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Geneva to Geneva - 6 Stages, over some of the most famous climbs in the French Alps 

 

‘Touching The Sky’

 

As the name suggests this tour spends much of its time in the sky. The list of cols reads like a Tour De France greatest hits, each one having played its role in the world’s greatest bike race.  Once again Red Lantern Cycling has planned a challenging route which offers thrilling rides through stunning scenery, while providing the organisation and support to make your trip that little bit easier.

Currently available for bookings of 4+ riders only - Priced from £1200 per person

 

Contact us for details on suitable dates 

Sample itinerary at a glance:

 

Day 1 - Arrival

Arrive at Geneva Airport late afternoon/evening, where you’ll be met and driven the approximately 60-minute journey to your accommodation in Les Carroz.  If you haven’t taken advantage of our Bike Transfer service you’ll have time to unpack your bike before we get together for an informal briefing on the days ahead.

 

Day 2 – Les Carroz to Séez - 100KM 

Today’s route starts out on the road to the famous ski resort of Megève.  This road is often used in Alpine stages of le Tour and provides a gentle introduction to your ride.  Turning off, you’ll head up over Col des Saisies (1650m) and then down in to the small town of Beaufort.  From here you begin the climb up to the Cormet de Roselend (1968m), enjoying the beautiful scenery as you ride around the Lac de Roselend and then on to the summit, the rugged rockface hugging the road as you rise - this really is a spectacular road.  A long descent, which is technical in places, leads towards your accommodation for the evening in the town of Séez.

 

Landmark Climbs: Col des Saisies and Cormet de Roselend.

 

Day 3 – Séez to Valloire - 135KM

The first ascent of the day is the Col d’Iseran (2770m), and they don’t really get much bigger.  This climb really is a giant and one that has been used sparingly in le Tour.  It was the setting for the first ever mountain time trial in 1939 and was last used in the tour in 2007.  The air up here is thin enough already, but the view back down towards Val d’Isère is breathtaking.  After cresting the summit it is down, down and down to our stop for the night in St. Jean/St. Michel-de-Maurienne.

 

Landmark Climb: Col d’Iseran.

 

Day 4 – Valloire to l’Alpe d’Huez - 90KM

After yesterday’s giant come the two most famous climbs in world cycling, the Col du Galibier (2646m) and l’Alpe d’Huez (1860m).  On a route following that of Stage 19 of the 2011 Tour de France you take on the Col du Galibier from the tough Northern face.  Though compensated by the views and sense of accomplishment at the top, If you push yourself hard here you’ll feel the pain.  Descending down via the Col de Lautaret you head to Bourg d’Oisans and the base of the legendary Alpe d’Huez.  WIth an almost mythical status in road cycling this climb draws cyclists from all over the world, keen to replicate the heroics of the TdF stage winners whose names are signposted on each of its 21 hairpins.  A day in the saddle like no other.  

 

Landmark Climbs: Col du Galibier and Alpe d’Huez.

 

Day 5 – Bourg d’Oisans to St Jean de Maurienne - 80KM

The beautiful climb of the Col de la Croix de Fer (2067m) is a Red Lantern Cycling favourite.  It’s a little different from other Alpine roads in that the numerous gradient changes make it harder to find and keep a rhythm, but this ride has it all.  Absolutely stunning views, wonderful air, forests, pastures, man-made Alpine lakes, ascents, descents, and even, yes, even, a flat stretch of tarmac!  If you can tear yourself away from the panorama the road down to St Jean-de-Maurienne takes you to your rest stop for the night.

 

Landmark Climb: Col de la Croix de Fer.

 

Day 6 - St. Jean de Maurienne to Albertville – 70KM

Another day, another classic Col.  This time it’s the Col de la Madeleine (1993m), an incredibly twisty ascent which utilises almost every type of bend you’ll find in the Alps.  A staple of le Tour, the Col de la Madeleine earns its place among the toughest climbs in the race by packing in over 1,500 meters of climbing in under 20km.  And although the sign at the summit claiming that la Madeleine sits 2,000 metres above sea level is controversial, that shouldn’t stop you ticking another 2km-high col off your list.  The road down the other side isn’t nearly as twisty but is steep and narrow in places so provides yet another test.  Albertville, the host of the 1992 Winter Olympics is where you will rest up in preparation for your final day’s riding of this tour.  

 

Landmark Climbs: Col de la Madeleine.

 

Day 7 – Albertville to Les Carroz - 95KM

 

Heading north there is a short transfer to the start of today’s ride but as soon you get on your bike you are climbing.  The first of today’s cols is the Col de la Croix Fry (1,467m), where Lance Armstrong pronounced there would be, “no gifts”, in his 2004 defence of the Yellow Jersey.  At the top of this road turn left and down the pretty road to La Clusaz, which takes you to the final climb of what will have been an epic trip, the Col de la Colombière (1680m).  Although this is approached from the easier side, with all those long climbs in your legs you’ll have to push yourself one last time to get over the top.  Take one last look at the views from the sky before you head down the final descent of the ride.  This is a tour experience that will provide a test of your fitness, while giving plenty back in the way of thrills and wonderful memories.    

Transfers back to Geneva will be made the following morning.  

 

Landmark Climbs: Col de la Croix Fry and Col de la Colombière.

 

Currently available for bookings of 4+ riders only - Priced from £1200 per person

 

Contact us for details on suitable dates

What’s included:

 

7 nights in 2-star (minimum) accommodation on a shared occupancy basis

Breakfast, packed lunches and seven evening meals (1st night dependant on arrival time)

Luggage transfers between stopovers

Vehicle support during your rides

Transfers from and to Geneva Airport (at recommended flight times)

 

What’s not:

 

Travel to and from UK airport

Flights

Travel Insurance

Drinks with meals

Meals other than those specified

Subsidiary or sundry expenses

 

NB. All routes are subject to favourable weather and road conditions.

RLC Col de la Madeleine