Places for the 2012 Alpine Challenge, organised by HotChillee, the people behind the hugely successful annual London-Paris ride, go on sale at noon today (Monday), and with the field limited to just 150 riders, there’s sure to be strong demand to get a ride on the four-stage event.
Taking place from 5th to 9th September 2012, the Alpine Challenge comprises 7,000 metres of climbing through 480 kilometres of stunning French mountain scenery, with rolling road closures and fellow riders including World, Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner, Stephem Roche, plus British pro Yanto Barker, who will be riding for Team UK Youth next season..
Based around the Alpine town of Annecy in the Haue-Savoie department, following a warm-up ride around Lake Annecy, Stage 1 is a 10 kilometre timed mountain section which will help decide which speed groups riders fall into, with organisers acknowledging that while some will want to go all out and win the timed climbs on each stage, others will e looking for a relatively more relaxed and social experience.
The following stages include mountain passes such as the Col Des Aravis, Col de la Forclaz and Col de la Croix Fry, with an average distance ridden of 120 kilometres a day. As well as rolling road closures, the event benefits from motorbike outriders as well as lead and support vehicles.
Talking of his participation in this year’s event, Stephen Roche says: “The experience of riding The Alpine Challenge brought back all the feelings of that crazy La Plagne mountain top stage in 1987 when I won the Tour de France. This is the most real it can get for the amateur.”
Sven Thiele of HotChillee adds: “The Alpine Challenge is tough, but the shared experience generates a tremendous amount of camaraderie in the beautiful lakeside surroundings. It gives people a goal; something to train for. Even as an organiser, I have thoroughly enjoyed riding the event in the past two years. People love the riding experience, it makes them feel like they are on a Continental stage race and we can’t wait for 2012."
The entry fee includes transport to and from Geneva airport, food and accommodation, the provision of mechanics and technical support teams plus goodie bags including an Alpine Challenge t-shirt and cycling jersey.
A variety of packages are available at different price points, and full details can be found on the Alpine Challenge website.
In the meantime, organisers have put together a short taster video of this year’s event, shown below, and underneath that there is a longer film of the event initially shown on Eurosport.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.