Geneva to Nice (Raid Alpine) Epic ride through the Alps taking in most of the Iconic Cols following the traditional Alpine Raid Routes.
Dates : Saturday 23 July – Saturday 30 July
Rider level : 4/5
Airport: Arrive Geneva / Depart Nice
Cost: £1400 based on a twin room occupancy.
Transfers: Included in above price
Single room supplement: £40 per person per night
Raid Alpine This traditional alpine route was set up by the Cycle Club de Thones and is one of the ‘must do’ routes for serious alpine cyclists.
It’s a challenge and you need to have a good level of fitness with the ability to handle 2 major alpine cols each day. It follows the classic Randonnee Alpine, Lac Leman – Cote d’Azur 712km – 31 cols and 17485m climbing (including the Iseran, Mont Cenis, Izoard, Vars and Restefond Bonnet – the highest pass in Europe.) Starting by the beautiful shores of Lake Geneva, we ride about 110km each day staying in local hotels where the food and hospitality is excellent. The hotels know cyclists are hungry after a long day in the saddle. Fully supported, our minibuses are around all day and take your luggage from hotel to hotel. We finish this week in Antibes where we celebrate our achievement. After successful completion of the Raid Alpine you receive a very impressive medal from the. Cycle Club de Thonon as a memento of your epic adventure.
Arrive at Geneva and 60mins transfer to our hotel in Thonon des Bains. Pre – tour brief from you guides and support staff.
Our ride today takes in the foothills outside Geneva through Habere Poche (where we get our first ‘Stamp’), over the Col de Ramaz and through Praz de Lyz. Taninges provides a good lunch stop before we roll along the valley floor and through Sallanches. The last climb to Megeve at 5% over 10km provides a relatively easy finish to day 1. Today we will cover about 100kms.
We start with a gentle downhill before we hit the Col de Saises. It’s a 14km climb but at 6/7% not too demanding and it has some welcome flat sections! We then descend to Beaufort before tackling the Col de Pre (a nasty little 9% over about 8km) and the Cormet de Roseland. There is a great spot for lunch just before the lake below the Cormet summit. The final climb from Bourg St Maurice to Val d’Isere is long and steady. Our hotel is based in the village. Distance 105kms.
We have a short 5km warm up before we climb 12km to the Col d’Izeran. This is another spot for your card to be stamped (2,764 metres) before a long sweeping descent to Bessans. The next climb is the Col de Mont Cenis where we pass the border in to Italy. The road surface to Souza is perfect and it is a fast descent before the gradual climb to our Hotel in Cesana where plentiful Italian food will be on offer for supper – pasta in readiness for tomorrow. Distance 125kms.
The first climb is the Col de Sestriere where an early morning espresso or cappuccino is welcome before we ride over the short Col de Montgenevre and back over in to France. The ride takes us through the old historic town of Briancon before tackling the monster Col d’Izorad. There are some great lunch stops just before the peak and the long descent to Guillestre. The descent allows you a welcome recovery before we climb up to St Marie de Vars where we have reserved rooms in a lovely friendly alpine hotel. Distance 110kms.
We start today with the Col de Vars – a relatively easy 6km climb to the summit. We then have a long descent before we hit one of the great cols of the Alps. It’s also the highest at 2,850 metres. It’s called the Col de Bonette. Although long it’s not super steep and is a lovely ride. It’s a great place to take some photos and you begin to feel the Mediterranean coming. The descent is long but the road surface is excellent. Our last Col today is the Couillole which winds through the rocks on very small roads and is over 16kms. It’s a short descent before we ride in to the lovely southern alpine ski station of Valberg. The Chastellan is a friendly hotel offering a great evening menu. Distance 135kms.
Last day. Although there is a lot of downhill today there is still 135kms to cover with small cols. The great thing is that they seem small in comparison to what we have already conquered! Once we are over the Col de St Raphael we have a fantastic ride through Grasse and the Mediterranean appears in the distance. On arrival in Antibes we enjoy a few celebratory drinks and supper in a pre-booked restaurant in the old town. Distance 135km.
Pack the bikes and travel on to your next destination or to Nice airport. Ideally book flights in the morning
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If you want to view the full Itinerary of the Alpine Raid provided by Cyclo Club de Thonon please ask and we will send or scan you a copy. It gives exact details of the route with distances and climbs.
Fully supported riding.
1 rider and 1 driver/mechanic for each 8 riders.
Minibuses available all day with snacks and drinks
Luggage delivered to your hotel for your arrival.
Medical and mechanical support.
Accommodation in comfortable 3 star French hotels.
Substantial breakfast and three course supper
Most importantly, amazing cycling terrain and scenery.
Lunches and day time drinks.
Drinks and Wine in the hotels.