- 736km / 460 miles
- 8 nights accommodation & all meals included
- Take on the Mont Ventoux triple ascent challenge
- Qualified guide, baggage vehicle & mechanical support
- 9 Days / 8 Nights
- Ride in the Alps & Provence
- Route steeped in cycling history
- Climb the Madeleine, Glandon & Alpe d’Huez
Arrival at Geneva Airport to be met by the Rather Be Cycling Team. Build up the bikes at the airport and then ride to Thonon-les-Bains via the beautiful medieval town of Yvoire on the shores of Lac Leman. Your baggage will be transferred to the Hotel.
47km / 30 miles. Overnight in Thonon-les-Bains in a hotel. Meal/s included: D
Ride from Thonon-les-Bains to La Clusaz. Leaving Thonon we’re straight onto quiet roads and it’s a lovely ride through pre-Alpine countryside. Our first challenge is the gentle climb of the Col de Cou (1,116m) which meanders upwards through a forested hillside with glimpses of Lac Leman visable through the trees. The descent gives us a taste of the downhills to follow and gives us a chance to get dialled into the ride.
Soon we’re at our pretty lakeside coffee stop spot. Next we traverse the town of Bonneville before climbing up through the Gorges d’Eveaux which, from below, is visible as a narrow cleft in the surrounding rock face. The gorge is spectacular and we always feel that passing through it is the gateway to the Alps proper.
Our hotel tonight is situated in pretty small town of La Clusaz. The afternoon can be spent exploring the town or there is an optional ride out up the Col de la Colombiere (1,613m).
85km / 53 miles. Overnight in a hotel in La Clusaz. Meal/s included: B, L, D
Ride La Clusaz to La Lechere / Bellencombe. Today starts with the fairly gentle and very scenic climb of the Col de Aravis. The chapel at the top, built to shelter travellers in bad weather, is dedicated to Saint-Anne is well worth a visit. Next it’s a technical plumet to Flumet and then the long draggy climb up the Col de Saisies. Topping out on a plateau and ski area, we usually regroup here before another long decent down to the valley below. Skirting round the outskirts of Albertville we make our way up the Isere valley to La Lachere, or nearby Bellencombe.
87km / 55 miles. Overnight in a hotel in La Lechere / Bellencombe. Meal/s included: B, L, D
Ride La Lechere / Bellencombe to Allemond. It’s a climbing, and descending, day today and we start with the serpentine Col de la Madeleine (1,993m), which has featured in the Tour de France over 20 times to date. The technical descent snakes down to the Maurienne Valley and lunch. Next up is the Col du Glandon (1,924m), another climb with a long TdF pedigree and which is notoriously tough at the top. A cracking descent rounds off a great Alpine day.
96km / 60 miles. Overnight in a hotel in Allemond. Meal/s included: B, L, D
Ride Allemond to Corps. Today starts with a flat ride into Bourg d’Ossians, which warms the legs up nicely before the Alpe. After ascending this famous climb we descend a little to Huez village, where we regroup and have a coffee break. Continuing down the Alpe we traverse Bourg d’Oisans before tackling the lovely climb of the Col de Ornon (1,367m). After lunch we’ve some tough steep roads en-route to the historic town of Corps on the Route Napoleon.
90km / 56 miles. Overnight in a hotel in Corps. Meal/s included: B, L, D
Ride Corps to Orpierre. Near the start today we cross the stunning Barrage de Sautet after which there’s a fantastic ride up through a gorge before the ascent of the Col du Festre (1,441m). This climb has only featured in the TdF twice so far and the first Tour prime winner was the, appropriately named Italian, Primo Mori in 1970. After regrouping at the top we enjoy the 14km descent to La Madeleine. Lunch is taken by a stunning small lake (great swimming), we then take to some beautiful back roads passing through Savournon before arriving in the famous climbing town of Orpierre, an ideal spot for a cold drink stop, before the final 8k’s pedal to our hotel.
90km / 55 miles. Overnight in a hotel near Orpierre. Meal/s included: B, L, D
Ride from Orpierre to Vaison-la-Romaine. Rolling out this morning we tackle the warm up climb of the Col St Jean (1,158m) before the chillingly named Col de L’Homme Mort (1,212m). Apparently this col, a shortcut, was historically the haunt of bandits hence the name. Whatever it’s history the view from the top over the Albion Plateau is spectacular. We then ride though stunning lavender fields to Sault, where we’ll stop for lunch. Next up is the famous Mont Ventoux, the Giant of Provence, which we climb today from Sault, the “easy” side. This joins the traditional TdF ascent at the equally famous Chalet Reynard. From the summit of Mont Ventoux, on a clear day, you can see the Alps and the Mediterranean. Today ends with the descent down to Malaucene and then it’s a short spin along on the flat to Vaison-la-Romaine and our hotel for the next two nights.
105km / 66 miles. Overnight in a hotel in Vaison-la-Romaine. Meal/s included: B, L, D
We’ve saved the best till last! The Mont Ventoux Triple Challenge an epic day out by anyone’s standards. Tackling Ventoux’s three road climbs one after the other today’s ride is 136km with a challenging 4,443m of ascent. As we said – epic!
Alternatively, you could opt for a one, or a two, ascent day. The day is rounded off by a well earned and celebratory group meal in Vaison-la-Romaine.
136km / 85 miles. Overnight in a hotel in Vaison-la-Romaine. Meal/s included: B, L, D
Today, after packing up our bikes, and depending on the time of your return flights, there may be time to explore the beautiful and historic town of Vaison-la-Romaine, even if it’s just for that final coffee.
Meal/s included: B
- 8 nights Hotel accommodation*.
- All meals as detailed in the trip overview.
- Meal Key: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner. Please note that all lunches are picnic style and are designed to suit cyclist’s appetites.
- All baggage transfers in our baggage vehicle.
- A daily provision of Clif bar nutritional products.
- The services of a Rather Be Cycling Trip Leader.
- The services of a Rather Be Cycling baggage vehicle driver / assistant.
- Access to commonly required tools, mechanical advice & assistance.
*All accommodation is allocated and priced on a twin occupancy basis. Please contact us for Single Occupancy Rates.
What’s Not Included:
- International and / or Domestic Flight/s to and from the start and end points of the trip.
- Transfer to your airport at the end of the trip.
- Visa/s if necessary.
- Travel Insurance – Compulsory.
- All drinks e.g. bottled water, coffees, teas, alcohol, etc.
- Entry fees e.g. to visitor attractions, etc.
- Spare / replacement bicycle parts & accessories e.g. tyres, tubes, wheel/s, etc.
- Other expenses e.g. souvenirs, additional food, laundry, etc.
- Tips – at your discretion.
- This is a road cycling holiday and a road, sportive or touring bike is ideal for this trip. We recommend 700x23c tyres and have found Michelin Pro 3 tyres to perform very well. Compact or triple gearing giving a bottom gear of between 30″ and 40″ is suggested for this trip. Alloy rims or carbon rims with alloy braking surfaces are preferable to full carbon rims for this trip.
- Your bike should be fully serviced, and thoroughly tested, before your holiday.