Protected: John Lewis Charity Cycling Challenge 2019

  • Wednesday 25th to Sunday 29th September 2019
  • 3 days of cycling in the beautiful Provence, naturally including Mt. Ventoux
  • Challenge yourself by cycling up Ventoux 1,2 or 3 times (Club des Cinglés challenge)
  • Exceptional support from 2 experienced guides in customised vehicles
  • Lovely 3* hotel in its own grounds, with swimming pool
  • Included transfers from/to Marseille Airport
  • Non-cycling partners welcome (15% discount off the basic trip cost)

Book out a trip

Booking your road cycling holiday – We are happy for groups of 18 – 20 to fill any of our published departure dates and we can then mould the trip to suit you best. Smaller groups wanting their own trip are also welcome to get in touch but there will be price implications to your reduced group size. Larger groups up to 25 are also welcome. If you have a date in mind then it is worth getting in touch up to 12 months or more in advance.

We can…

Tweak an existing itinerary: If you like the general look of a road cycling trip but want to include a particular mountain climb you like, or stay in a particular area longer etc and can chat through with you how to meet the needs of your whole group.

Arrange airport transfers to suit your groups arrival/departure times

Chat through options for using our stats and logos on any group jerseys/merchandise you may have.

Discuss options for a new itinerary or destination not currently offered by Marmot Tours. Trips costs will be higher due to the development work involved in organising a holiday to the same high spec as our off the peg tours.

Marmot Tours has supported many a charity or corporate group taking on a Raid challenge. The Raid Pyrenean lends itself particularly well to a group or charity challenge but any of our challenges are applicable. What about a visit to a Winter triathlon training camp? What better way to train in the Winter than to navigate the mountains of Europe? If you are looking for a cycling challenge and aren’t sure which one might best suit your groups then please do drop us a line and we’ll give you our expert advice.

 

Bespoke

Its little things that make the difference:

2019 John Lewis Property Department cycling charity challenge

Mont Ventoux has been stirring things up in the Tour de France world since it was first introduced over 60 years ago. It became infamous when it claimed the life of the British rider Tom Simpson in 1967 and has since become a Mecca for cyclists from all over the world wanting to battle the elements up this iconic, arid, rocky moonscape of a climb.

The ‘Club des Cinglés de Mont Ventoux’ translates as the ‘brotherhood of the Ventoux nutters’ – very apt for anyone that cycles up Mont Ventoux 3 times in a day from all directions (4443m ascent in 136km)! Marmot Tours loves a challenge and this ‘focused minibreak’ is as good as they come. If you register for the official challenge, you get awarded a certificate and medal if you make all 3 climbs, though there is no pressure to take part in the registered challenge if you prefer to just climb the mountain once (or twice!).

In order to give you the best chance of success on Ventoux, days 2 and 3 are interchangeable, so we can choose the day with the best weather for your challenge. On the arrival day, there is the option of a lovely warm-up ride through the local vineyards and villages and the other two full days on the bike offer a beautiful circuit through Provence, around the base of Mont Ventoux and an exploration of the scenic mountains to the North of Ventoux. We stay in the perfectly located and very relaxing 3* Domaine des Tilleuls hotel (with swimming pool) and eat dinner in the town of Malaucène, a short walk away. Non-cycling partners are welcome to book too – grab a couple of days R & R in great surroundings or rent an e-bike locally to support your partner on their challenge.

Includes:

  • Transfers (with bike boxes) from/to Marseille Airport
  • 4 x nights in the 3-star Hotel Domaine de Tilleuls in Malaucène
  • 4 x breakfasts
  • 4 x 3-course evening meals in a local restaurant (with up to half a bottle of wine per person per night)
  • 3 x picnic lunch on cycling days
  • snacks, fruit, cake etc. on cycling days
  • 2 x fully customised vehicles for all your nutritional, mechanical, moral support and first aid needs
  • 2 x experienced Marmot Tours guides
  • Colour route maps with directions and profiles of the climbs
  • GPS files

Not included:

  • Registration for the Club des Cinglés challenge (£30 per person, including admin fee and postage of medals)
  • Flights
  • Drinks/coffees during the day (water top ups available from vans)

More information (downloads):

Example trips

Wed 25th September

We offer included transfers (with bike boxes) from Marseille Airport to our hotel in Malaucène at the base of Ventoux (1hr 45mins) on September 25th at either 11:30 or 16:30.

