Alps Challenge Weekend

The Ultimate Cycling Weekend In The Alps

Climbing Alpe d

Five enticing Alps Challenge Weekend trip highlights.

  • Ride from the shores of beautiful Lake Annecy to the summit of Alpe d’Huez.
  • Climb iconic high mountain passes including the Cormet de Roseland, Col de l’Iseran, Col du Galibier plus the legendary 21 bends of Alpe d’Huez.
  • All the action of a multi-stage cycling tour in a weekend.
  • Ride with confidence each day benefiting from experienced guides, coaches and vehicle support.
  • Stay in four carefully selected hotels perfectly located for a superb weekend of riding in the French Alps.
August 2019
Kevin climbing Alpe d'Huez on the 3rd day of Alps Challenge Weekend
photo of Kevin Charlton

Five trips now with Rob and his team, the latest being the Alps Challenge Weekend. As ever, a very well researched itinerary. challenging climbs, excellent accommodation and food and great support and coaching tips. Highly recommended

Kevin Charlton
 

The Ultimate French Alps Cycling Weekend

Alps Challenge Weekend Summary:

Test yourself with our Alpine Challenge weekend. Enjoy four days and four nights on our mini French alps cycling holiday, designed specifically to pack a lot of high-quality climbing into three days of riding. Starting on the turquoise shores of Lake Annecy and culminating with a summit finish in Alpe d’Huez, we will climb 10,000 meters together. 

Challenge yourself to some of the most iconic climbs and legendary cols on our fully supported alpine challenge weekend, featuring the Cormet de Roseland, Col de L’Iseran, Col du Telegraphe and the epic Col Du Galibier. 

Experience the fantastic diversity of the alpine terrain and the best these mountains have to offer. This three-day challenge showcases the best in French alps cycling holidays, including panoramic vistas, views of Mont Blanc and more. 

All our accommodations are handpicked to provide the perfect balance between riding and relaxation. Every hotel has a unique ambiance, with comfortable spaces, perfect after a long day of riding on your French alps cycling holidays. Of course, great food is a high priority for all of our accommodations, too! 

Our goal for this weekend is to provide you with some of the best cycling in the alps, fully supported by high-quality road cycling experts to achieve your goals and cross an item or two off your bucket list. 

 

Alps Challenge Weekend Itinerary:

Lake Annecy to Saint-Foy-Tarentaise

The team at the summit of the Cormet de Roselend
Four alpine cols featured in the Tour de France
  • The lush alpine pastures of the Col de la Croix Fry and views of Mont Blanc from the Col des Aravis.
  • Climbing to the summit of the Cormet de Roseland and enjoying the tight hair pinned descent to Bourg-Saint-Maurice.

A day of 5 peaks! We hit the ground running with our ambitious first day; we will head away from the shores of Lake Annecy towards our first climb. We will conquer the Col de La Croix Fry and then the Col des Aravis in quick succession. The summit leads us into a smooth descent through the beautiful Flumet region towards our next challenge, the Col des Saisies and onto the stunning Cormet De Roseland. 

We will wind our way through the valley, enjoying the stunning scenery before a fantastic, technical descent to Bourg-Saint-Maurice before picking it right back up again and ascending towards Saint-Foy-Tarentaise for our overnight stay.

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Saint-Foy-Tarentaise to Col du Lautaret

Climbing the Iseran during day 2
Two giant climbs of the French Alps
  • Conquering the Col de l’Iseran at 2764m above sea level officially the highest paved road in the French Alps.
  • The Col du Galibier, need we say more.

We will roll out of Saint-Foy-Tarentaise, heading deeper into the Tarentaise valley, passing the world-famous Val d’Isere ski resort on our way to the mighty Col de l’Iseran. This is the highest paved pass on any French alps cycling holiday and a highlight on this Alpine challenge weekend. 

The road plunges through picturesque pastures towards the head of the Maurienne Valley. You might feel like you’ve time travelled as we ride past chocolate-box homes and traditional, rustic gites, engulfed by the towering peaks and awesome landscape that surrounds the village of Bonneval-sur -Arc. We continue to sweep downwards as we dive further into the valley before taking on the Col du Telegraphe and the legendary Col du Galibier. 

