Classic Cols of the Alps

Classic Cols of the Alps

See the race through the Alps and ride some famous climbs


Duration: 7 days (6 nights)
Dates: Sunday, 8 July to Saturday, 14 July 2012
Start: Grenoble Finish: Grenoble
Accommodation: Selected quality hotels
Group Size: Maximum 22 people (4 Staff)
Cost: AUD$3950.00 – Single Supplement AUD$690.00
Deposit: AUD $1000.00
Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room.
Extend your trip and do The Pyrenees Week

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Optional Extras:

Bike Rental $360.00 (Cannondale Synapse carbon fibre)
Paris Triomphe Package (Final day)
Grand Palais Seating (Final day)
Pre or post tour accommodation to extend your stay
Travel Insurance and Car Rental.
Email us for details


  • Ride Alpe d’Huez and Col du Galibier (and more)
  • See 3 Alps Stages live
  • Small Group Trip

Who is this trip for?

Our Classic Cols of the Alps itinerary is a Cyclists Only trip that will excite anyone who likes to climb mountains. It includes some famous names like Alpe d’Huez, Col de la Madeleine, Col du Lautaret, Col du Galibier, Col du Telegraphe and Col de la Croix de Fer, combined with some lesser known ones such as Grand Colombier, Col de Sarenne, Col de Porte, Col du Cucheron and Col du Granier.

This trip has a heavy emphasis on riding and climbing many of the famous climbs as well as seeing the Tour de France. It has a nice mix of race watching (with three stage viewings) combined with days away from the race to ride your bike.

The trip is geared to suit anyone with an interest in Cycling who wants to see the biggest of the Grand Tours, the Tour de France. This (and riding our bikes) is our main focus for the trip although this trip. We cater for cyclists of all abilities by providing riding options each day. To enjoy our trips you don’t need to be an athlete, but do need to be someone who cycles regularly and is capable of riding mountains. We ride on quiet scenic roads and where possible we ride on the race course ahead of the race. As with all of our tours you’ll be guided by our expert team of ride leaders, drivers and guides.

See what our clients said about us after the 2011 Tour: Client Comments


Sunday, 8 July 2012: Bonjour

There will be someone to meet you at the Grenoble train station and assist you to our hotel which is close by. We recommend a mid morning to early afternoon arrival to prevent the possibility of having to wait for your room to be made ready.

The first job will be to assemble your bike and Bikestyle Tours staff will be available to assist if you have any problems. There will be the option of a ride early in the afternoon and there should be time to rest up before the welcome dinner in the evening. Should you prefer to see the sights of Grenoble it is only a short walk into the city centre.
We have found from experience that the first thing most cyclists want to do is to have a short ride to shake out the cobwebs after the plane trip.

Tonight there is a welcome dinner where you can meet the staff who will be looking after you on the trip and of course your fellow travellers with whom you will be spending the next week.

Overnight: Grenoble (Alps)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Monday, 9 July 2012: Alpe d’Huez

Today we will climb the most famous of probably all climbs, Alpe-d’Huez. The ride out is just short of 50 kms and gently uphill until we reach Bourg d’Oisans at the base of the climb. We will stop here for some refreshments before heading off for our first of many climbs this week!

The first part is the hardest so don’t be discouraged. The 21 bends will soon pass by. It’s a great climb and you will have lots of cyclists for company. There is a podium at the top where we will take your photo for prosperity!

The first was in 1952, won by (yes that man again) Fausto Coppi. Coppi attacked six kilometres from the summit to rid himself of the French rider, Jean Robic. He turned the Alpe into an instant legend because his was the year that motorcycle television crews came to the Tour. It was also the Tour’s first mountain-top finish. Only Coppi and Armstrong have been able to take the maillot jaune on the Alpe and to keep it to Paris.
The climb is 13.8km at an average 7.9 per cent, with 21 hairpins (les 21 virages) named after the winners of stages there. There were too many when the race made the 22nd climb in 2001 so naming restarted at the bottom with Lance Armstrong’s name added to Coppi’s.

