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Trip Dates : 13th - 19th September 2020
Welcome to the Band of Climbers Alpine Escape. A six day, six night cycling trip in the heart of the French Alps, on the edge of the Vanoise National Park. This is your chance to ride with Band of Climbers on a fully-supported, exclusive cycling trip where the sole aim is to ride stunning climbs with new friends and make lasting memories, as we take on the best climbs in the French Alps.
From the moment you arrive in Geneva, you will have nothing to think about other than riding and relaxing in our luxury chalet. We'll provide everything for you, including airport transfers, daily cooked breakfasts and three course dinners with our in house chef, energy drinks and bars, route guidance and van support on each ride, as well as Band of Climbers cycling kit including jersey, bib shorts, socks, caps and bidons.
This trip will allow you to ride not only the highest Cols of Europe, but we'll also take you on some hidden climbs and some of the most stunning routes in Europe. Our trip will also allow you to ride many of the climbs that have featured in the Alpine stages of the Tour de France and Etape du Tour in recent years, such as the Col de l’Iseran, Cormet de Roselend, Notre Dame du Pre, and the Tour's newest climb, the Col de la Loze.
Check out a photo blog of our last trip in September 2019, to see what to expect.
The itinerary of the trip is as follows (although it is subject to change based on weather conditions day to day)
Day 1 : 13th : Arrival : Arrive at Geneva Airport, preferably at or before 11:30am. (Later transfers will be provided )You will meet the BoC transfer team who will drive you and your bike to the chalet. (2.5hrs approx.) For those guests arriving early enough to make the first transfer we'll have a light lunch, set up bikes and have an easy afternoon spin up through the quiet forest roads to Les Arcs 1800.
A three course dinner with wine is served at the chalet each evening around 7:30pm.
Distance : 41km : Elevation 1200m.
Day 2 : Crossing into Italy : Breakfast is served at the chalet at 8am before we roll out at 9.30am for the first full day's ride. Today we'll ride many of the familiar routes of the Tour de France and the Criterium du Daphine, as we cross our first border of the trip and ride from France into Italy and back. It’s a 9km descent straight out of the chalet door then a 6k roll along the valley to Bourg Saint Maurice and the foot of the Col du Petit Saint Bernard.
The Petit St Bernard can be climbed in two ways, the longer, shallower way, or the shorter, steeper, and more scenic way via Montvalezan. That's the way we'll go, over the 'pink road' to La Rosiere.
From the ski resort of La Rosiere we'll ride to the summit of the Petit St Bernard, where the French and Italian Borders meet. We'll cross the border and descend the incredible Italian side of the climb into La Thuile. We'll regroup, and enjoy coffee and lunch in this scenic town. We'll then turn around and ride back up the Italian side of the Col du Petit St Bernard, and descend the 35km back to Bourg St Maurice, and finally up the Chalet climb to rest up for dinner.
Distance : 112km : Elevation 3200m.
Day 3 : The Beautiful Roselend : After breakfast we'll head to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the French Alps. The stunning Cormet de Roselend to Beaufort and back via the brutally tough Col du Pré. A hard day today on climbs featured in the 2018 Tour de France.
The Roselend was unfortunately removed from the Tour in 2019 due to a Landslide. So you'll ride where the Tour couldn't. The Cormet de Roselend is our favourite climb in the French Alps, and we think you'll see why.
The ride can finish in Bourg Saint Maurice for coffee or beer, or you can add on the Chalet climb once again for an extra few KM's of up. If you're finishing in Bourg, we will shuttle you back up to the chalet for any pre-booked massage treatments and a three-course dinner and drinks.
Distance : 107km : Elevation 3000m.
Day 4 : The Tour's Newest Climb : The Col de la Loze. A stiff test awaits us today. The Newest Climb in the Alps, that rises up to over 2300m on a bike only path from Meribel to Courchevel. Unlike most climbs in the Alps, this one features very steep slopes and very changeable gradients, making it hard to find a rhythm. The Tour de France will race this climb just a couple of months before you ride it. It's a-one climb day today, but it's a beast.
Distance : 110km : Elevation 2700m
Day 5 : The Big One : Today we'll start early, with a 6.30am drive over Europe's Highest Col - the Col de L'Iseran at 2770m. We'll drive you Into Italy, to the town of Susa. (2.5hrs)
Your challenge, is to ride back to the chalet the same way. This means riding the beautiful Col du Mont Cenis on the Italian side, then descending into France, before climbing the tougher south side of the Col de l'Iseran - which the riders faced on the Tour de France in 2019 before the stage was aborted due to a landslide.
Once we crest the 2770m of the Iseran, we have a massive 50km descent back into Bourg Saint Maurice where we will end our ride at our favourite coffee shop. It’s then a short transfer in the support van back up to the chalet. There is the option to ride the Chalet Climb if you'd like to add on an extra few KM's.
Distance : 116km : Elevation 3400m
Day 6 : The Local Climbs : Today we won't venture too far from the chalet, but we'll still ascend multiple climbs around the Tarentaise Valley. The highlight is the Cote de Longfoy and Notre Dame du Pre. We'll also ride the Alps' newest hidden bike paths along the river, through tunnels and past beautiful churches and landscapes.
Today is about having fun and enjoying the final day with your new friends.
Distance : 83km : Elevation 2500m.
Day 7 : 19th : Departure Day : We'll help you pack up your bikes, and after breakfast we'll transfer you back to Geneva Airport for your flight departures home. With all those memories to take with you.
This trip is limited to just 9 places.
We would suggest the trip is for intermediate or above level riders, or those with at least some experience of riding in the mountains and a decent level of fitness. At no point will any rider be left behind on their own, as our support vehicle and guides will be on the road with you at all times.
Of course, some riders will be faster than others, but we keep any waiting times between the first and last riders reaching the summits to a minimum. You are free to ride at your own speed. This is not a race trip. It's a chance to test your own legs at your own pace.
What is Included?
- 6 night stay in a shared twin room in our Luxury Chalet - complete with outdoor hot tub, indoor sauna, and en suite bathrooms.
- Daily cooked breakfasts and three course dinners - cooked in house by our private chef, served with wine at dinner.
- In house laundry service
- Daily van supported rides and mechanical support
- Ride Guides from Band of Climbers
- All energy gels, drinks and bars
- Airport transfers to and from Geneva Airport in private vehicles
- 1 x Band of Climbers Cycling Kit (socks, bibs, jersey, cap)
- 2 x Band of Climbers Bidons
What is not included?
- Spare parts or equipment
- Medical Cover
- Bike hire
- Coffee or cafe bought snacks during rides
Total cost for the Escape is £1199.00 per person. £199 non refundable deposit is payable upon booking your place, with the balance of £1000 to be paid on or before 1st August 2020. Book before 15th March and pay in full to save £150 and pay just £1049.
All prices include VAT and taxes. Band of Climbers Cycling Trips are provided by, and managed by Band of Climbers Travel Ltd. For any questions about the trip, please email us at email@example.com
View a Photo Blog of our last trip in September 2019 to see what you can expect.