Our popular Big Cols weeks are definitley going to be back again in 2018. A challenging & memorable week of road cycling in the high mountains of the French Alps taking approximately 600km and over 11,000m of climbing, including some of the most iconic climbs from the Tour de France.
The week is ideal if you are training for an alpine sportive or event or simply looking to improve your endurance/hours in the saddle...or you just want to enjoy riding in the Alps. The itinerary has been designed to optimize riders time in the mountains and to provide you with the best possible riding experience with full vehicle support & guided riding.
Big Cols Weeks: Dates TBC
Price = £TBC
· Transfers from/to Geneva International Airport (or other airport if confirmed) at specified times. Please check our scheduled pick up/drop off times before booking your flights.
· 3 star Cyclists friendly catered hotel in Brides les Bains with pool and Wellness area
· Twin share ensuite rooms including all linen & towels.
· Single supplement sometimes available on request (can not be guaranteed and carries and additional cost)
· 2 kit washes during the week.
· Cyclists breakfast everyday
· Afternoon tea with post ride pasta & bread or packed lunches (to fit with itinerary)
· 3 course evening meal with wine on 6 nights (1 chalet night off)
· Fully guided rides with high guide to guest ratios
· Fully van supported throughout
· Feed stations out on the road with cereal bars, snacks, water etc
· Secure storage for your bike
· Work area with bike stands, track pumps, tools etc.
· The support, passion & professional experience of the alpcycles.com team
What's not included in the package:
· Your flights and travel arrangements
· Bike hire if required
· Travel & personal insurance for you and your bike
· Lunches and drinks/snacks outside of those outlined above in the itinerary.
Big Cols Weeks 2018 will be confirmed this autumn....below is the 2017 Itinerary
Sunday: Local Vanoise National Parkincluding Courchevel (21.7km 2000m alt)
Monday: Heading off to Telegraph (12km, 1566m alt, Galibier (18km, 2646m alt) and Alpe d'Huez (14.5km, 1850m alt)
Tuesday: Riding back via Col de Glandon (29km, 1924m alt) followed by Col de la Madeleine (20km, 1994m alt)
Wednesday: Rest day….chill!
Thursday: 140km loopincluding Cormet de Roseland (22.5km, 2012m alt)
Friday: The very enjoyable Petit St Bernard (31km, 2188m alt)
Saturday: Arrival day. Guests will be collected from Geneva International Airport at 12noon and transfered to our base in Courchevel. Meet the team, build your bike and have a spin to check that your bike (and your legs) are ready for the week ahead.
Sunday: 90km distance and 2080m climbed approx; Around 90km, this first day is a loop of local climbs to see where everyone is at and helps us get the most out of the rest of the week. We head into the Vanoise National park and to Pralognan, Champany-en-Haute and Montagny and return to the chalet at the end of the day via the bottom half of the Courchevel climb.
Gradients: Courchevel; 4.5% to 9% (hardest) - Pralognan; 2.5% to 6% (hardest)
Monday: This is the day we head to Alpe d'Huez, with an early start to pack it all in. Ideally, we will drive to St Jean de Maurienne and climb the Col de Telegraph, Galibier, descend the Col de Lauteret into Bourg d'Oisans, and then hit Alpe d'Huez. This really is a fantastic day which doesn't need much more explaining than that……the proof of this pudding is in the eating!!!!
Tonight we stay at a hotel in Alpe d'Huez and will eat in a local restaurant, which is not included.
Gradients: Alpe d'Huez; 5% to 10.5 % (hardest) - Telegraph; 5.5% to 8.5% (hardest) - Galibier; 4.5% to 9% (hardest)
Tuesday: Another big day on the bike as we head back over to Courchevel taking in the Col de Glandon, then descending into the Maurienne valley and then over the Col de la Madeleine. For anyone training for La Marmotte 2014 the 2 days will have given you the opportunity to ride most of the course, just missing off the Maurienne valley floor section between Glandon and Telegraph….so you will now know what's coming in July.