The climb has been timed since 1994 so earlier times are subject to discussion. From 1994 to 1997 the climb was timed from 14.5km from the finish. Since 1999 photo-finish has been used from 14km. Other times have been taken 13.8km from the summit, which is the start of the climb. Others have been taken from the junction 700m from the start. These variations have led to a debate. Pantani’s 37m 35s is recognized by most as the fastest ascent. Why don’t you give it a go?!

Tonight we will be staying on Alpe d’Huez so you will have time to wander the village and enjoy the mountain air. The village will be buzzing as Summer is now a busy time with people seeking to escape the summer heat and get some fresh air!

Alpe-d’Huez 1972 metres

Overnight: Alpe d’Huez (Alps)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Tuesday, 10 July 2012: Col du Galibier

This morning we will leave Alpe d’Huez but instead of heading down we will be heading up past the altiport along a quiet narrow road out into the centre of the Alps. You will feel as if you’re in the middle of nowhere. The Col de Sarenne takes you up to 1989 metres. The road isn’t great so take care. The summit is followed by a steep descent down to the Barrage du Chambon and the foot of the climb to Deux Alpes.

Once at the bottom we immediately start to climb up to the Col du Lautaret (2058 metres), passing the pretty village of La Grave along the way. It isn’t too steep but the length can more than make up any lack of gradient. The views of the glaciers on the Ecrins Massif are among the most spectacular in the Alps. From here we begin the final climb to the Col du Galibier. The Col du Galibier tops the charts with a 2645 metre summit putting it amongst the highest roads in Europe. It’s almost 2200 metres of climbing in total so it’s a climb to be tackled with some respect! Don’t forget to take a photo at the memorial to the Tour de France founder, Henri Desgrange.

From here it’s “mostly” downhill to our hotel at St Jean de Maurienne, except for the small climb of 5 kilometres up to the Col du Telegraphe (1570m). Once over the top it is then downhill to the base with a left turn and down the valley 12 kilometres to the welcome sight of our hotel.

We will arrive in time to freshen up, have a bite to eat and take an afternoon nap. This evening we will eat out at a local restaurant.

Col de Sarenne 1989 metres
Col du Lautaret 2058 metres (part of Galibier climb)
Col du Galibier 2645 metres
Col du Telegraphe 1570 metres

Overnight: St Jean de Maurienne (Alps)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Wednesday, 11 July 2012: See the Race, Grand Colombier

We will leave St Jean de Maurienne and travel by bus to near Aix les Bains where we will begin our rides.

One option will be to join the race route and follow it to the finish town of Bellegarde-sur-Valserine taking in the new and brutal climb of Grand Colombier along the way. Alternatively one group will ride directly to the finish with a ride along the shores of beautiful Lac du Bourget and then following the mighty Rhone River upstream to see the finish at Bellegarde-sur-Valserine. On arrival we will meet our bus and see what has happened with the race on television before heading down to see it live and soak up some of the atmosphere. The caravane will precede the race by about an hour ensuring that there is plenty to keep us occupied.

The race will be screening live on a big screen so make sure to get a spot with a view.
Finishes are great and it will be interesting to see if the climbers hold out of if someone like Thor who can climb a little comes back to the group on the flat run in. After the race we will head back to the bus for the trip home.

Dinner isn’t provided tonight so you will be free to explore St Jean de Maurienne for dinner.

Grand Colombier 1501 metres

Overnight: St Jean de Maurienne (Alps)
Meals: Breakfast

Thursday, 12 July 2012: See the Race, Col de la Madeleine

This morning we will ride the Col de la Madeleine in reverse direction to today’s race and then return back down to La Chambre for some lunch before we ride up the Col de la Croix de Fer where you can see the race pass. Seeing the incredible speed and suffering faces of the cyclists on a climb is something to be seen. Soak it up and enjoy the day.

If you don’t climb all the way you should have time to return to St Jean de Maurienne to see the race pass again before they climb up the final climb to the finish.

