One of the oldest sportives in the cycling calendar and still the ultimate cycling test. The route takes in some of the most famous climbs from the Tour de France including the challenging Glandon / Croix de Fer, the highest point in the race on the Galibier and then the famous switchbacks of Alpe d'Huez.
This is both a long sportive at 174km and one with an enormous amount of climbing at over 5,000m. On top of this, it is in July in the Alps so temperatures could be uncomfortable hot and you go over high at the Galibier so the chance of very changeable weather is strong. There are not many tougher single day sportives in the world.
Of all the climbs in the Alps, the Galibier is our favourite. A stunning winding ascent with great views down the valley until you top out at 2,645m. Then, one of the world's great descents almost all the way to the base of Alpe d'Huez.
One climb of the famous 21 hairpins not enough for you? Take on the Alpe d'Huez time trial which is part of the week of events in this region.
The original European sportive and still one of the hardest. The Marmotte takes in four giant alpine climbs, all legendary from the Tour de France finishing with the mighty Galibier and then Alpe d'Huez. A serious challenge!
Arrival day. Fly into Lyon where our team will meet you (transfers depart10.30am and 5.45pm) . The transfer takes just over 2 hourts. If you are on the earlier arrival, we will run a short (but punchy) guided ride down Alpe d'Huez, over the Balcons and back up the Sarenne departing Alpe d'Huez at 2.30pm. We will collect race packs and deliver them to you on the Friday.
We will lead a short guided ride down to Bourg d'Oisans and back up via Villard Reculas. We will leave at 9am and aim to be back by lunch so you have the afternoon to relax. We will be having a (slightly competitive) game of boules if you want to join. In the evening we will have a race briefing where you can drop off anything you want us to store at our feed stop.
Race day. Our entries are in pens 1 to 3 and we will have feed stations near the top of the Galibier.
Departure day, time your flights to leave after 5pm. Our transfer leaves Alpe D'huez at 12pm.
We have a fleet of Trek bikes available to rent for La Marmotte.
The race starts early morning in Le Bourg d'Oisan and after a quick 11km of flat the route heads straight to the Glandon and the first of four tough climbs. At over 20km and climbing over 1000m this is a real challenge. A long descent leads to the base of the Telegraph and the mighty Galibier hitting the highest point of the race at 2642m.
After a long descent down the valley floor there is just the small matter of Alpe d'Huez and the 21 switchbacks to contend with before crossing the finish line and enjoying the glory of completing the hardest one day sportive in cycling.
Choose the Route
Ride Distance: 174
Elevation gain: 5180
The closest airport to Alpe d'Huez is Lyon about two hours away. Our transfers leave Lyon on Thursday & Friday at 17.15. Our driver will be waiting in arrivals. Please book flights to arrive at least 30 mins before these times. On Monday, return transfers arrive back in Lyon at 15.00 so please arrange flights departing 2 hours after these drop off times.
You will need a print out of your registration, medical certificate & ID. Your race entry can be collected by someone else as long as they have those three things. Collection is on the two days before the sportive at Palais des Sports in Alpe d'Huez or before the race start in Bourg
The start goes off in three waves. The first is grid is based on previous times. Bookings through agents (such as us) are in the second grid. The first group sets off at 7am from Bourg at the base of Alpe d'Huez.
The finish line is in Alpe d'Huez where there is a pasta party and expo.
We have options in the Ours Blanc self-catered apartments in central Alpe d'Huez. All packages include our mechanical support, guided rides and private feed stations.
All Packages Include:
Four Night Single Package for One Person
Four Nights Twin Package for Two People
Three Night Single Package for One Person
Three Night Twin Package for Two People
Three Night Single Package for One Person
Three Night Single Package for Two People
Three Night Single Package for Three People