Colconquerors

Reviews

Alps Challenge Weekend

Brilliant weekend in the Alps

Paul O'Sullivan
August 2019

Did the Alps Challenge, along with seven clubmates, in August 2019. From the moment we booked the trip, CC were exceptional in the service provided. A very easy reservation process, all initial inquiries promptly answered, detailed information about the itinerary prior to departure and a superbly professional service during the trip itself. Once we arrived at the airport, Rob and Karen (and Mike and Kevin) were simply superb for the whole weekend. Always in great form, every request or query was dealt with immediately. Rob was excellent on the road in terms of knowledge, directions and morale, while Karen was simply outstanding in the support vehicle. The hotels and food were great, and exactly what was needed after some tough days in the saddle. I would happily travel with Col Conquerors again and would strongly recommend them to anyone thinking of doing one of their trips.

A great 3 days of cycling

Suzanne Mulligan
August 2019

A great 3 days of cycling with lots of advice and guidance. Very professionally run. Rob and Karen couldn’t do enough to make the trip very enjoyable.

Everything is taken care of

Aidan McDonnell
August 2019

Very well organized. Everything is taken care of so all you have to do is focus on turning the pedals. Rob Karen and Mike were A1. Would definitely recommend.

Memories that will last a lifetime

Noel Curran
August 2019

Rob and his team are very well organised. They cater for every grade of cyclists. We had a wonderful experience of cycling . Staying in top quality friendly hotels , Memories that will last a lifetime. Would highly recommend Col conquerors

Five trips now with Rob and his team
photo of Kevin Charlton

Kevin Charlton
August 2019
Kevin climbing Alpe d'Huez on the 3rd day of Alps Challenge Weekend

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.

 

Can’t speak highly enough of Col Conquerors
photo of Dan Carter

Dan Carter
August 2018
Dan climbs the Sarenne

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......T

The rides were just what I wanted

Sam Elwell
August 2018

The rides were just what I wanted – challenging but great fun and always in stunning scenery. They were also very well supported, with Rob & Simon riding alongside us and a support vehicle never far away – full of extra kit and food and available as a broom wagon for those who had taken their fill of climbing. Rob’s cycling knowledge is superb and I learnt a lot of training, nutrition and recovery tips from him that I am determined to apply to my cycling going forward.

Great company, would recommend!

Ben George
July 2018
Ben attacks the Iseran!

Great trip, great company, would recommend!

Corsica Island Challenge

Our latest addition
photo of Rob @ Colconquerors

Rob @ Colconquerors
August 2019

Corsica Coast

Corsica is the latest addition to our holiday schedule. The mix of coastal routes, gorges, mountains and superb climate make it a cyclists paradise.

Galibier to Ventoux Tour

An unbeatable week of cycling - simply brilliant on every level

Chris Wood
September 2019

Even without the cycling this would be a premium escorted tour of some really spectacular bits of France. The guides, Rob & Karen, can't do enough for their clients. No problem too big or small to overcome. A lot of thought has gone into these trips. The route taking you to pretty French villages where you stay in relaxing bespoke family run hotels and enjoying fine french dining in good company. ....and then there is the cycling. 6 days of awesome cycling heaven. High cols, fast twisty descents, hairpins, gorges, tunnels, smooth fast roads and finishing with a high upon Mont Ventoux.

A memorable week with Colconquerors

Wil Catlin
July 2019

Spent a memorable week with Colconquerers in the Alps and Haute Provence area. Rides were challenging, scenic, and well-supported: a mix of bucket-list climbing and some of the most lovely French terrain accessible by paved roads. Food stops and accommodations were equally well chosen to enhance the experience. As a bonus, I learned more about descending from Rob in five minutes than in my previous 20 years of riding. Highly recommended!

Even better than the Haute Route

Enrico Lucchinetti
July 2018
Enrico climbing again

Just completed 5 days of true cycling from the Galibier to Mont Ventoux.
Truly a fantastic experience, even better than the Haute Route I completed last year: the team – Rob, Karen and Mike – are always there for you! They take care of everything with a 5-star service level, they are super-professional and super-nice. I could not really expect anything better. Next year I’ll be definitely back! 

A unique experience to enjoy

Trevor Jennings
September 2018
Trevor on the Galibier day 1 of the Galibier to Ventoux Alps tour

Colconquerors provides a unique experience for individuals to enjoy the demands and challenges of high altitude cycling within a relaxed, friendly and thoroughly enjoyable environment. The accommodation is ideal and, with the various amounts of nutritional options that are available, ensures that the level of recovery is exactly what is needed after a long day in the saddle. Plenty of support is provided for each ride and, although everyone rides at their own pace, it's nice to reconvene with the group over lunch. Rob provides sound advice on all aspects of cycling and the team's aim is for everyone to achieve their personal goals. This is now an essential part of my annual cycling calendar.

