Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Alpes Open Tour August 15 to 20

I am heading to Europe this Saturday for a big adventure. From August 8 to 14, I will be in Germany with Stephen and Jason and we will be cycling around Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium. Our base will be Trier near the Luxembourg border. I am excited as Steve is German/Canadian, very familiar with the area, and speaks German (luckily for Jason and I).

On August 14, Jason and I leave Germany and head to Geneva to begin the Alpes Open Tour which goes from August 15 to 20. Stephen will be remaining in Germany where he will do an Olympic distance triathlon and hang out with his brother.

The Alpes Tour is a 6-stage event which which takes us through several mountain passes. Among the list of destinations are Chatel, Beaufort, Courchevel, La Toussuire, Alpe d’Huez and Val Cenis.

Stage 1- 80.8 km:

This stage includes several climbs, particularly the Col du Grand Taillet with some important grades.

Stage 2- 136.2 km:

This second day will be the longest stage of the Alpes Open Tour with more than 136 kilometers and several passes to be crossed to join the Savoie. The Col du Corbier will lead us to the Vallée d'Aulps in order to reach Morzine and then Les Gets. Then, we will take the Vallée de l'Arve from Taninges to Megève. After a quick passage through the Gorges de l'Arly, we will tackle the last part of the stage and more particularly the Col des Saisies. The start and arrival will be downhill as we will stop in Beaufort (which is situated in the valley), well-known for the cheese of the same name.

Stage 3- 106.5 km:

This stage involves successive climbs and downhills. From the start, we will have to tackle the Col du Pré from Arêches; but this effort will be rewarded by the outstanding view of the Barrage de Roselend (Dam of Roselend) and then the Cormet de Roselend (which is the name of the pass). We ride through Bourg-Saint-Maurice and head through Mâcot-la-Plagne and Notre-Dame du Pré. After Brides-les-Bains, the road becomes much more steep for about 20 kilometers up to Courchevel, in the 3 vallées resort.

Stage 4- 105.4 km:

The Col de la Madeleine, a stage in the 2010 Tour de France. The 9th stage of the Tour de France started from Morzine to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienneand and also tackled the Col des Saisies (that we will take on the third stage) as well as the Col de la Madeleine. We then pass through Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in order to start the climb up to the resort of La Toussuire, situated in the "massif des Sybelles". La Toussuire has several times hosted stages of the Tour de France or Dauphine Libere.

Stage 5- 101.5 km:

"Alpe d'Huez" 21 bends of the mythical climb up to Alpe d'Huez, the "Ile au soleil" (Isle of Sun). This stage is earned as several passes will have to be crossed on this 5th stage of the Alpes Open Tour in order to reach the Isère. The col du Mollard, first, and the couple Croix de Fer / Glandon that will lead down the vallée de l'Oisans after passing near the barrage de Grandmaison (Dam of Grandmaison).

Stage 6- 129.4 km:

The stage of Galibier, at 2635m altitude, the Galibier will be the summit of this Alpes Open Tour 2010. The sequence Lautaret, Galibier and Télégraphe have been the roads of the most famous performances of the great climbers of the Tour de France.

A few kilometers after the beginning of the stage, we take the Col de Sarenne which is an alternate route to get down the Alpe d'Huez that we climbed. After the Col du Galibier, we will be back to the Vallée de la Maurienne and ride up to Lanslebourg (Val Cenis resort) through Modane. Val Cenis hosted the "Grande Odyssée Savoie-Mont-Blanc" this winter.

I am sure that the six days that I have left in Europe after the completion of the tour, may not include cycling. But really who knows, I have a crazy side! I hear that the Cycling in Switzerland is awesome but so is hiking. And then, of course, there is shopping. I like shopping!

I will be posting pictures and stories as I go along, so keep checking back.

1 comment:

richard guymer said...

Hi Sandra.Hope you enyoyed the Tour as much as we did. I t was a pleasure to meet such a determined and focused lady as yourself.
We will hopefully be back next year.
I for one want to race up Alpe D'Huez next year not just ride up it as I did this time! Hope to see you again next year but in the mean time good luck with what ever challenge you give your self.

Regards Richard and Ste Guymer