This post is designed to answer the question, what is this Charity ride you are doing?
The 2017 edition of the Haute Route Alps will take place over 7 consecutive days (or stages) from Nice on the southern Mediterranean coast of France to Geneva in the heart of the Alps on the Swiss/French border.
In those 7 stages I will cover 897 Km and ride up 22,000m of mountain roads as I raise money for the official charity of the event Team Type 1 Foundation.
Each of the stages are pretty daunting as the route climbs from the southern coastline of France passing through the Maritime Alpes, Haute Alpes, Isere & Haute Savoie as it reaches to Geneva. Stage 1: Nice – Pra Loup (173km, 3,700M+) will see me riding over the Cols (mountain passes) of Ascros 1,160m ; Cayolle 2,326m & finishing atop of Pra Loup 1,592m.
Stage 2 begins where stage 1 left off at the top of Pra Loup and finishes 127km (& 3700M+ of climbing) later at the Col du Granon, 2413m. In between I will have also passed over the Cols at Vars 2,109m & Izoard 2,360m.
Stage 3 is a shorter 112km ride from Serre Chevalier to the famous Alpe d’Huez. Again climbing over 3,200M in one day I will ride over the Col d’Lautaret, 2058m and the winding open bends of the Col de Sarenne 1999m before finishing atop of Alpe d’Huez 1,850m
Stage 4 is the rest day that contains the short but incredibly tough individual time trial from Bourg d’Oisans up the famous 21 bends to Alpe d’Huez (15.5km, 1,100M+) Having ridden up these bends before I know exactly how difficult they are and after 3 full days in the mountains already, this will be anything but a rest day.
Stage 5 begins at the top of Alpe d’Huez and traverses the cols of Glandon 1,924m ; Madeleine 2,000m & Saisies 1,650m before finishing in the town of Megève 182km later. Having climbed over 4500M in one day, this stage is classed as the Queen stage of the event.
Stage 6 begins and ends at the same places as the 2016 Etape de Tour but takes a different route to get there. Starting in Megève the route climbs over Epine 987m ; Colombière 1,618m & the formidable Joux Plane 1,700m before finishing in Morzine. After the exertions of Stage 5 these 145km and 3,400M of climbing are going to make for a very difficult day in saddle.
The final stage is a 140km route from Morzine to Geneva covering another 2,600M+ of climbing. 4 peaks (Encrenaz 1,433m / Ramaz 1,619m / Feu 1,117m / Moises 1,121m), must still be conquered before the final victory parade along the shores of Lake Geneva.
So this is what I have let myself in for and why in 2016 I set myself the goal to ride 10,000km in the year to get my base fitness in place. As 2017 kicks off, now I am concentrating on targeted training to boost my strength on the climbs and over multiple days of cycling. I anticipate that this will mean reaching around 10,000 miles in total by the end of July with somewhere in the region of 200,000m of climbing completed as training.
This is all to raise money for the official charity Team Type 1 Foundation. To sponsor me click here
If you want even more detail of the route and the suffering as a result, Marvin Faure at AlpineCols has written a more detailed review of each of the stages on their website http://alpinecols.com/haute-route-alps-2017/