Epic rides everyday that challenge and inspire

David Sparks
September 2018
Day 1 cycling in the Alps

I rode with Colconquerors in September on their Galibier to Ventoux tour. What a brilliant week, epic rides everyday that challenge and inspire. The hotels were great with some really fantastic food. All Brilliantly supported by Rob and Karen. Robs cycling knowledge is keenly shared with the ride group to ensure that everyone gets the best out of the week. Thanks loads, loved it. David

Would recommend this trip to anyone wanting to challenge themselves

Gary Richardson
September 2018

This year I signed up for Colconquerors Galibier to Mont Ventoux trip and would recommend this trip to anyone wanting to challenge themselves. 
The organisation is absolutely first class with fantastic routes hotels and support on the road .Can not thank Colconquerors enough for making this such an epic week.

Organisation of the trip was incredible

Chris Stanton
July 2017

I’d add to anyone thinking about doing the Galibier to Ventoux tour in the future that the organisation of the trip was incredible. As well as preparing GPX routes, Rob had quite literally taken a photo of every junction along the route and included it in a road book, which we were all emailed as a PDF on the first night. That meant that there was quite literally no chance of getting lost and made the whole thing even more stress free. Moreover, he had done two recces of the trip, and clearly knew the route incredibly well 

Best cycling we have ever done
photo of Richard Shaw

Richard Shaw
Sept 2017

“… just returned as a group of 8 from the Galibier-Ventoux trip Sep 2017. Without a doubt the best cycling we have ever done, probably 3 or 4 days would each qualify as best ever day on a bike. The cycling is undoubtedly tough & could be accurately described as ‘full-on’, but the rewards were there- from very high altitude hairpins with biblical views, to gorges and typical Provence – capped off with ‘Cingles de Ventoux’ on the Giant – all good and a huge variety. The hotels and food were exceptionally good, the roads quiet, and all this reflected the efforts made by Colconquerors to recce the routes in enormous detail. Great logistics, great guiding,faultless technical and food/waters support, and all with very good humour and occasional gentle encouragement – many many thanks to Rob, Karen & Mike – Chapeau!”

A truly magical experience
photo of Gordon Sullivan

Gordon Sullivan
September 2016

I just want to say a very BIG thank you to you all for last week in supporting me realise one of my cycling dreams of riding the Ventoux not just once but three times to qualify for Les Cingles. It truly was a magical experience and the camaraderie and support from yourselves and fellow team members helped make it a truly enjoyable and memorable challenge. I was nervous at the start of the ride whether I would have enough fitness to make it thru – especially as I stumbled with my nemesis L’Izoard (again!) on day 1 but with your help and advice I was able to ride the Alps comfortably and to the best of my abilities.

Organisation was second to none

Shelley Walduck
September 2016

A huge “Thank you “ to Col Conquerors for a fantastic Galibier to Ventoux trip. From start to finish the organisation and communication was second to none.Rob made regular contact after I signed up and was happy to answer any questions on kit etc in full. Becky set us up perfectly on arrival with homemade cake and tea, followed by dinner and a great breakfast before our departure for our first day’s riding. Detailed briefings were held at breakfast, before each day’s ride. Support and encouragement on the road were never far away and expertly provided by Karen, Mike and Rob. The route was both beautiful and challenging and is a must for anyone wishing to challenge themselves in the Alps. Good vegetarian food in France has been a bit of a problem on previous trips with other tour companies, but Rob ensured I was well taken care for the entire trip.
I can honestly say the quality of the food and hotel accommodation was the best I have experienced on any oversea’s challenge I have completed. Also, as the only woman in an all male group, I was made to feel comfortable and welcome. An all round great experience

One word amazing
photo of Andrew Bates

Andrew Bates
July 2016
Galibier to Ventoux Alps Tour - Day 4

Just completed the Galibier to Ventoux week. One word amazing. Two days of the best of the high Alps followed by stunning day of medium mountains, gorges and lakes and a still challenging transition day through the rolling Provence countryside before arriving in Bedoin. Ventoux was everything you could imagine and a huge challenge 1x or 3x. Fantastic support from Rob and the CC team throughout and excellent hotels and well chosen restaurants. A 6 day mini TdF.

The tour was simply amazing

Mark Mannix
July 2016
Mark with Andrew at the Bonette

Just got back from a wonderful weeks cycling with Colconquerors. The Galibier to Ventoux tour organised by CC was simply amazing. The route through the Alps and into Provence was tough, challenging, epic and very beautiful. Along the way the support, accommodation and restaurants were excellent. A big thank you to the whole CC Team (Rob, Karen, Mike and Becky) for their help, advice, humour and friendliness which really made the trip. I would highly recommend Colconquerors to any cyclist thinking of visiting the Alps.

