Tough riding in beautiful surroundings
Rapha Retreat Le Grand Banc is like no other riding excursion. Groups of 15 to 18 riders will stay at Le Grand Banc, a private hamlet on the edge of the Luberon valley, one of the most untouched and tranquil parts of rural Provence. The riding here is special, not just because of the quiet roads and tough climbs, but also because of the rustic scenery and local culture.
These Retreats are Rapha’s version of a training camp: you get as much hard riding as you can handle, but don’t have to compromise on your surroundings and service in the process. You’ll enjoy complete peace and relaxation like any great holiday yet offset with the physical challenge of riding every day in some of the most beautifully tough terrain in Europe. You will return home a stronger rider, with a peaceful mind and lifelong memories.
Le Grand Banc features a variety of rooms that can accommodate couples, singles and even triples. The total price per person varies between £2100-£2480 depending on your room selection.
|Start Date||End Date||Pricing|
|4 May 2014||9 May 2014||£2100 – £2480||Book now »|
|11 May 2014||16 May 2014||£2100 – £2480||Book now »|
|14 Sep 2014||19 Sep 2014||£2100 – £2480||Book now »|
|28 Sep 2014||3 Oct 2014||£2100 – £2480||Book now »|
A typical week will see you ride the incredible Gorges de la Nesque, Montagne de Lure, the rolling Luberon hills, and climb up to the famous white scree slopes of Mt. Ventoux, arguably the most hallowed climb in the history of road racing.
Our experienced ride guides tailor each day to be different and with varying degrees of difficulty and route options, depending on how you’re feeling. An 87km loop taking in a quiet winding climb on the first day could be followed the next with a 130km journey up to the summit of Ventoux.
Two of the typical rides on offer:
Mount Ventoux 125km | 3365m gain
The ride that needs no real introduction, follow in the wheels of the greatest riders in world. Just because they went faster, their pain was the same. The route climbs up from Bédoin through the steep gradients of the forest before opening out to the white rock and exposed road to the summit. The descent is speedy and entertaining.
Tour de Luberon – 105km | 1779m gain
This ride offers an insight into the Provence way of life. The famous relaxed uninquisitive culture is showcased on the sweeping valley roads. It is easy to see why the rich and famous choose to hideaway in the Luberon region as the route takes in sleepy villages, grapevines and picture postcard outlooks everywhere. Highlights also include the unique and colourful rock formations in Roussillon.
Called Le Grand Banc, this private hamlet overlooks 400 acres of farmland, scrub oak, lavender and cypress trees. It’s the perfect base from which to explore the region, and is serviced with outdoor dining terraces, a swimming pool, and interiors decorated with classic furniture and collectable artworks.
You’ll be picked up from the airport in a Rapha Travel Jaguar Sportbrake and transported to Le Grand Banc. After a fitting for your custom Rapha Pinarello Dogma, and greeting your fellow riders, you can take a spin to open the legs, get a massage, go for a dip in the pool and unwind.
Each day begins with a breakfast made up of local produce, prepared by our inhouse cook. Then we’ll lead rides ranging from two to six hours, taking in café stops and lunch breaks, always supported by our ride guides, mechanic and soigneur, on hand for any nutritional, mechanical or biomechanics request.
Massage and laundry is taken care of upon returning to base, and your typical Provencal evening meal can be enjoyed in the open-air dining-terrace or one of the many dining rooms. We do it all over again the next day, getting into a rhythm of riding and relaxing in complete style.
For non-riding partners and guests there are activities to enjoy beyond relaxing at Le Grand Banc such as hiking and visiting local markets and villages like Simiane-la-Rotonde. We’ll also have special guests stay and ride with us, such as ex-pro and writer Tom Southam and Bart Brackez, Thor Hushovd’s personal soigneur.
“The Retreat was remarkable for so many reasons. Each detail was considered, the riding was incredible and I’ve honestly never stayed in such an amazing location as Le Grand Banc.”
– Josef Hazard
“Unforgettable. Blissful. I’ll be back next summer.”
– Marcus Mann
“I didn’t think I could keep up with the boys when I arrived, but I ended up one of the stronger climbers. It’s changed my life.”
– Juliette Ripley-Jones