It felled Lance Armstrong. Marco Pantani conquered it in 33 minutes. 'But it's a Haute Categorie!' exclaimed my friend Cosima. 'That means it's hard.'
Certainly its reputation via Google was immense. But there's a lot of bluster in cycling. A lot of posturing. A lot of people who think 'I ride bikes' means nothing more than popping to the shops. And ultimately, the Col de Joux Plane was just another hill. I like hills.
I left the car in Morzine and rode up to Les Gets then down and along to Samoens, the 11km sweep from Taninges to the base of the climb, a lesson in how to create a road that rides fast.
'Bravo! Vous gagnez!' You win! yelled a descending rider.
Coupe de Coeur bar and it's terrace doused in sunshine offered the perfect end of ride bevvy.
Lance? Where are you?