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Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Rhône-Alpes regions are located in southeast France. Go there and you’ll find yourself looking at the fantastic, spectacular and beautiful French Alps. The mountain range stretches into Italy and Switzerland and is the biggest mountain range in its entirety in Europe.

For over a century, it has had mass appeal to cyclists who are drawn by the challenging climbs and its association with the Tour de France, the most famous cycling race of all time.

For many, France is cycling’s spiritual home. Riding The French Alps is the ultimate cycling challenge and one that should be on your bucket list.

SportActive Cycling Holidays and Training Camps - A SportActive rider in the French AlpsThe French Alps host the biggest cycling race in the world: Tour de France

1 Challenge

The French Alps have challenges in abundance. It isn’t just the hors category gradients but other aspects such as altitude and climate come into play too. Mont Ventoux which towers over Provence even has its own microclimate. Whatever the weather when you start the climb can change radically when you break the treeline at Chalet Reynard.

If you want cycling challenges few compare to The French Alps.

2 The Views

Without question, the French Alps offer some of the most beautiful and spectacular views in the world. You cannot help but feel you are at one with the land as you gaze out over valleys and across miles of landscape.
The terrain changes as you climb higher, and it is fair to say that riding a French Alp col is unique and brings new challenges every time you ride it. The region is a gift that keeps on giving.

The French Alps always can surprise you. The Shoe Laces of Montvernier (3.4 kms, 999m) that feature 17 tightly packed hairpin bends is a good example.

John describes his experience riding col de la Madeleine (25.3 kms, 1993 m) &
Les Lacets de Montvernier (3.4 kms, 995m)
 

 

3 Achievement

There is nothing quite like the sense of achievement as you ride the summits of the big cols. Galibier (18.1 kms, 2646m), Alpe d'Huez (13.8 kms, 1860m) and the highest through road in Europe, Bonette (24.1 kms, 2802m), are gifts that keep on giving in terms of views and reward. When you gaze out from the summits of these cols you are truly glad to be alive.

Moreover, all your hard work, training, and effort are worth it when you reach the top of a great col.

4 Test Your Limits

Every road cyclist asks him or herself the same question: Can I get to the top of that col? The French Alps with its truly fantastic climbs allows you to answer that question. It is not just a physical endurance challenge, but it tests you psychologically as well. Standing at the bottom looking up at the col it is easy to get overwhelmed. It is only when you're in pursuit of the challenge and riding a steady pace that you know the col is achievable.

5 Experiencing History

Many of the great cols have various monuments to the great riders and cycling events of the past. This makes you realise that you're riding in the tyre tracks of history and you fully appreciate how good professional cyclists are.

This is part of the majesty of riding through the French Alps. It is something that stays with you for many years.

6 Camaraderie and Competition

When you ride The French Alps with a group your competitive instincts awake! This can keep you going when things get tough, and it adds a new delicious challenge as you race your buddy on stretches of road. What makes it more dynamic in the French Alps is where professionals race year in year out.

Riding The French Alps With SportActive Cycling

Every year, SportActive operates three spectacular cycling holidays in the French Alps. From riding the mighty Mont Ventoux to the amazing Geneva to Nice cycling tour, Sportactive has you covered. And did we mention Marmotte Granfondo Alps sportive?

Geneva to Nice over La Route des Grandes Alpes
Six days, 550 kms, 12 Alpine Passes

Geneva to Nice is a fantastic cycling adventure. You ride 550 kms over the Route des Grandes Alpes. Beginning in Geneva you head south heading towards Nice on the Mediterranean coast, riding The French Alps in the process.

The twelve alpine passes are often used in the Tour de France and include gems such as Bonette (24.1 kms, 2802m), the highest through road in Europe, Turini(15.3 kms, 1607m), and Izoard (20 kms, 2360m).

It isn’t just the challenge of the climbs that give this holiday the appeal. Numbers are capped at 15 to ensure quality support. Mountain life in France like city life has its own culture and as you ascend through towns and villages, you’ll get a glimpse at what it must be like to live up high in the mountains.

As well as the climbing challenge, altitude is also a challenge, as well as descending. You’ll be surprised how quickly you adapt to the challenges of high altitude riding, and descending has to be experienced as often you go for miles weaving through valleys.