As beautiful as it is, the Col de la Madeleine is also one of the harder cols of the Alps.

Starting from La Chambre, the Col de la Madeleine’s ascent is 19.05 km long and the average percentage is a difficult 8 %. There are a few cafe’s and shops on the way up to rest and gather your composure (if need be!)

After the race we will transfer to Grenoble for the next two nights.

Col de la Madeleine 2000 metres
Col de la Croix de Fer 2067 metres

Overnight: Grenoble (Alps)
Meals: Breakfast

Friday, 13 July 2012: Stage 12: See the Race, Col du Granier

Today we have a very nice ride to see the race on the Col du Granier and return to the hotel afterwards (100 kilometres). Our ride will leave Grenoble and begin climbing the Col de Porte immediately. The climb is 1326 metres high and nearly 18 kilometres long at an average of 6.3%. This will take us up onto the Chartreuse mountains and from here the climbs are not so difficult. This beautiful road through the Chartreuse will bring us to the top of the Col du Granier where we will watch see the race pass for the final time on this trip. After seeing the race we will drop down to the valley and return to Grenoble along a flatter route.

Tonight we will have our final dinner together and share some stories from your trip through the French Alps.

Col de Porte 1326 metres
Col du Cucheron 1139 metres
Col du Granier 1134 metres

Overnight: Grenoble (Alps)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Saturday, 14 July 2012: Au Revoir

Its farewell to your new friends as our tour comes to an end this morning.
It is the final day of our tour. You will be assisted to Grenoble Train Station for your onward journey. Over the past week you’ve experienced the excitement of the Tour de France up close, challenged yourself over some famous climbs and hopefully had an unforgettable holiday with Bikestyle Tours. We hope we see you again one day.

Haven’t had enough?
Extend your trip and do The Pyrenees Week.
Meals: Breakfast



Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:
-Transport throughout by private luxury coach with custom bike trailer
-Services of our experienced tour guides, plus our coach driver
-Transfers on Sunday, 8 July from Grenoble Train Station
-Transfer on Saturday, 14 July to Grenoble Train Station
-6 night’s accommodation, in selected hotels (with private facilities)
-Buffet breakfast daily
-3 course evening meals on 4 nights
-Mechanical assistance with your bike
-Sightseeing as listed
-Maps and Bikestyle guide to the Tour de France
-Bikestyle Tours cycling jersey, cap and musette bag


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Payment by Credit Card

If paying by bank deposit or cheque see below

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below

Classic Cols of the Alps ($1000pp) 

Classic Cols of the Alps Bicycle Hire $360.00 

Grand Palais Champs Elysees Seating $390.00 

Triomphe Champs Elysees Hospitality $730.00 

Tick the box to accept the Bikestyle Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If renting a bicycle you also agree to our Bicycle rental Conditions

  • By paying a deposit you are deemed to have accepted our Waiver and Reservation Conditions.
  • We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD). We recommend that you check the exchange rate before booking.
  • A surcharge of 1.5% is applicable for payments made with visa or mastercard and 3% for payments made with American Express credit cards.
  • Deposits can also be paid by direct deposit or cheque. Please see below.
  • It is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.
  • * We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD) and prices shown in other currencies are only approximate. We advise that you check the exchange rate before booking.

If you have any further enquiries please email us at


Payment by Bank Deposit and Cheque

If you wish to pay by Bank Deposit or Cheque please tick the box below to go to our Bank Details

Prior to paying a deposit it is advisable to confirm a place is available by sending an email to our Office Manager Michelle Knibbs, or telephone our office 07 38465999.

Tick the box to accept the Bikestyle Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If renting a bicycle you also agree to our Bicycle rental Conditions

  • By paying a deposit you are deemed to have accepted our Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If you have any further enquiries please email us at
  • Don’t forget it is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.
    Purchase your International Travel Insurance here.
  • * We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD) and prices shown in other currencies are only approximate. We advise that you check the exchange rate before booking.


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