Summer alpine sportive

I only ever did the Maratona dles Dolomites. Which is an absolutely fantastic event.
But the dates (1st Sunday July) unfortunately tend to clash with school term, so no good for family time.

Can you guys recommend some other summer alpine sportive, ideally 1000-150km distance, 3000-5000m climbing. I know of a few from the various online calendars like cycloworld.cc but I'd like opinions from real folks who actually did them.

Thanks,

Comments

  • shirley_basso
    shirley_basso Posts: 6,195
    I can recommend a self supported Cingles de Mont Ventoux - all 3 sides up Ventoux.

    Pretty straight forwards - there are 3 roads running up Ventoux - from the 3 villages called Bedoin, Maulecene and Sault. Typically you ascend in that order, as Bedoin is the hardest and Sault the easiest.

    Leave around 4:30am to get to the first summit by sunrise. Should be done just after lunch.

    100 miles, 4800m elevation.

    Doesn't need tons of foodstops etc - just buy a sandwich at the bottom at one of the many cafes each time, and a coke at the top!
  • pep.fermi
    pep.fermi Posts: 381
    Great, thanks.
    I've never been on Ventoux. How is the traffic?
  • shirley_basso
    shirley_basso Posts: 6,195
    I didn't see a single car on the mountain between 4:30am and c.2pm when I finished.

    There's also Les Gorges de la Nesque which is next door which is meant to be beautiful but we didn't have time to ride it, unfortunately.
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,766

    I can recommend a self supported Cingles de Mont Ventoux - all 3 sides up Ventoux.

    Pretty straight forwards - there are 3 roads running up Ventoux - from the 3 villages called Bedoin, Maulecene and Sault. Typically you ascend in that order, as Bedoin is the hardest and Sault the easiest.

    Leave around 4:30am to get to the first summit by sunrise. Should be done just after lunch.

    100 miles, 4800m elevation.

    Doesn't need tons of foodstops etc - just buy a sandwich at the bottom at one of the many cafes each time, and a coke at the top!

    Did you bother with the registering, and getting a card stamped etc etc?
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
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  • shirley_basso
    shirley_basso Posts: 6,195
    i did, yes. you get a little plastic badge
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,893
    I've not done the cingles but I've done the Bedoin and Sault climbs/descents plus the unpaved route that uses the first bit of the Bedoin route and last few Kms of the third paved climb.

    It really is a nice atmosphere on Ventoux and I can imagine on a nice day it'd be great to do all three. I've been up there in early evening and it was very nice - different atmosphere to when it's busy with cyclists. Second the recommendation to ride the Gorge road from Sault back towards Bedoin. The issue with Ventoux can be high winds though I've always dropped lucky with the weather - well lucky if you like extreme heat.

    Re Alpine sportives afraid I've only done the Marmotte - great event if you like big mass participation rides which I do - though again it's in school term time. I actually preferred the changed route one year when landslides closed the Lautaret - did make it tougher.
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  • davebradswmb
    davebradswmb Posts: 484
    I guess that it isn't possible to run sportives in the summer because it is going to be very busy with holidaymakers. However if you get yourself to Bourg d'Oisans they run a series of free ad hoc events on Tuesdays through the summer on closed roads. We stumbled across one last year at Villard Reculas and were given a slice of melon and a buff which was quite unexpected. It didn't seem particularly well attended, but this was in July (we were there for the Etape and the Tour) and I expect they are better attended in the summer, especially on the more famous climbs.
    https://uk.bike-oisans.com/agenda-cycling-mtb-oisans/oisans-col-series/
  • shirley_basso
    shirley_basso Posts: 6,195
    Interestingly, I barely remember seeing anyone - I certainly don't recall myself chasing other riders - either on the way up or down.

    My only lasting memory of another rider was someone else wearing the same kit as me - the 2016 Denmark Olympic kit.

    Also we were very lucky with the weather. Not a breath of wind and temps bearable on the final ascent, although I am generally okay with the high heat if I can drink enough.
  • The only summer one I know of is Tour Des Stations in August. Not done it myself but assume it is pretty well organised from the looks of various vids/blogs on it.

    There are four routes including a Granfondo for the OP at 133km with 4500m of climbing.
  • jimmyjams
    jimmyjams Posts: 776
    You're somewhere in northern Germany if I remember correctly, so I suppose you mean with 'summer holidays' those in Bremen, Hamburg, Niedersachsen or Schleswig-Holstein, which in those Länder are about 10 July to 20 August this year.

