Col de la Schlucht, des Feignes, sous Vologne, d’Oderen,
Bussang, Ballon d’Alsace, du Hundsruck, Amic
The starting point of this 106 mile, demanding tour, of approximately 11,000 ft in altitude, is the same as the Vosges Tour 1 - the large car park of the small village of Le Markstein, at 3,900 ft above sea level.
The first panoramic stretch with a length of 14 miles leads us along the world famous Route de Crêtes to Col de la Schlucht (3737 ft), riding constantly on an undulating road alongside the Vosges ridge.
After a distance of 16 miles, via the Col des Feignes (3130 ft), the village of La Bresse (2100 ft) and Cornimont (1716 ft), we get up to the winter sport resort Ventron (2067 ft).
Approximately 4.5 miles to ride until we get to the next Village, Kruth (1604 ft), before that, however, we have to overcome a sweat-inducing 3 mile ascent up to Col d´Oderen (2900 ft).
Firstly, we continue riding on a slightly ascending stretch of road via Oderen (1512 ft), Fellering (1450 ft) to Urbes (1493 ft) and afterwards 3,7 miles up to Col de Bussang at 2398 ft above sea level. At a brisk tempo, we cycle a few miles downhill to Saint-Maurice-sur-Moselle (1804 ft).
Following the signpost, we turn left and start riding approximately 10 miles downhill, on constant slopes, consistently around 7%, to Col de Ballon d´Alsace (1,178 ft). Subsequently, we ride on a wide road via the Col du Ballon (3562 ft) down to the little village of Sewen (1644 ft) and then through more villages, such as Dolleren (1542 ft) and Wegscheid (1460 ft), to Masevaux (1329 ft).
Here, we cycle on the Joffre route towards Tann, via the Col du Hundsruck and have to overcome ascents of up to 7% to Bourbach-le-Haut (1814 ft) before we reach the pass, at 2454 ft above sea level.
The next ride (more than 3.7 miles) down hill to Bitschwiller-les-Thann (1168 ft) allows us to conserve the strength to cope with the last few passes.
Via Thann (1119 ft) and Cernay (971 ft), we get to Uffholtz (1024 ft), the southern point of the famous 48 mile long Route des Crêtes, which leads to Col du Bonhomme (3114 ft) in the north.
With an ascent of around 7%, the road meanders in many bends to the first high point, the Col de Herrenfluh, at 2772 ft above sea level. Carrying on cycling gently uphill, we pass the Hartmannswillerkopf (Vieil Armand) at the Col du Silberloch (898 m), the hardest-fought location of World War I. A military cemetery with museum is also situated here.
Now, we cycle a short flat stretch along the slope and after that on cobbled bends, down to Col Amic (2707 ft) whilst enjoying a beautiful view.
With an average gradient of 8% over 4.5 miles we now ride up to Col du Grand Ballon (4347 ft), the last pass before our destination. The last few miles downhill to Le Markstein (1.183 m), the starting point of our marvellous but demanding tour, are completely relaxing and enjoyable.
Distance: ca. 171 km
Length: ca. 315 Minutes
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