Sportive Breaks

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Tour of the Alps 2023

6 nights

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4th-10th September 2023


Very Difficult



Why Book This Trip?

Six days riding from the shores of Lake Annecy in the northern Alps over some of the most famous climbs in cycling including the Roselend, Madeleine, Galibier, Izoard & Bonnette. We finish on the Cote d’Azur after a truly epic week of riding.

The most famous cycling terrain on the planet, the Alps is home to the biggest stages of the Tour de France every year and dozens of climbs are steeped in cycling history. Over this week we ride from Annecy to Menton taking in classic climbs and some great local routes. We start over the beautiful Cormet de Roselend before hitting the long Col de l’Iseran. Next up comes the Telegraph / Galibier before the legendary Col d’Izoard. In the Southern Alps we tackle the Vars, Bonette & Col du Turini before finishing on the coast in Nice. As cycling weeks go, it doesn’t get much bigger than this.

Relax in Lake Annecy: We start the week on the shores of Lake Annecy. Surrounded by mountains, this Lake is the place to gather your thoughts before a massive week of riding.

Climb the Galibier: Stage Four starts with with one of the world’s best climbs, the Col du Galibier from Valloire. Once you have conquered the switchbacks you can enjoy the views at the summit.

Ride the Casse Deserte on the Izoard: From the Galibier we descend to Briancon and then climb the incredible Col d’Izoard. Near the summit is the unique landscape of the casse deserte, an unforgettable place to ride.

Spread your payments: Our payment plan is an interest-free payment method where you will have the opportunity to spread payment for your booking

What's Included?


6 Nights in comfortable 3* Hotels


Transfers from Geneva and to Nice Airport

Included Meals

All Breakfast & Evening Meals included

Guided Rides

5 Riding days with support vehicle


Expert mechanic on hand all week

Additional Extras

Bike Rental -Trek Emonda SL 7 disc

Highlights from the Past Event


Day To Day

Arrival day. Our transfer is at 2.30pm from Geneva Airport and we should get to the hotel for 3.30pm. Our team is on hand to help build bikes and we will go for a quick spin before dinner.

Day Two: Annecy to Bourg St Maurice – 101km and 2700m of climbing

Our first stage takes us over the incredible Cormet de Roselend to Bourg St Maurice. This is one of the most beautiful climbs in the Alps and a fitting start to the trip.

Wednesday – Day Three: Bourg St Maurice to Valloire – 123km and 2978m of climbing

We are now in the heart of the Alps and today’s stage takes us over two classic climbs, the long and high Col de l’Iseran at over 2,700m and the Telegraph before finishing in Valloire.

Thursday – Day Four: Valloire to Guillestre – 106km and 2799m

One of the great rides in Europe, today’s stage takes us over the Galibier before descending the Lautaret to the base of the Col d’Izoard before a classic descend down the gorges to Guillestre.

Friday – Day Five: Guillestre to Auron – 95km and 3243m

We start with the delightful climb of the Col de Vars before hitting the Col de Bonette, another monster over 2,700m. We finish at the picturesque mountain town of Auron.

Saturday – Day Six: Auron to Menton – 139km and 3096m

Our final ride is a stunner in the southern Alps with the main climb of the Col du Turini. The whole day is lumpy before a final descent to the beach in Menton.

Departure day. A lazy morning with time to pack bikes before a transfer to Nice airport.

Distance 19.2km

Avg Grade 6%

Lowest Elevation 1219m

Highest Elevation 2363m

Elev Difference 1145m

Climb Category HC


Rider Review

Possibly our all time favourite climb on the planet, the Izoard is a legendary climb from the Tour de France with spectacular and varied landscape including the stunning Casse Déserte. The climb starts in the old town of Briancon and is often ridden on the same route as the Galibier or coming from Alpe d’Huez. To the south is the Col de Vars and then the Col de la Bonette.

