Geneva to Nice Cycling Challenge

If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you

GENEVA TO NICE CYCLING CHALLENGE

The Geneva to Nice Cycling Challenge is an awesome adventure through the French Alps to the Mediterranean Sea. This epic course will for the most part follow the renowned “Route des Grande Alpes”. In this way, riders will have the opportunity to experience some of the unbelievable mountain climbs of the Tour de France. These climbs will include Col du Galibier, Col du Telegraphe, Alpe d’Huez, Cormet de Roselend, Col d’izorard and Mont Ventoux.

GENEVA TO NICE CYCLING CHALLENGE

How far are you willing ride your bike for a touch of sun?. This 8-day challenge begins beside lake Geneva, before heading through the French Alps towards the sun kissed shores of Nice. As we make our south through the towering mountain pecks the scenery beings to change. How you will be surrounded by breathtaking limestone cliffs, majestic gorges and colourful lavender fields. Our route then strays away from the traditional “Route des Grandes Alpes Itinerary” to provide you with the opportunity the climb the “Gaint of the Provence” Mont Ventoux.

Your extraordinary Geneva to Nice Cycling Challenge reaches a conclusion along the Promenade de Anglais and the sun drenched beaches of Nice.

This epic adventure will include around 18000m of climbing over a distance of 1050km.

FULLY SUPPORTED RIDES

Whilst on the road you will have to support of knowledgeable guides providing advice, encouragement and help with any miner mechanical problems. We also provide a support vehicle offering nutritional and mechanical support at pre-arranged stops along the route. The support vehicle will carry energy bars, fresh water and energy drinks to help keep your performance levels to the maximum. Additionally, it will also carry any warm or wet weather clothing you might need during the ride.

FITNESS LEVEL

The Geneva to Nice Cycling Challenge will involve some long days in the saddle so you need to have a good level of fitness, stamina and bike handling skills in order to accomplish this iconic journey.

BASIC ITINERARY

Day 1
Meet at Geneva Airport, transfer to Hotel, Assemble Bikes
Day 2
Geneva to Megeve
Day 3
Megeve to Meribel-Les Allues
Day 4
Meribel-Les Allues to Valloire
Day 5
Valloire to Gap
Day 6
Gap to Bedoin
Day 7
Bedoin to Digne-les Bains
Day 8
Digne-les to Nice
Day 9
Depature, transfer to Nice Airport of a midday flight

ITINERARY

This is a general itinerary to provide you with some idea of how the Geneva to Nice Cycling Challenge is structured. However, if you would prefer your week to include more distance, less distance or different climbs then please contact us. We are willing to provide you with a week that meets all your needs.

DAY 1

SATURDAY – ARRIVAL

You will be met by a member of the Classic Cycling Tours team in the arrival area on the Swiss side of Geneva Airport and transferred to your overnight accommodation in Geneva.

Once at the hotel there will be the opportunity to assemble your bike. We have a good selection of tools, track pumps and bike stands available for your use. Once your bike is assembled there will be an option to go for a short ride to ensure that everything is working order.

Before dinner there will be a introductory briefing outlining the schedule and route for Sundays ride.

DAY 2

SUNDAY – GENEVA TO MEGEVE VIA COL DE LA COLOMBIERE AND COL DES ARAVIS

The Geneva to Nice Cycling Challenge starts at the shores of Lake Geneva before heading out along a undulating road toward our first climb. The Col de la Colombiere at a distance of 16.3km and a summit height of 1613m. The first section is in the forest, climbing along the side of a valley The gradient increases steadily, first 3.5%, then 4.5%, then 7%, with 2km at 8.5% before the road levels out to a gentle 2% – 3% on the intermediate plateau.
After the plateau the road quickly gets steeper, with 4 km to go it rounds a shoulder and the vista opens up to reveal the distant summit.

The second climb of the day is the longest, the Col des Aravis is 18.9km in length with a an average gradient of 4.6% and a summit height of 1486m. The descent down the other side of the Col des Aravis to the village of Flumet is quite technical in places but, this should provide you with lots of fun. Once at Flumet we have approximately 15km to our overnight accommodation in Megeve.

Distance 106kmAscent
3028m
Descent 2502mRide Time
4hr 30mins
RefreshmentsVehicle SupportLink to RideCol de la Colombiere
Col des Aravis

Before dinner there will be a briefing outlining the schedule and route for Mondays ride.