Challenging riding from high mountain cols to...

Ian Nissenbaum
July 2016
Ian back in the Alps

Had a fantastic week on the Galibier to Ventoux trip. Challenging riding from high mountain cols, stunning gorges and across lavender fields to our mountain quest, Ventoux. Great route, organisation, hotels and food. Thanks very much Rob, Karen and Mike for a truly memorable week

Gran Canaria Island Challenge

The weather was again fantastic in Gran Canaria

Duncan Carrier
March 2019
Duncan riding in Gran Canaria

Another great trip with Rob and Karen. The weather was again fantastic in Gran Canaria as was the whole trip. The cycling routes are very well designed with quantity and quality in mind with the right amount of intensity to provide either a great rewarding holiday and or training block for the rest of the season. With a great choice of hotels and food to aid recovery.

Such service and support do not happen by accident
photo of Fenton Curley

Fenton Curley
March 2019
Fenton & Rob climbing to Pico las Nievas

Great trip! I thought it may be a challenge when BA lost my bike box and gear on arrival. But by the time I got to the hotel Rob had organised a rental bike, shoes and everything I needed without any stress or panic.

A highly organised trip - route files and info in advance. Great guiding and attention to detail. Fantasitc support from Karen with everything needed in the support vehicle from SIS powders to healthy bars and plenty of bananas! 

Quality of accommodation, first class food catering for all needs and the welcomed massage at the end of the day was great. It's not easy for guides to cater for all abilities when out on the road but this was donemost professionally. Rob has great experience with his coaching and diet knowledge - as a bit of a beginner I found this very helpful!

When asked if there was anything they could improve on the answer was no. Such service and support to not happen by accident, this is a well oiled machine which has been very well researched with all contingencies planned for - incredibly thorough and a very hospitable team.

On top of this Gran Canaria is a bit special for the climate and local hospitality everyone is super friendly with some great route if not one or two are a bit ridiculous! So nothing less than a 32 cassette. Once you're here it's very cheap, lunches and snacks cost nothing and all else is in the package.

I have already comitted for 2 trips back here next year. I don't normally do reviews but this was exceptional and just perfect. Thanks Rob & Karen.

Gran Canaria Winter Break

Exceptional cycling week
photo of Laura Gilmore

Laura Gilmore
February 2019
Laura Gilmore Gran Canaria Review

The quality of the whole week was exceptional. Karen and Rob made everyone feel so welcome from the start and go way beyond the call of duty to fulfill any needs and support each of the guests. Beyond this the quality of energy cycle support was incredible. I asked and received specific support from Rob about so many areas O cycling and improved massively in one week. Plus being encouraged to do way beyond what I thought possible for me. And I now have a follow up training plan. The cycling is adapted to the needs of each guest. And Rob is a natural teacher, imparting advice with a smile - or not if you want to just get up those hills. I literally can’t recommend these guys enough. And if you’ve had enough of cycling Karen is there ready for a chat and snack!

The support van seems to be everywhere

Michael Bonderup
February 2019

Riding with Colconquerors for the 7th year and again it has been an absolute pleasure ! This time we were in Gran Canaria and the base (hotel in Puerto de Mogan) was nice and comfortable. The riding starts right outside the doorstep and there was plenty of variation.
Rob caters for all levels of cycling in the mountains and always makes sure everyone has a good and safe experience. There is a support van that follows around with every imaginable thing you could require, from water and nutrients to any mechanical issue.
I was doing all the climbs with only one bidon as the support van seems to be everywhere with plenty of supply.
In conclusion, it was once again a perfect trip and for anyone who wants to try on the mountains for the first time as well as if you want to try on Strava records (and everyone in between where I am :-) ), I can only give my warmest and strongest recommendations.

Attention to detail and in-depth knowledge of the routes

Richard Quickfall
February 2019
Richard Review Gran Canaria Winter-Break

What a fantastic week! - just returned from a week's trip to Gran Canaria. The attention to detail and in-depth knowledge of the routes, accommodation and support which Rob and Karen provide make for a five star experience. Our group was a maximum of 8 and with the van support can easily cater for riders of varying abilities - would highly recommend.

We will surely be back for more

Jimmy Carlestam
January 2019

For me this was 4th time in Rob's capable company, as in the past Rob worked us hard, but in a manner that suite us all! 

Rob and Karen run a very professional show and we will surely be back for more, GC is a perfect venue to "kick start" the season, in very pleasant weather. Again thanks a lot and hope to be back soon, for now a couple of "recovery days"

As always great routes, fantastic service and company
photo of Claes Devantier

Claes Devantier
January 2019

Another great week with Rob and Karen this time in Gran Canaria! As always great routes, fantastic service and company. Not the last time for sure!

