GranFondo Coaching Camp Marmotte Valais 4-10 Aug 2019

Dates: 4 – 11 August 2019


2 ,950.003 ,625.00

SKU: N/A Category:

Is this coaching camp for you?

YES:   if you want to learn to cycle faster in sportives and GranFondos.

YES:   if you want to make friends and have fun with other like-minded people.

YES:   if you enjoy the intimacy of small groups and small, unique hotels.

NO:   if you are essentially a leisure rider with no particular interest in riding faster.

NO  if you prefer large groups and big hotels.

Coaching camp highlights

On the bike

  • The GranFondo route is challenging, much of it on narrow roads with poor visibility, sudden changes in slope and technical bends. Local knowledge is thus a big advantage. During the camp you have multiple opportunities to practice on the exact route.
  • The pace during the camp is at an easy endurance level, so you maintain as much freshness as possible for the GranFondo.
  • Different groups will form so that you ride with people at your own level. You can always ride harder if you wish, and the coaches will help you define your own objectives and daily pace.
  • The coach to rider ratio is 1:5 or better, ensuring that you will have plenty of one-on-one coaching, including during the sportive itself.
  • There is a strong focus on technique with plentiful use of video for analysis and feedback.

Off the bike

  • Recovery is the first priority, with a great post-ride buffet lunch back at the hotel followed by optional stretching sessions, massage and/or use of electro-stimulation.
  • Daily debrief with a coach looking at your ride file and power data.
  • Evening sessions on:
    • Maximising power while climbing
    • Descending fast and safely
    • Using power meter data to improve your performance
    • Training for your target event
    • Eating and drinking for performance
    • Competing at the GranFondo (and other mountain sportives)
  • Time to relax in wonderful, authentic surroundings. Enjoy a coffee and pastry in one of the local cafés.

Here is the programme for the week, including the coaching focus for each day, the major climbs and the distance/elevation you can expect to ride.

Date Coaching Focus Climbs Distance & Elevation
Sun 4/8 Arrival day - -
Mon 5/8 Core Skills First part of the GranFondo route, from Crans Montana to Vercorin 75 km | 1,600m or 90 km | 2,600m
Tues 6/8 Descending Second part of the GranFondo route, from Vercorin to Hérémence 63 km | 1,250m or 85 km | 2,200m
Wed 7/8 Climbing Third part of the GranFondo route, from Hérémence to Isérables 65 km | 1,750m or 82 km | 2,480m
Thu 8/8 Pacing Last part of GranFondo route, from Isérables to Verbier 80 km | 1,480m or 107 km | 2,160m
Fri 9/8 Recovery Along the valley floor 50 km | 250m
Sat 10/8 Race Tour des Stations or Marmotte Valais 220 km | 7,400m or 130 km | 4,500m or
Sun 11/8 Departure day -

Sunday 4 August

You will be picked up at Geneva airport at 2pm and taken to the Hotel des Vignes in Sion.
Please note that Collobrières is 160km from the airport and the transfer will take 2 hours.
There will only be one transfer. Please check with us before booking your flight.
The camp begins with a welcome drink and briefing at 18:30, followed by dinner at the hotel with the coaches and other riders.

Monday 5 August

We begin the week by climbing to the GranFondo start point in Crans Montana, on the bike or in the minibus, your choice!
From the start line there is a slight descent before the 3.3km climb to the col de Plumachit, the prelude to the long descent to the valley floor. During the ride the coaches observe your basic bike-handling, cornering and descending skills.
We continue to follow the GranFondo route across the valley and then up the climb to Vercorin (8 km at 9.9%). We observe and video your pedalling technique during a 10 minute power test on this climb, gaining useful data for the week.
Once back on the valley floor we do a further 25km on the flat nice and easy to spin out the legs before returning to the hotel for lunch.

Tuesday 6 August

Descending is a crucial skill to master if you are going to race in the mountains. Our goal today is to help you make a big improvement in your ability to descend fast and safely.
There are three route options (longer to shorter): (1) repeat Monday’s climb to Vercorin; (2) climb back to where we left off on Monday; (3) take the minibus to where we left off. In all cases we continue the GranFondo route, through Nax, Saint-Martin, Euseigne and Hérémence. This is a stunning ride, through picture-postcard scenery.
Each rider descends with a coach following close behind, and is videoed multiple times. This enables us to provide immediate feedback, and the video allows you to observe your own technique later.

