The Rapha Randonnée Alps follows the classic Route des Grandes Alpes, taking in historic climbs of the Tour de France including some of the most majestic mountain passes in the world. Starting at Lake Geneva, we’ll head south through the Savoie, over the Massif des Ecrins, the Alpes de Haute Provence and Alpes Maritimes before arriving at the Cote d’Azur in Nice. These are the roads on which heroes are made and Tours won and lost, where the pain and suffering of a 30km climb are palliated by jawdropping views and seemingly endless descents on beautiful, smooth roads. Ride past glaciers through some of Europe’s most forbidding peaks, and over remote, wild cols, eventually to descend to the gentleness, warmth and chic civilisation of the French Riviera, and the azure waters of the Mediterranean.
- Groups of 15 riders
- Unique routes, curated by Rapha riders
- Six to nine nights accommodation
- Discounts on Rapha apparel
- Meticulous planning and logistical support
- Pro-level bike hire
- Ride guides, mechanic and soigneur support
- Massage and laundry
- Single-occupancy accommodation
- Jaguar support cars
Amazing trip. We really enjoyed the Randonnee style, switching locations every night and the route was great.
I had a wonderful time. Great staff & support, well organized. A very helpful crew that provided fast solutions to every problem. Bike maintenance was exceptional! I'll do it again.
The Rapha personnel on the trip were all exceptional in terms of knowledge, skill and attention to detail. The vehicle support and quality of bikes was excellent.
“Every fan of the sport needs to ride the legendary Alpine cols. Ride through road racing history as you take in iconic climbs like the Colombière, Izoard and Alpe d’Huez. Riding these roads for yourself makes watching the pros in the Tour even more special.”
– Simon Mottram, Rapha CEO
Day 1: Èvian – Megève
Stats: 130 kilometres, and 3,070m of climbing
Major Climbs: Col de la Colombière (1,613m), Col des Aravis (1,486m)
Spectacular views as you depart from the shores of Lake Geneva towards the warm-up climbs of the Col de Cou and the Plaine Joux, which ease us into the first big test, the Colombière. Be sure to save something for its tortuous final kilometre at 10%. The gentle and pretty Aravis follows.
Day 2: Megève – Brides Les Bains
Stats: 140 kilometres, and 3,500m of climbing
Main climbs: Col des Saisies, Cormet de Roseland
We roll out from Megève to ride the Col des Saisies before the delights and surprises of the Cormet de Roselend, with its wooded valleys and ice-scoured rock faces. A sinuous descent to Bourg St Maurice follows, where Johann Bruyneel famously came off on an unexpected bend.
Day 3: Brides Les Bains – L’Alpe D’Huez
Stats: 130 kilometres, and 4,190m of climbing
Major climbs: Col de la Madeleine (1,993m), Col du Glandon (1,924m), L’Alpe d’Huez (1,850m)
A route worthy of a Grand Tour stage, finishing atop Alpe d’Huez. En route are the monstrous ascents of the Madeleine and Glandon, some of the best and most historic riding in the northern Alps. The Glandon will star in stage 18 of the 2015 Tour de France, while Alpe d’Huez, which appears only 24 hours before the Champs-Élysées, could this year be decisive.
Day 4: L’Alpe D’Huez – Jausiers
Stats: 163 kilometres, and 3,495m climbing
Main climbs: Col d’Izoard (2,360m), Col de Vars (2,108m)
We descend from Alpe d’Huez via the beautiful back road, the Col de Sarenne, before the long steady climb of the Lautaret. Enjoy the descent to Briancon before tackling another legendary climb, the Col d’Izoard, Fausto Coppi’s mountain. The Col de Vars brings us close to the Italian border before we reach Jausiers.
Day 5: Jausiers – Le Martre
Stats: 125 kilometres, and 2,600m of climbing
Major Climb: Col d’Allos
The stunning climb of the quiet, wooded Col d’Allos (2,250m) also features in the 2015 Tour de France. It’s one of the gems of the Alpes Maritimes. We’ll descend the way the pros will climb all the way to Castellane, passing the beautiful, topaz-coloured Lac de Castillon, and our evening’s destination, the pretty village of La Martre.
Day 6: Le Martre – Nice
Stats: 118 kilometres and 2,100m climbing
Major Climbs: Col des Lattes (1,174m), Col de Bleine (1,439m), Col de Castellaras (1,248m), Col de Vence (963m)
From the Alpes Maritimes and the arrière pays of Nice to the sea – you won’t believe such amazing mountains are so close to the Mediterranean. The wooded switchbacks of the Col de Bleine are testing, but the descent is fast. Our final col is Vence, a favoured training slope for the area’s many pros. Nice, the Italianate capital of the Côte d’Azur will provide us a chic welcome and a memorable celebration meal.