Tour de Corse — June 8-16, 2017
Piedmont Ride Camp — April 26-May 1, 2017
Provence & Ventoux — .May 5-9, 2017
TdF in Hautes Alpes — July 21-27, 2017
Tuscan Trail — May 9-16, 2017
Italian Alps - Dolomites — June 28 - July 6, 2016
Etape du Tour + Alps — July 8-15, 2016
French Alps Traverse — June 18-26, 2016
Annecy - Ventoux — June 6-12, 2015
Tour de Haut Corse — 25-30 May 2015
Northern California's Finest — October 10-17, 2015
La Marmotte — June 29-July 6, 2014
Southern Corsica — June 9-16, 2014
L'Etape du Tour & Pyrenees — July 16-24, 2014
Pyrénées Traverse — Sep. 10-17, 2014
Around Mont Blanc in 6 days — July 5-12, 2014
Tour 2013 : Ventoux, Alpe, Annecy + Finale — July 14-21, 2013
A Week In Provence — June 22-28, 2013
France’s Sportive Double: La Marmotte and L’Etape du Tour — June 28 - July 8
L'Etape du Tour: Pyrénées Tour de France Trip — July 11-20, 2012
Milan - San Remo Gran Fondo — June 7-12, 2012
French Alps Traverse — June 16-22, 2012
Ventoux + Alpes — May 30 - June 6, 2012
Pyrénées Traverse — September 2-7, 2012
Spring Traverse — April 12-16, 2012
Alps Supreme — July 24-30, 2012

The Legendary Tour de France Cols

Here’s a secret for all you grimpeurs out there:

The last week of July is the sweet spot.

With the Tour de France over, the Alps return to their quiet pastoral beauty. The massive crowds and traffic have gone, leaving only rider names freshly painted on the roads. The weather is magnificent, and the days still long. For those who live to climb, it’s the perfect week to emulate the giants of the road, on the summits where their legends were forged.

Based almost entirely in the Hautes Alpes, this week-long climbing festival packs in most of the Tour’s legendary Alpine climbs. On the tracks of Bartali, Bobet, Merckx and LeMond, you’ll climb the Madelene, Croix de Fer, Galbier, Izoard, Alpe d’Huez and more.

A challenging week, but not a death march. DuckStore has intelligently designed each day’s route to accommodate different climbing abilities, and allow time to relax and soak up the majesty of the Alps.

On this trip, you only have three things to worry about.

  • Getting yourself and your bike to Geneva (DuckStore will take care of everything from there).
  • Training well to arrive prepared, (this is a week for fit cyclosportifs capable of successive days of climbing)…
  • …and contacting us soon to book your spot in the ‘sweet spot’… because this one fills fast!

Trip facts (tableau)

Dates Geneva (Switzerland) Airport. 
Start / End Geneva (Switzerland) Airport. 
Cities / Towns Annecy,  Albertville, Modane,  Huez, Saint Disdier, Le Monetier les Bains, St. Jean de Maurienne
Riding -  Six (6) guided days on the bike.
- 595-655 kms - 12,000 meters climbing
- Average two passes per day.
Difficulty Level Most challenging.  For those capable of riding up and down multiple mountain passes, on consecutive days for a week.
Highlights -  Climbing the most famous Alpine  passes of the Tour de France
Climbs - Col de Bluffy                         -  Col des Aravis                    
- Col des Saisies                       - Col de Madeleine 
- Col de Telegraphe                -  Col du Galibier (2x, both directions)
- Alpe d’Huez                           -  Col du Croix de Fer           
- Col d’Izoard                          -   Col d’Ornon
- Col de Noyer                         
Lodging 6 nights in six different cycling friendly 3 star (***) hotels.
Meals Three daily meals included.  
Picnic lunches on the road where weather permits.
Support  - Technical support van.
- Professional mechanical support and upkeep
- Snacks, energy drinks and food for all rides
- All Ground transportation
- Bicycle storage facilities
- Culture document with trip related  information
- 2 bi-lingual guides.
Group Size 12 riders  
Cost $2,650     All taxes and service charges included.

 

Itinary

Day 1 – Tuesday, July 24, 2012: Arrival & Welcome

You’ll fly into Geneva, Switzerland, where we’ll pick you up for a quick 40 min. van shuttle to Annecy. Unpack, build up our bikes and work out the kinks with an easy spin around Lake Annecy on the 2009 Tour de France Time Trial course. Early dinner in downtown Annecy and a stroll through the canals of this city known as the Venice of the Alps will stimulate your appetite for a week of fantastic Alpine cycling.