DAY 3

MONDAY – MEGEVE TO MERIBEL VIA COL DES SAISIES AND CORMET DE ROSELEND

 

Todays route takes you over two beautiful climbs, the first being the Col des Saisies at a distance of 14.1km with an average gradient of 5% and a summit height of 1657m. From the summit we then have a nice descent on wide roads down to the traditional French village of Beaufort. The village is famous for it’s cheese so it would only be polite to take the opportunity to sample it before making our way onto our next climb.

The Cormet de Roselend is one of the most famous climbs in the history of the Tour de France. At a distance of 20km with an average gradient of 6% and a summit height of 1967m this could be your first real challenge. The climb is broken into two halves with a welcome flat section coming after 12km. A this point the valley opens out with stunning views of the towering mountains pecks reflecting into a giant lake. The road snakes around the lake then starts to climb again towards the summit. The hardest section of the climb comes in the final 4km, so keep something back.

The beginning of the descent is very fast with long sweeping bends and open views of the road ahead. After 10km the road moves into the tree line, with plenty of tight hairpin bends to slow you down. Once at the town of Bourg Saint Maurice the road continues to descend slightly down the valley before we reach our final climb of the day.

The climb up to our overnight accommodation in the charming village of Les Allues is 9km in length with an average gradient of 7% and a summit height of 1150m.

Distance 143kmAscent
4297m
Descent 2560mRide Time
6hr 00mins
RefreshmentsVehicle SupportLink to RideCol des Saisies
Cormet de Roselend

Before dinner there will be a briefing outlining the schedule and route for Tuesdays ride.

DAY 4

TUESDAY – MERIBEL TO VALLOIRE VIA COL DE LA MADELEINE, LACETS DE MONTVERNIER AND COL DU TELEGRAPHE

 

The third day starts with a descent down to the valley floor before making our way to the first climb. The Col de la Madeleine is one of the legendary climbs of the Tour de France. At a distance of 26km with an average gradient of 5.4% and a summit height of 2000m, this is a testing climb. The first section is quite steep with an average gradient of 9% over the first 3km, before reaching a slightly downhill section at 9km. The toughest part of the climb comes at the 12km marker where the gradient moves up to 11%. The final 3km consist of 4 giant lacets towering over the valley below.

The descent down to the village of La Chambre is very fast with plenty of hairpin bends to negotiate, so great care should be taken.

The next climb featured in the Tour de France for the first time in 2015, Lacets de Montvernier. This short climb of 3.8km as an average gradient of 8.5% and a summit height of 781m. What makes this climb so special is the 18 hairpin bends that climb directly up the steep rock face.

After the Lacets de Montvernier we descend down the valley to the town of Saint Michel de Maurienne and the last climb of the day. The Col du Telegraphe is 11.8km in length with an average gradient of 7.3% and a summit height of 1566m. The climb is normally paired with the Col du Galibier when its been used in the Tour de France. On this occasion we will make the short descent into Valloire for our overnight stay and leave the giant Col du Galibier for tomorrow.

Distance 114kmAscent
3596m
Descent 2231mRide Time
5hr 00mins
RefreshmentsVehicle SupportLink to RideCol de la Madeleine
Lacets Montvernier
Col du Telegraphe

Before dinner there will be a briefing outlining the schedule and route for Wednesdays ride.

DAY 5

WEDNESDAY – VALOIRE TO GAP VIA COL DU GALIBIER AND COL D’IZOARD

The climbs just keep on coming, today’s route takes you over two iconic “Route des Grandes Alpes Cols” the first is the Col du Galibier.. The first 2km are quite steep before we reach an area that the french call the “false flat”. The road starts climbing again at the 12km marker as it makes it’s way up the valley before crossing a small river at the 9km marker. Immediately after this point, the gradient will not drop below 8% average. The final kilometre is very tough but once you have reach the summit you will be at the highest point of the challenge. Take a moment to look back down the valley and give yourself a well earned “pat on the back”.

On the descent the road conditions are quite rough in places and you will be exposed to the elements. This is a popular climb so there will be lots of other cyclists going up and down. You will reach the summit of the Col de Lautaret after 10km, at this point we will turn left and continuing down the valley to Briancon.

Before you know it you will be climbing once again, this time up another tour climb, the Col d’izoard. The climb is 20km long with an average gradient of 5.8% and a summit height of 2344m. The climbs begins with a 2km section between 7-8% before it flattens out as the road follows the valley. It starts to go up again at a gentle rate until you reach the small town of Cervieres. The road gets steeper as you leave the town and makes its way into the trees, twisting and turning for 7km until you finally get sight of the summit.

