Day 1: Arrival
Arrival at Geneva airport and group transfer over to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. Here you'll have the opportunity to settle in and meet your new cycling companions over dinner.
Day 2: Col du Chaussey via the Lacets du Montvernier 48 km 1350 meters ascent
We start our venture into the wonders of the French Alps with one of the most unnecessarily engineered stretches of road ever thought up! the Lacets du Montvernier are, quite simply bonkers! 17
switch backs take us up to the small village of Montvernier where we turn left and onto the main climb of the Col du Chaussey - take a look up if you want to see where you're headed - as you can see
the road carved into the rock! This climb is every bit as beautiful as it is tough - take the time to admire the lush green meadows, mountain flowers and seriously quiet road as you top out at
an altitude of 1533m over 14 km and an average gradient of 7.3% A tight, technical descent follows as we eventually join the Col du Madeleine (luckily we'll be going down, not up!) before heading
back to base via a spot of lunch!
Day 3: Col du Glandon and Croix de Fer with optional climb over the Col Du Mollard 55km/58km 2350/2850 meters ascent
Today we take on the formidable Col Du Glandon along the D926. You'll have a nice 11km stretch to warm the legs before turning onto the climb which will climb at an average gradient of 6.8% over a
distance of 23km. Make sure that you leave plenty in the legs - the upper climbs of this stunning pass really can test the mental resolve of a tired cyclist! Your reward, however is a panoramic
view of mind bending proportions as you look out over the Maurienne valley. As a bonus, you will also have just a very short 2.5km ride to reach the summit of your second peak of the day over at the
Col du la Croix de Fer!. A wonderful descent then awaits as you head back towards base, with tree lined roads giving way to spectacular vistas, and if you feel good, why not take on the extra
challenge of the Col Du Mollard - a cracking and much less well known little gem!
Day 4: Ride to Bourg D'Oisans via Col du Telegraphe and Col du Galibier - 95km, 2,400m of climbing
Today we complete a section of La Marmotte route, taking us over from the Maurienne valley across to Bourg D'Oisans. We start with the Col du Telegraphe, a renowned Tour de France climb having
featured in the event 20 times. The climb is c.12km with an average gradient of 7.3%, and is predominantly through shaded tree covered roads. Save something in your legs, as after a short descent
into Valloire we'll be onto the Galibier, cited by many amateur cyclists as the hardest climb they've done. Its the fourth highest paved road in France at 2,642m, and despite its average of 7%,
you'll need to save something for the final few kms, which are regarded as the toughest due to the steeper gradients and exposure. The effort will be worth it, as you'll then get to enjoy the 50km
descent via the Col du Lautaret back to Bourg, probably one of the most exhilerating descents you'll ever do!
Day 5: Col D'Ornon, La Grimpee D'Oulles or optional rest day - 22km, 750m of climbing / 30km, 1,400m
There are a number of shorter climbs out of Bourg D'Oisans that can be tackled as an out and back, and we'll take the opportunity to have a slightly easier day to enjoy these, and the town itself.
The Col D'Ornon is a picturesque climb through the Lignarre valley, and at an average of 5.8% with very few steep sections, will feel considerably easier than those you've tackled over the previous
days. As we descend back to Bourg, there's also the option to take on La Grimpee D'Oulles, which consists of an additional 7km of hairpin bends on a small, little used road.
Day 6: Alpe D'huez and Allemond - 52km, 1,450m of climbing
Here we tackle one of the most famous climbs in the world, Alpe D'Huez - up to 1000 people per day climb its iconic 21 hairpins per day in the peak season. You can count them down as you go, and
after celebrating at the top we'll descend part way down to bend 6. At this point we'll turn over to Villard Reculas, a small skiing town which has spectacular views over the valley. Onwards from
here we'll descend down to Allemond, where we'll enjoy a bit of flat riding, a rarity in the Alps, round the Verney reservoir before descending back to Bourg.
Day 7: Col de Sarenne via the balcony road, descent off Alpe D'Huez - 57km, 1,950m of climbing
Today we enjoy the spectatular views up to the Auris balconies as we leave Alpe D'Huez at La Garde (bend 16) and cycle up to Le Freney D'Oisans and the Chambon dam before taking on the Col de
Sarenne. Despite being close to Alpe D'huez and the busy tourist spots, the Sarenne feels relatively remote and its possible to spend some time in your own thoughts as you climb and enjoy the
scenery. We then ride across to Alpe D'huez where we culminate our trip with the full 21 bends of the descent on our way back to Bourg.
Day 8: Breakfast and return transfer
Today we say goodbye and after breakfast transfer back to Geneva airport for the journey home