Join us on this two day epic ride of a lifetime following in the tracks of the greatest riders on two wheels over arguably the most iconic climbs of 'le tour' - Alpe d'Huez and Mont Ventoux...the riding in between isn’t bad either!
Day 1 - Fly to Lyon - transfer to Bourg-d'Oisans - chance of a leg stretch.
Day 2 - Ride Alpe d'Huez to Serres - 145km (90mi) +3167m
Day 3 - Ride Serres to Bedoin - 125km (78mi) +2210m
Day 4 - Transfer to Marseilles airport - return to UK
On arrival to our base at the town of Bourg d'Oisans we take advantage of the spare time left in the day and don our kit, break out the bikes for a light leg stretch exploring this wonderful Alpine area. Looming high above us, Alpe d’Huez reminds us to save the big energy for the challenge coming so make it nice and steady. That evening we take in the hospitality and cuisine of our guesthouse before retiring early and a good nights sleep…you’re going to need it!
The following day and morning one of our challenge – after a good breakfast we check the bikes over before the very important safety brief given by your team leader on safe riding in the mountains – important to pay attention, even for the experienced rider there could be one piece of advice that makes all the difference to your trip. After which we’re good to go and the challenge begins – day one has no less than four summits for us to conquer - Alpe d'Huez, Col d'Ornon, Col de Parquetout and Col de Festre so be sure to leave plenty in the tank after tackling the first and the mightiest climb of the day, the iconic Alpe d’Huez. From the valley floor through the 14km to the summit you will likely experience every emotion possible while climbing this legendary mountain with absolute joy being your final emotion as you reach the summit. Though not much time to hang-a-bout and sign autographs – there’s plenty more road ahead of us. As the day passes and we wind our way southward through this spectacular country we begin ticking off the summits one-by-one and once over the Col de Festre we’re grateful for the 40km descent to our overnight location – the pretty town of Serres.
Day two and a gentle start to the day awaits us as we now begin to see a change the landscape. We’re now leaving behind the high mountains of the Alps and entering the gentler landscape of the Rhone Alps and Provence. A stunning mix of rolling countryside blended with ridges of arching limestone ridgelines and acres of Provencal agriculture – truly unique and beautiful part of the world. Before we make contact with the climbs of the day, our morning ride has one little surprise for us – the ‘Gorges de la Méouge’. No more than 7km long we are in no hurry to skip through as we look in wonder at this hidden Provence jewel. From the gorge we may start to feel the legs working just a little harder because now we are slowly beginning to take up altitude as we approach our first climb of the day – Montbrun. At 1000m above sea level the summit is not to be sniffed at but the climb proper is probably just around 300m – a nice leg warmer for the main course of the day. And just in time too because as we summit Montbrun we can expect quite breathtaking views of Ventoux ahead of us – and what a colossus it looks too. It’s approximately 25km to Sault from Montbrun and the foot of the mighty Ventoux and after a triple espresso or three we set off and begin our extraordinary climb of this extraordinary mountain. For the next 25km every hair on your body will be standing, every pore will be sweating and every muscle will be screaming but you’ll be loving every minute of it – this is cycling Shangri-La! 18km in and you make the junction with Chalet Reynard – this is where things begin to change, from here the gradient mercilessly raises itself a couple of % and that iconic moonscape begins – it’s like you knew it was coming but now you’re feeling the reality. If you’re lucky the wind is gentle on you, if not, then prepare for a battle with ‘the windy mountain’. 7km later and you’re at the summit of arguably the most spectacular cycling mountain in Europe and what a view! High fives all round before then…the descent of a lifetime – happy days.