Coaching and encouragement freely available whenever required

Nigel Priston
January 2019

Fantastic experience from the start. Met at the airport and transfered with bike to excellent hotel. Beautiful, challenging routes daily through the amazing countryside, I rode with a great group of people. Support vehicle was with you all the way dispensing drink, food and anything else that was required. Coaching and encouragement freely available whenever required. Route for the following day was discussed over dinner. Vast choice of food to all tastes.
Nothing was too much trouble for either Rob - the expert on and off the road, or Karen with the support vehicle..
Would highly recommend and believe me it has to be good to impress me. Will definitely be booking another trip 

A superb week of riding in Gran Canaria
photo of Richard Stone

Richard Stone
November 2018
Winter riding above Mogan in Gran Canaria

A superb week of cycling in Gran Canaria with Col Conquerers. The rides were tailored to our needs and the expert knowledge of the island was invaluable. Rob always allows the rider to achieve their potential and helps them to develop their fitness goals.

The best week I have spent on the bike in years
photo of Ian Bond

Ian Bond
November 2017

Just returned from an awesome week of high-altitude training in Gran Canaria with Col Conquerors. I have to say it was probably the best week I have spent on the bike in years. Great company from friends accompanied by hour upon hour of expert guidance, tuition, encouragement, support and plentiful nuggets of cycling goodness from the expert coach that is Rob Hawkins, the mastermind behind Col Conquerors. Erudite, knowledgeable and quick with a cycling anecdote, qualified level 3 coach Rob made the week very special with his carefully planned routes, structured progress and meal-time banter. Talk of power, FTP, training zones and the like over dinner were fascinating, and when put into practice the progress made over just a week was quite incredible. Would I go back? Absolutely – in a (quite high) heartbeat. Thank you Rob and Karen for a truly memorable and valuable week.

Unforgettable holiday on a beautiful island

Paul Bulford
November 2018
Paul enjoying the winter sun in Gran Canaria

My recent Gran Canaria cycling trip with Colconquerors was a wonderful experience and highly recommended. Rob and Karen's support and attention to detail made for a thoroughly enjoyable, relaxing and unforgettable holiday on a beautiful island, with a cycling challenge for everyone that includes great coffee/lunch stops in the most amazing hideaways.

The riding was varied, challenging and thoroughly enjoyable

Gavin Scott
November 2017

Sitting at the airport fresh from a superb week with Rob and Karen of ColConquerors. Having found the company on google and read their terrific reviews I was impressed from the first contact. The communication pre departure was swift, concise and welcoming. On arrival I had clear direction on transport arrangements – an individual transfer with Karen which made for a great start to the week.
The hotel accommodation in Gran Canaria was first class with excellent room and hotel facilities and an enormous choice and freshness at the inclusive breakfast and dinner. Located in a quieter resort it makes for a relaxing break and there is a lovely marina and beach to explore during the rest day. The thoroughness of Rob’s approach to the entire experience is evident at every stage.
The riding was varied, challenging and thoroughly enjoyable…even the Valley of the Tears! Again Rob and Karen excel at providing a product which meets every requirement of the variety of guests they look after. Their complete support throughout the week coupled with a flexible approach and willingness to adapt makes for truly tailored week.
This was my first experience of this type of holiday. Having not ridden a whole week before nor attempted the kind of challenge the roads of Gran Canaria present it was as part of a great group of like minded individuals that I had such and enjoyable time.
I hired a bike locally and was impressed by receiving a brand new 2018 bike at a very reasonable price. A slight technical niggle on the first day and the bike was replaced by the hire company immediately with their apologies. A 1st class service.
I would wholeheartedly recommend ColConquerors to anyone considering this type of holiday. The vast number of return customers speaks for itself!
Hoping to be back soon, next time for a trip to the Alps!

A fantastic place to ride in the winter

Thomas Jensen
March 2017

I have just returned from a weeks awesome riding in Gran Canaria with Col Conquerors, Rob is so helpful, enthusiastic and informative when it comes to all aspects of riding, if your looking for a fantastic place to ride in the winter and to better your training, I would highly recommend going with the CC! You will not be disappointed.

A fantastic opportunity to test yourself

Alex Taylor
March 2017

I have just returned from a week in Gran Canaria with Rob and Karen. This was my third trip with Col Conquerors which have all been excellent. The Gran Canaria trip was a fantastic opportunity to test yourself after a winters training and to get some early season sun. If you want to do a 45km climb to the top of the island or test yourself in the Valley of the tears this is the trip for you.

Rob successfully ensures that the rides are suitable and have the right challenges for every level of rider and the hotel has everything you need at the start and end of the ride.

Highly recommended and I hope to ride with them again in the future.