During the descent we will pass a memorial to Fausto Coppi and Louison Bobet, our overnight stop will be in Gap.

Distance 166kmAscent
4234m
Descent 2656mRide Time
7hr 00mins
RefreshmentsVehicle SupportLink to RideCol du Galibier
Col d'izoard

Before dinner there will be a briefing outlining the schedule and route for Thursdays ride.

DAY 6

THURSDAY – GAP TO BEDOIN VIA MONT VENTOUX

From Gap, with the giant mountains of the French Alps behind us we head toward the colourful lavender fields of the provence. At this point we move away from the “Route des Grandes Alp” to give you the opportunity to do one final climbing challenge. Welcome to the giant of the provence “Mont Ventoux”. At 21km in length with a average gradient of 7.2% and a summit height of 1912m this climb would appear on most cyclists wish lists.

Our route up this iconic mountain will be from the Malaucene side. The first 2km are steep with a average gradient of 9%, this is followed by a easier section with gradients around 4, 5, 6% up to the 9km marker. The next section is tough with the gradients going over 10% (12% in places). The road swings right then left before it straighten ahead of you for 1km, the road then twists slightly taking you up to a mini roundabout. More steep climbing takes you around some hairpin bends and out of the tree line. At this point you will be greeted with fantastic views of the tower still 250m above you, the final two hairpins are steep but provide magnificent views to the north where on a clear day you can see the Alps

The descent to our overnight stay in Bedoin is fast and quite technical in places, after 4km you past the “Tommy Simpson” Memorial. Immediately after the road enters the trees there is a section of really tight hairpins before the road opens out for the final 5km.

Distance 178kmAscent
3329m
Descent 2005mRide Time
7hr 30mins
RefreshmentsVehicle SupportLink to RideMont Ventoux

Before dinner there will be a briefing outlining the schedule and route for Fridays ride.

DAY 7

FRIDAY – BEDOIN TO DIGNE-LES-BAINS VIA COL NOTRE-DAME DES ABESILLES AND COL DE L’HOMME MORT

 

With all the big climbs are now behind us and this epic challenge is finally getting closer to the finish. We give your legs a bit of a rest as we head toward the town of Digne. Todays route is all about the scenery, the stunning “Gorges de la Nesque” is one of the most visited and cycled parts of the Provence. With winding roads and tunnels built into the overhanging rock the views are spectacular making it the perfect place to take a few breaks to admire the scenery. The viewpoint of Castelleras is a firm favourite as it looks over the imposing Rocher du Cire (a giant limestone cliff) named after the wild bees that live there.

Distance 132kmAscent
2285m
Descent 1345mRide Time
5hr 30mins
RefreshmentsVehicle SupportLink to RideGorges de la Nesque
Col de L'Homme Mort

Before dinner there will be a briefing outlining the schedule for return transfer to Geneva Airport.

DAY 8

SATURDAY – DIGNE-LES-BAINS TO NICE VIA COL DU COROBIN, COL DES LEQUES AND GORGES DE LOUP

Well its finally here, your last day of riding takes us over a undulating route to our finishing point in Nice. To begin with we follow a flat road out of Digne to the biggest climb of the day, the Col du Corobin. At a distance of 10km and average gradient of 5% this is the biggest climb of the day. Most of the climb is in a pine forest with gentle gradients and some tight hairpin bends toward the top.

Our next climb is the category 3 Col des Leques, which is 6km in length with and average gradient of 5.3% and a summit height of 1146m. The landscape here is made up of rocky outcrops and ridges, lush forests and beep blue rivers providing you with an awe-spiring backdrop to you final day.

Once we reach the hill top town of Greolieres, you can freewheel almost all the way to the coast through the beautiful “Gorges du Loup”. Your epic journey is complete with a flat ride along the “Promenade des Anglais” in the heart of Nice and the welcome sight of the Mediterranean Sea.

Distance 141kmAscent
2622m
Descent 1845mRide Time
6hr 00mins
RefreshmentsVehicle SupportLink to RideCol du Corobin
Col de Leque

DAY 9

SUNDAY – DEPARTURE

Unfortunately your Geneva to Nice Cycling Challenge as finally come to an end, we will provide a Nice Airport transfer to meet a midday flight.

