A 10-stage biking tour on the greatest Alpine climbs of Giro d’Italia and Tour de France

TOUR OF THE LEGENDARY CLIMBS OF THE ALPS

  • Starting price

    € 3860

  • Duration

    12 Days

  • Activity level

    Challenge

  • Departing dates

    20 July 2019

  • Gouided group tour

    Small group minimum 6 riders | Private groups, any size on requested dates

  • Starting location

    Bormio, Italy

  • Final Destination

    Bedoin, France

Support level

  • Accommodation

    4 nights at 4-star | 7 nights at 3-star

  • MEALS

    Ten dinners; all breakfasts.

  • SUPPORT LEVEL

    Guiding; van assistance; mobile workshop; spare bike, bars, gels and electrolytes available on purchase; group transfers from Milano airport to Bormio and from Bedoin to Marseille airport; 10% discount on bike rentals.

  • NOT INCLUDED

    Flight tickets; extras in hotel, etc.; drinks during the dinner; city tax (if any); travel insurance; bike rental; individual arrival and departure transfer.

  • ON REQUEST

    Supplement for single accommodation € 459 p.p.; bike rental.

Send us a quick inquiry

There are places that have been stage for great sport challenges. Among them, some that touch our collective imaginary of cyclists much, are enclosed in the Italian and French Alps.

Alps have been generous or infamous to cyclists, distributing joy, pain, victory over the last hundred years of the most important stage cycling competitions: Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. On their tarmac, cycling fans have written the names of their favorite champions, and champions have written the history of our sport. 

The names of these Alpine passes might be daunting to some: Stelvio, Mortirolo, Gavia, Colle delle Finestre, in Italy, Lautaret, Izoard, Galibier, Alpe d’Huez and Mont Ventoux in France. For this reason, putting our flags on top of them is the biggest prize to us dedicated riders and will stay forever in our minds.

As a living monument to cycling, these mountains pile up more names every season. Names of active cyclists are next to legendary ones. Names like - in the modern history of Tour and Giro - Fausto Coppi, Charly Gaul, Gino Bartali, Louison Bobet, Felice Gimondi, Raymond Poulidor, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Greg LeMond, Miguel Indurain, Marco Pantani, Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali, Chris Froome.

These hall-of-fame names explain why Alps are in the bucket list of committed cyclists from around the world. These are dream roads and dream mountains, and dreams can become true. Should you be afraid of that? Do you need Froome’s legs to enjoy these special places? Not really, that’s not either the intent of this tour. Will these mountains take you out of your comfort zone? Sure they will! We’re instead committed to take you safely and comfortably out of your comfort zone, so you get only the best out of this tour.

This is not a tour for fanatics and it requires a medium fitness level. Detailed briefings, constant contact with our skilled guides, planned food stops, the van always there, perfect Canyon rental bikes make for a safe and enjoyable daily riding. Choice of hotels and restaurants is made with care and with deep knowledge of the places.

Our Route

Day 1: Arrival day

Arrival at Milan airport and transfer to Bormio, Italian Alps. Accommodation and dinner at four-star hotel.

Day 2: Ride to Passo Mortirolo (through Grosio) then Ponte di Legno and Passo Gavia. 105km; 3200m.

Passo Gavia, the final and main climb of the day, is a very challenging climb: first of all because it’s quite long, about 17 kms, then because it gets very high. Thin air at altitude (2600m ASL) is no joke, no way to be really prepared for that. So, better saving legs when possible. For this reason, we tackle the Mortirolo from its ‘easier’ side, from the little town of Grosio, so to lower a little the gradient of the first climb. We climb up Gavia starting from Ponte di Legno, like in occasion the 97th Giro d’Italia (2014), won by the Colombian Nairo Quintana of Movistar Team. Accommodation and dinner at hotel.


Day 3: The two sides of Stelvio pass. 60km; 2200m.

Stelvio pass is in the cycling myth since 1953, after a 34 years old Fausto Coppi, was able to grab his last Giro d’Italia, dropping the GC leader, the Swiss Hugo Koblet, in a legendary day. Stelvio was a dirt road at that time, and bikes were not as sophisticated and lightweight as now. Romantic cycling, as they call it.

“I’m still that eight-year-old kid who rode up the Stelvio. I’m still that kid in my legs, in my head and in my heart.”
–Ivan Basso, former pro cyclist.

There’s big debate among cyclists on which side of Stelvio is the nicest: Lombardy side, from Bormio or Trentino side, from Prato allo Stelvio. We don’t want to influence your opinion, so we give you the opportunity to make your own idea. We ride up from Bormio, go all the way down across Switzerland, and up again from Prato allo Stelvio, enjoying all the famous 48 hairpins up top. Accommodation and dinner at hotel in Bormio.


Day 4: Ride Mortirolo, back through Tirano. 80km; 1925m.

A day dedicated to Mortirolo pass. This must-do HC climb is world famous as is very challenging and steep. It’s been included in the Giro in 1990 and it became famous for the legendary stage of 1994 Giro when a very young Marco Pantani dropped his majesty Miguel Indurain, showing the world a new star was born. A monument to the famous Italian climber is at km 8. Nearly on top of the climb, we take a break at the rifugio, then we go down to Tirano on a super long and winding downhill, then up and down back north to hotel in Bormio.
Coppi wins Giro '53 on Stelvio

Day 5: Ride to Cancano lakes. 25km; 1000m.

