Col de la Croix de Fer (Pass of the Iron Cross) has appeared 16 times in the Tour de France (first in 1947). Nestled in the heart of the Rhône-Alpes and surrounded by a veritable who’s who of mountain peaks like the Galibier and Alpe d’Huez, the Col de la Croix de Fer may not be quite as well known as its more celebrated siblings but that’s not to say it’s any less of a spectacle, quite the opposite in fact. If you ever need to be reminded exactly why you ride a bike then the Pass of the Iron Cross will help you find the answer. Starting from the intersection with the road to the Col du Mollard, this saves 15km and about 800hm from the official start in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. It starts out gentle, but the last 6,5 kilometers are hard. The views up here are magnificent. After a short descent, it is compulsory to tick off the Col du Glandon after a very short climb!