Tag Archives: Tour de France

Tour de France Alpe d’Huez Bike Rental 2018

1 Jun

With most of our bikes hired over the 19th-20th July you may think that is not possible to hire a bike over the very busy Tour de France period.

There are however a few options.

  1. Each year bikes are returned early or are not picked up at all so if you are in the area you can pop in and see what is available. Both our mechanics will be working full time to make bikes available for rent as soon as they are returned from hire. You may therefore have a few hours to hit Alpe d’Huez in an afternoon for example.
  2. There is more availability before the key dates so for example you can hire bikes for 3 days on the 15th-17 th July and tackle the local climbs before we get really busy.
  3. Send us an email and we can come up with a plan on how to maximise your bike hire. You may need to swap bikes because of booking patterns but you will be able to get some riding in.

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Tour de France 2018 on Alpe d’Huez Cycle Hire

10 Oct

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With the area all but confirmed as staging a Tour de France finish in July 2018  and due to many requests we are now taking cycle hire bookings for the event.

For more information please visit our Alpe d’Huez cycle hire for Tour de France page.

The exact dates for the finish in Alpe d’Huez and start in Bourg d’Oisans will be announced on the 17th October 2018 by ASO.

 

 

Tour de France Cycle Hire for Alpe d’Huez 2015

24 Nov

At time of writing we now only have 4 bikes left for hire.

Minimum hire for the Tour de France is 5 days.

Check up to the minute availability online here

Tour de France Stage 13 – Chamrousse and my birthday

30 Jul

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Stage 13 of this year’s TdF travelled south from Saint-Etienne to Chamrousse – a summit finish southeast of Grenoble in the Belledonne mountain range.  The climb is roughly 21km long and very regular on a wide, well surfaced road. The resort was used for the 1968 winter olympics and many of the Olympic ski runs are still in use during the winter.

In contrast to this ascent, there is a more taxing route up.  The Col Luitel joins the Romanche Valley with Chamrousse 1750. The road is narrow and poorly paved.  You climb over 800m in 8km and the gradient only gets steeper as you climb.  The Luitel brings you out about 6km from the summit of Chamrousse 1750.

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For this year’s Tour de France tour, we took the guests up the Luitel to watch the stage finish.  The day was superb with fantastic weather.  Watching the finish on Chamrousse was much different than AdH the year before. The crowds were less and you were able to ride unhindered almost to the finish.  We were stood just before Nibali’s attack. He looked very composed in comparison to the others – riding closed mouthed and seemingly putting nothing through the pedals!

Chamrousse is my favourite climb and without a doubt the best descent in the area. Come ride it with us on the Tour of the Oisans!

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Mont Ventoux Jerseys & T-shirts

6 Sep

Following the success of the Alpe d’Huez range, we have added a new Ventoux line to the PROMPT collection. The design is exactly the same as before and maybe purchased as either a jersey or t-shirt.

Ventoux Jersey

Ventoux Jersey

Ventoux T shirt

Ventoux T shirt

On Wednesday, Hattie & I drove to Provence to ride the Ventoux for the first time. Starting from Sault, we rode towards Bedoin via the stunning Gorges de la Nesque . Rather than heading straight to the Ventoux, we turned back towards Sault and rode the 10km ‘Col de Flassan’. From the top, we looped back to Bedoin and began to climb. The Bedoin Forest section is notoriously hard. The Inner Ring puts it best; ” For the unprepared the 10% slopes become a series of leg-presses: 50 reps a minute for the next hour. For those in better condition or just equipped with low gearing it becomes a winch-like effort.”

From Chalet Reynard, the gradient eases and the iconic calcified summit of the Ventoux is visible. The climb is like no other for most part the famous passes of the Tour de France cut through the mountains. However the Ventoux goes right over the top giving you a spectacular view of Provence. Although the Ventoux dominates the landscape and the cyclo-tourism of the region, there are plenty of other fabulous roads in the area if you are planning to stay for a few days.

Hattie and Me at the Summit

Hattie and Me at the Summit

Climbing towards the summit after Chalet Reynard

Climbing towards the summit after Chalet Reynard

If you haven’t climbed the Ventoux, what about the More Than 21 Bends Alpe d’Huez & Mont Ventoux Tour where you will tackle all the ascents of the Oisans followed by a trip to Provence to scale the Mont Ventoux.

Climbs of Alpe d’Huez to Italy Part 4 -Col d’Izoard

1 Sep

Following the descent of the Col Agnel, you are immediately faced with the Col d’Izoard. From the south, the climb is a misleading 16km at an average of 7%. It is not until you leave the village of Chateau Queyras do you realise how hard the Izoard is. Like so many other climbs, a hairpin signals the start of the real challenge; 9km at 8-9%.

The gentle lower slopes

The gentle lower slopes

The climb is intimidating like no-other. Nearing the summit you enter the barren, lunar landscape of the Casse Déserte. You are surrounded by the iconic sandy eroded rock formation that have played host to numerous iconic Tour de France episodes. From Andy Schleck’s audacious solo-attack to Bernard Thévenet cracking Eddy Merckx, the Izoard has influenced the outcomes of the Tour de France like few others. 2km from the summit, a brief descent leads you to the Coppi & Bobbet memorial – a tribute to the two greats who both crossed the pass alone in the yellow jersey.

The Casse Desserte

The Izoard is the best climb I have ever done. The moment you enter the Casse Déserte, you realise how special this road is. The ascent is hard but the views are stunning – like nothing else in the Alps.

Almost there...

Almost there…

Climbs of Alpe d’Huez to Italy Part 2 – Sestriere

30 Aug

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Following the ascent of Montgenèvre, we continued into Italy via the Colle di Sestriere. The ride is similar to the northen ascent of the Galibier with one col(le) split into two separate climbs. From Cesana Torinese, the climb is 12km long at an average of 6%. As the averages suggest, it is fast and rolling with a couple of steeper pitches upon approach to the ski station. The scenery is stunning with snow-capped mountains and a ravine on your right hand side.

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Sestriere was one of the host towns for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games and on the descent towards Pinerolo, you pass the enormous ski jumps which are still in use. The descent is over 50km and very fast. On the descent you have the possibility of following stage 17 of the 2011 Tour de France by climbing the Colle di Pra Martino. Whilst the climb itself is pleasant, the plummet down the other side makes it really worthwhile. This is where Thomas Voeckler bunny-hopped into a driveway. The descent is very steep and the road surface poor. It twists and turns through tiny villages and the poor surface is hidden by the trees. However despite all of this, it is great fun and a worthwhile detour.

Vincenzo Nibali spooted testing his form before the  Vuelta

Vincenzo Nibali spotted testing his form before the Vuelta