La Marmotte – More than 21 Bends supported day rides

29 Jun

Next weekend. an enormous number of cyclists will visit Bourg d’Oisans to take part in the Marmotte sportive. The route is 170 km and takes in the Col du Glandon, Col de Telegraphe and Col du Galibier before finishing on Alpe d’Huez. For most, the route will take upwards of 8 hours to complete due to the 5000 m of vertical ascent required to complete the course.

Last week, the University of Bristol Bike Club (my old university) came to the Oisans for a week of riding. On the last day, I joined up with them to do the Marmotte route. In spite of an earlier start than they were used to, eighteen riders set off up the Col du Glandon. The ride was superb – all riders were very strong and despite the challenging parcours, all finished in roughly 8 hours (even with some very relaxed grupetto riding on the Telegraphe).

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Luckily for us, the weather was set fair the whole day but arm warmers and a small jacket were still vital due to the altitude gain and the long descents. Carrying enough food and water for the route is hard as there is only so much you can fit in back pockets!

This year, More than 21 Bends have decided to offer day rides for groups of riders wanting to do long rides such as the Marmotte. Van support will be provided and thus all your food and acessories can be placed in the van leaving your back pockets free! In addition, the vehicle support provides the piece of mind that you won’t be stuck in the Maurienne valley for eternity if you have bitten off more than you can chew!

There are many great rides out of reach of most who stay in Bourg d’Oisans. Driving allows one to climb legendary Tour de France passes such as the Col de Madeleine and the Col d’Izoard. In addition, there are some fantastic lesser known routes in the mountain ranges surrounding Grenoble.

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