Dates: 20 to 27 May 2023
€500.00 – €2 ,530.00
YES: if you want to learn to cycle faster in the mountains.
YES: if you want to prepare for a sportive or Granfondo (e.g. Etape du Tour, Marmotte or Haute Route).
YES: if you want to make friends and have fun with other like-minded people.
YES: if you want to stay in a comfortable 4* hotel, with outstanding food.
NO: if you are a beginner cyclist or you do not like cycling up hills.
NO: if you prefer low cost accommodation and cheap & cheerful food.
|Date||Coaching Focus||Climbs||Distance & Elevation|
|Sun||Descending||Col des Aravis, col de la Croix-Fry||50km / 1,600m+|
|Mon||Climbing||Col des Glières, col des Fleuries||77km / 1,750m+|
|Tue||Long climbs||Col de la Colombière||77km / 1,475m+|
|Wed||Nutrition||Col du Marais, col de l'Arpettaz, col des Aravis||99km / 2,450m+|
|Thu||Recovery||Col de la Forclaz, col de l'Epine, col de la Croix-Fry||85km / 2,030m+|
|Fri||All skills||Col du Marais, col de Leschaux, Semnoz||125km / 2,320m+|
You will be picked up at Geneva airport and taken to the Hotel Beauregard in La Clusaz. La Clusaz is 69 km from the airport and the transfer will take around 1 hour and 15 minutes. There will be only one transfer, but we can organise a taxi if you arrive at a different time.
The camp begins with a welcome drink and briefing at 18:30, followed by dinner with the coaches and other riders.
Descending is a crucial skill to master if you are going to ride in the mountains. Our goal on this first day is to help you improve your ability to descend confidently.
We begin by warming up on the 6 km climb to the col des Aravis., where we organise a descending clinic. Each rider has the opportunity to descend multiple times with a coach and to be videoed multiple times. This enables us to provide immediate feedback, and the video allows you to observe your own technique.
We then back-track to practice our newly-improved descending skills on the col de la Croix-Fry.
After a coffee in Thônes we climb back over the same road and make the short descent home for lunch.
Today we begin with the short but steep climb to the Plateau de Glières, first used by the Tour de France in 2018. There’s a short gravel section over the top before a long descent.
The coaching focus is on climbing technique. We look at your seated pedalling technique and how it varies between the moderate and steep pitches, and we look at your standing technique to help you “dance” on the pedals like a pro.
The second climb, to the col des Fleuries, is much easier and will allow us to contrast climbing techniques between climbs of different gradients.
We return to La Clusaz up the beautiful Gorges du Borne, in time for one of the Beauregard’s excellent buffet lunches.
The Tour du Bargy starts with the long descent down the Gorges du Borne, followed by 15km of flat riding on quiet roads up the Arve valley to the day’s challenge: the col de la Colombière. This is one of the most feared climbs in the northern Alps, justly reputed for the tough 3km at the end.
The coaching focus is on long climbs, in terms of technique, pacing and nutrition/hydration. If you would like to do more, there’s a challenge option to include the climb to Mont Saxonnex and the col de Romme for an extra 12km / 750m.
The descent from the Colombière is a delight, with plenty of wide open bends to practice your descending skills.
We usually stop for a coffee in Le Grand Bornand before the short and easy final climb back up to La Clusaz.
Another stunning ride, the Tour du Mont Charvin takes us first down to Thônes, over the col du Marais and along the valley to Ugine.
From here we climb the remarkable col de l’Arpettaz, with its 49 hairpin bends. Many of these are in a shady beech forest before reaching the high alpine pastures. There’s a refuge on top for a coffee and cake before the precipitous descent to the balcony road to Flumet.
We finish the ride by coming back over the col des Aravis from the south side, to close the loop on an exceptional circuit. You can of course skip the final climb if you wish.
The Tour de la Tournette is a classic local ride. You will soon see why!
After descending to Thônes we take a very quiet road to the (easy) col de Bluffy, before continuing to the spectacular (and steep) col de la Forclaz. From here there are stunning views across Lake Annecy and the Massif des Bauges.
We descend all the way to the valley floor and a few km of flat along the cycle path before the charming col de l’Epine.
The return to La Clusaz is via the col de la Croix-Fry. If anyone would like an extra challenge, we will take you up the col de Plan Bois, a beautiful (but tough) alternative to the first half of the Croix-Fry.
This is a real highlight of the week: the Tour du Lac d’Annecy, including the mighty Semnoz, which towers above the lake to the west.
The ride begins with the descent to Thônes, followed by the short climb to the col du Marais and the descent to the valley floor.
We then take the cycle path part way around Lake Annecy before turning left to climb the Semnoz. The summit is 25 km from the lake, rising 1,200m. There’s an easy bit in the middle at the col de Leschaux, and the second part is harder than the first. Your reward is stunning views from our picnic spot!
After the break we descend to Annecy, continuing around the lake to the climb back up to La Clusaz.
Transfer to the airport (times to be confirmed)
We loved the Beauregard at first sight and have brought hundreds of guests here over the past five years.
Built in traditional Alpine wood and stone and tastefully decorated throughout, it is set on a slight rise and nestled in a copse of trees, giving it a secluded and exclusive feel. The rooms are cosy, luxurious and comfortable. There is a spa with hot tub, sauna and indoor swimming pool.
The staff are lovely people, warm and welcoming, and thoroughly understand the needs of cyclists.
The “Symphonie” restaurant is a real high point, offering excellent food that is great for hungry cyclists. The chef is very flexible and is always ready to cater to specific needs and requests. He also knows how important it is to start the day with an excellent breakfast!
The hotel is rated “Excellent” (4.5) on TripAdvisor and 88% on Booking.com in over 2000 reviews.
Feedback from our own guests has always been overwhelmingly positive. This is a great place to be on holiday!
I had a great time with you guys. Your organisation of everything but turning the pedals was absolutely spot on. My riding improved lots! (Steve, UK)
This is a MUST experience for every cyclist. The things that stand out for me are your team’s attention to detail – 5 Star personal service (Robbie, Switzerland)
It was so clear you were prepared to do “whatever it takes” with a smile on your face to make our experience special. Felt like I was on a tour team!!! (Scott, Canada)
The experience with Alpine Cols was excellent. I have done several cycling camps, and I must say this one was close to perfection. (Stephanie, France)
Thank you for the photos and a great week. The organisation, on road support, the hotel and all other aspects were great. I really did enjoy myself and despite my nerves and the weather I will definitely go another alpine cycling holiday. (Diana, UK)
Thanks very much to you and Emmanuelle for hosting a delightful event. Great hotel; superb logistics; you assembled a terrific group of people; and the two of you made it all appear effortless. (Richard, UK)
From Sat 20 May to Sat 27 May (7 nights)