Saturday Run - 9 Luglio 2022 - Special Stages

Saturday Run - 9 July 2022


We resumed an itinerary that had already been done, dating back to 2016, but we decided to plan it on Saturday, doing it in the late afternoon.

The meeting point is in Susa at 16.30. It's very hot on this Saturday in early July. Despite the short notice we managed to gather more than 30 participating cars and after having refreshed ourselves at the bar of the Susa station we set off for this Tour.

We leave Susa and we are immediately on the road that climbs towards the first of the 3 passes we will travel on this day: the Colle del Moncenisio!
The road is in excellent condition, thanks also to the presence of many stretches of very recent reconstruction (the white stripes are still missing).

Traffic in the direction of the hill is very scarce, but in the opposite direction instead there is a discrete passage that descends towards Susa, especially motorbikes, and this somewhat limits the possibilities of overtaking, but the higher we go the traffic decreases and the road conditions, with straight stretches and lots of visibility even in the bends, allow us to fully enjoy the climb and get rid of the few cars going up from Italy to France.

The border is located several kilometers before the pass and also the beautiful lake that we find ourselves coasting at a time that guarantees us very little traffic but also a beautiful panorama.

If the ascent towards Moncenisio is characterized by a very varied route, made up of tortuous sections, straight lines, closed curves and other more open ones, the descent towards the French side is more characterized by gentle curves and straight lines interspersed with wide hairpin bends which lead us to go down to Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis.
The descent is also shorter because the French town is almost 1000 meters higher than Susa.

Once we reach the valley floor, we begin to follow it northwards on a wide and fast road that we find completely free of traffic, while a few clouds cover the clear sky, up to the small town of Bonneval-sur-Arc.

From here begins the ascent to the highest pass in Europe, the road that will take us up to the 2,770 meters above sea level of Col de l'Iseran!

Climbing towards Col de l'Iseran is a fantastic experience from a landscape point of view. The view of the almost pristine valleys and glaciers (alas ever shrinking) is almost unique.

Unfortunately the road is not the best.
The roadway is wide enough for cars to pass in both directions, it is winding, with hairpin bends and more winding sections, however the surface is rather uneven and does not allow for relaxed driving.

At the top of the pass we stop in the parking lot for a break and a chat. Although it was very hot in the valley here the altitude puts us in front of totally different conditions, with an almost icy and biting wind and the clouds covering the sun that don't help.

However, one cannot fail to stop in this incredible place, that it is almost absurd that there could be a road that allows you to get here, at an altitude of almost 2,800 meters with still snow near the road despite this hot summer and the rainfall that has now passed for months .

Once all the participants have arrived, we are ready to leave again.

We always go down the D902 towards the town of Val-d'Isère, a well-known tourist resort. Also on this side the road is winding and not very wide. The bottom is always uneven and the panorama is wonderful towards the valley with the setting sun. However, the unevenness of the road surface does not scare us and we also enjoy this traffic-free descent.

Brief passage in the town full of tourists and then continue on the D902 which runs fast along the valley floor up to Sèez. It would be more than 20 kilometers of transfer, but at this hour, with the road free of traffic, we keep up the pace enjoying the fast bends of this valley floor.

From here begins the last climb of the day, the one towards the Colle del Piccolo San Bernardo.
It could be said that the road could be monotonous seeing it from the map, a succession of hairpin bends uphill until you reach La Rosière, but it is not. The stretches between one bend and the next are very guided, with faster sections and others slower. The switchbacks themselves are varied. The fund is in excellent condition thanks also to some recently asphalted points.

Traffic is non-existent and this allows us to fully enjoy this climb towards the "Piccolo" where in some stretches we find ourselves driving like the famous Vatanen video on Pikes Peak with the sun on our faces... but presumably much slower.
After La Rosièere the road narrows and the surface is a bit uneven. The unprotected road continues towards the pass where we stop for one last break before descending along the Italian side.

We all regrouped and take the road that will take us to La Thuile. The Italian side of the Piccolo San Bernardo is impeccably paved, totally devoid of traffic except for the usual foreigner who doesn't know why he doesn't want to be overtaken, and also on the straight where there is full visibility and overtaking can be done safely closes the road…

We still manage to have fun until we get to La Thuile where we reach the Taverna Coppapan restaurant, the final stop on this tour for the dinner that closes the event.
An excellent dinner to close this tour is ideal and the restaurant, which we have already been to 2 times in the past, does not deny the quality with a menu of appetizers with cold cuts, a huge piece of excellent shin and a dessert at the end.

Despite organizing this event with less than 2 weeks notice it was still a success and this still leads us to wonder why the event we originally planned was instead a flop.

We thank all the participants who have joined this evening tour, a method that can be very interesting to find little traffic and have fun on roads that are usually traveled by many tourists on Sundays, so it cannot be excluded that in the future they will be organized more such events.

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