Grande Prix de La Montagne
Fully supported performance training incorporating the route of Le Tour du Mont Blanc.
This trip is based on our Tour du Mont Blanc route but with a greater focus on training and improvement. This itinerary is designed to cater for cyclists who are readying themselves for competitive summer events, and it is the ultimate preparation for those participating in La Marmotte, L’Etape du Tour and the Maratona dles Dolomites in July.
Our support team and guides for the weekend will also include Paul Voss who has recently retired from the pro Peloton having ridden seven Grand Tours (3x Tour de France, 3x Vuelta Espana and 1x Giro d’Italia).
The scenery throughout the ride is stunning, and accommodation is in carefully selected hotels, all serving excellent regional food. The group size is limited to 12 clients to ensure our acclaimed professional guiding team can provide you with the highest levels of service and support. Due to the difficulty of the route, we recommend that you have a good level of base fitness and previous experience of riding in the high mountains before booking.
Friday: Arrive into Geneva airport
Arrive Geneva airport early morning for a private transfer that will take you to the start town of Chamonix, a journey time of around 90 minutes. There will be a light lunch provided while our support team assemble the bikes for the afternoon ride to Champex.
Chamonix to Champex de Lac
Total elevation: 2450m
Major climbs: Col des Montets (1,461m) 4.3km at 5.8% (max 8.3%); Col de la Forclaz (1,527m) 5km at 6.5% (max 8%); Champex Lac (1,470m) 10.3km at 8.4% (max 12%);
Day one provides a short – but testing – opener. We set off up the Chamonix valley towards Argentière where the Col des Montets begins in earnest. If the weather is clear, at the summit you will be rewarded with some outstanding views of the distinctive Face nord des Drus towards the south, before we continue north into Switzerland.
At the 20km mark we begin the second ascent of the day, the slightly more difficult Col de la Forclaz. A rapid descent on a beautifully engineered road that the Swiss seem to be able to do so well brings us to the town of Martigny and the river Rhône on the valley floor. The next climb starts shortly afterwards and is the toughest of the day, if not of the whole route. Tight hairpins wind up through the Fôret Fama at an average gradient of over 8% to the picturesque lakeside village of Champex and our base for the evening.
Saturday: Champex to Bourg- Saint- Maurice
Total elevation: 4450m
Major climbs: Col du Grand Saint Bernard at 2,469m and the Col du Petit Saint Bernard (2,188m) 20.5km at 5.1% (max 8%);
We begin day two with a fast, technical and thoroughly enjoyable 10km descent to re-join the valley floor in the village Orsières. Awaiting us now is our passage into Italy via one of the highest climbs in Europe. From Orsières, the road climbs for 25km to the summit of the Col du Grand Saint Bernard at 2,469m, where we stop for lunch overlooking a beautiful glacial lake on the border between Switzerland and Italy. A long and sweeping descent brings us next to the town of Aosta, from which point awe have a 25km stretch of false flat to the spa town of Pré-Saint-Didier.
The final test of the day is a 20km climb of the Col du Petit Saint Bernard beginning as soon as we leave Pré-Saint-Didier. The use of the word ‘petit’ is misleading, as the climb is the second highest point on the itinerary, but at the summit you will be afforded breath-taking views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding massif as a just reward for your efforts. The descent off the Petit Saint Bernard takes us back into France and is one of the most thrilling on the route, with endless hairpin bends snaking down to the ski town of Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
Sunday: Bourg –Saint-Maurice to – Chamonix
Total elevation: 3650m
Major climbs: Cormet de Roseland (1,967m) 19.3km at 5.9% (max 8.9%); Hauteluce (1,160m) 8.5km at 4.8% (max 9.6%); Col des Saisies from Hauteluce (1,657m) 7.2km at 6.8% (max 8.6%); Côte de Vaudagne (1,152m) 4km at 7.1% (max 9%)
Day 3 begins with the Cormet de Roseland, similar in length and difficulty to the Petit Saint Bernard, the climb winds its way through a gorge before opening out into high alpine meadows. There is another long descent past the turquoise blue Lac de Roseland, before beginning an 8km climb to Hauteluce and in quick succession the Col des Saisies, a climb made infamous by Floyd Landis as the place where he launched his devastating solo attack during the 2006 Tour de France.
We then speed down to the village of Flumet and pass through the chic ski town of Megève. The major climbs are behind us by now, however, although our final destination is almost within sight, there remains one last obstacle to clear in the form of the Côte de Vaudagne. After cresting the summit of this steep and twisty climb, a brisk 10km brings us back to Chamonix and a well-deserved beer or two!
There is an option to overnight in Chamonix, or alternatively there will be time to shower and pack before transferring to Geneva airport for flights departing from 21.00 onwards.
The Price Includes
- Private airport transfers
- Single room accommodation
- Assistance to assemble & pack your bike
- All meals and sports nutrition
- Professional mechanic
- Experienced guides & staff
- Professionally equipped support vehicles
- Complimentary products for use on the trip
- Client to staff ratio of 4-1