Tour de France Classics
We have created a week jam-packed with classic climbs and cols steeped in Tour de France heritage!
Join us and other like-minded people for a week of epic cycling and good company! Cycle fantastic roads, see amazing scenery, eat and drink great food and wine.
Every one of the 5 days of fully supported riding tackles one of the 'greats' of the Alps and TDF history! Not only that, but we have used our expert local knowledge to weave in, some of our personal favourite, lesser-known roads!
Covering 440km and over 10,000m in altitude gained, this one is not for the faint-hearted!
Stunning views, tired legs and the ultimate in Alpine - guaranteed!
- Geneva airport transfer
- 7 nights chalet accommodation
- Single occupancy, en-suite bedrooms - no single supplement
- Breakfast, afternoon tea, 6 evening meals and wine
- 5 days of vehicle supported cycling rides
- Our expertise in creating a week of outstanding Alpine cycling
- Bike hire/carriage
4 - 11 Sept 2021
€1300 on a single room basis
11 spaces available
Tour de France Classics
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.
Day 1 and the week begins with the Col du Petit St Bernard. The cols steady climb, beautiful views and flowing descent make it a great introduction to alpine cycling.
A short 40 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 Roselend 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!
Key climb - Col du Petit Saint-Bernard
Length of climb: 29.9km
Start altitude: 809m
Summit altitude: 2190m
Elevation gain: 1382m
Average gradient: 4.6%
Max gradient: 8%
After a hearty breakfast, we’ll transfer to La Chambre where we’ll start the day with a 10km easy spin to the bottom of the Lacets de Montvernier. If you look up ‘hairpin bends’ in the dictionary, you’ll likely see a photo of the Lacets! Although only 3km in length, the climb features 18 hairpin bends stacked one on top of another.
Following the Lacets, we’ll hit the Col de Chaussy; a tough 12km stretch but more than worth it for the views of St Jean de Maurienne from the cliffs on the way up. Once at the top, we’ll follow deserted mountain roads to join the Col de la Madeleine, where we'll climb through the ski resort of St Francois Longchamp to reach the top. On clear days, there are wonderful views of Mont Blanc. The descent is 26km and really worth all of your effort to get to the top.
Key climb - Col de la Madeleine
Length of climb: 19.2km
Start altitude: 470m
Summit altitude: 1999m
Elevation gain: 1529m
Average gradient: 8%
Max gradient: 12%
Tuesday sees us tackle one of the most iconic climbs in cycling! The transfer to our starting point, Allemond, is 2.5hrs, so an early start will be needed. From Allemond, we’ll cruise into Bourg d’Oisans along the flat for a 12km warm-up, before tackling the famous 21 bends of Alp d’Huez.
This infamous climb first appeared on ‘Le Tour’ in 1952, providing the location for the tour's first-ever summit finish with Fausto Coppi claiming the victory. It was not to return until 1976 and since then has become a fan and rider's favourite.
As we ascend, we can't promise the raucous crowds on the bends like a TDF day, but there is always something special about this place! Up past the chapel at Dutch Corner (bend 7) knowing we are 2/3rds of the way along the famous climb. We push on checking off all 21 bends and on to victory!
We’ll stop to refuel in Alp d’Huez before descending the balcony road, enjoying some of the most breathtaking views in the Southern Alps. The descent takes us past the lake and the dam, followed by the opportunity to tackle the Col du Glandon before the final descent down into the Maurienne Valley and the little town of St Etienne-de-Cuines and a welcome rest. Before the return trip to Chalet James.
This is a tough but epic day. Our vehicle support allows you to alter the ride length and ascent, deciding just how much you punish yourself!
Key climb - Alp d'Huez
Length of climb: 13.8km
Start altitude: 725m
Summit altitude: 1860m
Elevation gain: 1135m
Average gradient: 8.1%
Max gradient: 13%
Day 4 is a rest day for you and us! After enjoying a buffet breakfast relax by the pool in town (open high season), explore the mountains on foot, hire a mountain bike or book a paraglide and see the Vanoise National Park 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.
In the evening enjoy a traditional Savoie meal in one of the local restaurants.
Day 5 sees us returning to Bourg but this time to take on a very different beast.
We’ll transfer to Aime and take the cycle path to Bourg St Maurice; the start of the Cormet de Roselend. The Cormet is a simply incredible climb that has been in the Tour many times over the last few years. Cancelled in 2019 due to bad weather, it was back for 2020 and returns again in 2021!
The top of the col, at 2000m, gives you impressive views of the Beaufortain mountain range all around you.
A 4km descent from the top brings the stunning Lac de Roselend into view. The route takes us around the lake before we start the descent down to Beaufort. Breathtaking in every sense.
At the famous Beaufort, we can grab some well-earned snacks, food and drinks. Maybe even a Beaufort Tart!
From Beaufort we’ll cycle back (the short mostly downhill 19km ) to Albertville and then along to Moutiers.
Key climb - Cormet de Roselend
Length of climb: 19.4km
Start altitude: 822
Summit altitude: 1967m
Elevation gain: 1149m
Average gradient: 5.9%
Max gradient: 12%
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 Telegraphe. 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.
Key climb - Col du Telegraphe & Galibier
Length of climb: 35.1km
Start altitude: 714m
Summit altitude: 2646m
Elevation gain: 2095m
Average gradient: 5.5%
Max gradient: 11.3%