The Alps Big Ride (2017 Trip)

In 2019 we are pleased to invite you on a 7 day spectacular trip to the Alps.

Not for the faint hearted, the full 7 day trip takes in some of the most iconic Alpine climbs used in the Tour de France. 

Overnight accommodation will be in good quality hotels serving good food to ensure that you are well rested and fed before the start of the next day's efforts.

Arrival: Saturday 

Arrive in Geneva and be collected and driven to Morzine which will be the start of our ride. Depending on the time of your arrival, you will have time to spend a couple of hours riding in and around Morzine during the afternoon / early evening before enjoying a quality evening meal at The Farmhouse in Morzine.

Day 1: Sunday 

Today is the first proper riding day of the trip and it starts with a bang!

Straight out of Morzine you hit the lower slopes of the Col de Joux Plane. 11km with a gradient averaging 8% will get your legs going! Fortunately, we will ride the slightly easier, northern side. After descending to Samoens our route takes us over the Col de Chatillon - a short climb of a couple of kilometres - and on to Cluses, where we will start the biggest climb of the day, the 16km Col de la Colombiere. Classed as a Cat 1 climb in the Tour  de France, this col is quite deceptive with a fairly easy first 6km. However, once you pass the village of Le Reposoir, the going gets a lot tougher. Having the top of the col in view from shortly after the village but never seeming to be any closer to it makes it quite hard work.

After descending to Le Grand Bornand, we will then tackle the fairly short climb up to the Col des Aravis before taking the twisty descent  to Flumet where we will spend our second night in Notre Dame de Bellecombe.

Day 2: Monday

Our second day will see us ride from the hotel, straight on to the Col des Saisies before descending to Beaufort and the start of the biggest climb of the day, the Cormet de Roselend. The Cormet de Roselend is one of the most beautiful climbs in the Alps with the stunning lake near the top being a perfect spot for some photos.

The descent to Bourg St. Maurice in the Tarentaise Valley is fast and twisty. Some of you may recall some TdF riders coming to grief on it's tight bends. 

We will  then climb 20km further up the Tarentaise Valley to Val d'Isere and spend our second night on the road there

Day 3: Tuesday 

Eat well at breakfast today because there is a big day ahead! It starts with a 20km climb (although never too steep) from the hotel up through the ski resort of Val d'Isere and up to the Col de L'Iseran - the highest road pass in the Alps at 2770m. Up here the air is a bit thinner and you really do feel as though you are looking down on the world. 

Of course after such an effort to get up to the top there has to be a reward and it comes not only in the sense of achievement and the spectacular views but with an 83km descent! Yes, in old money that's over 50 miles of descending - or if you rode our 2016 sportive, the length of the Piccolofondo ride!

After reaching St. Michel de Maurienne, we will take on the final climb of the day - the Col de Telegraph, a 12km twisty climb that takes us to our hotel in Valloire. Many people write off this climb because they see it as a prelude to the Col du Galibier but the Telegraph is a tough climb in it's own right and shouldn't be taken lightly.

The Alps Big Ride (2017 Trip) The beautiful Cormet de Roselend
The Alps Big Ride (2017 Trip) The highest road pass in the Alps - The Col de L'Iseran
The Alps Big Ride (2017 Trip) Rather pleased after climbing Alpe d'Huez
Day 4: Wednesday 

A slightly easier day in the saddle awaits. Valloire sits between the Col de Telegraph and the giant Col du Galibier - a 17km climb straight out of the hotel. Although not as high as the Col de L'Iseran, at 2650m, the Galibier is long and tough, especially the last few km which are all well over 10%.

When you reach the top, the views are, I think, better than those at the higher Col de L'Iseran, as you can see right down to the southern Alps as well as those to the north.

The descent will take us down to the Col de Lautaret at 2000m before we head further down the valley to start the climb to Les Deux Alpes. We will stay the night in this pleasant ski town.

Day 5: Thursday 

After descending from Les Deux Alpes, we will ride along the valley to Bourg d'Oisans to tackle the famous Alpe d'Huez.

The 13km and 21 hairpins of the official Alpe D'Huez climb are known throughout cycling and it seems to be on everyone's bucket list. The climb is not massively difficult as it keeps a steady gradient all the way up at around 10%. Those feeling fit can obtain a timing chip from the tourist office in Bourg d'Oisans and receive an official time at the top of the climb. Personally I would prefer a beer!

After reaching the village of Alpe d'Huez, we will grab some lunch, then continue climbing to the Col de Sarenne, a few hundred metres higher up. The col isn't too far from Alpe d'Huez but really feels like you are out in the wilds. We will then take the twisty descent back down to to the lake before taking the climb back up to Les Deux Alpes where we will again stay the night.

To see some photos of where you will ride, take a look at our Gallery page. The last 10 photos on the page were all taken on this route.

A map of the route can be seen here (Click to view full size)

Alps ride map

Day 6: Friday 

This will be our final day of riding but the pressure does not let up! We will descend from Les Deux Alpes to Bourg d'Oisans then ride for about 12km to the bottom of the Col de Croix de Fer - a 25km climb to 2067m. Actually our route takes us over the Col de Glandon at 1910m but as the Col de Croix de Fer is only 2km further up the road from the Glandon and it's another col you can tick off your list, we thought it would be good to include it. We'll ride up to it and then back down to the Glandon.

From the Col de Glandon we will take the twisty descent down to St. Jean de Maurienne where we will start our last HC climb of the tour, the 2000m Col de la Madeleine. Similar to Alpe d'Huez, La Madeleine doesn't mess around with a gentle intro, it throws you straight into 8% + territory almost all the way up the 20km to the top. The open views from the summit are spectacular.

A 27km descent to La Lechere follows, where we will then ride along the valley to Brides les Bains, where we will spend our final night.

The full ride is 565km long and includes 16327m of climbing. You will have ridden 7 HC climbs, 5 Cat 1 climbs and 1 cat 2 climb, with a few Cat 3 and Cat 4 climbs along the way.


Twin room: £1290.00 per person*

Single Room: £1495.00 per person*

Please note that costs are based on an exchange rate of 1.10€ to £1.00. Due to exchange rate fluctuations this cost may alter slightly. Please see Terms and Conditions.

A deposit payment of £300.00 is payable and can be paid by clicking the link at the top of this page. The deposit is refundable until we pay the hotels in France the deposits they require, which should be around the end of August. Please see our Terms page for full details.

Flights and bike hire (should you require it) will not be included in the cost. However, we will transport your luggage and bike from the UK to Morzine and back again for you to save you paying additional costs to airlines. This will also mean that your bags are safe and the bike will not get bashed around by airport baggage handlers.

Breakfast and dinner in the hotels or a local restaurant will be included in the cost. Wine will be provided with dinner. Lunch is not included.

Support will be provided throughout the trip. Your luggage will be taken each day to the next hotel en route. A van will accompany you on the ride and will carry drinks, snacks and tools. Two of our guides will accompany you on the road each day.

Any energy bars, drinks or nutritional supplements you require should be brought on the trip by you. Each person has their own preferences and it is best that you bring the products you like.