It’s a tough day, but with our full support you’ll make it through to the final, quick descent heading towards the Col du Lautaret where we will rest for the evening.

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Col du Lautaret to Alpe d’Huez

Alpe d
Twenty one bends await
  • Climbing Alpe d’huez and its iconic 21 bends.
  • The stunning Col de Sarenne.

Day 3 will see you face one of the most renowned challenges available on French alps cycling holidays. The distance might be shorter but should not be underestimated! 

We will leave the hotel, descending the Col du Lautaret and onto the Lac du Chambon and then the tranquility of the Col de Sarenne. It’s a strenuous start through the forest before we emerge above the tree line. We are surrounded by the fantastic mountain peaks and stunning views of the landscape as we push on. The climb has an average gradient of 7.5% but with sections of rising to a punishing 13% as we gain 1000 meters as we climb. 

Once we’ve conquered the Sarenne, it’s onto Alpe d’Huez. We will pass through the resort, swiftly dropping down to the valley, riding by mountain lakes and unforgettable scenery at Allemont. A quick loop of the lake and 8km ride on welcome flat road will loosen your legs in preparation for the finale of our alpine challenge weekend. 

We will support you up the legendary 21 bends of Alpe d’Huez. It’s a truly exhilarating climb and one of the most iconic achievements possible on a bike and on any French alps cycling holidays. It really is an indescribable achievement! 

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Alps Challenge Weekend Accommodation:

Hotel Les Grillons

Rating: 

Location: Talloires, Lake Annecy

Why chosen: Superb hospitality and great location on the lake.

The first hotel on our Alpine Challenge Weekend is in Talloires, just a short transfer from Geneva airport and moments from the sparkling shores of Lake Annecy. The hotel is the perfect place to relax before we kick off a fantastically exciting weekend. Rooms are large and comfortable with great views of the purest lake in Europe. 

Guests can spend their first night of their French alps cycling holidays sipping a drink, enjoying an evening swim and getting to know one another before embarking on a mountainous adventure the next morning. 

The hotel is also known for its incredible, locally sourced food and hospitable staff.

Hotel les Grillons first night
The view of Lake Annecy from the hotel
Hotel de Grillons rooms

Hotel Le Monal

Rating: 

Location: Saint-Foy-Tarentaise

Why chosen: Traditional hotel, warm welcome and excellent cuisine.

We will spend our second night in the perfectly located hotel Le Monal. This accommodation has a fantastic history as a coaching inn and has a warm, traditional Alpine atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to stop after day one when we’re feeling tired as the rooms are cosy and extremely comfortable and the menus feature hearty, bistro food for the evening meal. 

Hotel le Monal warmly welcomes cyclists and we will be well looked after by the team at the family-run hotel.

The hotel hotel Le Monal
Dinner is always something to look forward to!
The rooms at the Monal are all styled individually

Hotel de Glaciers

Rating: 

Location: Col du Lautaret at 2058m above sea level

Why chosen: Location, hospitality and a history of looking after professional cycling teams during high altitude training camps.

Our accommodation for night three is in an exceptional location at the summit of the Col du Lautaret. We’ll stay overnight at 2058m, which has made the hotel a firm favourite for cycling teams working on altitude training.  This hotel has been chosen for its location but also boasts spa facilities to help recover your muscles after a day conquering those cols!

The evening meal is particularly special, inspired by the AG2R team’s most recent visit and prepared for us by the hotel’s incredible chef.

Hotel de Glaciers set at 2058 meters in altitude
Glaciers rooms at altitude for night 3
Lounge space at the Glaciers

Hotel Pic Blanc

Rating: 

Location: Alpe d’Huez

Why chosen: Spacious rooms, great views and the spa to end the weekend.

We spend night four in the iconic Alpe d’Huez; our hotel is chosen for its quiet location and fantastic access to all the fun in the heart of the resort. The four-star Pic Blanc Hotel boasts spacious, modern rooms and our guests are always pleased to see the spa after the hairpins and three full days of epic riding.

This hotel is the perfect place to celebrate and round of your Alpine Challenge weekend and all that you have achieved. We always celebrate in the hotel bar. 