40kms, 295m climbing

Day 2 – Wednesday, July 25: Annecy - Albertville

A heart breakfast, and we’re off the bikes, riding along lake through Veyrier climbing up to Col de Bluffy and on to Thônes, where you’ll have the option to take either the challenging Col de Croix Fry, or the easier back road up to St.Jean de Sixt through La Clusaz. Then it’s the Col des Aravis. A quick descent to Flumet, and then we’ll climb up the magnificent Col des Saisies. Big climbs over for the day, you’ll cruise down the Saisies via Hauteluce and Beaufort on small back roads before a finale down the main road to Albertville.

105kms, 1815m climbing. Col de Bluffy (631m), Col de Croix Fry (1,467m) Col des Aravis (1,486m), Col de Saisies (1,650m).

Day 3 – Thursday, July 26 : Albertville - Aussois

We’ll ride out of Albertville –host city for the 1992 Winter Olympics - along the Isere River for a nice 25k warm up before taking on the Col de la Madeleine and a quiet, 5% 26 km climb to 2,000m. We’ll have a picnic lunch on top, then cruising down. At the bottom of the valley it’s a 50 km ride up the Maurienne valley with a 5km finishing climb to the ski town of Aussois at 1,480m where you’ll over a great dinner surveying the alpine landscape.

115kms / 2281m climbing Col de la Madeleine, Cote d’Aussois

Day 4 – Friday, July 27: Modane – Alpe d’Huez

Today’s ride is over a classic route used in many Tours - and identical to the 2011 Etape du Tour cyclosportive. You’ll climb three legendary passes, Col Telegraphe, Col du Galibier and Alpe d’Huez. The south side of the Galibier past Plan Lachat is the more difficult side – the route where Indurain and Pantani attacked to Tour victories. A long descent to Bourg d’Oisans, and it’s on to attack the mythical 21 hairpins to Alpe D’Huez. Tonight, we’ll stay in Huez, and celebrate conquering these legendary summits.

109kms / 3093m climbing Col Telegraphe (1,566m), Col du Galibier (2,646m), Alpe d’Huez (1,850m)

Day 5 – Saturday, July 28: Alpe d’Huez – Saint Didier

Legs will be tired today, so it’s a relatively easier ride today with an emphasis on seeing some beautiful and peaceful alpine vistas. Leaving Huez, we’ll ride along the little known back roads of Alpe d’Huez on famous cliff roads that need to be seen to be believed! Then we’ll climb the Col d’Ornon - a climb whose rural beauty and calm is a complete contrast to the commerical ski town of Alpe d’Huez. Then it’s a long relaxing descent through Valbonnais all the way down to the Drac River. From there it is up again through roads seemingly designed for cyclists. Every rolling hills, and every turn delivers ever more stupendous views of the Drac valley. You’ll cap off the day by tacking a 5km climb up a gorge to a super hotel in the miniscule village of Saint Didier.

98kms, 1123m climbing Col d’Ornon (1,367m)

Day 6 – Wednesday, July 29: Saint Didier - Briançon

Right out the door today’s route takes us up one of the most beautiful passes in France, the Col de Noyer featured in the 2010 TdF. We’ll stop for a morning coffee at the summit to make sure we’re wide awake for the crazy serpentine descent. More rolling hills take us to the famous descent where Lance Armstrong showed off his cyclocross skills in 2004 on the stage to Gap. A short van transfer up a busy road, we’ll remount on the route of 2011 TdF stage 17, riding up a long valley and into the Ubaye region, before tackling the day’s major challenge: The south face of the Col d’Izoard. Perhaps no other climb has forged more Tour wins than the Izoard. You’ll climb the same route where Bartali, Coppi, Bobet, Merckx and Thevenet attacked to clinch their Tour wins, climbing up through the moonscape of the Casse Desert, stopping for the obligatory photo at the Bobet–Coppi monument. After, it’s a breathtaking descent into Briançon, the highest city in the Alps, where a 15 minute van transfer will install us in a cozy spa hotel.

115k / 2460m climbing Col de Noyer (1,664m), Col d’Izoard (2,859m)

Day 7 – Thursday, July 30: Le Monetier les Bains - St.Jean de Maurienne

From our hotel it is a 22km ride through the Col du Lautauret to the top of the the Galibier- the same route that saw Andy Schleck solo to an epic 2011 stage win, and a courageous Cadel Evans pursuit that saved his Tour.

For the final day, there are two route options from here. An easier route descends the north side of the Galibier through Valloire before a shorter climb up the Col Telegraphe, followed by a long, winding celebratory grand finale descent to our finish point in St. Jean de Maurienne. For those who’ve still got more grimpeur appetite and legs, you can take the Col de Lautaret down through the Combe de Malavel and climb up and over the Col de Croix de Fer (a TdF classic) before a cruise down into the Maurienne valley.

Short = 72k / 1262m climbing Long = 118k / 1839m climbing Col du Lautaret (2,058m), Col du Galibier (2,646m), Col de Croix de Fer (2,067m)