Our location in the French Alps will be in the Maurienne Valley and the main town of St Jean de Maurienne, known as the climbing capital of the Maurienne Valley, due to its proximity to many major Tour de France climbs.
From our base we’ll cycle out each day, pitting ourselves against some of the most historic and unique mountain passes in cycling history. Each pass on our list has it's own characteristics and will be a test of your mental and physical capacity.
Flight to destination
Travel to accommodation (hotel/Airbnb)
Rental bike pick up and check in
St Jean - Lacets de Montvernier - Col du Chaussy - Col de La Madeleine - St Jean
Distance - 46 miles (74km)
Climbing - 7728 ft (2355m)
Our first day in the saddle will see us first hit the slopes of the Lacets de Montvernier with its 17 tight hairpins , an amazing road carved out of the side of a cliff , used in the 2015 Tour de France .
From this 2.5 km climb we will carry on to the Col de Chaussy which is a fairly difficult climb with an average gradient of 8% and another 12 km . A quiet climb that you can really enjoy , especially with views of the valley below from the mountain road above Montpascal.
From the top of Chaussy , where there’s the option to stop for a coffee and snack we drop down the other side and link up with La Col de La Madeleine route riding up to 2000m and 14.5 km , one of the mythical TdF passes . Once at the top there will be the chance to refresh and relax , before dropping back to La Chambre in a downhill that takes 30 minutes on the D213 . It’s then a short trip along the valley road past the Lacets and back into St Jean for a freshen up and some much need food and drink .
There is an 18 km shorter route for those wishing to head straight back to St Jean after descending Col de Chaussy .
St Jean - Col de Glandon - Col de la Croix de Fer - Col du Mollard - St Jean
Distance - 44 miles (71km)
Climbing - 7193 ft (2192m)
Another magical day in the saddle this time riding up the 21.3 km Col du Glandon. A real gem of mountain pass this with an average gradient of 7% and a maximum of 12% after turning onto the D927 at St Marie de Cuines. The last 2 km really bite as they average double figures so a real relief when the signpost has been reached.
From here we climb a further 3.5 km to Col de la Croix de Fer and a chance to put your feet up and have a drink before descending down through the ski village of st Sorlin d’Arves. There’s a right hand turn at the bottom of the valley at Belleville which takes us up to Col de Mollard, from which there’s a really nice hairpin descent through the woods down to the Maurienne valley road and St Jean.
Again we have 2 other shorter routes that can be accessed for those that need.
St Jean - Alpe D'Huez - La Toussuire -St Jean
Distance - 31 miles (50km)
Climbing - 7573 ft (2308m)
A different type of day which will see 2 climbs ridden separately as we drive first to Alp d’huez, perhaps the most famous climb in TdF history along with the Tourmalet and Galibier.
After parking at the bottom of the climb it’s then straight up the 21 hairpins and 13.2 km of Alps d’Huez. It has an average of 8% and max’s out at 13. A climb you have to say “I’ve done it”, perhaps not the most picturesque and quietest but nevertheless steeped in TdF history as you pass Dutch corner, through Huez and into the ski village itself at the top.
After descending and getting back in the car, we’ll head back to St Jean and climb up to the ski village of, La Toussuire (optional) all 17km of it which starts right by the hotel. Famous for when Chris Froome defied Team Sky orders and attempted to outpace Bradley Wiggins in the final stages, this is a tough and grinding slope but well surfaced, wide and quiet.
St Jean - Col de Telegraphe - Col du Galibier - St Jean
Distance - 57 miles (91km)
Climbing - 8403 ft (2561m)
The biggest day of the week, where we ride along the valley floor to St Michel de Maurienne and tackle Col de Telegraphe and Col de Galibier. Altogether some 30 km of climbing, 12km for Telegraphe and 18 km for Galibier. There is the chance to stop in Valloire and recoup before the trudge up to Galibier at 2642m, easily the highest pass we’ll reach.
Telegraphe itself averages 8% for 12 km so is a real test before the big one. After coming out of Valloire you plateau for 5 km or so until you reach the cafe of Plan Lachat where now the climb begins in earnest and is a constant 8% at least. In the final 2 km the road starts to hit 10%, especially once you turn left before the Galibier tunnel until the end and the conquering of an Alpine legend.
As with the other routes and days there will be the possibility to reduce mileage. We have done this route on day 1 and day 4 before, day 4 felt better as you should have well and truly got some mountain legs and lungs by day 4 in the bike.
Check out of accommodation
Transfer back to airport
Flight back to UK
Gallery (French Alps 2016 & 2017)
Cycle Seekers tours include...
Cycle Seekers Tour Jersey
On bike lunch
On board physio
Cycle Seekers tours DO NOT include...
Our unique cycle trips allow you to travel out with us to the destination , giving total piece of mind from start to finish . We’ll make sure everything that’s included is catered for , from the moment we meet till the time comes for you to unfortunately leave us. With 4 years of experience behind us at 3 separate locations we have the knowledge to cater for all that is required on these memorable trips.
Potential trips in 2021...
Based on their own experiences of tackling the toughest climbs that the Cotswolds and Europe have to offer, our team organise everything to make sure your trip is as hassle free as possible to ensure your only focus is cycling.