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EPIC JOURNEYS: MAKE YOUR ESCAPE

La Route des Grandes Alpes.

If there is a classic itinerary that should be at top of every cyclist’s bucket list it probably should be the Route des Grandes Alpes. We recently had the opportunity to traverse this legendary road, on a fully supported point to point tour, and it certainly lived up to its billing as a trip any rider has to make once in their lifetime. From Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean Sea this legendary route travels more than 700km, crossing an entire mountain range, including 17 of the most iconic mountain passes of the French Alps, topping out at 2,764m and climbing more than 15,000m. Our six day journey started on the southern shores of Lake Geneva in Thonon-les-Bains. Winding through green valleys, dotted with typical alpine chalets, the road quickly rears up crossing the highest peaks of the Alps. Heading south the climate changes - the alpine scenery is replaced with picturesque Mediterranean villages overlooking the sea before the finish in Menton. To earn the right to dip your front wheel in the Mediterranean, and relax on the beaches of the Côte d'Azur, one must navigate roads that have made the La Grande Boucle the most prized stage race in the world. It is on the steep slopes of the Colombière, Roselend, Iseran, Télégraphe, Galibier, Izoard, Vars and Bonette (with an obligatory detour via Alpe d’Huez, of course), that a myth has been forged and legends of the sport created. It’s impossible not to let your mind wander, whilst toiling away on the steep ramps and switchbacks, and contemplate in whose wheel tracks you may be following.

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