I have a great memory of reaching the top of Bonnet. I was cold and tired - the weather was miserable up there. I asked Tez if he had any more warmer hats for the descent. He had none left and pulled his own off his head and gave it to me! I gratefully took it!
The Raid Alpine is a historic road cycling journey from Lake Geneva to Antibes on the Cote d’Azur. It is a fitting challenge for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust 2020 charity ride, as in just 6 days the team will take on 800km of the most feared Alpine roads, accumulating a gravity-defying 19,000m of ascent!
En route, you pass over Tour de France classics like the Col de l’Iseran, Cime de la Bonette and Col du Galibier. The scenery shifts dramatically from quintessential Alpine meadow views in the North to rocky gorges and the Mediterranean scrublands of the South. There is no doubt that the best way to explore this part of Europe is on a road bike.
For this challenge, Marmot Tours will provide four highly customised support vans, offering mechanical, first-aid, nutritional and emotional support. Our guides are attentive and energetic and keep it fun, so all you have to do is eat, sleep and cycle.
To find out more about the history and format of a Raid, click here for our blog.
- Transfers (with bike boxes) from Geneva Airport and back to Nice Airport (on the set transfer days)
- 7 nights accommodation (mix of 2-star and 3-star hotels)
- breakfasts (supplemented with cereal, meats, eggs and cheese)
- 3-course evening meals (with up to half a bottle of wine per person per night)
- A celebratory meal in Antibes
- Snacks, fruit, cake, water etc. from the vans on cycling days
- 4 fully customised vehicles for all your nutritional, mechanical, moral support and first aid needs
- 4 x experienced Marmot Tours guides
- Colour route maps with directions and profiles of the climbs
- GPS files
- Raid Alpine registration with certificate & medal for successful finishers
- Drinks/coffees during the day (water top-ups available from vans)
- Bike hire (if required)
A 10% group discount on the basic holiday price is available to all riders, bringing the holiday cost down to £1350.
Departure Dates & Prices
We are pleased to offer some tempting discounts on the basic trip cost (not including extras such as single rooms or bike hire):
- Book & pay your deposit more than 6 months in advance of the start of your holiday for our 5% Early Bookers discount
- Be rewarded for your loyalty by receiving a 10% discount from your 3rd Marmot trip onwards
- Get a group of 10+ people together for a 10% Group discount
Please note that there is a maximum 10% discount on any holiday.
Day 0: Sunday 28th June - Travel out
We offer transfers from Geneva Airport to Thonon Les Bains (1hr) throughout the day. Latest arrival time in Geneva is 17:00.
Meet your guides, assemble bikes and have a welcome briefing and great dinner.
Day 1: Thonon Les Bains to La Clusaz (137km with 3700m ascent)
Enjoy a gentle warm-up from the shores of Lake Geneva before the first climb (and stamp) of the trip, the diminutive Col des Moises (1118m). From here your route takes you through quiet pine forests and over the stunning foothills of the Alps. Along the way, you’ll pass over the stunning Col de Terramont (1080m), Jambaz (1027m) and Col de la Ramaz (1557m), and on to the classic Col de la Colombière (1613m) towards the end of the day (ok, not quite such a ‘foothill!’).
137km with 3700m ascent [ride profile]
Day 2: La Clusaz to Val d'Isère (124km with 3750m ascent)
A beautiful ride today through some of the most well-known areas of the Alps. Tick off the final few km of the Col des Aravis (1487m) before crossing into the Savoie region and taking on the Col des Saisies (1633m) with its fabulous descent to the ‘cheese mecca’ of Beaufort. The climbs come in thick and fast today and next up is the Cormet de Roselend (1968m). You are rewarded with great views all afternoon and an epic 26km descent to Bourg St Maurice. All that is left then is to climb up to the ski resort of Val d’Isère.
124km with 3750m ascent [ride profile]
Day 3: Val d'Isère to Le Villard (155km with 3450m ascent)
There are two great TDF climbs today. Starting from the hotel you finish off the mighty Col de l’Iseran (2770m). From here we enjoy a great descent to Lanslebourg before climbing up onto the balcony road over the Cote d’Aussois (1519m). Your next down section takes you all the way to the foot of the Col du Télégraphe (1566m), which leads on to the infamous Col du Galibier (2642) with its ‘sting in the tail’ (10% av. gradient for the last km). With that ticked off you head to the pretty mountain resort Le Villard for the night.
155km with 3450m ascent [ride profile]
Day 4: Le Villard to Le Sauze (108km with 2700m ascent)
Today’s ride is a bit kinder but still full of classics! A short descent to Briançon takes us to the base of the beautiful Col d’Izoard (2361m) with its monuments to Fausto Coppi and Louison Bobet. It is an epic 19km climb so you get a good run downhill afterwards before taking on the Col de Vars (2109m) with great views of classic Alpine meadows. Here the scenery changes as we descend through a deep gorge and up to our hotel in the ski station of Le Sauze.
108km with 2700m ascent [ride profile]
Day 5: Le Sauze to Valberg (117km with 3200m ascent)
Today’s main event is the highest road in Europe, up and around the famous Cime de la Bonette (2802m). It is a long climb at 23km but fairly steady and you earn an incredible 53km descent from the top down to St-Sauveur-sur-Tinée. Just one more cliff-hugging climb to go, the Col de la Couillole (1678m), before you reach the iconic ski town of Valberg for a well-earned rest.
117km with 3200m ascent [ride profile]
Day 6: Valberg to Antibes (157km with 2200m ascent)
Start the day with a stunning descent through the Gorges du Cians today before climbing the Col de St Raphaël (876m) and undulating across some fabulous countryside – drier and distinctly Mediterranean! The last main col of the Raid is the Col de Bleine (1439m) followed by a 27km descent to St Vallier de Thiey. One more pimple to cross, the Col du Pilon (786m) before you head into suburban Cote d’Azur. Head to the coast and along to Antibes – let the celebration begin!
157km with 2200m ascent [ride profile]
Day 7: Travel Back
We offer included transfers from the hotel to Nice Airport (30mins) during the morning.