Nothing too much trouble

Kirsty Anderson
November 2016

Just had a week in Gran Canaria with Colconquerors. First bumped into Rob in a cafe a couple of days before the trip officially started and by the time I’d finished my lunch my bike had had its gears completely re-indexed. This set the tone for the rest of the week – nothing too much trouble and clearly the only thing that is important to Rob, Mike and Karen is that you have a fantastic time both on and off the bike. Which we did! As for Gran Canaria: 20-25 degrees every day, sunshine and beautiful scenery.

A superbly organised week in Gran Canaria

Ray Sells
November 16

What a superbly organised week in Gran Canaria by Rob and Karen, riding was as challenging as anywhere in the Alps/Pyrenees and the climate is great. A training week in November is also a great time to build motivation and review your goals for the Winters training when you return.
Excellent! Already looking forward to the next trip

Nothing short of excellent

Niall Southwell
November 2015

Our Gran Canaria week with Rob and Karen was nothing short of excellent. The riding was challenging, stunning, rewarding and exhilarating. Rob has done some thorough reconnaissance and found some great routes. Karen is a great support because being able to top up drinks and swap kit around was essential. The hotel is well located at the bottom of the valley which makes the home run a blast. The apartment was fine and there’s loads of food and choice at breakfast and dinner. Rob offers his usual doses of encouragement and cycling tips which all adds to the experience. GC was perfect for a warm and sunny November cycling break. Go on, you know you want to! 

Ventoux Challenge Weekend

It's hard to imagine a better bike trip company

Mark Smith
May 2019
Cycling tour of Ventoux

It's hard to imagine a better bike trip company. The Col Conquerors team are beyond magnificent. My friend and I booked the Ventoux weekend and were both incredibly impressed by the care and support we got during the trip. Rob is a mine of cycling information which he shares freely both out on the road and over meals and coffee. Karen is a one-woman support team offering the sort of care, encouragement and advice that I'm sure a pro-team would snap up. The routes and logistics were planned with precision and executed flawlessly, including working around some very variable weather. The on-the-road team managed different pacing in the groups well, and Mike was brilliant in pacing me up the final ascent of the Ventoux. The hotel they had selected was excellent and provided a good night's sleep and great food. I fully expect to book another trip with Col Conquerors and highly recommend them.

Excellent Trip

Peter Ackroyd
May 2019

Mont Ventoux long weekend - Excellent trip - very well researched, organised and ran by Rob & Karen. Lovely hotel, great routes & on the bike support. I would happily recommend them to any cyclists looking for great tours.

The organisation was excellent

Russ Lewis
May 2019
Russ climbs Ventoux

The trip to Mont Ventoux, to complete a triple ascent in one day, with 2 other days of riding was amazing. The organisation was excellent, and made everything very stress free, from airport transfers, route planning and execution, to food options. The hotel was great and situated perfectly, with great facilities and very friendly staff. Rob, Karen and Mike who led the trip were great company and made sure we successfully achieved our targets and had fun doing so. I would highly recommend, and wouldn't hesitate to go with them again

Fantastic guided and supported cycling
photo of Miraj Makin

Miraj Makin
May 2019
Ventoux summit

Once again we were perfectly looked after by Rob, Karen and Mike. Everything is taken care of, all I had to do was spin the pedals! Seemless airport transfers, excellent choice of hotels (including breakfast and dinner) and most importantly; fantastic guided and supported cycling.

Well prepared and supported, the accommodation is excellent
photo of Colin Best

Colin Best
May 2019

Rob and Karen take a lot of care to ensure the trip works whatever the weather. The rides are well prepared and supported, the accommodation is excellent, so all in all I would recommend Colconquerors without hesitation - a lot of riders are repeat customers, which is a recommendation in itself. I will be looking to book another trip when my legs recover.

Ultimate Dolomites

What a fantastic week!
photo of Lisa Bowyer

Lisa Bowyer
July 2019

What a fantastic week! Our first trip with Colconquerors and definitely not the last. Amazing climbs every day. Excellent support and encouragement on the road from both Rob and Karen

I spent a spectacular week in the Dolomites
photo of Linda Spina

Linda Spina
July 2019

A spectacular week in the Dolomites


I spent a spectacular week in the Dolomites with Col Conquerors where absolutely everything ran with precision and excellence. The cycling routes and ride support on the road with Rob and Karen allowed me to complete challenging rides with confidence. I also appreciated Rob’s expertise and knowledge on everything cycling. Our accommodations and food had us rested and very well fed for our adventure the next day. Our week together is over and I am still smiling:)

Cycling heaven

Richard Maconigal
June 2019

If you want a challenging week of riding in amazing surroundings with all of the logistics taken care of and fantastic food then look no further than the Col Conquerors Ultimate Dolomites Trip. This was my first time on a week-long cycling trip and I absolutely loved it. Rob and Karen were the perfect hosts, always full of encouragement and enthusiastically sharing their many bike-based anecdotes. The cycling was just the right balance - tough but manageable. It's worth paying that little bit extra for Col Conquerors due to the quality of the hotel and the personal attention from Rob + Karen.

