MARMOTTE TRAINING WEEKEND, Thursday May 29th-Sunday June 1st


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MARMOTTE TRAINING WEEKEND

Whether you are training for the Marmotte cyclosportive for this summer or next, considering it for the future or simply fancy three days of classic Alpine Cols and incredible scenery this could be the tour for you.
Breaking down the complete Marmotte sportive route into three manageable days we also throw in a couple of extra Alpine gems along the way just for good measure.

DAY 1.
We will meet you on your arrival at Geneva airport for an afternoon/evening transfer to La Chambre and the beginning of our adventure. Once settled in at tonight’s hotel we will assist you in re-assembling your beloved bikes or fitting you to your hire bike if that is what you have arranged through us.
Before dinner we will get together for a few welcome drinks and a short briefing on the following days riding.

DAY 2. La Chambre-Les Deux Alps

Col du Telegraph, Galibiere and Les Deux Alps.
107km, 3171m gain
An easy 30km up the valley to Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne provides the legs with a good warm up and sees us at the foot of the Col du Telegraph and the start of today’s major climbs.
The Telegraph/Galibiere combination really is one of the true monsters of the Alps, feared and respected by amateurs and professionals a like.
The Col du Telegraph is a beautiful climb winding its way through thick mountainside forest, gradually revealing fantastic views of the Maurienne valley and glimpses of the many fortifications that hint towards the historical importance of this long established route. After a short descent into Valloire where we stop for a well-earned coffee the accent of the Col du Galibiere begins.
Quickly leaving the tree line below us this magnificent beast will leave you in awe and most likely more than a little breathless! But every hard earned pedal stroke gets you a little closer to the summit and some of the most spectacular views in the Alps. A fantastic technical, serpentine descent sees us at the top of the famous Col du Lauteret before descending further into the valley on slightly larger roads through endless flowing bends to the world famous mountaineering town of La Grave and todays lunch stop.
Having taken on some fuel and a few moments of well-deserved relaxation under the imposing Meije Glacier we carry on down the valley to the vast dammed Lac du Chambon. From here we begin the final climb of the day up to the ski resort of Les Deux Alps and tonights hotel, a shower, maybe a drink or two and a great meal.

 

DAY 3. Les Deux Alps-Bourg d’Oisans

Col du Solude, Alp d’Huez and Col du Sarenne
102km, 2796m gain
After breakfast we will get your kit loaded into the van and hit the road for a very special days riding. Descending the old road out of Les Deux Alps we warm our legs up by making our way further down the valley to Bourg d’Oisans. We are heading for the the Col du Solude via Villard Notre Dame on a road that could challenge even the great Passo Della Stelvio in its ability defy gravity whilst seeming to hang from vast cliffs that dominate the Romanche valley. From Villard Notre Dame be prepared for a stretch of unmade graveled road to complete the loop back to Bourg d’Oisans via the Col du Solude and Ornon (if you don’t fancy the unpaved road we can simply return the way we came)
Having stopped for a spot of lunch in Bourg d’Oisans we head across to the other side of the valley and one climb that needs no introduction, the legendary 21 bends of Alp d’Huez. Imagine yourself in the shoes of the greats, Coppi, Bernard Hainult and Pantani amongst many others as they fought their demons and rivals on this most famous of climbs.
2013 saw the slightly controversial introduction of the Col du Sarenne to the Tour de France and this is where we are headed next. This stunning loop on a tiny road has a feeling of remoteness that you will find in few other places. It is only a short climb from Alp d’Huez followed by a very technical descent on less than perfect tarmac. It is a fantastic ride and a great challenge but take a moment to imagine riding this road in a race environment amidst the mighty pro peloton of the Tour de France. The descent through this peaceful valley on its tiny road sees us back on the shores of Lac du Chambon followed by a short descent back to Bourg d’Oisans and tonights hotel.

 

DAY 4. Bourg d’Oisans-La Chambre

Col du Glandon
63km, 1758m gain
Just the one climb today and with an average of just 4.5% you might be forgiven for thinking this one was going to be easy. Do not be fooled.
The Col du Glandon climbs 1152 vertical meters in 24km but is quite regularly broken by short descents which are the reason for the deceptively low average gradient. With long sections between 8-10% and a few stretches hitting 11-12% this is no walk in the park but you will be rewarded with ever changing scenery and terrain , from deep river gorges to crystal clear mountain lakes and great moorland expanses reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands. To top this off you are treated to the riveting descent down to La Chambre, starting with tight technical switchbacks and leading into fast flowing bends that hug the precipitous drop into the steep sided valley bellow and then on into the winding tree covered roads of the forested lower valley. This descent is guaranteed to keep you 100% focused and thoroughly engaged from top to bottom.
Back in La Chambre (where our tour began) we will stop for a very well earned lunch before getting the bikes packed up and ready for the transfer back to Geneva airport and your flight home.

 

 

 

 

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