Dates: 21 to 28 May 2023
€500.00 – €2 ,740.00
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|
|Mon||Descending||Col des Aravis, col de la Croix-Fry||50km / 1,600m+|
|Tue||Climbing||Col des Glières, col des Fleuries||77km / 1,750m+|
|Wed||Long climbs||Col de la Colombière (E)||77km / 1,475m+|
|Thu||Nutrition||Col de la Colombière (W), col de l'Encrenaz||72km / 1,900m+|
|Fri||Etape du Tour||Col de Saxel, col du Cou, cu de Feu, col de Jambaz||109km / 2,580m+|
|Sat||Etape du Tour||Col de la Ramaz, col de Joux Plane||87km / 2,330m+|
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.
We ride to Morzine, via the col de la Colombière from Le Grand Bornand. This is the side it was climbed by the Dauphiné last year. It is a beautiful climb, unarguably easier than by the eastern side, but there’s still a final 500m at 11%!
Once over the summit there’s a long descent to Cluses where we cross the valley to climb the anecdotic Côte de Chatillon, descend to Taninges and then head up to a quiet, lesser-known climb called the col de l’Encrenaz, which leads us to Morzine.
There’s an option to replace the rather easy direct climb to the Côte de Chatillon by the more challenging Côte d’Arâches, which adds another 12km and 250m of climbing.
Reconnaissance of the Etape du Tour, Part 1. We begin with a short minibus transfer to the start point in Annemasse, and then ride back to Morzine, following the first part of the Etape until Mieussy.
The route takes us successively over the col de Saxel, the col de Cou, the col du Feu and the col de Jambaz. These are the first four climbs on the Etape. The first and last are straightforward, but the second and third include some surprises!
We leave the col de la Ramaz and the col de Joux Plane for the next day, and ride back directly from Mieussy to Morzine via Taninges and Les Gets.
We conclude the week with the highlight: Part 2 of the Etape du Tour, climbing the col de la Ramaz and the col de Joux Plane. The first part of the ride is the short climb to Les Gets and then the descent to Mieussy, where we pick up the Etape du Tour Route from the previous day.
The col de la Ramaz is a tough climb, with 960m to climb over 14km. The average is thus 6.9%, but it is irregular with two tough kilometres leading into the tunnel two-thirds of the way up. The descent is quite steep, very fast and potentially dangerous, so it pays to ride it before the event.
The col de Joux Plane is perhaps the hardest in the northern Alps. It is relentlessly steep with much of it at 9%. There’s a sting in the tail at the top and another fast, dangerous descent. Thus concludes both our reconnaissance, and the week. Time for a cake!
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)