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Marmotte Pyrenees GranFondo Coaching Camp




Dates: 23-29 August 2020

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Is this cycling trip for you?

YES:   if you want to learn to cycle faster, especially at tough events like the Marmotte.

YES:   if you want to cycle the iconic climbs of the Pyrenees.

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

NO:   if you are a beginner cyclist or you do not like cycling up hills.


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 Aug 23 Arrival day - -
Mon Aug 24 Core Skills Col du Soulor, col d'Aubisque OPTION: col des Bordères 59km / 1,930m+ or 68km / 2,230m+
Tue Aug 25 Descending Col du Couraduque, col des Bordères OPTION: Hautacam 53km / 1,500m+ or 89km / 2,850m+
Wed Aug 26 Climbing Col du Tourmalet OPTION: Luz Ardiden 75km / 2,000m+ or 104km / 3,140m+
Thu Aug 27 Pacing Hourquette d'Ancizan, col d'Aspin OPTION: Col du Tourmalet (East) 53km / 1,600m+ or 107km / 3,060m+
Fri Aug 28 Endurance Col de Spandelles, col du Soulor OPTION: Col du Soulor (from the bottom) 58km / 2,000m+ or 77km / 2,250m+
Sat Aug 29 Recovery Recovery Ride (or depart, if not staying for the GranFondo) 20km / 200m+
Sun Aug 30 Marmotte GranFondo Pyrenees Col du Tourmalet, Hourquette d'Ancizan, col d'Aspin, Tourmalet, Luz Ardiden 165km | 5,500m+

Sunday 23 Aug

You will be picked up at Toulouse (or Biarritz) airport and brought to the hotel in Argelès-Gazost.
The transfer will take approximately two hours.
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.

 

Monday 24 Aug

We begin the week with the climb to the col d’Aubisque, via the col du Soulor and the stunning Cirque du Litor. The road here is cut into the flank of the mountain all the way round the bowl: just magnificent!
We will enjoy a coffee at the summit café before retraining our steps, with an optional extension via the col de Bordères for an extra 9km and 300m+ for those who want more.
Throughout the day, the coaches will observe your basic bike-handling, cornering and climbing skills, and pay close attention to your pacing to ensure you stay at the right level for a long endurance ride.

 

Tuesday 25 Aug

Descending is a crucial skill to master if you are going to ride in the mountains. Our goal today is to help you make a big improvement in your ability to descend confidently.
We begin by warming up on the climb to the col des Bordères, where we organise a descending clinic. Each rider has the opportunity to descend multiple times with a coach and to be videoed multiple times. We thus provide immediate feedback, and the video allows you to observe your own technique.
We then continue to the col du Couraduque, where you can enjoy a well-earned coffee at the summit café.
From there, it is an easy descent home for lunch!
The extended ride option is up to Hautacam, one of the toughest summit finishes at the Tour de France. Expect an additional 54km and almost 1500m of climbing!

 

Wednesday 25 Aug

Today we tackle the iconic col du Tourmalet, the climb that has been the most used by the Tour de France. The longest and most alpine of the Pyrenean climbs, you will soon see why it merits its mythical status!
The Tourmalet is the first climb on the Marmotte, so this is a useful reconnaissance for Sunday.
The coaching focus is on climbing technique and pacing. 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.
There’s an option to extend the ride to Luz Ardiden, where the Marmotte will finish on Sunday. This adds an additional 30km and 1,150m of climbing.

 

Thursday 27 Aug

Thursday’s ride is a reconnaissance of the mid-section of the Marmotte. We begin with a minibus ride to Ste Marie de Campan on the other side of the Tourmalet. Once on the bikes, we head directly up the 13 km climb to the Hourquette d’Ancizan, the second of the five climbs at the Marmotte.
We will descend the other side and follow the Marmotte route along the valley and back over the col d’Aspin, finishing the standard route back in Ste Marie de Campan.
For those who want to ride more the option is to continue the Marmotte route and climb the Tourmalet from the west, descending through Luz Saint Sauveur all the way back to Argelès-Gazost.

 

Friday 28 Aug

Another stunning ride, Friday will see us climb the quiet, little-known road to the col de Spandelles, a perennial favourite of the Haute Route. The climb starts as soon as we leave the town and winds up through farmland and forest.
Down the other side, we finish the ride by coming back over the col du Soulor from the northern side, to close the loop back to Argelès-Gazost.
The extended ride option is to complete the descent of the Soulor before turning around, adding another 19km and 250m of climbing.

 

Saturday 29 Aug

Departure (if not staying for the GranFondo); or,

Recovery ride. This will be a simple spin along the valley floor, to prepare the legs for Sunday’s efforts at the Mamotte.

 

Sunday 30 Aug

MARMOTTE GRANFONDO PYRENEES
More relaxed and with fewer participants that its big brother in the Alps, this is a great opportunity to put into practice all that you have worked on during the week. It is a tough event that needs to be treated with respect.
The Alpine Cols coaches will be there to support you through the event.
The start is at 7:30am and you should finish by 5-6pm.
We will spend one final night in Argelès-Gazost and drink a few well-earned beers before departure on Monday morning.

 

 

Hotel in Argelès-Gazost, to be confirmed

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)

PACKAGE PRICES

From Sun 23 Aug to Sat 29 Aug (6 nights)

    • Twin-share: €1,999
    • Single supplement: €120

From Sun 23 Aug to Mon 31 Aug, (8 nights) including the Marmotte GranFondo Pyrenees

    • Twin-share: 2,675
    • Single supplement: €160

INCLUDED IN YOUR PACKAGE

    • Airport transfers (to and from Toulouse, at a fixed time only)
    • Accommodation and meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
    • On-the-bike coaching
    • 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)
    • Entry to the Marmotte (8-day package)

NOT INCLUDED

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