I'm going to be in the region of the Puy-de-Dôme in France next week, and wanted to try to ascend it. Now, the right next door Col De Ceyssat (basically half way up the climb) was used as CP1 in Transcontinental Race 4 (2016), I wondered if anyone has ever ridden up the Puy-de-Dôme itself as part of a recce or has any local knowledge from that time or since?

Technically, it looks like it isn't allowed (Official sources), but in the internet discussions I've been trawling, it looks like if you sneak under thebarrier at an early enough time in the morning, you might get away with it. Does anyone have any experience or idea if this is true or not?

Also if anyone wants to come ride it with me so we can elbow each other all the way like Anquetil and Poulidor did in Le Tour of 1964 or indeed stand on the side and punch me in the kidneys as happened to Eddy Merckx in 1976, then you'd be most welcome.

http://inrng.com/2013/09/roads-to-ride-puy-de-dome/ for a flavour.


MartyMcCann [275 posts] 1 month ago

I was reading a book a few years back and the author described having to sneak under the barrier ( quite possibly I think it was Max Leonard in Lanterne Rouge) in great detail. If I remember he devoted almost a full chapter to his escapdes.  I would try and dig it out to get the details but unfortunately my house is kind of upside down at the moment and you will be back from your travels by the time I would have found it! I do think he was almost caught by a security guard as he was coming back down.

ConcordeCX [394 posts] 1 month ago

I went over the col de Ceyssat a couple of years ago. The roads around there are really nice. I'd come across the plateau of Millevache en Limousin, which I love, and from Clermont Ferrand into the Margeride and the Cevennes. It was the wrong time of day for me to sneak under barriers, even if I'd wanted to, and I couldn't have got away with it - there were a lot of people around. No harm in trying - the worst they can do is shoot you. I seem to recall you can get tours up there occasionally.

here's a view from the approach, included a fly which probably ended up down my throat.