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French Alps biking - Bicycle tour with Andiamo Adventours
French Alps Avid Biking Tour
 
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TRIP QUICK FACTS
Tour Dates: Custom June through Aug.

Duration: 9 Days
Meet/Depart:
 Geneva

Terrain: Intermediate/Advanced
Accommodations: 3 & 4-Star
Price:
$1,650 or $3,800

Highlights include:
  • Storage of bike boxes
  • Airport shuttle
  • Climb the Classic passes
  • First Rate Sag Support
  • Alpe de Huez & More
  • Incomparable Annecy
  • Pro race support for viewing on custom basis
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France - Renowned Cols of French Alps Bicycle Racing - Trip Overview "The Ultimate Challenge "
This point to point trip is designed for the avid cyclist and can be modified for private groups to suit any number of days and can be designed around any pro race stage or modified for any specific pass you wish to scale. This tour complements our affordable trips in the Pyrenees, our June Swiss Alps trip during the Tour de Suisse and our Dolomite trip during the Giro d'Italia in May and GranFondo Maratona in July.
Our usual outstanding 3 & 4-star lodging and most meals are provided along with our usual first rate sag support. Our fully-equipped vans and multilingual guides are ready to support you as you scale the passes you read about.


French Alps avid biking tour

Days 1-2: Meet & Your First Col
Arrive at: Geneva, Switzerland airport where we transfer you to Chambery and if time allows we do a ride to Col de l'Epine and Mont du Chat. The next day we loop ride back to Chambery.

Days 3-4: Three Cols Warm you up for Alpe d'Huez
Chambery to Grenoble Col du Granier and Col du Cucheron, Col de Porte and into Grenoble. the following day ride to Bourg d'Oisans. Your warm up for the afternoon's epic ride up Alpe d'Huez

Days 5-6: Take Note
From Le Bourg d'Oisans to St. Jean de Maurienne take on the Col du Galibier, Col du Telegraphe, Col de la Croix de Fer, Col du Glandon. Then from St Jean de Maurienne to Bourg St Maurice tackle the Col de la Madeleine

Days 7-8: Impeccable Annecy
Into the most beautiful of French Alp lakeside villages. From Bourg St Maurice ride to Annecy and scale the Cormet de Roseland, Col des Saisies & Col des Aravis. The next day we transfer you back to Geneva airport or as arranged.

Inclusions:

  • All 3 & 4-star accommodation with breakfast
  • Multilingual Guide(s) throughout trip
  • All dinners except 2 free nights out & all breakfast
  • Snacks and water and service of setting up picnic lunches during rides
  • Route notes, maps & chalk marked routes
  • Support vehicle & luggage transfer during whole trip
  • Transfer by van from place to place (including train station / airport shuttle on 1st & last tour days)
  • Storage of bike boxes
  • Service to help with all travel before or after your tour.

Not included: Airfare, beverages, trip insurance (strongly recommended), personal items, guide tips.

Cycling in the French Alps - Detailed Trip Itinerary

Euskatel
The Alp summits became part of pro racing in France in 1911, a year after the Pyrenees were introduced and it wasn’t long before both ranges became a permanent part of the races. You will have your chance to summit the famous Alpe d'Huez which made its debut in 1952 as well as the Col de la Colombière, which was part of Landis’ infamous assault. 
      We are offering an extraordinary nine day tour that takes on the many famous summit of tour lore, as many as 13 of the legendary summits including Alp d’Huez (alternative routes will be offered). Your rides will be fully supported as you bike from point to point while you luggage is transferred. In this manner you avoid the long transfers it would require to reach so many of these mighty peaks. Truly a unique opportunity to partake in this historic region of bicycle racing lore on your terms: Riding your bike. You can claim your spot by calling our office 800.549.2363, sending an e-mail or by clicking book now.

Bicycle clubs and private groups are always welcome to contact us to discuss designing a tour route specific to your desires in any region of the tour during which these passes are accessible. You will find our tours not only affordable, but also offers participants a level of personal comfort and service far exceeding expectation that puts us way ahead of the peleton.

Day 1-2: Warm up

We transfer to your 4-star hotel, assemble your bikes and hopefully go for a spin before dinner. Our hotel, is the perfect place to get accustomed to the French time zone. Our ride could be a gentle spin or we can get right into it and take on the Col de Epine which is the warm up ride to the Mont du Chat.  This small panoramic road above Lac de Bourget, the largest natural lake in France to the north, takes you past the splendid royal abbey of Hautecombe. From here we loop back south to attack the 11 % average grades of the Mont du Chat; of course you are rewarded with a splendid panorama of the entire region known for its curative thermal waters and natural beauty.  We then loop back to the Col de L’Epine and if you are still energetic enough you might enjoy a swim in the lake or a stroll through the medieval city before dinner.
(Major climbs: Col de l'Epine: 600m / 1968', Mont du Chat: 1264 m / 4146')

