We have put together an unforgettable tour through the beautiful and famous climbs of the Alps. Starting from Thonon-Les-Bains on the shores of Lake Geneva down to mediterranian paradise of Nice.
We have chosen a route that combines quiet, rural roads with some of the most famous climbs of the Tour de France passing over some of the highest passes in Europe including the Col de Bonnette, the highest of them all. This is a fully supported bike tour allowing you to ride point to point each day without the worry of luggage, water or navigation. You will receive route cards, vehicle support and an experienced guide throughout the tour.
We provide you with our very own Carnet de Route and daily route cards. We will also provide you with the Garmin GPS files so you can download them into your units or we have a number of Garmin 705 units for rental. We will stay to the quiet roads as much as possible. We also give you a fantastic cycle jersey so you can ride the tour in style.
The itinerary may change from time to time but is basically the set route for our version of the Raid Alpine. If you are reasonably fit you will be able to complete this course but will need to train for it. There is always vehicle support in case you get into difficulties. And remember there are some short cuts just in case.
All your luggage and bike containers are transported between stages. There is also mechanical support available so you do not have to worry about anything other than enjoying the ride
We will pick you up from Geneva airport in the afternoon and transfer you to the starting hotel in Thono-les-Bains. Time for building bikes and a test ride into the town centre and the beautiful Lake Front before having the welcome meal at the hotel.
We start our Epic ride with a gentle climb out of Thonon and onto the Col de Cou. A short descent to the smaller climbs of the Col de Terramont and the Col de Jambaz await us before the stunning road meandering around the mountain to the summit of the Col de Ramaz. We alsways have options for all abilities and at this point you can choose to ride on to the finish or take a detour to climb the category one climb of the Col de Joux Plane. The hotel is awaiting with comfortable beds and a great evening meal after your first big day in the Alps.
There is a small rise out from the hotel before descending to the base of the Col des Saisies, the first of the four named climbs today. After the long desent from the Saisies you will ride up the Col du Pré, the Col de Meraillet and the breathtaking views of the Cormet de Roselend. It is not finished yet though as we descend to the base of the Col de L'Iseran and climb for a little while to the hotel nestled into the mountain side and on the shores of an idillic alpine lake.
The big day has come. This is the day that you all have been waiting for. We climb out from the hotel to finish off the Col de L'Iseran before dropping down and passing the Col de la Madeleine. The downward trend keeps on going until we turn on to the start of the Col du Telegraphe and onto the giant of the day the Hors Category climb of the Col du Galibier. We then descend through the Col du Lauteret turning left to the small mountian village of Le Monetier-les -Bains for a comfortable bed and another stunning evening meal.
We will stay in Le Monetier-les-Bains and ride back over the Lauteret and descend down to Bourg d'Oisans for the climb of the famous Alp d'Huez. Make sure you smile for your photographs. Then there is the option to ride back or some can take a sneaky ride in the minibus.
Short day today and also only two named climbs, so an easy day right! Well, relativley yes but you will have the warm up of a Hors Category climb of the Col d'Izoard before tackling the second HC climb of the Col de Vars. But the descents are well worth the effort
Today you will riding to the heavens. The first climb to the Col de Bonnette is the highest paved road in Europe. There is even a celebratory loop at the top so you can see the view in panarama. Then the descent is amazing and goes on for ever through the valley before we turn off right into the steep little effort of the Col de la Couillole. This is basically the end of the day staying in the small mountain town of Beuil.
The descent from the hotel is one of the best through the Gorges of Cian, rust coloured cliffs and the raging river Cian. We then ride through some beautiful countryside and stunning gorges to the Col de Bleine and the Col du Castellaras. It is then all down hill to the coast popping over the Col du Ferrier and onto our final lunch stop. The coast will be in view shortly afterwards as we take a direct line through the quieter roads to Valbonne and Biot and finally the coastal bike path to St Laurent du Val on the outskirts of Nice. We will be staying in the Novotel right on the beach with swimming pools and spas. So relax and feel proud of what you have just achieved.
The hotel is close to the airport so we will transfer you in the morning or take advantage of a few more hours of sun and sand and get the hotel shuttle later in the day.