From Morzine to Mont Ventoux, ride one of the most ambitious routes across the legendary French Alps. Test yourself on the battleground of the world’s greatest race.
Alpe d’Huez, La Madeleine, Galibier, Mont Ventoux, Glandon, Joux Plane, Colombiere - these are just a few of the iconic Tour de France climbs that we’ll conquer in the French Alps. We’ve prepared an awe-inspiring, week-long adventure that will test your limits and introduce you to the majesty and wonder of cycling’s most celebrated terrain.
Climb the ‘Giant of Provence’ - Mont Ventoux - with the option to climb it not once, but twice on the same day! You’ll be thrilled by the stunning Col de Sarenne, the back-road to Alpe d’Huez and a classic loop over the Lacets de Montvernier, the Col du Chaussy, the Col du Glandon and the Col du Mollard. You can’t fit more Alps into one week!
Check out the highlights from the climb up to Mont Ventoux:
Bienvenue en France
Our trip starts at Geneva airport where our staff will be there to welcome you. We’ll transfer to our hotel in the beautiful Alpine resort of Morzine.
After lunch, orientation meeting and bike build-up we’ll head out for our first ride in the French Alps. Our ride takes us iver the Col de la Joux Verte with its stunning views of the snow covered peaks around Mont Blanc.
Meeting Time and Place
Our guides will meet you at 8:30am - either at Geneva Airport or at the Holiday Inn Express Geneva Airport.
The Joux Plane and the Colombiere
Today’s ride gives us our first real taste of Alpine climbs. From our hotel in Morzine the road heads upwards towards the famous Col de Joux Plane. Enjoy the spectacular views from the top of the Joux Plane before heading down the valley to Cluses.
Our final climb of the day is the Hors-Categorie Col de la Colombiere. From the Colombiere, enjoy the descent before the short climb up to our hotel in La Clusaz.
Our ride from La Clusaz to St Jean de Maurienne is one of the most beautiful rides in the Alps. We start with the Col des Aravis where we’ll be met at the top by the ringing of cowbells from the many herds of cows that graze on these slopes. On a clear day enjoy the spectacular views of Mont Blanc to the south.
Next up is the Col des Saisies followed by one of the all-time Tour de France favourites, the 26km Hors-Categorie Col de la Madeleine. The 25km descent from the Madeleine is one of the best in the Alps - ENJOY!
Today’s ride features a classic loop around the mountains of La Maurienne. First up is the incredible route up the Lacets de Montvernier followed by the climb to the Col du Chaussy. Both of these climbs featured in the 2015 Tour de France and were a huge success.
From the bottom of the Chaussy we tackle another Tour de France favourite, the Col du Glandon. From the Glandon, we have a short ascent to the Col de la Croix de Fer before tackling the final climb of the day to the Col du Mollard.
Galibier and Alpe d'Huez…
Our first climb today is the massive Col du Galibier. Almost 35 km in length and with a total elevation gain of over 1900 m, the Galibier is one of the most challenging climbs in Europe.
The climb starts in St Michel de Maurienne and after 12 km tops out at the Col de Telegraphe. A short descent into Valloire and then we’re climbing again as we attack the final 18 km to the Galibier summit at almost 2800 m.
From the Galibier we have a 45km descent to Bourg d’Oisans where the first of the famous 21 switchbacks signals the start of the climb to Alpe d’Huez!
Col de Sarenne
A short ride this morning, but one of the most spectacular routes in the French Alps. We start the morning by descending Alpe d’Huez before taking the single track road that runs along the ridge from La Garde to Le Freney.
From Le Freney we ride up to the Chambon Reservoir where we take a sharp left turn that signals the start of the climb to the Col de Sarenne. The Sarenne takes us back up to Alpe d’Huez but via a wild and spectacular single-track road that featured in the 2013 Tour de France.
After lunch at the hotel we’ll transfer down to Provence to get ready for our assault on Mont Ventoux tomorrow.
Giant of Provence
Today’s ride features the Giant of Provence - not once, but twice. In true Thomson style we’ll take on the climb to Mont Ventoux from both sides - Bedoin and Malaucene.
The southernmost point of the French Alps, Mont Ventoux is unique - and a fitting end to our Trans-Alps Challenge.
Unfortunately, our trip must come to an end. Our shuttle will take you to Marseille airport, arriving at approximately 9:00am.