Pic Blanc has a great location in Alpe d
Dining at the Pic Blanc
Comfortable rooms with a view
Pic Blance Spa & Pool
The bar in the hotel Pic Blanc Alpe d
The Pic Blanc loungs

Dan Carter

Can’t speak highly enough of Col Conquerors. A fantastic set up with service and support that will makes it feel like it’s your own personal cycling experience just for you! The reason I go back year after year......

Ben George

Great trip, company, would recommend!

Alex Thornton

Thank you for a fantastic long weekend! First time cycling in the Alps, the trip has far exceeded my expectations with the stunning views, challenging climbs and adrenaline pumping descents.

Miraj Makin

Thanks for everything last weekend - things could not have been better. Words can’t portray how good a time I had. I’m sad to be back home! You guys looked after us like family and not clients.

The Holiday Includes

  • 4 nights half board accommodation on a twin share basis.
  • 3 days guided and vehicle supported cycling in the Alps.
  • GPX files & detailed route info pack for the Alps Challenge Weekend.
  • Geneva airport transfers.
  • Daily fresh fruit and top up sports nutrition in the support vehicle.
  • Baggage transfers between hotels.
  • Guest to staff ratio of 4-1 for a personal experience.
  • British Cycling Level 3 coaching advise to help improve any aspect of your cycling.
  • Daily photos shared post Alps Challenge Weekend trip.

Not Included

  • Flights.
  • Lunches or drinks.
  • Travel or bike Insurance.
  • Any drinks or other incidentals at the hotels.
  • Spa or Massage treatments.
  • Road bike hire.
  • Sole occupancy (on request & subject to room availability).

Trip Cost

Double Occupancy Single Supplement Deposit
30th July 2020 1125.00€ 350.00€ 300.00€

Bike Rental

Prices from : 40.000€ / per day

Bike hire is available for this trip from our local partner at the start of the Alps Challenge Weekend. A wide variety of suitable models and specifications are available depending on your needs. Bikes always have a set up suitable for riding in the high mountains.

On arrival we’ll accompany you to the shop in the rental location to collect your bike and make sure it’s set up perfectly. If you've had a recent bike fit bring this details along as well to make the fit even better.

If you would like to rent a bike for this Alps Challenge Weekend trip  just let us know and we’ll make sure the right bike is waiting for you on arrival.

3 Month Pre Trip

Prices from : 180.00€ / per month

Investing time and energy in a private coach for 3 months is a great way to tune your fitness ahead of your Alps Challenge Weekend. There’s still time for performance gains even if you’ve had to leave things late.

The British Cycling Level 3 coaching qualification is the highest recognised coaching certification in UK cycling and working with a Level 3 coach will:

  • Maximise fitness and performance gains from the realistic time you have available to train ahead of weekend in the French Alps
  • Help you focus only on areas that will really improve your cycling in the build up to your trip to the Alps.
  • Enhance not only physical but also tactical and psychological awareness & strength all of which contribute to you having a fantastic weekend of riding in the Alps.

6 Month Pre Trip

Prices from : 180.00€ / per month

If you are serious about making significant long term improvements to your cycling fitness & performance, investing time and energy in a private coach for 6 months is one of the most effective ways to increase your cycling performance.

The British Cycling Level 3 coaching qualification is the highest recognised coaching certification in UK cycling and working with a Level 3 coach will:

  • Maximise performance benefits from the realistic time you have available to train ahead of your weekend to the French Alps.
  • Help you focus on areas that will really improve your cycling and allow you to exceed your personal goals.

Before Trip

Annecy - Extend your stay

If you are arriving early there's no better place to stay than Annecy. Annecy is an alpine town in southeastern France, where Lake Annecy feeds into the Thiou River. It’s famous for its Vieille Ville (old town), with cobbled streets, canals and pastel-coloured houses, it is often referred to as the Venice of the Alps. Your visit can be as relaxing or as energetic as you want it, a quiet boat ride around the lake (the 3rd largest in France) perhaps stopping off somewhere for lunch or what about canyoning to get the adrenaline pumping?  There is much to do and see in this beautiful old town.

