Marmotte, FR – Parts 1 to 4
Part 1 – The Glandon from the west is the first Col encountered in Europe’s most well known cycloportive event the Marmotte. Its also used very frequently in the Tour de France. Starting with a nice flat warm up the climb hits you in steps with plenty of places to catch your breath. Lakes, dams, forest and a mountain top valley that will remind you of the Scottish Highlands. We take on the main bulk of the descending after the climb before starting Part 2.
Part 2 – This section starts with the remainder of the descent of the Glandon, this is followed by a long easy valley before you make a right turn in the town of Saint Michel de Maurienne and take on the wooded climb of the Telegraphe. This climb is fairly steady but does not offer many chances to rest until the top. The ride ends after descending a few short miles into the Ski resort town of Valloir.
Part 3 – The Galibier is probably the toughest part of the marmotte cyclosportive as you ride into the realm of thin air that saps away all your energy in real life. It starts hard out of the ski resort of Valloir but then flattens out for a while before a steady valley ride to the well known bend at Plan lechat. Its here that things suddenly change and roads become much steeper. A few bends further up and your into the snow line. Its now that you can start to spot the top of the climb high above. It’s a fairly hard climb now with almost no place to rest and the sight of the top so far away can crack the weak willed! This epic ride ends after descending down to the top of the Lautaret.
Part 4 – Part four takes you to the worlds most well known climb of l’Alpe d’Huez, To get there though you must if you choose descend the Lautaret to Lac Chambon where there the road climbs a bit before hitting the long flat valley at the foot of the climb. The final climb of d’Huez is fairly relentless with the steepest grades in the early part. The climb is not the most scenic but due to various reasons its become a icon in the cycling world with a almost holy feel to it. 1000s of riders takle the climb in real life every day in the summer as you will see when you get there via the ride.