GranFondo Coaching Camp Marmotte Valais 2-9 Aug 2020

Dates: 2 – 9 August 2020


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 2/8 Arrival day - -
Mon 3/8 Core Skills Middle part of the GranFondo route, from Sion to Thyon 2000 80 km | 2,500m
Tues 4/8 Descending Wild Switzerland 61 km | 1,500m or 88 km | 2,600m
Wed 5/8 Climbing Final part of the GranFondo route, from Veysonnaz to Verbier 54km | 2,400m or 61km | 2,600m
Thu 6/8 Pacing First part of GranFondo route, from Le Châble to Sion 56 km | 1,050m
Fri 7/8 Recovery World Championship course, Martigny 2020 43 km | 610m
Sat 8/8 Race Ultrafondo, Superfondo or Marmotte Granfondo 240 km | 8,200m or 210 km | 6,700m or 145 km | 4,750m
Sun 9/8 Departure day -

Sunday 2 August

You will be picked up at Geneva airport at 2pm and taken to the Hotel des Vignes in Sion. Please note that Sion 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 3 August

We begin the week by pitching you straight into the mid-section of the GranFondo route, from Sion to Thyon 2000 (and then back down to Sion).

The first part is a 1000m, 13km climb to the Mayens de Vernamiège (1,560m). We continue through several lovely mountain villages as we skirt the valley, gradually descending until the low point at Euseigne where we turn back up the next valley.

The final climb to Thyon 2000 (2,100m) is quite tough: 850m over 11km.

During the ride the coaches observe your basic bike-handling, cornering and descending skills. We observe and video your pedalling technique, gaining useful data for the week.

Once back on the valley floor the final 5km on the flat are nice and easy to spin out the legs before returning to the hotel for a late buffet lunch.

Tuesday 4 August

There are two route options for our “Wild Switzerland” day: both stunning rides, through picture-postcard scenery. The climb to the Derborence valley (1,467m) is shorter and easier than the climb to the col de Sanetsch (2,252m) : we will choose one or the other depending on the group’s ability and preference.

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.

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 5 August

Today we will ride the final part of the GranFondo, from Veysonnaz to Verbier via the col de la Croix de Coeur (2,174m). We start in Sion and finish at our new hotel in Verbier.

It includes the most technically challenging sections of the route, including a steep gravel section.

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 6 August

We complete our GranFondo recce with just one big climb, to the Col du Lein (1,658m). This is a beautiful, quiet climb with a short gravel section at the top. Once over the col we will make the precipitous descent to Saxon and then follow the route along the valley floor to Sion.

This is a day where it is important to get the pacing right, especially in view of Saturday’s GranFondo!

We therefore propose to keep the ride relatively short and return to Verbier by minibus. There are of course a number of options to return on the bike and we will happily accompany anyone who wishes to do this.

Friday 7 August

Friday is registration day for the GranFondo in Martigny, and the chance to ride the 2020 World Championship course! We will cycle down from Verbier – giving a final chance to practice descending skills – and then do the short but demanding final loop of the World Championship course.

Once we have done this we will enjoy a coffee and cake or pastries in Martigny before picking up our bibs at the race village.

For the rest of the day, the emphasis is on recovery and getting ready for tomorrow’s race.


Saturday 8 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 9 August

Departure day. After a leisurely breakfast and a last look around Verbier it will be time to leave 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 for the first three days, moving to Verbier on Wednesday.

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

2 – 9 August 2020

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 (if required)
  • Bicycle hire
  • Minibar or drinks at the hotel bar
  • Coffee or snacks during café stops
  • Massage (optional extra)