Our Introduction to the Alps camp in La Clusaz is all about enjoying the best of the northern Alps and tackling iconic climbs like the Colombière, the Aravis, the Glières and the Croix-Fry.
We base this camp in the outstanding Hotel Beauregard 4*, a wonderfully welcoming, comfortable hotel complete with spa, swimming pool and gourmet restaurant. Post-ride massages and osteopathy sessions are available on demand.
You can ride at your own pace and different groups will form so that you are with people at your own level. No stress, just enjoy!
The coach to rider ratio is 1:5 or better, ensuring that you will have plenty of one-on-one feedback. We’ll help you become a stronger rider with regular use of video for analysis and feedback. You can have a daily debrief with a coach and you can join the evening Coach’s Corner sessions on topics such as riding in the mountains, nutrition and tips for riding sportives.
The total number of participants is limited to 16, to ensure a friendly, close-knit group where everybody can get to know everybody. Come as guests, leave as friends!
Bike hire is available on request.
Tour des Glières via the col des Fleuries and the Gorges du Borne (79km, 1,425m)
We begin the week with a fairly easy ride around the massif des Glières, during which the coaches observe your basic bike-handling, cornering and climbing skills. After the descent to Thônes we take the very quiet old Roman road to Thorens des Glières and climb the (easy) col des Fleuries. Once over the top there is a nice descent to La Roche sur Foron, before turning east and skirting the mountain round to the entrance to the Gorges du Borne. We follow the river all the way up the valley for 15 km before turning off for the final climb to La Clusaz. Throughout the ride, we pay close attention to your pacing to ensure you stay at the right level for a long endurance ride.
Crest Voland via the col des Aravis (40km, 1,030m)
Descending is a crucial skill to master if you are going to ride in the mountains. Our goal today is to help you make a big improvement in your ability to descend confidently. We begin by warming up on the 6 km climb to the col des Aravis., where we organise a descending clinic. Each rider has the opportunity to descend multiple times with a coach and to be videoed multiple times. This enables us to provide immediate feedback, and the video allows you to observe your own technique. We continue the descent to Flumet and an optional loop on the lower slopes of the Saisies before stopping for a well-earned coffee. Back over the col des Aravis and home for lunch!
Three cols: the col du Marais, the col de l’Epine and col de la Croix-Fry (72km, 1,650m)
The route today takes us over three cols, of which we save the toughest for last! We start with the descent to Thônes, then over the very easy col du Marais and down to the bottom of the valley. Back over the col de l’Epine and finally the col de la Croix-Fry – both these climbs used recently in the Tour de France. The coaching focus is on climbing technique and pacing. We look at your seated pedalling technique and how it varies between the moderate and steep pitches, and we look at your standing technique to help you “dance” on the pedals like a pro. There’s a great café on the Croix-Fry for a coffee (or even a beer) before the final few kilometres down to La Clusaz.
Plateau des Glières (73km, 1,750m)
It is an exciting ride today on part of the 2018 and 2020 Tour de France routes: we go up to the Plateau de Glières and over the famous gravel section! This is nothing to worry about: the gravel section is a gentle rise, short and very hard-packed. Back on tarmac there is a beautiful descent to practice on before we pick up the old Roman road back through Dingy St Clair. After a coffee stop in Thônes we take a quiet road back to La Clusaz, through fields and past traditional chalets. Today is the fourth day in the mountains, so once again pacing will be a crucial skill.
Tour des Aravis, via the col des Aravis and the col de la Colombière (97km, 2,280m)
This is the highlight of the week: the Tour des Aravis, including the mighty Colombière, from the tough side of course! The ride begins by the now familiar climb to the col des Aravis and the descent to Flumet, where we turn left and go through the famous ski-station of Megève. Descending from Megève we enjoy stunning views of Mont Blanc before the flat ride out along the valley floor to Cluses, where we will regroup and refuel before tackling the Colombière. The climb is 16 km long, rising 1,100m. There’s an easy bit in the middle at Reposoir, and the hardest bit is at the end. Your reward is a delicious blueberry tart in the summit café!
- Iconic Tour de France climbs
- Expert coaching, on and off the bike
- Outstanding 4* hotel with secure bike storage
- Excellent food: all meals included (breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner)
- Small groups, matched by level
- On-the-road support vehicle with free energy drinks and snacks
- Mechanical assistance
- Coach’s Corner evening seminars on cycling performance
- Photographs taken during the week (digital copies)
- Airport transfers (Geneva airport one hour)
- Official Tour Operator, registered and approved in France
- Full financial protection (International Passenger Protection Ltd.)
- Bicycle hire (optional extra)
- Massage or osteopathy (optional extra)