As a previous customer i knew it was going to be good

Toby Wilson

Spent an amazing week with Col Conquerors in the Italian Dolomites. As a previous customer i knew it was going to be good as the standard of accommodation is generally very high and the food excellent. Luckily the weather was kind which makes a big difference to these trips. I would recommend the company.

The hotels and food have been excellently chosen

Ross McArthur
June 2019

Really happy with Rob and the team from Colconquerors. This is my 3rd trip which is testament to the quality of the organisation - the last being within the Dolomites region. On the bike, all abilities are catered for with nothing too much trouble. The hotels and food have been excellently chosen - a reward for hard days on the bike. A great experience once more!

The routes, hotels and assistance are second to none

Mark Mannix
June 2019
Mark with Andrew on the Bonette

I have had the pleasure of being on 4 Colconquerors trips with the last being the Ultimate Dolomites (absolutely amazing!!). All of my trips have been brilliant and hold some very special memories. Special thanks to Rob & Karen the team behind CC who always ensure the routes, hotels and assistance are second to none. This is all done in a professional but fun and engaging way. I thoroughly recommend Colconquerors to anyone who loves riding their bike in some of the best places in the world.

Great experience

Dragos Colbeanu
June 2019

Great experience . Highly recommend. I will be a returning costumer for sure !

All you have to do is enjoy the cycling

Charles Smith
July 2018

Col Conquerors is the cycling holiday company run by Rob and Karen Hawkins from their base in Valmeinier, France. Like the best bicycles, this company operates like a well oiled machine. When you cycle with Col Conquerors you will enjoy some of the best cycling available. I’ve cycled with Col Conquerors in Gran Canaria and in the Dolomites, so I feel that I am at least partially qualified to say this. Rob and Karen have everything planned and organised so that all that you have to do is enjoy the cycling.“Everything” means plenty of detail about the specific location and the roads, being met at the airport, the airport transfers, the hotel accommodation; which is excellent, detail of the cycle routes; downloadable to your phone and Garmin, the best cafes for coffee, cake and lunch, support on the road with water and food, and any mechanical help needed. Rob discusses the day’s route every morning at breakfast, and cycles the route as well. Karen is in the mini-bus with the water and other supplies. You want a massage on the rest day; it can be arranged. Your saddle needs to changed and it happens to be at the top of a mountain pass in cool weather; Rob will do this. Nothing is too much trouble. You’ll cycle with keen cyclists. Believe me; Col Conquerors is perfection.

Five Star Trip

Paul Wheelwright
July 2018

Firstly can I thank you, Karen and Simon for a first class week and as I said over dinner on Saturday that for me there was not one aspect or potential need that had not been considered or over looked in your planning, which for me made it a truly 5 Star trip. The routes and support whilst out during the day where top notch and anyone who is a first time visitor to the Dolomites will go home having seen some of the most spectacular scenery, ridden some fantastic roads and conquered some iconic climbs.

The Hotel was also of the highest standard, with the family and staff being very welcoming and nothing being too much trouble for them and it was evident that you have developed a good relationship with them and I believe they can be considered an extension of your team – and what can you say about the food ! as a simple Yorkshireman I am lost for words as to how much I enjoyed every meal – Andrea knows his craft.

The Ultimate Dolomites week was my first but certainly wont be my last trip with Col Conquerors

Simply stunning

Richard Shaw
June 2018

Just returned from 3rd Colconquerors trip: “Ultimate Dolomites” – by now the group is used to the excellent pacing, encouragement, logistics and guiding, but nothing could prepare for the blue skies, the green meadows and dramatic snowy tops – simply stunning. The riding is challenging and certainly provided the hardest 100 – 130km rides I have done anywhere – plenty of varied climbs and great hairpin descents but very little flat or valley riding. The routes are carefully curated to provide variety through the week, but with a focus on enjoying the iconic Sella Ronda, and the opportunity to ride the Maratona dles Dolomites route, fully supported in sportive conditions. The hotel and food exceeded all expectations with a genuinely warm Ladin welcome, washing done twice in the week, 5 course (or was it 6, or 7?) superbly presented evening meals, a la carte breakfast. Thanks once again to Rob, Karen and Simon for putting on a truly memorable week

Highest standard in every department
photo of Gareth Riddell

Gareth Riddell
June 2018

I thought I would take the time to send some feedback from our recent trip to the Dolomites with your team at Col Conquerors. I have to say that the trip was of the highest standard in every department. You even managed to ensure the bad weather was on the rest day ! The accommodation, food and welcome from the hotel were also excellent. This is definitely a trip I would recommend to those experienced cyclists who can handle the high mountains. All round five star ! Thanks again and, see you all soon

