Check out our ride profiles for this trip, although please be aware that the itineraries are subject to change depending on local weather conditions or road closures/maintenance.
Your transfer will depart Geneva Airport mid afternoon and deliver you and your bikes to our base, Chalet James in La Tania (approx 2 hours).
Our friendly team will help you settle in, and you can enjoy a welcome drink and light refreshments before setting the bikes up. Once we’re set up, we’ll give the bikes (and ourselves!) a warm up and equipment test on the winding road up to Courchevel 1850. From here we’ll return to Chalet James, prepped and ready for the week ahead.
Col de Tamie Loop
We start the week with a ride that takes us into the Bauges Mountains.
Leaving La Tania via the small climb towards the Meribel Valley, we’ll descend all the way to the spa town of Brides-les-Bains and on into Moutiers. From here we’ll take the back road to Albertville, passing through the town and dropping to an altitude of just over 300m, before moving on to climb the Col de Tamie.
A climb of just over 10km to a height of 907m leads to a flowing descent towards Faverges with views of Lake Annecy. This Col has been used in the TDF 5 times over the last 20 years. Once in Faverges we’ll take in a snack or lunch break before heading homewards on the cycle path to Ugine and on to Albertville. From Albertville we take a similar route back to Moutiers.
Col de la Croix De Fer with Lacets
The day starts with a drive into the Maurienne Valley where we will begin the ride from La Chambre.
A warm up of 9km leads to the start of the Lacets de Montvernier. 3.9km of 18 incredible switchbacks that leads to the little village of Montvernier, where we’ll start the descent down to Hermillon and on to St-Jean-de-Maurienne, passing through the town where numerous TDF stages have finished and started and the famous Opinel Museum and on to the Col de la Croix de Fer.
It’s a long, beautiful climb of 29km to reach the top, but the gradient is gentle in places and there is some incredible scenery to be enjoyed as we pass through the ski villages of St-Jean-d’Arves and St-Sorlin-d’Arves, before reaching the top of the Col at just over 2000m. The Col is quite undulating in parts, thus why it is long but there are two sections where its steep and tough, one being the last 7km. Save a little something for here.
There is time for refreshments at the top, then a short 5km descent to the Col du Glandon.
Another very short climb of 200m leads to the descent down the Glandon to St-Etienne-de-Cuines. Here we’ll hop into the van and head back to La Tania.
Today we continue to rack up the vertical with the Aravis challenge!
We’ll set off from La Tania to Marlens on the road to Annecy.
We will start near the foot of the Col de L’Epine, a short but punchy climb along a beautiful and quiet road leading into a lovely descent. At the bottom we turn right and start the 4.5km climb up the Col de Marais before descending down to Thones, which nestles at an altitude of 627m. From here we’ll begin the steady 19km climb to the col des Aravis, passing through St Jean de Sixt and the famous ski resort of La Clusaz. The Col tops out at a respectable 1487m. After taking a moment to enjoy the scenery we’ll then descend through La Giettaz to Flumet.
From Flumet, we follow a flowing descent through the Gorges de l’Arly towards Ugine and Albertville and finish off with a 30km roll back to Moutiers.
Relax by the pool in town, explore the mountains on foot, hire a mountain bike or book a paraglide and see the Vanoise parc from the air. But if you're that way inclined, you could even take a recovery ride on any of the numerous local routes we will be happy to advise on.
Col du Petit St Bernard
A short 45 min transfer in the support vehicle will take us to today’s starting point; the riverside town of Aime. From here we’ll warm up with a spin along the river path to Bourg St Maurice. Bourg is considered the gateway to the Petit St Bernard and the Cormet de Roseland and regularly features in the Tour de France.
We’ll pass through Bourg and the little village of Seez before heading onto the Col du Petit St Bernard for the 22km cycle to La Rosiere, support vehicle in tow. It's a beautiful climb with a steady gradient, but at 30km, a decent distance. In our opinion, the views on the last leg of the climb are amongst the best in the Alps. At the last km passing the impressive St Bernard Statue and the hospice. There is plenty of time to stop for a coffee in either France or Italy! It's a must do climb and an experience not to be missed, as is the descent. Finishing in Aime we’ll transfer back to La Tania. Of course, if you still have it in your legs you are always welcome to cycle back!
Col du Telegraph & Galibier
The final day will see us heading south to St-Jean-de-Maurienne for a warm up cycle into St-Michelle-de-Maurienne before heading straight on to the Col du Telegraph. A 12km climb with an average of 7%. The road is largely tree lined and offers plenty of welcome shade in summer. The Col tops out at 1566m and has a little cafe with a great atmosphere where there are always plenty of people taking a well earned rest!
After stopping to take in the views and enjoy some much needed lunch, we’ll descend 5km to Valloire, and then on to the Galibier.
This is a legend of a climb. There is a false flat to start before it ramps up and really gets going. The climb peaks at 2646m, with stunning views towards the south and Serre Chevalier. From here as they say, it's all downhill! Well nearly, just under 2000m elevation drop over 35km, quite the ride. A truly stunning day taking in the Giants of the Alps.