Wednesday 7 August

The route today is the third part of the GranFondo, from Hérémence to Isérables. It includes the most technically challenging sections of the route, both climbing and descending. You can either cycle to the start point in Hérémence (17 km and 730m+) or ride there in the minibus.
The focus is specifically 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 also pay close attention to your pacing to ensure you stay in the right intensity zone for a long endurance ride in the mountains.

Thursday 8 August

Just one big climb today, to the Col de la Croix-de-Cœur (2,174m), the highest point and final climb on the GranFondo. The long option is to ride from the hotel and thus climb from the valley floor (21km, 7.9%). The short option is to take the minibus to where we left off yesterday. From there the climb is 14.7km at 7.5%.
Once over the col we will make the precipitous descent to the finish line in Verbier, and then continue down to Martigny and an easy spin along the valley floor back to the hotel.
This is a day where it is essential to get the pacing right, especially in view of Saturday’s GranFondo!

Friday 9 August

Today is registration day for the GranFondo. During the afternoon we pick up the bibs and visit the race village in Martigny.
During the morning we propose a very easy-paced recovery ride along the valley floor, with a stop for coffee and pastries.
For the rest of the day, the emphasis is on recovery and getting ready for tomorrow’s race.

Saturday 10 August

Today is the day to put it all together. Your primary objective should be to make the most of the learning experience, putting into practice all that you have worked on during the week.
The Alpine Cols coaches will participate in the race with you and continue to provide real-time coaching and tips.
Focus on the strategy and tactics you decide with your coach and you should get a great result!

Sunday 11 August

Departure day. After a leisurely breakfast and a last look around Verbier it will be time to leace for the airport.

The Hôtel des Vignes 4*, Sion

The Hôtel des Vignes is the only 4* hotel on the valley floor, and ideally placed for the week, in the middle of the Tour des Stations. Not surprisingly, professional teams stay there during the Tour de Romandie, so they are well used to cyclists! We will stay here throughout the week, except for Saturday night (after the GranFondo) when we will stay in Verbier.

There are beautiful views on all sides, with vineyards to the north, the two châteaux of Sion to the west and mountain views to the south and east. The gardens and terrace afford a wonderfully calm place to relax after a hard ride.

We found the rooms to be excellent. They have recently been renovated and are spacious, comfortable and nicely decorated. Many of them have a balcony overlooking the gardens.

The restaurant provides great food, sourced locally, with plenty of variety and everything a hungry cyclist could ask for.

Last but not least, there’s a secure room for the bikes!

The hotel is rated “Fabulous” (88%) on Booking.com in over 350 reviews.


The Hôtel Bristol 3*, Verbier

The hotel Bristol is perfectly placed for our purposes in the centre of Verbier, only 200m from the arrival of the GranFondo. The rooms are clean and bright and Sunday morning’s breakfast is something to look forward to!

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, Zurich

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, Tunbridge Wells

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, Ontario

The experience with Alpine Cols was excellent. I have done several cycling camps, and I must say this one was close to perfection.

– Stephanie, Paris

4 – 11 August 2019

Package price (twin-share, superior room): €2,950

Single supplement (standard room): €350

Single supplement (superior room): €675

Please contact us if you would like to stay additional nights in Switzerland.

What’s included

  • Airport transfers (to and from Geneva, at a fixed time only)
  • Accommodation and meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Entry to the GranFondo, reconnaissance of the GranFondo route
  • On-the-bike coaching
  • Use of an InfoCrank® power meter, free of charge, from May 10th to Aug 11th.
  • On-the-road support vehicle with free energy drinks and snacks
  • Mechanical assistance
  • Coach’s Corner evening sessions on cycling performance
  • Photographs taken during the week (digital copies)

Not included

  • Travel to/from Geneva
  • Hotels in Geneva
  • Bicycle hire
  • Minibar or drinks at the hotel bar
  • Coffee or snacks during café stops
  • Massag (optional extra)