Other high points of the tour are riding the 17 switchbacks of Montvernier(3.4 kms, 999m) and celebrating your triumph by drinking champagne in the Mediterranean Sea.

SportActive Cycling Holidays and Training Camps Geneva to Nice riders enjoying a cool glass of champayne by the Med Sea Celebrating another successful Geneva to Nice tour in the Mediterranean Sea

 

Joanna discusses Geneva to Nice

Discover Geneva to Nice Now: Geneva to Nice Details

Marmotte Granfondo Alps
174 km, 5000+Altimeters

Marmotte Granfondo Alps is arguably Europe’s toughest alpine sportive. It is a 174 Kms of ride and over 5000 altimeters. The course begins in Bourg d'Oisans and you take on the following cols:

  • Glandon (20.9 kms, 1924m)
  • Télégraphe (12 kms, 1566 m)
  • Galibier (18.1 kms, 2646m)
  • Alpe d’Huez (13.8 kms, 1860m)

The finish is the summit of the great col Alpe d’Huez.

To take on the challenges of Marmotte Alps you need endurance, strength, and power. If you have this in abundance getting to the top of the steep gradients is going to be considerably easier.

The challenges combined with the big event feel make it a truly glorious day with over 8000 riders taking part. SportActive provides full logistical support including Tour de France style backup cars and in-sportive riders giving you the encouragement you need to get your finisher medal.

Sean loved Marmotte Alps

Marmotte Alps Sportive Details

Mont Ventoux
22 Kms, 1909m

Nestled in Provence France is Mont Ventoux one of the most formidable cycling climbs in the world. It towers above the region and you can’t help but feel a sense of foreboding looking up at the ‘Beast’. It has been the scene of controversy and is a legend in cycling circles.

The mountain is famed for being particularly hard to conquer. This is due to steep gradients, the weather as Mont Ventoux has its own microclimate, and the changing landscape means a cool head is required.

Again, the secret to conquering the ‘Beast of Provence’ is endurance. This will power you to Chalet Reynard and from there, despite the lunar like rock that you ride through, you know that you only have six kilometres to go and you’re going to make it.

SportActive provides you with full support as you make two ascents of the great mountain and take on fantastic rides through Provence including the beautiful and spectacular Gorges de la Nesque. 

Sean Kelly gives you the lowdown on the great mountain, Mont Ventoux

Mont Ventoux Details


Discover French Cycling

Take your cycling experience to a new level next summer. Take on a French cycling challenge and live.

SportActive - Faster, Fitter, Stronger

Submitted: 30/11/22

18th February - 13th May 2023
16th September - 21st October 2023

When you think of perfect cycling, you think of perfect smooth roads, challenging climbs, low traffic, and weather that hovers around 26°C. When you think of perfect cycling training camps you think of camaraderie and great coaching advice that takes your cycling to the next level. In terms of location, you want somewhere with great coffee and beaches. That place is Mallorca. It has it all and more.

Book Now

Mallorca Early Season Go Pro Endurance Training
18th February - 11th March 2023
SportActive Cycling Holidays and Training Camps - Mallorca Early Season peloton riders Guided and coached options include free bike hire on selected weeks.

The Pros train during the winter months to build endurance, strength, and power. Come in February and March and you’ll do the same. SportActive’s Go Pro endurance training ensures that during your Mallorca week you’ll become stronger, fitter, and ready to race and perform.

Mallorca Cycle Training with Legend Sean Kelly
18th February - 13th May 2023
16th September - 21st October 2023

SportActive Cycling Holidays and Training camps - SportActive pelotons including Legend Sean Kelly cycling at Cap Formentor Mallorca

Riding with the legend Sean Kelly at Cap Formentor!

 

SportActive’s famous Mallorca Cycle Training Camp is perfect for all levels of cyclist that want to get better at the sport. Pro coaches and ride leaders are ready to take you to the iconic places on the island, and as you ride you learn the essential skills to improve. Best of all come in April and October and you’ll ride with Legend Sean Kelly. Think you can take him in the sprint? Find out.