Annecy
Imperial Palace

Visit hotel
Les Tresoms

Visit hotel
Splendid Hotel

Visit hotel

After Trip

Annecy - Extend your stay

If you want to extend your trip or meet friends or partners after your weekend of cycling Annecy is just perfect. Annecy is an alpine town in southeastern France, where Lake Annecy feeds into the Thiou River. It’s famous for its Vieille Ville (old town), with cobbled streets, canals and pastel-coloured houses, it is often referred to as the Venice of the Alps. Your visit can be as relaxing or as energetic as you want it, a quiet boat ride around the lake (the 3rd largest in France) perhaps stopping off somewhere for lunch or what about canyoning to get the adrenaline pumping?  There is much to do and see in this beautiful old town.

Historic Annecy
Imperial Palace

Visit hotel
Les Tresoms

Visit hotel
Splendid Hotel

Visit hotel

Alps Challenge Weekend FAQ's

Is there vehicle and guide support each day?

Yes. There is full vehicle support and guiding for each of the 3 days riding for this weekend. Having people support you in the van and on the road ensures we can provide you with great support over the weekend.

How fit do I need to be for this trip?

This is a challenging weekend of riding in the French Alps and you’ll need to be riding regularly towards this great Alps weekend challenge.

Many guests have ridden sportive events in the UK (or other countries) when signing up for this weekend so have an understanding of the role that a good pacing and nutritional strategy plays in having a great day on the bike. Having experience of cycling in the mountains of Europe is not a prerequisite and plenty of our riders have completed this trip as their first experience in the mountains as a result of having a good level of fitness gained from riding in the UK.

Is there flexibility in the Itinerary for the weekend?

This is an exciting and action packed weekend with an itinerary packed full of challenge. Although we will always take your needs into account the nature of the terrain you'll be riding in for 3 days means there's not a huge amount of ability to flex the itinerary with the exception of the 3rd day. We are sure that you'll have more than enough challenge in the weekend and enough stunning alpine scenery to last a lifetime! This doesn't mean that you'll have to worry if you feel tired at any point because we always have the support vehicle should you wan't to take it easy at any stage.

On the final day there are several options available including the choice of just the Alpe d’Huez climb. The great thing is there’s no need to make any decisions until midway through the ride allowing you to decide based on how you really feel at that moment.

What’s the weather usually like in the Alps?

The weather is usually good (it’s summer after all) but the mountains (especially high summits like l’Iseran & Galibier) can always throw up surprises so it’s always best to come equipped with a selection of kit to cover most eventualities (remember this can all be carried in the support vehicle!). Temperatures in the Alps can vary from the valley to the summits. Typically we find this to be a decrease of around 1 degree for every 100 meters gained.

Should I worry about my pace against others?

No never worry about this. We always encourage people to ride at their own pace on the climbs to ensure you're comfortable and able to go the distance. As we have many years experience of riding with groups of differing abilities we'll look after all of the logistics so that you don't have to docus on anything other than enjoying your ride.

Can I come alone on the Alps Challenge Weekend?

Of course this is okay. Plenty of our guests travel alone and we always look to pair people up in this situation. Alternatively if there's availability a sole occupancy supplement could be available

If further information is needed can I contact you?

Absolutley. If there's anything you need help with please just get in touch.

Travel Information

All you need to know about getting in and out.

Arrival

Airport: Geneva (Switzerland)
Meeting Point: Swiss Chalet Cafe (Arrivals)
Transfer Departure: 4.30pm

You will be met at the airport in Geneva in person by ourselves ready for your short private transfer to your accommodation in Talloires on the shores of Lake Annecy.

We aim to leave the airport at Geneva by 4.30PM. When you are ready to arrange flights please ensure they land well in advance of the scheduled transfer time and always check with us before paying for them.

If you are flying in from outside of Europe it’s best to arrive the day before to ensure any flight delays don’t impact the start of your holiday.

After the transfer to your hotel the welcome meeting outlines the plan for the weekend and there’s then plenty of time to put the bikes together and take an easy spin to make sure everything is ready for the first day of riding.

Departure

Airport: Geneva
Hotel Departure Time: 9am
Airport Drop off: Midday for flights after 2pm

Sadly the Alps Challenge weekend is over but you’ve had a fantastic few days of riding in the Alps and we are sure your memories of the trip will keep you motivated until the next time.

We will leave the hotel in Alpe d’Huez after breakfast at 9am for the transfer back to Geneva airport in plenty of time for your flights.