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Video: Mike Cotty heads up Switzerland's Sustenpass

Latest Col Collective video features a road built when war was tearing the rest of Europe apart

The latest video from The Col Collective sees Mike Cotty head up a climb that due to its location may never feature on a Grand Tour, but which can hold its own with almost anything the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia or Vuelta can offer – the Sustenpass in Switzerland’s Bernese Alps.

The road itself was built between 1938 and 1945, a time of course when most of the rest of Europe was at war and Switzerland was neutral.

Here’s what Cotty says about the climb:

At 27.8 kilometres in length Switzerland's Sustenpass can easily have you feeling quite daunted at the prospect of scaling it on two wheels. The grandeur of the road immediately instils a sense of anticipation and excitement as you leave Innertkirchen on what can only be described as a true journey. Lush meadows, dense forests and chocolate-box villages make way for a sensory overload of tunnels, waterfalls, high mountain lakes and glaciers!

Sometimes the road can feel endless, but in some respect that can be a good thing as the surroundings are so dramatic and beautiful all at the same time if you're anything like me you'll be crying out for it to continue all the way to heaven and beyond.

Vital Statistics

Start: Innertkirchen
Length: 27.8km
Summit: 2,224m
Elevation gain: 1,602m
Average gradient: 5.7%
Max gradient: 10%
Ridden in early July

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Capt Caveman | 5 years ago

Rode it from Innertkirchen in June, having first done the Grimsel pass in freezing rain & fog. It's a long old climb, but never feels overly steep. The descent to Wassen is nice and non-technical and you can get some decent speed up, but it's worth knowing about the cafe stop a couple of km down on the Uri side if you don't fancy hanging around at the top in dodgy weather!

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