The name alone is enough to make the hair rise on the back of the necks of most cyclists.

Those 21 hairpin turns are known as being the most challenging on the Tour de France.

And that is saying something.

Every turn counts down to give you a marker of how far you have left to go.

With tombstones on the side of the road taunting you with information on the percentage of the next few kilometres, there is no place to hide on this beast.

Having featured in over 25 Tour de France stages, climbing it brings you closer to the sport than you can imagine.

With 3,670ft of elevation difference, an average slope of 7.9% and just over 14km where it maxes out at a 14% gradient, I was aware this was going to hurt.

After weeks of hard climbing in my legs already, I knew I wasn’t going to be riding up here as fast as Tom Pidcock or Geraint Thomas.

They are the last two athletes to win here during a stage of the Tour de France, but I was determined to finish it.

This is the beautiful thing about cycling, we can ride the roads of the Tour and compare just how incredible these athletes are to our own times.

On average 400 riders take on the Alp DAILY during the summer, which gives you an idea of just how famous this climb is and how big the love for cycling is in this part of the world.

I met up with John McAvoy who now lives here.

Those who have followed my column will know how incredible an athlete he is.

For anyone reading this for the first time, I would highly recommend reading his story.

A fellow Nike athlete, we settled down to pizza discussing our plans for where we could ride the next day.

John cycles up the Alp every day he rides as he lives in the ski village, so his daily ride includes cycling up Alpe d'Huez to get home.

Yes, you read that right.

Can you imagine having to cycle up Alpe d'Huez to get home each day?

I think he knew I wanted to ride it even though I had not mentioned it.

After loading up on more carbs, it was settled.

We were going to meet in the morning and go for a ride through the Oisans valley and then ride back to the climb and take on the 21 mythical bends of Alpe d’Huez.

Morning coffee in the Alps is special, especially when you know the day ahead is going to push you out of your comfort zone.

I wanted the coffee to go slowly as I watched other cyclists passing the hotel, red faced and swaying across the road.

They had just reached the last kilometre.

I knew John would be here at 10am on the dot.

Ready to go, we wasted no time.

I hadn’t ridden with him before and I always get a little nervous as riding paralysed has its own issues, and I never want to hold people up.

After a fast descent we were riding along the valley when I saw my heart rate was at 180 beats per minute.

I thought ‘I’ve got to slow down as if I ride like this there is no way I will get up the Alp’.

After about 40km of riding we were back at the foot of Alpe d'Huez and it was time.

I hear John saying ‘pace yourself, the first few bends are brutal and if you go full gas here you won’t make it to the top’.

The first six bends up to La Garde are the toughest of the mountain, averaging around 11% and it wasn’t long till my heart rate was maxed out and I was thinking this is going to be a very long climb.

Thinking back now, my gears are not set up for this climb, and with only one leg working it felt like I was leg pressing constantly as I navigated the first six bends.

At one point it felt like I had almost come to a stop.

My back was in lots of pain and every time I saw one of those tombstones telling me the next km is 9% I felt sick.

Then as I made it out of Huez village, I was hit with a series of stinging bends which finished me off.

I knew I was almost there but even though the last few kilometres give some respite with average gradients of 5-6% I could hardly turn the pedals.

With Marco Pantani’s record for the fastest ascent at 37 minutes, 35 seconds firmly safe a pro from Quick Step flew past me on the final climb as if he was floating.

It was a reminder of just how impressive these guys are.

But after 1 hour and 40 minutes of trying, I had made it to the finish

After a quick photo I stood on my own looking at the mountains and smiled.

I had done it.