The most incredible food

Fidel Gonzalez
June 2018

This was my third cycling trip with ColConquerors and my first time to the Italian Dolomites, well where can I start, Alta Badia has a reputation as being one of the best cycling destinations in the world and I can definitely see why. We had an amazing base hotel to stay in with the most incredible food cooked by a very talented chef using only local produce sourced from the local area. Our daily rides were very well selected by Rob and included a mixture of all the local climbs and absolutely amazing scenery. Rob along with our other guide were always close at hand within the group whilst riding and gave us excellent advise on pacing, nutrition and logistics. We were fully supported and Karen was always around to capture the highlights of each day and climb with some great photos. I am looking forward to my next cycling adventure with ColConquerors, always a pleasure with them. Once again, thanks to you, Karen and Simon for another incredible trip

It was a wonderful experience

Richard Bottomley
June 2018

I really enjoyed the Dolomites week, I thought the format of the trip was really good. The gradual increase in effort required leading up to the big days on Tuesday and Friday was well thought out and worked well for me. I was able to cope with the Friday ride [relatively] comfortably. The week was quite demanding but that is exactly what I wanted – to be stretched but ultimately be able to cope with the rides [especially the Maratona day]. The Hotel was excellent, the staff very friendly and the food really good. I thought you and Simon did a great job leading on the road, and Karen was always in the right place at the right time with the van offering encouragement, drinks and bananas! Altogether it was a wonderful experience and the Alta Badia region itself has the most outstanding scenery I’ve seen. Thanks to all your team and I hope to maybe do the Stelvio trip next year!

Ultimate Italian Alps

And you thought the French were steep!

Steve McKeever
June 2019

The high Italian peaks of the Stelvio, Gavia, Mortirolo are begging to be etched on your palmarès of cycling achievements. Colconquerors will deliver a challenging week in which you will tick these off and much more. With luxury accommodation, great food, knowledgeable guidance and expert mechanical support; only the hard work of pushing yourself up the climbs remains.

The trip Was Brilliant

Dominic Colston
September 2018
Dominic conquerors the Mortirolo

As usual you and Karen had the logistics organised perfectly. When you say that we ride and you do the rest it really is true! The hotel was great – stunning bike facilities (wish I had all that kit at home), friendly staff, comfy rooms and great food. The group were really fun and the range of fitness was easily accommodated. The rides were tough, as you’d expect in the mountains, but the toughest day (Mortirolo & Gavia) was also the most enjoyable. This was my third trip with ColConquerors and I hope to be back for a fourth next year! Thank you both for a great week!

This trip was so well organised

Nick Stewart
September 2018
Nick very proud on the Mortirolo

Just returned from my first ever organised cycling trip, wish I had done something like this years ago. Having the opportunity to climb the Mortirolo, Stelvio and Gavia Pass, I couldn’t have done this without the support. Everything about this trip was so well organised. Can’t thank the Colconquerors team enough for a truly amazing week

Attention to detail
photo of Graeme Scott

Graeme Scott
June 2018
The Italian Alps

Attention to detail. That, in three words, summarises my first experience with Col Conquerors. Routes, accommodation, backup – Rob and Karen put a great deal of effort into putting their trips together, leaving us riders nothing to do but ride and enjoy. Honestly, nothing is too much trouble for them.

Competent, Personal & Expert

James Mcpherson
June 2018

Competent – both my wife and I value well organised tour guides, with very clear, accurate and unambiguous communication, whilst being flexible to the group needs.

Karen and Rob do this brilliantly, from the detailed gpx and visual route information, to the excellent choice of hotels.

Personal – Rob and Karen keep the groups small and quickly understand what you are looking for in a cycling holiday and trying to achieve. They discuss things in a way that is best for you individually.

As usual the group we were on climbed at very different speeds, which can cause logistical problems to provide good service to all cyclists. With 2 expert cycling guides and a van, from the evening meal conversation it was clear all members of our group felt extremely well looked after.

Expert – Rob provided me and Kate with excellent advice on nutrition, bike set up, riding styles and training. As a couple who are very keen cyclists and have been on training camps before as well as reading the latest research, Rob’s expertise was fully up to date, and we learnt many new thing every day, that we will keep with us.

We will be booking with them again next year

Really special with superb levels of support

Kate Mcpherson
June 2018
Kate in the Italian Alps

We’ve just returned home from a really great week in the Italian Alps on the Ultimate Italy trip. As ever, Rob, Karen and Simon went out of their way to make the holiday really special with superb levels of support, fantastic organisation, great routes and a mountain of knowledge. The climbs are fairly long and at times pretty steep, so there’s a good amount of challenging riding – but the support van is there if you need it at any point. The amazing scenery can’t fail but bring a smile to your face whatever the gradient. We stayed in a great hotel with excellent healthy food in generous quantities, an amazing bike room and cheap washing facilities for all of your kit. All in all, we’d highly recommend the trip and would like to go back – and we’ll definitely be booking another Col Conquerors trip.