Ride to Cancano lakes. 25km; 1000m. Last day in Bormio. We have a long transfer today, but we want anyway enjoy some quality riding. Why don’t going for a lovely ride up Cancano lakes? Short but gorgeous, it gives us the time to take a shower, have a light lunch and move to Oulx, Piedmont, about 400km away. Accommodation and dinner at three-star hotel in Sauze d’Oulx.

Day 6: Colle delle Finestre and Sestriere loop. 101KM; 3000M.

Return to origin is the subtitle of this stage. Yes, because history from the heroic age of cycling’s been written on dirt roads, and races are now recovering this tradition by using bits of mountain roads still not covered with tarmac. Quite like the iconic last 8km of Colle delle Finestre. First stage of this new - old fashion - trend has been the Savigliano to Sestriere stage of Giro 2005, that featured two ascents up Sestriere and finally Colle delle Finestre. It’s been a blast seeing the riders climbing up in a cloud of dust and it showed to worldwide race organizers that bringing cycling back to origin was worth the risk. Only big climbers have completed this climb in the first positions, but everybody bear in mind Chris Froome’s legendary attack from the very beginning of this climb, taking him to the victory of both stage and Giro 2018, with an action that for timing and location bring modern cycling 50 years back in time. Well, we actually need to go there, right? Stage start and finish are at Sauze d’Oulx. Accommodation and dinner in an excellent three-star hotel.

Day 7: Col d’Izoard and Col del Lautaret. 75KM; 2200M.

We do a quick transfer beyond the French border and start our ride in Briancon. It’s the door to another bucket list climb: Col de l’Izoard. Coppi, Bobet, Bartali, Bahamontes, Pantani and many other famous cyclists had glorious days, flying over the last climb’s hairpins, known for its lunar aspect. We ride all the way up, at 2361m, enjoy a meal at the Refuge Napoleon at 2200m, and cycle down to cross Briancon and ride the Col del Lautaret, Serre Chevalier side. After this very long climb with gentle gradients, we enjoy the lovely downhill down to the hotel of destination, in the little village of La Grave. Accommodation and dinner in an excellent three-star hotel.

Day 8: Col del Lautaret and Col du Galibier. 47KM; 1420M.

Again mountains with two rideable sides, and both fantastic. We start with the Lautaret, which is not among the tallest mountains with its 2058m, but it’s the door to Galibier, one of the highest tops of this tour, at 2645m, and very often the tallest mountain climbed during the Tour de France. Tour de France did Galibier 59 times so far, and, as usual on so high passes, any year is a new page on a history book. To understand better, two monuments have been left here by French. One is to Henri Desgranges, founder of Tour de France, the other is to Marco Pantani, who made French enthusiasts fall in love with him because of his racing style, voted to spectacular actions on the most important climbs. It’s a place we cannot miss. And we won’t. We ride back to La Grave and have dinner at hotel.

Day 9: Alpe d’Huez. 41KM; 1800M.

It’s the Tour de France climb par excellence. You might think it’s because is a very tall mountain. But it’s not, actually, being just 1885m ASL. It’s instead because of its consistently challenging gradient - around 8% on a 14 km leg - that puts cyclists, even pro riders - on test. Especially when it comes after so many elevation meters gained during the week. We get there cycling down from La Grave to Le Burg d’Oisans: from there, in a pretty sudden way, we start going up on a immediately steep slope. We’re sure we won’t break the sub 37 minutes record set by Marco Pantani in 1995. And for sure neither Pantani, nor the pro cyclists who raced there next, could have enjoyed a well deserved beer on top of the mountain, as for sure we’ll do. Privilege of being slow riders. Our stage ends there. Accommodation at Alpe d’Huez at three star hotel.

Day 10: Gorge de la Nesque. 80KM; 1250M.

We move to the lovely French region called Provence to enjoy the last two days of this amazing trip. It’s a long way on the van from Alpe d’Huez to Bedoin. We’ll have the time for a light lunch at hotel and go for a short but awesome ride through the natural monument called Gorge de la Nesque. Little gradients, wild nature, spectacular views make for the best appetizer for us who like to taste a lovely dinner accompanied by a local red wine. Accommodation and dinner in a four-star hotel in Bedoin.

Day 11: Mont Ventoux loop. 58KM; 1950M.

Is there a best way than climbing Mont Ventoux to put an end to a cycling adventure like this? We don’t really think so. Mont Ventoux is another myth of cycling. Like Alpe d’Huez, is not among the tallest mountains, but any cyclists bear in mind this huge mountain that pops up from the hills of Provence, with its white cap caused by the total lack of vegetation on its limestone slopes. We know what you’re thinking? Will the view be the same as I’ve seen on the TV, watching the Tour? Yes, it will. In the last 4 km you’ll find yourself immersed in the same unusual, desertic, dazzling white top, with the television tower that indicates where the finish line is. This will be your last stage, and, even though the climb is very long - 15km, 7.7% AVG gradient - and your legs very tired, you won’t want the ride and this amazing travel to end. We stop at the refuge, on top, to enjoy a lunch with view, then we enjoy the very long and quick descent to Bedoin. Accommodation and dinner in a four-star hotel in Bedoin.

Day 12: Farewell and departure day.

Transfer to Marseille airport and end of services.

Resources

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We have (so far) three offices accross Italy. Contact us via email, call us or drop by.

Cagliari

Headquarters

Via Gaetano Donizetti, 7
Quartu Sant'Elena, Italy
+39 070 204 10 29
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Costa Smeralda

@ Hotel Airone

SP59 to Baia Sardinia
Arzachena, Italy
+39 070 204 10 29
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Letojanni

Sicily headquarters

Via Vittorio Emanuele, 130
Letojanni, Italy
+39 340 342 6320
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