Mallorca Cycling for Beginners
1st April - 13th May 2023
16th September - 21st October 2023

Sportactive Cycling Holidays and Training Camps -  Mallorca SportActive cyclists by the sea

There is no better place to improve than Mallorca!

If you’re new to the sport then Mallorca Cycling for Beginners is the best way to improve. You’ll avoid the mistakes that are easy to make, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll progress through guided rides, camaraderie, and advice.

Mallorca Leisure Cycling
1st April - 13th May 2023
16th September - 21st October 2023

SportActive Cycling Holidays and Training Camps - Mallorca leisure cyclists standing by the sea

SportAcitve professional guides ensure you have the best leisure cycling experience!

Mallorca has plenty of places to go where you’ll find great places to eat, beaches that stretch for miles, fantastic coffee, great shopping, and wonderful cycling. Leisure cycling in Mallorca is the only way to see it. You’ll enrich your cultural knowledge and your suntan. How wonderful.

Mallorca 312 Sportive
Event Date 29th April 2023

SportActive Cycling Holidays and Training Camps - SportActive riders crossing the Mallorca 312 finishline

Savour your achievement when you cross the finish line!

The Mallorca 312 Sportive is fantastic. 8000 riders, 312 kms, 225 kms, or 167 kms routes, the Tramuntana Mountain Range and a great sense of achievement when you cross the finish line. Be part of the action and ride your heart out.

Yours in Cycling,
Flora and Martin

P.S. Mallorca Early Season Go Pro Endurance Training is key to taking on challenges such as the Mallorca 312. So ensure you book both holidays to build endurance and achieve in the M312.

SportActive
Faster, Fitter, Stronger

Submitted: 28/11/22

Head 200 kms east of the Spanish coast and you’ll come to the enigmatic and beautiful island of Mallorca. It is part of the Balaerics and is nestled in the Mediterranean Sea and has the climate to match. Over the last few decades, it has become legendary in cycling and it is used by pro peloton teams and amateur cyclists looking to improve, together with leisure cyclists who just want to ride, enjoy, and explore.

Riding in Mallorca is arguably the best cycling experience thanks to its perfect climate, undulating roads, and challenging but not too challenging climbs. With this in mind, let’s look at why Mallorca known as a ‘paradise for cyclists’ is such a great place to ride a bike.

SportActive Cycling Holidays and Training Camps - Cyclist Riding from Cap FormentorMallorca's smooth undulating roads, and challenging climbs make it hugely appealing to cyclists

1 Easy to Reach

Mallorca is less than three hours by plane from Ireland and the UK and has its own airport. If coming from outside of Europe, it is easy to get connecting flights from Europe’s main airports making Mallorca an easy to reach destination.

2 Mallorca Cycling Routes

There are plenty of amazing Mallorca cycling routes to pursue. It is recommended to ride with a Mallorca cycling holiday provider as professionally run training camps will look after you from the moment you arrive and cater to all levels and abilities. They will have professional guides that can show you some of the best places to ride on the island. Sa Calobra, Puig Major, and Cap Formentor for example are considered to be epic rides, especially from a training perspective.

 

3 Ideal for Training and Leisure Cycling

Mallorca’s quiet undulating roads are perfect for exploring by bike. Whether you want to train and improve or simply visit quaint towns and villages, Mallorca has all of this in abundance. This is why many Mallorca cycling training camps are established on the Balearic island. Following in the tyre tracks of the pros, the established structured providers operate endurance based training camps in the winter together with training camps in the spring and autumn.

Mallorca cycling holidays are great if you want more leisurely rides to picture postcard towns and villages. Here, you can sample Mallorca’s culture and get to know the place. When not cycling many head for one of the island’s beaches, or the historic towns of Alcudia, Palma, or Pollenca.

Mallorca has history in abundance and plenty of monuments to the past.

4 The Tramuntana Mountain Range

SportActive Cycling holidays and training camps - Sean Kelly and the SportActive Team at the summit of Puig MajorSean Kelly with the SportActive team at the summit of Puig Major part of the Tramuntana Mountain Range

Many come for the Mallorca cycling routes that involve the amazing Tramuntana Mountain Range. UNESCO protected, it hosts Mallorca’s best climbs. Many cycling training camps take riders across it to ride Puig Major, Sa Calobra, Coll d’Honor to name but three. Along most routes cycling friendly cafes can be found for refuelling with many featuring memorabilia from cycling heroes of the past.