HOLIDAY INFORMATION

Return Geneva Airport Transfer
Support Vehicle and Guides
8 Nights Accommodation
7 Evening Meals
8 Continental Breakfasts
Freshly Made Pack lunches
Flights
Visas (if required)
Travel Insurance
Personal Injury Insurance
Alcoholic Drinks
Room Service & Mini Bar
We will provide you with a continental style breakfast each morning and freshly made pack lunches each day. Evening meals with be taken in local restaurants or hotels.
A member of the Classic Cycling Tours team will be in the arrivals area on the Swiss side of Geneva Airport to meet you. We kindly ask you to arrange your inbound flights to arrive at Geneva as close to midday as possible. At the end of the trip we will also provide you with an outbound transfers departing Nice Airport for midday flights.
Whilst on the Geneva to Nice Cycling Challenge you will be accommodated in 2-3 star hotels,on a shared twin room basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with someone of the same gender. If you would prefer a room to yourself then a single supplement charge will be added, please contact us for prices. Please note this option is only available subject to availability.
You will accompanied on the road by English speaking guides. We will also provide a support vehicle carry a range of tools, fresh water, energy bars, energy drink (powder form) and an extra clothing you would like to have at your disposal.
We strongly recommend that you have your bike serviced to guarantee it is in perfect working order prior to your cycling holiday. If you are not mechanically minded, get your local bike shop to service it for you. Areas of particular importance are:

To begin withcheck our rims and if they are worn, cracked or badly dented replace them with news rims or complete wheel.

Secondly, check and if required replace brake blocks.

Thirdly check that your wheels are “true” and spoke tension is correct.

Fourthly, check and if required, adjust, grease or replace ALL bearings and quick release skewers.

Fifthly, check and if required replace brake and gear cables.

Finally, check and if required tighten all bolts (esp. crank, bottom bracket, headset, stem and handlebars.

Check chain, cassette and chainrings for wear.

You should familiarise yourself with some basic repairs prior to your cycling holiday, like fixing a puncher. A member of our team will aways be on hand to help, but having these basic skills will help keep delays down to minimum.

If you decide not to bring your own bike, we have a number of bikes for hire. All our bike have carbon frames and are fitted with shimano 105 gearing and compact chain sets. For your own comfort we recommend bring your own saddle and pedals. For pricing and availability please contact us.
HEAD

Cycling Helmet (mandatory)
Sunglasses / Eye Protection

UPPER BODY

Base Layer
Cycling Jersey
Long Sleeved Cycling Jersey (optional)
Good Padded Cycling Shorts
Lightweight Waterproof Jacket
Gillet

ARMS & HANDS

Arm Warmers
Cycling Gloves
Long Fingered Cycling Gloves (optional)

LEGS

Full Length Leg Warmers
Knee Length Leg Warmers

FEET

Cycling Shoes
Socks
Overshoes

The better condition you are in, the more likely you are to enjoy the Geneva to Nice cycling route. Getting out on your bike is obviously the best way to prepare for your holiday.Therefore we recommend you adopt an achievable weekly exercise programme that includes some long rides in hilly terrain. However, swimming, running and circuit training are good for developing your aerobic fitness and stamina.
At Classic Cycling Tours the safety and well-being of our guests is of the up most importance. Due to the nature of cycling and the terrain you will be riding in, unfortunately accidents can occur. Therefore, it is mandatory that you have Personal Injury Insurance that covers you whilst on a cycling holiday. In the event that you don’t have any cover we prescribe utilizing “Yellow Jersey” cycle insurance.

PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY THROUGHOUT THE GENEVA TO NICE CYCLING CHALLENGE

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations

Quick Glance

£14208-Day Package
Geneva to Nice Cycling Challenge
  • Geneva / Nice Airport Transfers
  • 8 Nights Accommodation based in 2 - 3 Star Hotels
  • 8 Continental Style Breakfasts
  • 7 Package Lunches
  • 8 Two Course Evening Dinners
  • Support Vehicle & Guides
  • 7 Days of Riding covering 970 Kilometres and 22,520 Meters of Climbing
  • Cycling Journey of a life time

The best views come after the hardest climbs

Guest Reviews

We did the Geneva - Nice cycle tour with Steve and Anna in a small group in September. The week was excellent from start to finish, and I would highly recommend the tour to any keen cyclists. The riding was obviously excellent, and the support on the road from Anna was great.
Andrew MSatisfied Customer