In June we ran our inaugural weekend trip to Annecy aimed at riders who wanted a challenge but who also enjoy some flat lakeside cycling.
Eight riders signed up for the trip and we all arrived on a sunny Thursday mid June and the forecast looked favourable. If there is a nicer place to ride a bike it’s hard to imagine. With lakeside cycle paths and beautiful alpine climbs all within easy riding distance who could ask for more.
Our plan was to start easy and get an idea as to how everyone rode. 20km along the cycle path with 25 degree temperatures it was the ideal warm up and after a quick coffee and croissant stop we rode up the Col de l’Epins. 6km at about 6% on empty roads was the perfect introduction to the mountains. We then dropped back down towards the lake for some lunch. Everyone was feeling good and expressed an interested in another climb. The obvious one was the Col de la Forclaz, recently used in the Tour de France. At 8km it’s not long but the last 3km are all at 9 / 10% gradients so would be a tough test. Some of the group decided not to take this one on and jumped in the support van with Chris. The others made it to the top to experience a wonderful view of the lake and a well earned coffee. We all then rolled back to the hotel in the outskirts of town. The hotel offered terrific food with a wide menu selection each evening which was great for hungry riders.
Everyone was feeling pretty good and today we planned to ride the Semnoz circuit which takes in 2 cols near the lake. The Col de Leschaux is a lovely rolling 12km from the lakeside. Morning coffee at the top and then on to the Semnoz. It’s a tough test and was used in the 2013 Tour de France as a mountaintop finish. We made it to the summit just before the rain arrived. We settled in for a nice luncn in the alpine restaurant at the top. After lunch we rolled down to Annecy and back to the hotel. In the late afternoon most of us went for a walk and a wander around the cobbled streets and canals and enjoyed some lakeside café culture. Back to our hotel for supper where we enjoyed another splendid meal.
It’s our final day and today we set off to what is called the Aravis Massif. Gently rolling on to the village of Thones we had some climbing to do before reaching the ski resort of La Clusaz for our morning coffee stop. We all regrouped and headed up the Col d’Aravis for a few kilometres before riding to the summit of the Col de la Croix Fry. At 1,477 metres it was a great achievement for everyone. Back to Thones for a delicious lunch prior to our 25km ride back to our hotel. We decided to eat out in town tonight and Annecy provided the perfect spot to relax, have a few glasses of wine, chat about the 3 days riding and enjoy a lovely dinner.
Time to head back home. Geneva is only 40 minutes away and there were no early starts!