Direct Flight options from the UK (not included in price):

Heathrow (British Airways) – Dpt LHR 07:20, arr MRS 10:15 or Dpt LHR 13:05, arr MRS 16:00

Gatwick (Easy Jet) – Dpt LGW 07:55, arr MRS 10:55

Luton (Easy Jet) – Dpt LTN 07:10, arr MRS 10:25

There are indirect flights from other UK regional airports that can be found on Skyscanner.

Those of you on the early flights will have time to assemble bikes and go for a pre-dinner ride in the hills to the West. We suggest a 52km route through vineyards and rural villages, with 700m of ascent to warm up the legs.

Thursday 26th September

Size up your challenge with a ride around the base of Ventoux on one of 2 routes, allowing you to choose how much to do today. Provence offers an extensive network of quiet roads, pretty villages, gorges and cheeky little climbs so you will love today’s route.

Option 1: Cote de Bluye + Col de Aurel + Gorges de la Nesque (103km, 1400m ascent)
Undulate on the road flanking Ventoux to climb up the Cote de Bluye (578m) from where you can see the weather station at the top high up above you. Continue to Sault for a sneaky cafe stop before joining a narrow cliff hugging road to the Gorges de la Nesque. The descent towards Bedoin is a highlight. Nip back to the hotel over the Col de la Madelaine (451m)

Option 2: Option 1 + Col de Macuegne + Col de l’Homme Mort (122km with 1900m ascent)
Branch off from Option 1 at Montbrun les Bains to climb up the Col de Macuegne (1068m).  It leads you neatly into the Col de l’Homme Mort (1213m), a very pleasant climb offering amazing views of Ventoux. Descend into Sault to rejoin Option 1.

Friday 27th September

N.B., that the routes outlined for day 2 & 3 are interchangeable, depending on the weather forecast.

Challenge day! If you’ve opted for the Club des Cinglés Challenge, the rules are simple: ride all 3 roads up Mont Ventoux (1911m) in a single day, getting your route card stamped each time at the base and at the summit. The ascent from Sault is the easiest so we will do this last,…the jury is out as to which of the other 2 (from Bedoin or from Malaucene) is the tougher!

With our 2 support vehicles we will be there to support you regardless of your speed and would like to emphasise that there is no pressure to complete the official challenge. Climbing Ventoux just once is a great achievement and this is an opportunity to meet your own personal goals.

Option 1: Ventoux from Bedoin (55km with 1700m of ascent)
Option 2: Ventoux from Bedoin and Sault 106km with 2800m ascent)
Option 3: Club des Cinglés Challenge: Ventoux from Malaucene, Bedoin and Sault (136km with 4443m ascent)

 

 

Saturday 28th September

The mountains to the north of Ventoux are often overlooked, but as you will discover, they are stunningly beautiful.

Our excursion into the Parc regional des Baronnies Provencales takes you over the Côte de Bluye (578m), whilst option 2 detours early into the ride to take on the Col du Perty (1302m) and the Col St-Jean (1158m).

Option 1: Cote de Bluye (94km with 1100m of ascent)
Option 2: Col du Perty, Col St Jean + Cote de Bluye (143km with 2200m of ascent)

 

Sunday 29th September

Our included transfers drop you off at Marseille Airport at 08:45, having left the hotel at 07:00.

Direct Flight options to the UK (not included):

Heathrow (British Airways) – Dpt MRS 11:10, arr LHR 12:15

Gatwick (EasyJet) – Dpt MRS 11:25, arr LGW 12:15

Luton (EasyJet) – Dpt MRS 10:55, arr LTN 11:50

There are indirect flights to other UK regional airports that can be found on Skyscanner.

I have done the survey but I would like to say thanks again for the experience.  The quality, care and attention to detail means Marmot is always recommended by me to other people.  The guides were perfect. M Breeden, Ventoux Cingles Challenge

Bespoke

You may be coming on a group holiday but at Marmot Tours we are all about the individual…

From the smallest detail to significant aspects of your holiday: there are many ways that we can make one of our Marmot Tours holidays about you.

Book out a trip

Booking your road cycling holiday – We are happy for groups of 18 – 20 to fill any of our published departure dates and we can then mould the trip to suit you best. Smaller groups wanting their own trip are also welcome to get in touch but there will be price implications to your reduced group size. Larger groups up to 25 are also welcome. If you have a date in mind then it is worth getting in touch up to 12 months or more in advance.

