Dates: 10 to 17 June 2023
€500.00 – €2 ,540.00
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 3* 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 du Sabot||57km / 1,500m+|
|Mon||Climbing||Col de Sarenne||57km / 2,000m+|
|Tue||Nutrition||Col de la Croix de Fer, col du Glandon||78km / 2,000m+|
|Wed||Pacing||Alpe d'Huez, Pas de la Confession||50km / 1,250m+|
|Thu||Repeated climbs||Col de Solude, col d'Ornon, Oulles||61km / 2,350m+|
|Fri||All skills||Col de la Morte, col d'Ornon||100km / 2,050m+|
Make your own way to Bourg d’Oisans (at the foot of the climb to Alpe d’Huez).
The nearest airports are Grenoble, Lyon and Geneva.
Let us know if you need help with logistics.
nding 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 15km on the flat before the start of the climb to the col du Sabot, 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 complete the climb to the col (14.5km at 8.9%) before practicing our newly-improved descending skills on the way back down.
After a coffee in Vaujany we return to the hotel for lunch. There’s an option to extend the return by 13km and 700m+.
We climb to Alpe d’Huez, not by the main road, but by the quiet back road to the col de Sarenne. We get there by starting up the main road to Alpe d’Huez and then forking right to the balcony road which takes us round to the Sarenne.
There’s an additional loop on the south side of the valley for anyone who wants to do more (13km and 450m+).
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.
We return to the hotel by descending the 21 bends, thus giving you a preview of what to expect on Wednesday.
The col de la Croix de Fer is one of the giants of the Alps, an old favourite of the Tour de France, with its summit at 2,064m. It is a long climb at 27.5km, but this includes two descents so you get a couple of breaks on the way.
Until the last 3km we will be following the route of the Marmotte, the oldest and toughest of the French Gran Fondos.
The coaching focus is on nutrition, to make sure you are fuelling properly for a long ride in the mountains.
The return is by the same road, with an option to extend the ride via Villard Reculas and the Pas de la Confession for an additional 13km and 700m.
Today is the day! After three days warming up on the local climbs, it is time to tackle the famous 21 bends up to Alpe d’Huez. You can ride this as a time-trial, if you wish, or take your time to enjoy the experience.
A strong amateur can make the climb in less than one hour. The record is held by Alberto Contador in 37’30”, just 5” faster than the Pirate, Marco Pantani.
The coaching focus is on pacing, which is the key to a fast climb. Starting out too fast is a fatal error!
We will enjoy a coffee at the top before returning via the balcony road through Villard Reculas.
There’s an option to carry on above Alpe d’Huez to Lac Besson, for an extra 8km and 250m+.
We take you to the little known southern side of the valley and climb the stunning col de Solude. This is a very quiet, narrow road carved out of the rock face, with impressive views across to Alpe d’Huez on the other side of the valley. After 9km at 9.5% we reach the tiny village of Villard-notre-Dame where the road flattens out before a final kicker.
After descending to the main road we will make our second ascent of the day, to the col d’Ornon. This is a much easier climb, 7km at 6%. We turn round at the col and go back down to the turn-off to Oulles, another extraordinary remote mountain village with a fantastic access road for cyclists. More stunning views, and we are in hairpin heaven!
A change of pace and scenery for our last day, on the Tour du Valbonnais. The first 25km are a great opportunity to practice bunch riding as we begin on the flat and then make a long false-flat descent to the turn-off to the col de la Morte.
This is a relatively easy climb (15km at 6.6%) . Only the fourth kilometre at 9% should make you work hard. Once over the top we make an easy descent to Valbonnais, (with a couple of bumps to get over), where we will stop for coffee by the lake.
If anyone feels they haven’t done enough during the week, there’s an option to climb the col de Parquetout (10km, 5.5%) and then come back to the main route to finish over the col d’Ornon (14km at 3.9%) and back down to Bourg d’Oisans.
We will have a celebratory dinner at the hotel before saying goodbye!
The Hotel de Milan, Bourg d’Oisans
The Hotel de Milan was built in 1936 and has been extensively renovated by the charming owner, with a total focus on the sports community. In summer this means mainly cyclists.
There is a sports room with massage zone, spa room, a huge get-together room with a fantastic view of Alpe d’Huez, with a pool table, bridge table, library, darts…, while at the back of the hotel there is a swimming pool, a quiet private terrace and a barbecue zone.
The hotel is ideally located in the centre of Bourg d’Oisans.
Facilities include a secure, locked bicycle room, a washing station for the bikes, free laundry facilities for sports wear, a fitness centre and of course free wifi throughout the hotel.
Breakfasts are copious and have a huge choice for hungry cyclists. We will take the remainder of our meals in nearby restaurants.
The rooms are tastefully furnished, well equipped and very comfortable.
The hotel is rated 8.8/10 booking.com and 4.5/5 on Google Reviews
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 10 June to Sat 17 June (7 nights)