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

    € 3569

  • Duration

    12 Days

  • Activity level

    Challenge

  • Departing dates

    25 July 2020

  • Guided 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 we known for their great challenges in the world of sports. Among them are those that take place in the Italian and French Alps. 

The Alps have provided fame or infamy for cyclists over the past hundred years during the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, two of the most important stage cycling competitions in the world. Cycling fans write the names of their favorite champions on the asphalt, while the champions write the history of our sport. 

The names of these Alpine mountain passes might be daunting to some. In Italy, they are Stelvio, Mortirolo, Gavia, Colle delle Finestre. And how about Lautaret, Izoard, Galibier, Alpe d’Huez and Mont Ventoux in France. So, putting our flags on top of these passes can provide the biggest prize and a lifetime memory for us dedicated riders.

As a living monument to cycling, these mountains pile up more names every season. Names of active cyclists who have won the Tour and Giro are next to legendary ones. Who can forget names like 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 on 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 cycling these challenges? Do you need Froome’s legs to enjoy these special places? Not really, because that’s not the intent of this tour. Will these mountains take you out of your comfort zone? You can be sure they will! But we’re committed to taking you safely and comfortably out of this zone, so you will 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 are just part of what we have in store for you. Otherwise, our van will always be available for whatever kind of help you may need. Perfect Canyon rental bikes will make for a safe and enjoyable daily riding. The choice of hotels and restaurants has been made with care.

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 very challenging. First, because it is quite long, about 17 km, and because it is 2600m above sea level, where the air is thin. Thin air is no joke, and there is no way to prepare for it. So, to save our legs for this challenge, we will tackle the Mortirolo from its ‘easier’ side, from the little town of Grosio. Then we will climb up to Passo Gavia starting from Ponte di Legno, just like during the 97th Giro d’Italia in 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 has been among the cycling myths since 1953, after a 34-year-old Fausto Coppi, could grab his last Giro d’Italia, beating 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 say.

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 a big debate among cyclists about which side of Stelvio is the nicest – the Lombardy side, from Bormio or the Trentino side, from Prato allo Stelvio. We don’t want to influence your opinion, so we will give you the opportunity to make your own mind. We will 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 to the 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 it is very steep and challenging. 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 beat his majesty Miguel Indurain, showing the world that a new star was born. A monument to the famous Italian climber is at km 8. Nearly on top of the climb, we will take a break at the Refugio. Then we will ride down to Tirano on a super long and winding downhill. Then it is 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. This is our last day in Bormio. We have a long transfer today, but we will still want to enjoy some quality riding. Why not go for a lovely ride up to the 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.

“Returning to the way it was then” could be the subtitle of this stage. Yes, because history from the heroic age of cycling has been written on dirt roads, and races are now recovering this tradition by using bits of mountain roads still not asphalted such as the iconic last 8km of Colle delle Finestre. The first of this new  old fashioned – stage - was the Savigliano to Sestriere stage of Giro 2005 that featured two ascents up Sestriere and finally Colle delle Finestre. It was a blast watching riders climbing up in a cloud of dust, and it told worldwide race organizers that bringing cycling back to the way it was then is worth the risk. Only the big climbers have completed this climb. But do you remember Chris Froome’s legendary attack from the very beginning of this climb, taking him to victory of both the stage and Giro 2018. It brought modern cycling 50 years back in time. Well, we 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 will make a quick transfer beyond the French border and start our ride in Briancon. It’s the door to another bucket list climb, the 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 will ride all the way up to 2361m over sea level. At 2200m we will enjoy a meal at the Refuge Napoleon, and then we will cycle down to cross Briancon and ride the Col del Lautaret, Serre Chevalier side. After this very long climb with gentle gradients, we will enjoy the lovely downhill to our hotel, 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.

These mountains have two rideable sides, and both sides are fantastic. We will start with the Lautaret. At 2058m, it is not among the tallest mountains, but it is the door to Galibier, one of the highest tops of this tour, at 2645m, and very often the highest mountain climbed during the Tour de France. Tour de France has done Galibier 59 times so far, and, as usual on such high passes, any year is a new page in a history book. To understand this better, two monuments have been left here by the 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. It’s a place we cannot miss. And we won’t. We will ride back to La Grave and have dinner at hotel.


Day 9: Alpe d’Huez. 41KM; 1800M.

This is the climb of the Tour de France par excellence. You might think this is because it is a very high mountain. But it is not. It is just 1885m above sea level. But the consistently challenging gradient of around 8% in a 14 km stretch puts cyclists – even pro riders – to the test. This is especially true since this ride comes after so many elevation meters gained during the week. We will get there by cycling down from La Grave to Le Burg d’Oisans. From there, suddenly we will start going up immediately on a steep slope. We are sure not to 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 at top of the mountain, as we’ certainly will do. That is one of the privileges 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 tour. It’s a long way in the van from Alpe d’Huez to Bedoin. We will have the time for a light lunch at the hotel and go for a short but awesome ride through the natural monument called Gorge de la Nesque. Slight gradients, wild countryside and spectacular views are the stuff that make 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 better way than climbing Mont Ventoux to put an end to a cycling adventure like this? We don’t think so. Mont Ventoux is another myth of cycling. Like Alpe d’Huez, it is not among the tallest mountains. Nonetheless, cyclists remember this huge mountain with its white cap caused by the total lack of vegetation on its limestone slopes that pops up from the hills of Provence, We know what you are thinking? Will the view be the same as I’ve seen on the TV, while watching the Tour? Yes, it will. During the last 4 km, you’ll find yourself immersed in the same unusual, desert-like, dazzling white top, with the television tower that marks the finish line. This will be your last stage, and, even though the climb is very long – 15km, at an average gradient of 7.7%. Your legs will be very tired, but you won’t want the ride and this amazing tour to end. We will stop at the refuge at the top to enjoy a lunch with view. Then we will 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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