We can…

Tweak an existing itinerary: If you like the general look of a road cycling trip but want to include a particular mountain climb you like, or stay in a particular area longer etc and can chat through with you how to meet the needs of your whole group.

Arrange airport transfers to suit your groups arrival/departure times

Chat through options for using our stats and logos on any group jerseys/merchandise you may have.

Discuss options for a new itinerary or destination not currently offered by Marmot Tours. Trips costs will be higher due to the development work involved in organising a holiday to the same high spec as our off the peg tours.

Marmot Tours has supported many a charity or corporate group taking on a Raid challenge. The Raid Pyrenean lends itself particularly well to a group or charity challenge but any of our challenges are applicable. What about a visit to a Winter triathlon training camp? What better way to train in the Winter than to navigate the mountains of Europe? If you are looking for a cycling challenge and aren’t sure which one might best suit your groups then please do drop us a line and we’ll give you our expert advice.

 

Bespoke

Its little things that make the difference:

  • We are available pre trip to answer any questions you have and send you oodles of information on your holiday so you are utterly prepared.
  • We can give you advice on which of our off the peg trips are most suitable to your experience.
  • We can help you with travel plans that dovetail personal holidays around a Marmot Tour
  • Mini groups: If you are coming on a trip and there are 3 or 4 of you with the same travel ideas, then let us know what they are and we may be able to tailor our standard trip logistics to help you.
  • Medium groups: We can take groups of up to 12 people on any of our departures (availability allowing). A 10% discount is available for any groups of 10 or more.
  • We can invoice you, a group organizer or even someone not coming on the trip.
  • We can liaise with a group organizer to help them keep track of who is booked on what and who has paid what… we know it can be a thankless task akin to herding cats!
  • Bike hire: With a variety of stem lengths, we can ensure a best fit of our hire bike to your requirements

Example trips

LeRoux

Egbert Le Roux and a group of his mates wanted to cycle the Classic Alpine cols.  Coming from South Africa, their trip was a few months in the planning and we helped them tweak the itinerary to suit them, arrange transport to meet their international flights, bike hire to avoid them having to transport bikes, and visa letters so they could get into France!  We even put our Dutch speaking guide onto the trip as he could understand a fair bit of Afrikaans!     This is what they had to say after their Tour:

“For all of us, the company, the Tour, and the achievement of cresting some of the most famous cols in cycling will forever be remembered and cherished”. E Le Roux 2014

John Lewis Venture Group

John Lewis Venture Club have done two different Raids with Marmot Tours; the Pyrenean and the Raid Alpine N – S.  The nature of their group, spanning the breadth of John Lewis services, meant us taking a slightly larger group than normal: 25 clients.  We liaised closely with their group organiser, invoicing through the corporate system, and matching our transport logistics to suit the group.  This is what they thought of their tour:

 

Club 200

A 20 strong group of South Africans wanted to come over and do the Raid Pyrenean with Marmot Support.  They were fit cyclists who do an annual holiday together and loved the idea of taking on the traverse of the Pyrenees in 100 hours.  We sent them logos for their trip jerseys, arranged transport for their group, sorted out visa letters and worked closely with their group leader to ensure we had everyone organised for the holiday.

“A huge thank you to you and everybody who have given us such a wonderful time. To everybody at Marmot, you are stars and your back up when needed was unbelievable and so re-assuring!  To Alan and Terry you guys are Pro’s beyond your years! Everybody commented on your incredible support, always being there and your willingness to go way beyond the call of duty! You are part of the team and its not often that I cannot find words to express my gratitude to all at Marmot, but thats how I feel this afternoon!” James Parkin 2014

Goh Group

A group of 6 friends from Singapore wanted to try out our Pyrenean Classic Cols Minibreak.  We arranged a special transfer to meet their transcontinental flight and they joined an ‘off the peg’ departure date.  They thought this of their trip:

“I really enjoyed my trip to the Pyrenees this year with Kevin and Alan.  So much so that some of us are considering doing the Classic Cols of the Picos from 24 to 31 May next year.. What availability do you have ?” E Goh 2014

The background organisation and planning was superb and clearly reflected the time that you’ve been “raiding” in France. I especially appreciated the great service (bags in rooms) and friendly support throughout the 450 miles on the road. This was certainly my best cycle tour holiday and from what I know betters anything that any friends have done.

Adrian Turner