When to Climb the Col d’Izoard

The Izoard is open from the end of May / early June to mid / late October (or later if the winter is mild).  With a summit at 2,363 there can be snow at the summit well into June and there can be big temperature changes from Briancon to the top of the climb. The tour comes to the Izoard every two to three years where some of the most famous battles in cycling history have taken place.

Riding the Col d’Izoard

Starting in Briancon, the climb is close to 20km so you will be climbing for 1.5 to 2 hours. This is a climb in two parts, the first 10km is relatively easy averaging 4.3% and the second half at a much steeper 8%.

The climb is well signposted out of Briancon as you follow the D902. There is very little traffic on this road as most of the road traffic takes the main roads south or east. The very start of the climb is at 6% and then quickly the road flattens out to 2 to 5% as you follow the river through a steep valley with high mountains in the distance. This is time to spin easily and get ready mentally for the harder sections to come.

After 10km you reach the small town of Cervieres and take a sweeping right hand turn, this is the point the steepnest and landscape changes. Almost immediately the gradient ramps up to 7 to 8% and by now the road traffic is very low apart from cyclists from all over the world. 4km after Cervieres, the climb becomes spectacular with 20 corners packed into the final 5km. In the last 2km, you get above the tree line and enjoy amazing views of the road below you. The gradients slightly ease up near the top at around 6-7% but you can start to feel the coolness in the air as you get out of the trees. The final left bend gives you one last look at the road you have come up and then you have reached the top with the famous summit marker. There is a small car park here and this is a good place to stop for a drink and some food before layering up for the descent. The first 5km of the descent towards Arvieux is even more spectacular as the final part of the climb. It is easy to ride past the Coppi Bobet monument and the road is very narrow so if you want to take pictures of the Casse Deserte pull in carefully to one of the lookout points.

From either direction this is just a magnificent climb with everything you could want: spectacular views, tons of Tour de France history and very little traffic. Plan your trip to the Izoard NOW!


Col du Galibier

Distance 15.5km

Avg Grade 7%

Lowest Elevation 1503m

Highest Elevation 2560m

Elev Difference 1057m

Climb Category HC

Rider Review

One of the top bucket list climbs of world cycling. The Galibier is one of the highest passes in Europe at 2,642m and it’s Tour de France history is matched by the stunning scenery. The climb is so often the second part of two cols following the (not to be underestimated) Col du Telegraph. After the fun descent you can turn left to Briancon and the Col d’Izoard or right to continue descending the Col du Lauteret and then to Alpe d’Huez. This is hallowed cycling country!

When to ride the Col du Tourmalet

This is one of the highest passes in the Alps and is closed through the winter. It normally opens in early June and closes again in November. The main summer holidays (mid July to mid August) is the hottest period but also brings higher traffic and motorbikes. Our favourite time to ride the Tourmalet is in June or late Aug to mid Sept. The Tour de France comes to town roughly every two years and is a great spot to watch the race go by. The Tourmalet is the penultimate climb on the Marmotte which takes place on the first Sunday of July.

Riding the Col du Tourmalet

Starting in the pretty town of Valloire, you are already at 1,500m so you can get all weather types from the beginning. The way up to Valloire goes over the Col du Telegraph, a punchy 12km at 7% followed by a 5km descent into town. The segment begins about 3km out of town and the first 10km is fairly straight forward as the road follows the river up the valley with gradients fluctuating between 3 and 8%. The views straight away are spectacular but there is no shade and on a hot day this can be sapping.

Cormet de Roselend

Distance 20.1km

Avg Grade 6%

Lowest Elevation 750m

Highest Elevation 1922m

Elev Difference 1172m

Climb Category HC

More About the Event

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We have a team of highly experienced professionals who have been organising cycling trips for over 25 years. We are members of ABTA and ATOL so book with confidence.

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Spread your payments

Our payment plan is an interest-free payment method where you will have the opportunity to spread payment for your booking. *Selected products. Terms and Conditions apply

Logistics covered

We know the routes, we know the roads. We know how the event works and the best hotels for the start and finish. We organise everything for you; transfers, bike transport, additional feed stops, rep support and more.

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