Days 1-3, Piedmont, Italy
Buon giorno Italia! The Piedmont region is known for its great food and wine, so we’ll spend the first few days enjoying cappuccino, gelato, risotto and pasta, and soaking in the culture. To work off all those great meals, we’ll conquer two classic Italian Alps cols: Colle dell’Agnello (included in the 2008/2010 Tour de France) and a climb to the source of the Po River, at the base of beautiful Mount Viso.
Days 4-6, French Alps – Ubaye Region
Bonjour France! Now it’s time to experience the best of French culture, with mouth-watering baguettes, pastries, café au lait, and of course French wine. We’ll stay 3 nights so you have a chance to settle into French life in the Ubaye region. Challenge yourself on the Col de la Bonnette, the highest paved pass in Europe. (15 miles/9,193 ft, 6.6% average) and ride the famous “grande boucle” (big loop) that includes Col d’Allos, Col des Champs and Col de Cayolle. The grande boucle (74 miles/11,000 ft) includes some of the most challenging climbs in the Alps. Shorter options are available.
Days 7-10, Maritime Alps and the Mediterranean Sea
Our route travels through the scenic Maritime Alps, along some of the most dramatic roads in France. On the final ride into Nice, we’ll climb Col de la Madone along Lance Armstrong’s famous training route. We’ll follow a spectacularly scenic road perched high above the Mediterranean and enjoy a final descent to our seaside hotel in Nice.
Day 1: 62 miles/5,925 ft.
Day 2: 53 miles/8,647 ft.
Day 3: 47-68 miles/3,390-7,517 ft.
Day 4: 39 miles/5,488 ft. or Recovery day
Day 5: 74 miles/11,000 ft. or Recovery day
Day 6: 52 miles/6,789 ft.
Day 7: 49 miles/8,159 ft.
Day 8: 30 miles/4,500 ft. or Recovery day
Day 9: 59 miles/4,200 ft.
Total: 486 miles/62,225 ft.