.

The Triple Crown

Shortest Day - 65km min
Longest Day - 82km min
Total: 5 days total, 3 days riding. 7,500m ascent. 4 nights dinner bed and breakfast accommodation.

What you can expect

One of the ultimate cycling challenges, this ride includes three climbs that would be tough enough on their own without doing them three days in a row. You will certainly have bragging rights after completing this Hors Categorie ride with 7,500m of ascent in three days.

More detail

You will have our customary high levels of care all through this tour and very comfortable accommodation. The ride will be guided by an experienced grimpeur who will be able to talk you through what is to come and who will ride with you. A mechanic will ensure your bike is in tip top shape meaning the only thing you have to do is cycle. This tour is designed as a challenge, to achieve the three hills in three days, so we have carefully designed the itinerary to allow some recovery time in the afternoons and to allow for transfers to the next mountain.

The description below is the minimum distance to achieve the goal and extra miles can be added if desired.

Day 1: Arrive in Geneva and transfer to our overnight hotel in Bourg d'Oisans for a bit of carb-loading and an early night. Our mechanic will help you prepare your bike and make sure everything is ready for you in the morning.

Day 2: The Alps. Alpe d'Huez is iconic and its 21 hairpin bends need no introduction to followers of the Tour de France. At about 14km long the average gradient is 8% up the Alpe, but no-one ever forgets the moment, riding out of Bourg d'Ouisans, when the road suddenly turns skywards and words like 'Blimey' enter your head! The corners are all numbered so you can tick them off mentally as you climb upwards, also seeing the names of the previous Tour climb winners after which each bend is named.  We continue through the village to the top of the climb (1,860m) before descending and taking on the Cols de Glandon (1,924m) and Croix de Fer (2,067m) for those who fancy them - a very pretty ascent. At the top of the Croix de Fer is a nice cafe where you can sit and enjoy the spectacular views eastwards. The actual summit of the Glandon is just off the route we take on the way up, so on the way back we nip up the very short stretch of road to bag this one too, before a fantastic descent which seems to go forever. After an early afternoon finish, put your feet up and rest in our comfortable minibus transfer to the foot of Mont Ventoux. 82km, 3,171m ascent.

Day 3: Mont Ventoux from Bedoin is the classic choice of the three routes available and the route the Tour de France takes. It's the hardest of the three routes up and averages 9% over the last 16km of the climb. We stay about an hour's ride from Bedoin, which has the advantage of allowing you to warm up and shake off any stiffness that may be in your legs from yesterday; there's a small warm up climb too which adds a couple of hundred meters to the total ascent for the day. After regrouping in Bedoin, the first 5km of the Ventoux are pretty straightforward and a lot of people wonder what all the fuss is about; however it's good sense not to go off too fast as you will find out soon enough why this climb has the reputation it does, just as soon as the road enters the forest. Here you will see where the famous shots of Tommy Simpson were filmed on that fateful day as he struggled to keep up with the leaders. Coming out of the forest you see the infamous moonscape of bleached stones and the observatory at the summit: it's still a fair distance to the top, but at least you can see your target as you pass Chalet Reynard and the memorial to Mister Tom. The last bend is a vertical ramp that seems about 40% but once at the top the views back towards the Alps and over the Provencal plain are amazing. Even if you haven't exactly tamed the beast that is the Ventoux, you can enjoy the descent and an afternoon transfer to the Pyrenees allowing a chance to relax a little and get some food and drink on board. Two out of three done, and with luck time for a swim at the hotel and some more food before bed. 70km, 2,130m ascent.

Day 4: We drive a short distance from our hotel to Arreau at the foot of the Col d'Aspin. This is a really pretty climb and a great warm-up for the big one. It is a mixture of woods and pastures, and you will hear cow bells ringing on the way to the summit at 1,489m. From here you descend to St Marie de Campan, where as you swing left in the village to start the Tourmalet climb you will hear the clicking of gear shifters. The first time the Tourmalet was climbed the riders called the organisers 'assassins'. The climb is relentless with a height gain of 1,284m over 17.5km, and you will ride up through the ski station at La Mongie which gives you an idea of the altitude. Looking back, you will see the road snaking around the mountain below you. There's a particularly nasty ramp about three turns out from the top (we found it nasty anyway!) but all of a sudden you round a corner and see the famous statue of a Tour de France cyclist and you will be well justified in feeling proud having your photograph taken here at the summit height of 2,115m. Cheer on the other riders as they arrive and enjoy a coffee from the summit cafe, before descending down the other side of the mountain for a well deserved meal and rehydration. 65km, 2,244m ascent. 

Day 5: Departure

Single supplement (for guaranteed single occupancy): £295

BOOK ONLINE NOW

or enquire about specific dates by clicking 'Booking Enquiry' below.

Current dates for this tour:

Starts:
25.06.17
Ends:
29.06.17
Rating:
Extreme
Price:
£995
Starts:
09.09.17
Ends:
13.09.17
Rating:
Extreme
Price:
£995

Travel Information

Start: Geneva
Finish: Pau

Click here for our Travel Information page

« Go Back