2016
Italian Alps - Dolomites
French Alps Traverse
Etape du Tour + Alps
2015
Annecy - Ventoux
Tour de Haut Corse
Velo, Vino, Ventoux
Northern California's Finest
Etape-du-Tour - Maurienne

A unique ride across the Alps

Velo, Vino, Ventoux

4 spots available

Riding across the Alps to the south of France - from Annecy to Mont Ventoux - is one of the most spectacular and richly diverse cycling adventures imaginable: You’ll transition from the Alpine vistas and ice blue lakes of the Haute Savoie - to the sun-baked warmth of Provence, where wild, rocky Mediterranean terrain surrounds lavender fields and vineyards.

This week of ‘alpine stages’ blends some famous Tour de France passes with some other lesser known, but no less fantastic climbs. You’ll stay in quiet, quaint lodging perfect for cyclists…and end with cycling’s ultimate pilgrimage: A climb up the Giant of Provence - the legendary Mont Ventoux. You’ll enjoy days of endless winding climbs through ancient villages, free from traffic, in a low stress part of the world. You’ll also sample local cuisines and wine regions. This is a journey laced with culture, and filled with cycling history.

Trip facts

Dates June 6-12, 2015.  (7 days / 6 nights)
Start / End Annecy / Avignon
Cities Annecy, Grenoble, St. Nizier, Maulaucene. 
RIdes Six (6)
Difficulty Challenging:  For who enjoy riding up and down mountain passes.
Highlights - RIding to the summit of Mont Ventoux.
- Traversing the pre-Alpes range by Bike.
Climbs - Col du la Chambotte        -  Col de Chat
- Col du Cucheron               -  Col de Porte
- Col Saint Nizier de Moucherotte 
-  Col de Rousette
-  Montée de Herbouilly      -  Col de Roustans
- Col de Soubeyrand          -  La Chartreuse
-  Le Vercors                        - Drôme Provençale
-  Le Mont Ventoux
Lodging 6 nights in 5 different cycling-friendly 2 star (**) hotels, auberges and inns. 
Meals Three daily meals included 
Support - Technical support van
- Professional mechanical support & upkeep
- Snacks, energy drinks and food for all rides
- All Ground transportation
- Bicycle storage facilities
- Culture document with trip related info
- 2 bi-lingual guides
Group Size Limited to 12 riders
Cost $1,850  All taxes and service charges included.

 

Itinerary

Day 1 – Saturday June 6, 2015 : Arrival & Welcome
After you arrive at Lyon airport mid-day, our team will greet you and whisk you on a quick 90 minute van shuttle to our starting point in Annecy. After settling in your Hotel, we’ll help you build up your bike and take you on a ride to stretch out the legs around majestic Lake Annecy. We’ll share some of our “secret” home training roads. Back to the hotel, we’ll dine on the shores of the lake at the Auberge du Lac in Veyrier-du-lac and dine out in Annecy, raising a glass to toast the depart of tomorrows trans-alpine adventure.


Day 2 – Sunday June 7: En Route
“After a great hotel breakfast, our five-day ride south to Mont Ventoux begins. We will head around the Semnoz, finding our climbing legs on the col de Chambotte – a climb offering breathtaking views of Lake Bourget. Then, a nice descent to the Rhone river, which we’ll follow for 45 km before heading up into the Chartreuse mountains. After a climb over the col du Chat, you’ll arrive in our first ‘stage town’ in Les Echelles. A hearty mountain dinner with a taste of Chartreuse liquor will be just the right revitaillment to prep for another fantastic day in the saddle!”
125 km, 1087m climbing. Cols: Lechaux (900m), La Chambotte (650m), Chat (638m)

Day 3 – Monday June 8: Angel Tracks
“After a warm up climb over the Gorges du Guiers Vif, we’ll pedal deeper into the Chartreuse, hitting two famous Tour de France passes. The Col de Cucheron and the Col de Porte are where Luxembourg’s Angel of the Mountains, Charly Gaul broke away in an apocalyptic storm to win the ’58 Tour. You’ll gear down and twiddle over those same climbs then cruise down to Grenoble on the valley floor. We’ll cross France’s flattest city on bike paths before heading up and into the Vercors mountain range. Our next challenge takes us up a long regular climb toward the 1968 Winter Olympic ski jumps in St.Nizier offering spectacular views of the valley below, and back across the Chartreuse mountains you’d just conquered. Nestled in the Vercors for the night, we’ll eat satisfied after an amazing day on the bike.”
95 km, 2,640m climbing. Cols: Cucheron (1,139m), Porte (1,326m), St.Nizier (1,168m)

Day 4 – Tuesday June 9: The Undiscovered Alps
“Climbing in some of the wildest and most beautiful rural backcountry in France, you’ll pedal through quiet, twisting traffic-free roads that offer amazing views. You’ll pass hideouts used by the Resistance to defy German invaders in World War II. Rolling terrain following long valleys brings us to the Col de Rousset ,whose long descent marks the transfer into the rockier southern alps. At the bottom, you’ll cross the Drôme river and climb up another pass on a narrow road seemingly more fit for sheep and cyclists than automobiles. We’ll conclude this day of discoveries with one more: A hidden valley into St.Nazaire-le-Désert, where a small historic inn awaits you with super cuisine, well earned glasses of wine, and a comfortable bed. 125 km, 2,011m climbing. Cols: Herbouilly (1,370m), Rousset (1,254m), Pennes (1,040m)

Day 5 – Wednesday June 10:  Provencal Wings
“This stage to the Vaucluse starts out climbing through completely different countryside. You’ll cycle through sparsely spread villages and farms before coasting into Remuzat for a coffee stop to watch the huge Griffon Vultures glide silently in the skies. We’ll have to do without their wings over the Col de Soubeyrand to our first clear view of Mont Ventoux. Then, you’ll mimic those birds of prey with a downhill swoop through violet Provencal lavender fields and delightful gorges to arrive in Malaucene, at the base of Mont Ventoux. Our trip to Ventoux complete, we’ll dine swapping legendary tales of this mythical ascent, and tips for tackling the Geant” 120 km, 1,724m climbing. Cols: Roustans (1,031m), Soubeyrand (994m), Aulan (845m), Veaux (286m)

Day 6 –Thursday June 11:  Le Ventoux
“Today’s the big challenge you’ve been building toward for a week. Mont Ventoux will be our longest climb, but with two handfuls of Alpine passes already under your belt, your confidence will be as high as your enthusiasm. You’ll climb this classic ascent through the pines, pass into the rocky moonscape past Chalet Reynard, and stop to leave a momento at the Tom Simpson memorial. After a souvenir stop and photo at the summit observatory, we’ll regroup for a long, fun descent to Sault, where we’ll stop for lunch gazing up at the formidable Ventoux you’ve just conquered. From there it’s a well-deserved victory cruise down the Gorges de la Nesque which could be considered one of France’s best roads for cycling: (4k climb, followed by a 22k descent!) The loop back home takes us through Bedoin, and over one final small climb before coasting down to our hotel in Malaucene , marking the final arrivé of a week-long, epic mountain adventure.” 115 km, 480m climbing. Cols: Mont Ventoux (1,912m)

Day 7 – Friday June 12: Au Revoir
A final French country breakfast and it’s into our air conditioned vans for the two hour ride to Lyon airport. Or perhaps a few more days of sightseeing and enjoying the splendors of Provence.