The hotel was superb

Chris Godfrey
September 2017

Thanks Rob, Karen and Mike for an amazing Italian week in Bormio. Whilst the weather was colder and snowier than the norm for this time of year, Rob’s meticulous preparation and local knowledge kept us riding safely and enabled us to completed almost all the rides we had wanted to do. He is also an absolute font of knowledge and really happy to offer help and advice on all sorts of things, such as training, nutrition, bike fitting, and descending skills. The hotel was superb – excellent food, bike storage (with more tools than I knew what to do with!) and friendly staff.

A week of truly magnificent cycling
photo of Adrian Lott

Adrian Lott
June 2017
Adrian Umbrail Pass

The three magical climbs of the Passo Stelvio, The Mortirolo and the Passo Gavia were ridden over a week of truly magnificent cycling, supported by Colconquers wonderful staff. This was a true life experience. Based in Bormio, in an excellent family hotel, the support and guidance from Rob (a level three Cycling Coach), Karen (Rob’s wife and life coach) and Mike (assistant to Rob and wonderful cyclist) made the very special week. It is a absolute must for any passionate cyclist whom wants to re-live the excitement and glamour of the Giro d’Italia. For many years I had been an avid fan of the Tour de France, however having spent time in Italy with Colconquers I will follow the Giro d’Italia with true passion. A bucket list experience! Thank you once again to Colconquers. Hope to see you all again soon.

Best week on the bike I have ever had

Jason Pope
June 2017

Just came back from a week away in the Italian Alps with Col Conquerors and had the most incredible time.

I went by myself not knowing anyone, but because the group was small (11 of us in total) it was great. Everyone was out to have fun and we all got along great.

The time and effort taken by Rob and the team into researching hotels and the area really paid off. The hotel was incredible. The food every night was fresh with a wide selection to choose from. The staff were incredibly friendly and there was a full wash service so can get your favourite kit cleaned before your ride the next day. There was a fully equipped secure bike room with all the tools and rigs you could need. So no need to worry if you forgot something at home (even though Rob pretty much had everything also).

The rides were very well planned out. Let me just say, they are no walk in the park. They were all challenging, but if you are up for it you will have a great time. Every ride is a full day out on the bike, with the obligatory coffee stops and lunch along the way. There was no issue with the pace you wanted to ride at. You can ride as fast or as slow as you want. No one got upset.

Support on the rides were done by both Rob and his wife Karen, as well as Mike (a demon on the bike. Rob and Mike rode with us, motivating us along the long climbs and making sure we knew where to go and what to do. Karen drove the van, stopping along the rides taking pics and keeping all our bags with all our extra gear, nutrition and water should we need. She was incredible. They all were, and made it without a shadow of a doubt the best week on the bike I have ever had and an experience I will never forget.

An amazing week in Italy

Vinod Patel
June 2017

Thank you to Colconquerors for an amazing week in Italy. A very well organised week from the excellent hotel, transfers to and from the airport, all the advice (technique, nutrition and pacing), fixing mechanicals (and the odd physical), support vehicle turning up exactly when I needed it and the relaxed atmosphere created throughout the entire week. Thanks also for creating a thoroughly challenging week from Mortirolo, Gavia, Umbrail, Cancano, Bormio 2000, Livigno, Passo Foscagno and the truly amazing Stelvio… I know there will be another event for me with Colconquerors, so until then, THANK YOU.

Insight, encouragement and support

James Murray
June 2017

Where to begin ??

Firstly, enormous thanks to Rob, Karen and Mike – a brilliant and passionate team. Your relaxed but professional approach to cycle touring provides the perfect blend regardless of ability.

The choice of a lovely family-run hotel in Bormio and the planning that had gone into the week was evident throughout. The insight, encouragement and support added to the enjoyment and without question got the best out of my performance on the road.

Having watched the Giro for many years and read about Italy’s most notorious climbs which are steeped in history and part of cycling folklore, nothing quite prepares you for the real thing.

Punishing, brutal, unrelenting but spectacularly beautiful. Hugely challenging to ride but ultimately thrilling and satisfying in ways that are difficult to describe – quite simply it is an absolute must for any cycling enthusiast to visit the Stelvio region, and Col Conquerers are without question the only choice of company to travel with.

More than 400km and over 30,000ft of climbing over five days riding, which included the Mortirolo, Gavia, Umbrail, Stelvio, Livingo, Lago Di Cancano and miles of achingly beautiful scenery – cycling heaven!

I cannot wait to return with my bike to the Alps and won’t hesitate to contact Col Conquerers as soon as I have earned some more brownie points from my wife !!!

Thank you for an amazing week