Day 3: Col du Cucheron, Col du Granier, Col de Porte

Parts of the "Classic des Alpes" (and therefore must rides) are the two passes Col du Granier and Col du Cucheron. Not only are these classic rides, but classic scenery and due to this and beauty and cultural heritage within the Massif de la Chartreuse the region was made regional Nature Park in 1995. The third pass of the day is the Col du Porte. We'll follow the signs for Charmant Som and after six kilometers of climbing you attain an altitude of 1680m. This is the highest road in the Chartreuse, and a stunning view of the Alps opens up. You then fly down into the Isere valley along quiet roads past small villages and hamlets to Grenoble. The Col de Porte, by the way, was one of the first Alpine climbs added to the Tour in 1907.
Day's major climbs:
Col du Granier: 1045m / 3427' ,Col du Cucheron: 638m / 2092', Col de Porte: 476m / 1561')

Day 4: Alpe d'Huez

Today we bike from Grenoble to the scene of many famous pro racing days. This is arguably the most famous mountain climb in pro racing and while the tour route varies from year to year, Climb l'Alpe d'Huez has hosted a stage finish almost every year since 1976r. The first time was in 1952 and that stage was won by the Italian cyclist Fausto Coppi. The climb up Alpe d'Huez is 13.8 km at an average gradient of 8.1% with 21 hairpin bends marked with panels honoring the winners of each stage that has finished there. Having finished there for the 22nd time in 2001 the authorities have had to start again at the bottom with a double panel honoring Fausto Coppi and Lance Armstrong. For the record, the Italian, Marco Pantani set it at 37 minutes and 35 seconds.

Day's major climbs: Alpe d'Huez: 1130 m / 3706'

Day 5: Grand Cols of Pro Racing

Your ride today is as beautiful as it is hard.The climb begins from the historic center of Le Bourg-d'Oisans and gently uphill leads you to our base, the picturesque mountain village of Villar d'Arene. The panorama along this route and to our destination is simply spectacular; evidenced by the glaciers and the 12.000 foot high peaks of the Massif d'Ecrins, which is always in view. Whymper (who was first to climb the Matterhorn) described this as "the best roadside view in the Alps". The scenery is even more stunning once atop the Galibier then Glandon. The Col du Galibier sits at 2647m and is typically the highest point of the Tour, which they summit on stage 9. The vast views, the clear mountain lakes, the smell of pine forests and the laid back atmosphere in the mountain villages give you reason to slow down and soak it all in. 

From the Col du Telegraphe you descend into the Arch valley, where Hannibal might have traveled through in the year 218 BC. Then surrounded by mountains of numerous and distinct shades of green climb up the Col de la Croix de Fer where you may consider taking a break at the restaurant at the top of the pass before the 2.5km downhill (believe it or not) to the top of Col du Glandon. During your descent you're sure to notice the cluster of village rooftop of the quaint villages St. Colomban and St. Alban before coasting into picturesque St. Jean de Maurienne. This ancient market town has been famous for centuries as it lays claim to the three fingers of Saint Jean Babtiste conserved in the local church. Day's major climbs: Col du Galibier: 900 m / 2952 ft (includes Col du Telegraphe) Col de la Croix de Fer: 1735 m / 5690 ft)

Day 6: Col de la Madeleine

Saint Madeleine, protector of the travelers, will watch over you as you ascend the pass named after her. Of course remarkable vistas await you, stretching from the Mont-Blanc Massif to the Grandes Rousses and over to the high mountains of the Ecrins National Parc. A long descent takes you to the Isere Valley. Riding up the valley to the cute spa town of Moutiers, one wonders whether elephants and soldiers really walked through here so long ago and if so how totally strange of a sight that must have been for the local farmers. Your route winds through the sleepy mountain hamlets perched high above the Isere Valley before reaching picturesque Bourg St Maurice. Day's major climb: Col de la Madeleine: 1582m / 5189')

Day 7: The Most PicturesqueAlps

Up for a killer day? Thescenery along the Cormet de Roselend varies more than on any other pass and the eight kilometers descending from the top of the pass must belong to the most scenic kilometers in the Alps . Lakes, waterfalls, forests and high alpine beauty alternate as you make your way across the pass. The grade is gentle with the exception of a short stretch half way up.

After descending the north side you start immediately with the climb up to the Col des Saisies. Once in the small town of Flumet, you cross an old stone bridge over the deep gorge of Arly and start to climb over the last mountain chain of the French Alps, the Chain des Aravis. From the resort town La Clusaz it is a straightforward easy spin into Annecy on the lake of the same name. Annecy has an irresistible charm. The lakeside and the historic center with the warm colored houses invites for a stroll and maybe some SHOPPING!! Day's major climbs: Cormet de Roselend: 1224m/4015', Col des Saisies: 730m/2394', Col des Aravis: 631m/2069')

Day 8-9: Col Colmbiere & More Annecy

On tiny country roads we loop north to the village of Marnaz-Blanzy where the ascent to the Col de la Colombière starts. The first half of the climb Annecywith a grade between 6% - 8% serves as your warm-up and after the Le Reposoir the more difficult part of the climb begins

The forest ends after 3 km from where you get a good look at the distance to the summit. If you are inclined every now and then you may spot an eagle as this is one of their premier nesting regions. The descent offers the classic multiple hairpin turns and then, when you least expect it, a short uphill before you reach St. Jean-de-Sixt. From here you'll remember the easy spin back into Annecy from the day before. We then have enough time to box up the bikes and get ready for one last festive evening in this colorful lakeside resort town.