The Ultimate Alpine Cycling Challenge
The Ultimate Alpine Challenge
Back after popular demand. This is the Ultimate Alpine Cycling Challenge and it takes place between the 25th of August 2013 and the 1st of September. This tour will tackle some of the most iconic climbs of the Tour de France in one week.
You can do one of 2 options with differing difficulty as they are running side by side. The proposed routes offer options for riders who are either very fit or for those who are not quite so fit. It is worth pointing out that even the 'easier' option will be challenging.
From the crystal waters of Lake Geneva this tour will take you over some classic Tour de France climbs such as the Col de la Colombiere, Col de Madeleine, Col du Galibier and up to the ski station of L'Alpe d’Huez.
Good point about this week's riding is that you can get flights into and back out of Geneva as we do a circular route through the Alps.
Ultimate Alpine Challenge itinerary
Sunday 25th of August
Arrange your own flight to Geneva. On arrival you will be met by our reps and from 12.00hrs and throughout the afternoon we will operate coach transfers for the short distance to our hotel in Annemasse where we will spend 1 night. After the evening meal there will be a welcome meeting where we will go through the tour in detail and where you can catch up with people you already know or get to know your other fellow riders.
Tonight's hotel is the Ibis Annemasse.
Monday 26th of August - Day 1 Annemasse to Cluses
From the hotel at Annemasse the ride will take the D907 to Mieussy then climb the Col de Ramaz. This climb has featured twice in the Tour de France. It tops at 1619m. Following the descent the ride will turn right into Cluses onto the D902. Total distance is 70km with 1397metres of climbing.
The harder ride will follow the same route over the Ramaz and then it will pass through Morzine to climb the Col de Joux Plane. After this you will ride through Samoens, Tanninges and Cluses. Total distance is 107km with 2328 metres of climbing.
Tonight's hotel is Hotel le Bargy in Cluses.
Tuesday 27th of August - Day 2 Cluses to Bourg Saint Maurice
For the fittest there will be a serious challenge today. The ride will go over the Col de la Colombiere, Col des Aravis, Col des Saisies and finally the Cormet de Roselend. After this you will descend into Bourg st Maurice before the final short climb to Sainte Foy. These 4 climbs all feature on the Route des Grand Alpes. Total distance 141km with over 4000m of climbing.
It's a hard one for the others as well. The flatter route starts with a steady climb through Sallanches and then kicks up to Combloux before descending down to Flument and through the Gorges d'Arly to Ugine. You will climb the Cormet de Roselend and finish like the other route. Total distance 125km with 2400 metres of climbing.
Tonight's hotel is the Hostellerie Petit Saint Bernard in Bourg st Maurice
Wednesday 28th of August - Day 3 Sainte Foy to Modane
Today's route simply goes up and then down. The up goes past Tignes, through Val d'Isere and then over the Col d'Iseran. After that it's downhill all the way to Modane. Total distance 106kms with 2249 metres of climbing.
The harder route is the same as the above route with the Col du Mont Cenis added. Total distance 128km with 2936m of climbing.
Tonight's hotel is the Hotel du Commerce in Modane
Thursday 29th of August - Day 4 Modane to Alpe d'Huez
This is the same route as the one followed by the 2011 Tour de France. It was one of the shorter mountain stages but also one of the more animated ones. You will descend down from Modane and then climb the Col du Telegraph through Valloire and then the monster climb the Col de Galibier followed by a long descent to Bourg d'Oisans before tackling the 21 hairpin bends of Alpe d'Huez. Total distance of 113km with 3265 metres of climbing.
The even harder route will take in the climb up to Les 2 Alpes as well as the above. Total distance 129km with 3881 metres of climbing.
The most spectacular days cycling is today as you will climb the mighty Col du Galibier, followed by a 45km descent!!! to Bourg d’Oisans and then 13km and 21 hairpin bends to the ski station of Alpe d’Huez. By visiting the tourist information office in Bourg d’Oisans you will be able to time your ascent of the famous Tour de France mountain. We shall spend the night on Alpe d’Huez with a celebratory evening meal.
Today it is a good idea to have a rear light with you as we will go through 4 short tunnels. The police stopped Contador once for not having a light!
Tonight's hotel is the Belle Aurore in Alpe d'Huez
Friday 30th of August - Day 5 Alpe d'Huez to Albertville
Today starts with a descent down Alpe d'Huez. This will go quicker than the ascent the day before! After a brief ride through the valley you will tackle the Col de Glandon before the Col de Madeleine followed by a nice ride up the valley to Albertville. Total distance 133km with 311 metres of climbing.
The easier route will take you through the valley after doing the Glandon missing out the Madeleine. Total distance 114km with 1512 metres of climbing and 3020 metres descent!!
Tonight's hotel is the Hotel de Savoie in Albertville
Saturday the 31st of August - Day 6 Albertville to Annemasse
We will follow the D925 to Beaufort before tackling the Col des Saisies, descending to Flumet and then tackling the Col des Aravis. You will descend to La Clusaz and follow the valley through the Gorges des Eveaux to Bonneville and Annemasse. Total distance 128 kilometres with 2955 metres of climbing.
The easier option will follow minor roads to Ugine before going to Flumet and follwoing the same route as above. Total distance 83 kilometres with 1426 metres of climbing.
Tonight we will be back at the Ibis Annemasse.
Sunday the 1st of September - Day 7 Departure from Geneva airport
Transfer to Geneva airport by minibus for your flight back to the UK.
COST: £779 (Based on the double occupancy of a twin bedded room)
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT: £249 (Based on the sole occupancy of a single, double or twin room)
- Return Airport transfers from Geneva to Annemasse
- Maps and Route description
- Energy products throughout the tour
- Mountain profiles
- Vehicle support
- Transport of luggage
- 7 Nights Bed & Buffet Breakfast in various hotels based on 2 persons per room
- 7 evening meals
- Services of our STI guides, 1 driver and 1 bike guide
- Your flights to and from Geneva
- Lunches, drinks and hotel extras
- Travel insurance
HOW TO BOOK
Click on the green button at the top of the page.
At time of booking we require a non-refundable deposit per person. The balance of your travel package must be paid, at the latest, 12 weeks before departure to avoid the cancellation of your trip.
For British visitors, visas are not required to enter France. You need a passport. We highly recommend that you have adequate insurance for travel and to protect your possessions including your bike. For details of insurance for our travel packages, please visit our travel insurance page.
There is additional information about our other Concierge Services on our special web page.