The mountain range features in one of Mallorca’s great cycling events and Europe’s longest amateur sportive, the Mallorca 312. Every year around 8,000 cyclists ride in the event and it is considered to be one of the best amateur sportives in the world.

SportActive Cycling Holidays and Training Camps - Cyclists crossing the finishing line of the Mallorca 312 The Mallorca 312 features the Tramuntana Mountain Range regardless of distance ridden

5 Climate

Outside of the summer months, Mallorca’s Mediterranean location makes it perfect to ride a bike. Temperatures hover around 26°C in spring and autumn and only a few degrees less in the winter months. Summer tends to get hot and a different type of tourist emerges although you can still see plenty of cyclists across the island in June, July, and August.

Mallorca is well known for having 300 days sunshine a year.

6 Used by Legends

The island is used by pro peloton teams so it is not uncommon to see the best in the world going through their drills in the winter months. It is also frequented by the one and only Sean Kelly, one of the best cyclists ever to ride a bike. The Mallorca 312 is always ridden by at least one cycling legend, so it is only a matter of time before you find yourself riding a bike with one of the greats of the sport.

 

 

7 Camaraderie

Many that attend a cycling training or holiday camp always comment on how well the group bonds. This is one of the reasons solo riders use holiday and training camps rather than organise the trip. Everything is done for you, and the bonds that form tend to last. Natural competition forms as different cyclists encounter one another for the first time, which keeps everything fresh as you try and turn the pedals a bit faster than your newfound friend and competitor.

8 Motivation

Mallorca will motivate you to ride even when you get back home. Your Mallorca cycling experience will motivate you to get on the saddle as the experience never leaves you. You’ll find you want to improve, embrace challenges, and achieve personal bests.

 

Your Mallorca Cycling Holiday Experience

To get the most from your cycling there is no better way than to book a fantastic SportActive Cycling holiday. With pro coaches and ride leaders, you’ll improve all aspects of your cycling riding in the sun, or you’ll discover quaint towns and villages on leisure rides where you’ll never be stretched too far.

Perhaps best of all come at the right time and meet and ride with the Legend Sean Kelly.

Have the best cycling holiday you can imagine with SportActive.

SportActive
Faster, Fitter, Stronger

 

Submitted:23/11/22

SportActive
Faster, Fitter, Stronger

 

Become a Mont Ventoux Legend

Mont Ventoux 
22kms, 1600 altimetres!

Malaucène & Bédoin Routes
Included

Sean Kelly - 'Mont Ventoux Should be on your Cycling Bucket List'

29th July - 5th August 2023

 Mont Ventoux is a brilliant cycling adventure! Be in the peloton!

 

Few mountains compare to Mont Ventoux. Towering above Provence, France, the mountain has unique challenges that test your mental strength and your body. Microclimates, changing landscapes, and killer gradients are all part of the fun. The pros have to think twice before beginning the ascent. On your Mont Ventoux cycling holiday, you’ll experience the best of the mountain and conquer it!

Book Now

Sean Kelly believes you can climb Mont Ventoux

Although Mont Ventoux sounds impossible, especially riding the infamous Bédoin route, with SportActive’s help, you’ll approach the ride the right way, get your pacing on point, and know what to expect. Once you break the treeline at Chalet Reynard, you’ll know that although the gradients are steep and it feels like you’re riding on the moon, you’re going to savour the glory at the summit! You're going to make it!

And that’s not all. As well as two Ventoux ascents, you’ll be taking on rewarding rides through the beautiful vineyards of Provence, including the spectacular Gorges de la Nesque.

Savour your achievement at the summit of Mont Ventoux.

Book Now

Yours in Cycling,
Flora and Martin

P.S. For more French cycling, consider riding the French Alps on our Geneva to Nice tour. We only have a few spaces remaining so make one of them yours.

 

SportActive
Faster, Fitter, Stronger

 Submitted:21/11/22

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