Dolomites and French Alps

East side of the Stelvio

Simply put – the best big mountain tour there is.  Our Dolomites and French Alps Cycling Tour is your chance to conquer all the best in Italy and France.  This tour showcases the best that Europe has to offer.  If you’ve imagined yourself pedaling up the epic climbs of the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, here is your chance to make it a reality.  Stelvio, Gavia, Grappa,  Alpe d’Huez, Galibier, Madeleine, Glandon, Iseran, Telegraph and many more!

As with any great partnership or marriage there is a great story to back it up.  (Some of you know the story of how Joy & Jamie met and how it is tied to the Powells and OBT.  If not, just ask!)  This tour is the result of a partnership that started when Joy & Jamie took a vacation with Jason Cardillo and his company Velo Veneto.  We were inspired by what Jason and Pat have done with Velo Veneto, their love for the bike, sharing experiences with clients, and the lifestyle that comes with it.  Long story short, those several days in the Veneto made our decision to take on OBT very easy.  Now we’re partnering on a tour!  This partnership leverages the very best of both companies – Velo Veneto showing off the Italian roads they know so well, and OBT showing off the French routes we have been riding for years.

You start your two week adventure by flying into Venice, spend a week in Italy.  We then transfer you by train across the border for the French Alps portion of the tour.  Epic!

All of your breakfasts, half your lunches, and nearly all your dinners are included. Also included are all transfers, including the train needed between Italy and France. See details below.

Day 1:  June 28th – Friday – Arrive in Venice
WBenvenuti in Italia! Arrive in Venice, where our private shuttle will take you to your base for the next four nights. If you arrive early enough, you may have time to build your bike and take a quick spin before dinner. Lunch (for morning arrivals) and Dinner included.

Dolomites and French Alps Bike Tour

Monte Grappa ©GruberImages


Day 2, 3, and 4:  June 29th & 30th, July 1st – Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – Castelcucco
With nearly 30 different rides to choose from, there’s no shortage of great roads here. From lush farmlands, to rolling Prosecco vineyard-covered hills, to the stiffer climbs of the pre-Dolomites, you’ll have the perfect rides to settle into Europe and prepare for the big mountains to come. We’ll even begin the climbing with our own Monte Grappa, a 27km climb right in our backyard! Every ride begins and ends at our HQ hotel, so there’s no packing and unpacking, and no van time! Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included each day.

Day 5:  July 2nd – Tuesday – Castelcucco to Bormio
Our morning departure leaves the Veneto behind and takes you north into the Dolomites, with their dramatic rock spires and gorgeous vistas. After a lunch in our Bormio base, we’ll head out on a short ride to acclimate to the altitude and gain a beautiful vista of Bormio and the Valtellina. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included.

Dolomites and French Alps Bike Tour

Gavia Summit ©Velo Veneto

Days 6 & 7:  July 3rd & 4th – Wednesday & Thursday – Bormio
The two most famous mountain passes in Italy, the Gavia and the Stelvio, are on the menu for us. You’ll have your choice between an out-and-back ride of 40-50km (1,500m climbing) or a 105-115km loop that includes another major climb each day (+3,000m climbing.) Breakfast and Dinner included each day.

Dolomites and French Alps Bike Tour

Gavia Sign ©Velo Veneto

Dolomites and French Alps Bike Tour

Stelvio ©Velo Veneto

Day 8:  July 5th – Friday – Transfer to St. Jean de Maurienne
We transfer you and your bike to St. Jean by train across the boarder. (Train ticket is included.)   Breakfast is included.  Lunch and dinner is on your own.  Many choices for dinner in St. Jean. If you get there early enough you could go for a spin up the Croix de Fer, which is right out our hotel’s back door.

Day 9:  July 6th – Saturday – St. Jean de Maurienne to Albertville
The first day of riding is no slouch.  We ride 74km over the Col du Madeleine to Albertville. Dinner is included tonight.

Day 10:  July 7th – Sunday – Albertville to Val d’Isere
Today we turn east and up into the high Alps.  We venture 90km over the Cormet de Roselend and then part way up the Col d’Iseran to Val d’Isere.  Dinner is included at our hotel tonight.

Day 11:  July 8th – Monday – Val d’Isere to Valliore
We ride 106km today, but all but 20km is flat or downhill.  Air will be thin!  Col d’Iseran is the highest paves mountain pass in the Alps at 2,770 metres (9,090 ft). We will ride over the remainder of the Col d’Iseran, down the Maurienne valley, and then over the Col de Telegraphe.  Dinner will be at our hotel in Valloire tonight.

Day 12:  July 9th – Tuesday – Valliore to La Grave
After our heavy saddle time yesterday we have a “short” 36km over the Galibier and to La Grave.  You will have options to add climbing and mileage – Les Deux Alpes and The Col d’Izoard are available for conquereing.  Dinner is included at our hotel tonight.  Glacier viewing is free!

Day 13:  July 10th – Wednesday – La Grave
The 21 virages of Alpe d’Huez await you down the valley.  Use the ride down to warm up, then test yourself on the 13km climb.  We will have a friendly handicapped race within the group for king/queen of the mountain rights!  You will ride 80km down the valley, up Alpe d’Huez, and back.  Don’t worry….  we’ll give you a ride back to La Grave if you blew yourself out timetrialing up Alpe d’Huez.  Your well earned dinner is included tonight.

Day 14:  July 11th – Thursday – La Grave to St Jean de Maurienne
After yesterdays excitement we will have a nice 96km ride back to St. Jean via the Col du Glandon.  Tonight’s farewell dinner is included.

Day 15:  July 12th – Friday – Depart St Jean de Maurienne
Farewell!  Or come with us on our Tour de France tour!  If you join us on our TdF tour we will transport you to Avignon for free!

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Posted on

September 17, 2012