After descending the Cormet de Roselend and snaking our way up the Tarentaise Valley, we find ourselves at the foot of our second climb of the first day, the mythic Col de l’Iseran. Despite being the highest paved road in this part of the French Alps, the Iseran is far from the most frequented when it comes to bike racing. Its remote location is in part responsible, as the 2,764-meter (9,068-foot) summit serves only to link the upper reaches of the Tarentaise Valley with the neighboring Maurienne Valley. But a road less traveled is always a great road to discover on a bike.

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