Sestriere is a resort town situated on top of the Colle di Sestriere, 2035 metres.
Click on the title link above to see the main road near here.

It marks the western end of a classic alpine ridge route about 60km long, mostly unsurfaced, and rising to 2566m, eventually arriving at Susa which is at the foot of Mont Cenis.
As of 2005, Colle delle Finestre (2178m) at the eastern end of this route, is now fully surfaced to the col on the south side, and partially surfaced to the north, with a 6km unsurfaced gap remaining just north of the col.

This route is known here as the Assietta Ridge Route

Basset Bourget Cotte Plane Genevris Blegier Lauson Assietta Finestre

Monument at Testa dell’Assietta
photo by: Marcel Gutschner     



Thanks to Marcel Gutschner of Freiburg in Switzerland, for this contribution - all the following text and photos in this linked set of pages, is his ...

The Assietta ridge route from Sestriere to Susa - once built for military reasons as many other ridge routes in the Southern Alps along the Italo-French border - offers splendid views and an unforgettable cycling experience. The whole route is about 60 km long - 40 km are on dusty gravelled surface with variable cycling quality.

Basically the whole stretch is rideable with some especially difficult parts (due to numerous stones and rough mother rock) from Monte Genevris down to Col Blegier and almost all way from Testa dell’Assietta to the junction of the Colle delle Finestre road.

The exceptional track stretching along and jumping over mountain ridges largely outweighs the efforts needed to do it.

There are seven passes and two summits on the track. However, the 'colle' are often not really a pass in terms of 'passing from one valley to the other' but stands for the cross section on the ridge where the road hops from one side / slope to the other. As they often happen to be in the lower stretch of the ridge, cyclists descend down to the colle and have to climb after the colle.
The col and colle are Basset (2424 m.a.s.l.), Bourget (2299 m.a.s.l.), Cotte Plane (2312 m.a.s.l.), Blegier (2381 m.a.s.l.), Lauson (2497 m.a.s.l.), Assietta (2472 m.a.s.l.) and Finestre (2176 m.a.s.l.). There is no inversed world with respect to the two summits: to reach them, one has to climb. The summits are Monte Genevris (2536 m.a.s.l.) and Testa dell’Assietta (2566 / 2586 m.a.s.l.). Passes and summits follow in more or less regular distance of around 3 kilometres with the exception of Finestre.

Allow a full day for the ride even if one may do it within four hours with the right equipment and speed. Make a decent supply of water before starting the track. There are many secondary tracks going off the ridge route - always follow the visible main track. The ridge route has some signs posted (blue '1' on white background) towards Sestriere but not towards Susa. The route is particularly popular with motobikers - on quiet days, they are part of the 'Assietta community' for once and kindly greet you.

Next ... Colle Basset