there is a 5km descent between the Telegraph and Galibier, maybe it’s that I prefer the slightly steeper climbs, whatever the reason I am sure it will create some more debate!