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 road up to Meribel Mottaret. From here we’ll return to Chalet James, prepped and ready for the week ahead.
Col de la Loze and St Martin old road.
The week kicks off with a breathtaking tour of the Trois Vallees ski area.
We ‘ll set off from La Tania, cycling down to Le Praz from where we'll start the ascent to Courchevel 1850. Passing through the pads of the Millionaires and Billionaires we continue towards the altiport with its infamous 537m long, upward sloping runway . Turning on to the new shiny tarmac of the Col de La Loze, reserved solely in the summer for walkers and cyclists, takes us 6km to the top and the boundary between Courchevel and Meribel and the ‘roof’ of the 2020 Tour de France.
From the summit at 2300m there is only one way to go and that is down! We’ll set off together on the mammoth descent to Moutiers sitting far below at 500m. Hold on tight, that’s a 1800m descent!
Reaching Moutiers and it's on to the old road leading to St-Martin-de-Belleville. This was on the ill fated tour last year affected by weather restrictions.
A further 12km up the road and we’ve reached our last summit of the day before returning to Moutiers and rejoining the support vehicle.
If any one is feeling particularly spritely, the old St-Martin-de-Belleville road leads into the Etape du Tour last climb going all the way to Val Thorens at 2300m.
Col de la Madeleine and back
Day 2 see’s us take on the famous Col de la Madeleine. Cycling from La Tania to Meribel Village and then down past Les Allues we reach Moutiers, accompanied by the support vehicle as always.
9km along from Moutiers the mighty Madeleine starts. From this side it is 26km to the top, and apart from a flat section half way up, the Col is quite unrelenting.
It is a unique and famous climb and has featured in the tour 27 times to date.
At the top there are two, very welcoming cafes to choose from and enjoy a bite to eat whilst taking in the magnificent view down towards the Maurienne Valley.
Once fueled up and ready, we take in the descent the same way we rode up. Finishing at the bottom or riding on to Moutiers for collection.
Aime to Col du Petit Saint 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!
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.
The Bauges Mountains and Lake Annecy
We start the day with a 1hr drive to Gresy-sur-Isere and the Route des Vins. It's a steady 8km to St-Pierre-d'Albigny passing through the vineyards of Savoie and to the start of the Col du Frene. Under 10km in length and a 7% average gradient this is a challenging climb on a quiet road. Once we summit we drop down onto a beautiful plateau with the Bauges mountains either side of us. We carry on along this lovely road to find a lunch stop and refuel for the small climb that takes us towards the Col de Leschaux. With the last meaningful climb of the day behind us we descend the 10km to Lake Annecy. The views are spectacular as the lake comes into view with Annecy in the distance. At St Jorioz we join the bike path and head back in the direction of Ugine hopping in the van at Faverges.
Cormet de Roseland
What better way to round out the week than a final high mountain pass.
The day starts with a short transfer to Aime.
Setting out from Aime it's a relaxed 13km to Bourg-St-Maurice along the cycle path, with the river keeping us cool.
However, upon Reaching Bourg things heat up and we are straight on to the Cormet and the climbing.
We’ll head up through the small villages, into the forest and onto the switchbacks. Past here the cormet offers up a small break when there is a flat-ish 2km, but there is still some tough climbing to follow.
The last 6km is a challenge, but well worth it. We think, coming around the corner and looking down to the lake is one of the most beautiful views we know, truly incredible.
Sense of accomplishment and vistas equally enjoyed, we drop over 1200m, all the way down to the famous cheese town of Beaufort. It would seem a shame not to stop here for a famous Beaufort Tart and a coffee and relive tales of our week together?
Belly's satisfied, it's a comfortable 20km on to Albertville and the van home.