    Most replies are pointing you towards Ventoux, but there are other not-so-far-away possibilities. Here are four, roughly meeting your criteria of 100-150 km, 3000-5000 m climbing (but I don't know if they are still open for registration):

    - 23 July, Granfondo San Gottardo, 115 km/3300 m (www.granfondosangottardo.com).
    Start/finish is at Ambri in southern Switzerland. Although the start/finish is different, the route, covering the St. Gotthard, Nufenen and Furka passes, isn't dissimilar to some versions of the well-organised Alpenbrevet (takes place at the begin of Sept), which I did twice, about 12 and 15 years ago. Normally only the north side of the St. Gotthard has any traffic to speak of.

    - 30 July, Arlberg Giro, 150 km/2500 m (www.arlberg-giro.com)
    Start/finish is at St. Anton in western Austria, more known for its skiing. The start is very hard, over the Alberg Pass (which is closed to traffic until all cyclists are up and over) and the last 15 km up the valley back to St. Anton a bit of a drag, but inbetween the route is very enjoyable, especially the Bielerhöhe pass, and the event well organised. I did this about 10 years ago.

    -5 Aug, Marmotte Valais, 133 km/4700 m (tourdesstations.ch)
    Start is at Le Chable, finish at Verbier, in SW Switzerland; from Verbier back to Le Chable it is just a short downhill. I do not know this or the passes it crosses, while it also seems pretty hard since 80% of the climbing of the 133 km route is in the last 90 km.
    As MidlandsGrimpeur2 mentions, there are 4 longer/harder (!) routes but also a shorter/easier one – 74 km/2900 m.

    -19 Aug Wendelsteinrundfahrt, Marathon 210 km/3050 m, Tour A 165 km/2230 m (www.wendelsteinrundfahrt.de)
    Start/finish is in Au (Bad Aibling) in southern Bavaria and the route goes south into the Alps and briefly into Austria. It does not go over any famous passes or to a higher elevation than about 1150 m. It is more like a sportive in the UK (or a RTF in Germany) in that, unlike the other three above, there is no mass start at a set time. I have not ridden it but know the roads from other reasons, overall very quiet.
  • jimmyjams
    jimmyjams Posts: 776
    Here are 4 more possibilities which I never got around to listing yesterday evening, all these in the French Alps.
    French cyclosportives are well enough organised but, the L'Ardechoise apart, I find them not as good in organsiation/facilities/food/value/etc as those in Switzerland or Austria.

    15 July, L’Aindinoise, 110 km/3320 m (cyclosportive-laindinoise.fr)
    Start is at Culoz and finish at the top of the Grand Colombier; from the top of the Grand Colombier back to Culoz it is just downhill, retracing the final climb in the reverse direction. The route is really only on the periphery of the Alps proper. It does a circuit from/back to Culoz and then the final climb. The two other climbs are actually steeper than the more famous final one. A lot of the climbing is probably through forests (which can be good or bad depending on the weather), much of the final climb certainly is (I did it about 10 years ago). The event is relatively new, only 3rd edition this year.

    16 July, Gran Fondo Col de la Loze,120 Km/4400 m (coldelalozebyblb.com)
    Start is at Brides-les-bains and finish at the top of the Col de la Loze; from the top of the Loze back to Brides-les-bains it is just downhill. The route covers quite a bit of back-and-forth along the local valley and also up and over the Col de la Loze, and then back up it again from the other side, so doesn't extend over a wide area (which can be a good thing if one has problems). The event is relatively new, only 4th edition this year, and it strikes me as fairly hard and technical, albeit along very quiet minor roads in wonderful scenery.

    23 July, Cyclosportive Châtel Léman, 150 km/2700 m (chatelchablaislemanrace.com/)
    Start is at Châtel and finish at the top of the Col de Bassechaux; from the top of the Bassechaux back to Châtel it is just a short downhill. The route covers 4 smaller alpine passes in the area and also includes a long stretch alongside Lake Geneva. I know two of the passes and they are very quiet and not difficult, but the road alongside the lake can get busy with traffic. This is the northernmost of these four in the French Alps.

    6 Aug, La Madeleine cyclosportive, 135 km/4700 m, alternate 115 km/3700 m (www.cyclo-madeleine.com)
    Start is at La Chambre and finish at the top of the Madeleine; from the top of the Madeleine back to La Chambre it is just downhill, retracing the final climb in the reverse direction or using a parallel route. As well as the Madeleine, the route covers passes/climbs which other cyclosportives in the area do - Mollard and Croix de Fer (the harder side from the east). The longer route also includes Montvernier/Col de Chaussy. I know the region very well, and all the roads involved, been thereabouts many times including last summer, have done a couple of other cyclosportives in the area (Marmotte, L'Arvan-Villards). It is ideal high mountain cycle-climbing country. This is the southernmost of these four in the French Alps.
  • pep.fermi
    pep.fermi Posts: 381
    Thanks everybody.
    Most attractive I find La Madeleine, and La Marmotte Valais.
    Cheers,
    Alberto