Gradients: Glandon: ******* - Madeliene: 5.5% to 9.5% (hardest)
Wednesday: Rest Day/No Guiding
Well after the last few days we thought you'd need more chilled/rest day to give your legs a break before the final days riding tomorrow. We can arrange for massage in the chalet or look at other options for groups/clubs.
Thursday: Today we head around and climb the Cormet de Roseland from the Beaufort side, leaving from Moutiers and looping right back round. You will love the views of the lake and surrounding mountains at the top!! This is a big 120km day and will end with riding back up to the chalet on the Meribel climb, if all are feeling good. Minibus to the rescue if needed!
Gradients: Cormet de Roseland; 4% to 8% (hardest)
Friday: A great way to finish the week with the Col de Petit St Bernard peaking on the Italian border. With gradients averaging 4% - 5.5% it cruises up nicely and everyone loves it. Pop over the border and grab an Italian coffee….get some pics of the amazing view and then enjoy what all our guests have said is "the best, most fun descent" they have done…..a lovely flowing, cruising road back down to Bourg St Maurice.
Gradients: Col de Petit St Bernard; *************
Saturday: Departure day today…..after breakfast you will head off at 1000am to Geneva airport, arriving there at 12noon, with plenty of tales to tell we are sure. Please ensure that your return flights are not scheduled to depart until at least 2pm.
Big Cols 2017 dates will be confiremd this autumn
Before you leave…packing and a few other bits:
Here is a short list to think about when you are packing. It does not include the obvious things (toothbrush, bibbed shorts…you know the rest) but is to give you a few useful reminders. Please just drop me a line if you want to check anything at all.
· An up to date EHICC (was E111) for UK visitors. If travelling from outside the UK please check the medical travel documents or any VISA documents required for your trip
· Please, please make sure that your bike is in GOOD WORKING ORDER before you come. Check tyres & brakes (remember you are descending on alpine switchback roads) and general condition etc. If you put it in for a service before you come be sure to go for a spin at least once before you pack it up, just to be sure everything is spot on.
· Gearing on your bike: You have a lot of mountains to climb in some challenging terrain. Please make sure you have suitable gearing on your bike to make those climbs a little bit easier **********
· Pack your helmet, bike shoes & pedals in your hand luggage. It is not often that there are problems with airlines and bikes, but it is useful to have those things in your hand luggage just in case. If you have room, squeeze in a pair of bibs, jersey and socks too.
· A mesh washing machine bag (useful for keeping your stuff together in the daily kit wash)
· Chamois cream
· Energy powders & bars(we don't supply these as they are too personal to every rider)
· Any specialist tools that are specific to your bike set-up and are unlikely to be in our toolbox.
· Please be sure that you read our Booking Conditions thoroughly and confirm that you have read them with us during the booking process.
· If you have any questions about them at all, just ask.
Pre Event Coaching Service: E3Coach.com
The perfect training partner for 2015. We are excited to announce our new partnership with E3Coach.com (Extreme Element Endurance Coaching) for 2015. Their experienced coaches communicate directly with you to specifically tailor an online plan to your lifestyle and goals. Whether it's an Alpcycles Camp or one of our 2015 Tour operator events, E3Coach.com works with you and the Alpcycles team so you can maximise your time with us, maintain your strength & fitness post camp..........and realize your potential in 2015!!!!!
Insurance (for you and your bike):
· Please be sure to read our Booking Conditions regarding insurance
· You are responsible for making sure both you and your bike are insured for your trip.
· You must be sure that you have adequate insurance to cover your cancellation of your holiday, travel, personal injury and liability of others (if you cause an accident whilst on one of our trips) and the cover of your bike against loss, damage or theft.
· We recommend Sportscoverdirect They provide insurance for a whole range of sporting holidays and activities
Bike Box Hire: Bike Box Online
· If you need to hire a bike box we highly recommend the services of Bike Box Online
· They now have 3 hubs in Winsor (Sam or Nick) Bristol (Hana) and York (Dave) and offer a range of services and great customer care.
· Alpcycles.com guests can a £5 discount (just ask for the promotional code when you book your trip with us)