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What's New in 2013

22nd July 2013 - The Brevet de Randonneur des Alpes is a cyclotourism event that takes place every two years. The route starts near Grenoble in Vizille and takes in four main climbs - the Col de la Croix de Fer, the Col du Mollard, the Col de Telegraphe and the Col du Galibier. I also added an additional climb towards Auris-en-Oisans to complete the Super Brevet de Randonneur des Alps with 233km logged and over 5,500 metres of climbing.

The conditions were perfect this year with a clear sky and temperatures in the mid-30s in the afternoon in Grenoble in the valley. You can see the Strava detail here.

Click here for the photo gallery.

BRA 2013 BRA 2013 BRA 2013 BRA 2013

You can see the video diary below.

The next edition is in 2015 and will start with the Col du Galibier and then the Col de la Croix de Fer.

7th July 2013 - The 2770 metre Col de l'Iseran is the highest true Alpine pass in France and can be found between the mountain villages of Val-d'Isère and Bonneval-sur-Arc. With a clear and warm day predicted, I wanted to both sides of the climb in preparation for the Brevet de Randonneur des Alps, in two weeks time. My final climb would take me up a road to the Plan du Lac, a route I had seen while scouring maps during the winter months..

My tour started in the village of Termignon, with 38 kilometres of climbing to the Col de l'Iseran. I then descended to Val d'Isere and turned around to climb the 17 kilometres back to the Col de l'Iseran. My final climb was up a one way road from Termignon to the Plan du Lac, a tough 14 kilometre ascent to 2360 metres. The Col de l'Iseran is a beautiful climb from both sides, and for me, alongside the Galibier, Izoard and Cormet de Roseland as one of the must ride climbs in the Alps. The climb to Plan du Lac was tough, with steep gradients at the bottom with no shade and no water. The views at the top are stunning with snow-capped peaks in every direction.

Click here for the photo gallery.

Iseran Iseran Iseran Iseran

You can see the video diary below.

You see the route detail and ride profile detailed from my Strava log of the ride here.

18th June 2013 - We are in mid-June and the snow in the Alps this year is one of main talking points for cyclists visiting the Alps. The Col du Galibier and Col de l'Iseran are still shut, with reports of walls of snow of ten metres next to the road on the Iseran.

I was keen to see how much snow was still on the mountains and last weekend, I rode a 120 kilometre loop, leaving from Bourg St Maurice and riding over the 2188 metre Col du Petit St Bernard and into Italy. The second mountain pass was the Colle San Carlo before the eastern side of the Col du Petit St Bernard. A clear day and nicely cool in the afternoon above 2000 metres. As you can see, there is still an impressive amount of snow above 2,000 metres.

Click here for the photo gallery.

Col du Petit St Bernard Col du Petit St Bernard Col du Petit St Bernard Col du Petit St Bernard

You can see the video diary below.

You see the route detail and ride profile detailed from my Strava log of the ride here.

9th June 2013 - Finally, the sunshine and summer has hit the French Alps. The mountains are still covered in a lot of snow with the Col du Glandon and Col du Galibier still closed. When they do open, there will be some spectacular photo opportunities of riding next to the snow and I hope next weekend will be an opportunity to get into the high mountains for the first time. The weather in May was for the most part, shocking. Grey, cold and wet, with over 160mm of rain falling compared to 85mm last year.

After a very quiet year on the bike last year, this year, has started better and I have been riding regularly since mid-April. My main goal of 2013 is the 225 kilometre Brevet de Randonneur des Alps in late July. I had been running over the winter, but I fell in mid-March when running in the hills above Grenoble and gave myself an ankle strain. Two weeks later, I slipped against a door while taking photos out of minibus window and broke a rib. After another three weeks of recovering, I started cycling. It seemed safer than running and photography.

I discovered Strava this year, a website for uploading your GPS data for running and riding. It's interesting to see how you compare against other riders, but even more so, how we progress against ourselves. After only riding 180km last year, I've now ridden over 1,250km since mid-April. You can see my latest data below.

I've created an album of photos from this year's rides which you can find here, which include the Vercors, Chartreuse, Alpe d'Huez and the Trieves.

7th October 2012 - With only a few days until the offical route announcement of the 2013 Tour de France, I drove down to Provence with Phil and Gary to ride the Giant of Provence, the Mont Ventoux. Along with Alpe d'Huez, the Mont Ventoux is expected to feature in next year's 100th Tour de France race route. I had ridden the Ventoux four times before, and it is one of the essential rides in France. Galibier, Alpe d'Huez, Izoard, Cormet de Roseland, Pierre Carre and Ventoux are roads the have to be ridden.

We had exceptional weather for early October with temperatures in the mid 20s at the base of the Ventoux, with cooler temperatures at the top with a little wind. I'd forgotton how long the steep section in the forest seems to last, with gradients around ten percent and no views to take your mind off the road. with film from each of the 21 hairpins on the ascent. We climbed the main Tour de France ascent of the Mont Ventoux, which starts in Bedoin. A 22 kilometre climb with over 1,600 metres of vertical ascent at an average of 7.1%. By the time I reached the Chalet Reynard, I was happy the gradient eased a little but the last three kilometres felt really tough. The descent down to Malaucene was incredible with long, fast straights as well as fun, technical sections.

You can see the video diary below.

19th July 2012 - For It looks like history will be made this weekend as Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome will roll into Paris as the first and second placed riders in the Tour de France.Tour de France. It really is amazing to see how cycling had changed from a peleton that was made up of French, Italien and Spanish riders to the number of English speaking riders we now have.

I have been contacted about ordering some of my photos of Bradley Wiggins and the other riders and created a gallery online where prints can be ordered. You can see the gallery here and order in English or French and have the prints delivered directly to you - don't worry, my name isn't on the final photo. Let me know if there is a photo you like and I can add it.

12th July 2012 - For my day with this years Tour de France, l spent the afternoon on the final climb of stage 11 to La Toussuire with my kids yesterday. We watched from three kilometres up the climb on a warm and sunny day for the riders. It was certainly a tough day with so much climbing over the Madeleine, Glandon then Croix de Fer, Mollard and then to La Toussuire. The patron of my Grenoble cycling club, Tour de France winner, Bernard Thevenet, told me a few years ago that the Glandon/Croix de Fer from the Maurienne valley is one of the toughest climbs in the Alps.

A great victory for Pierre Rolland, and great to see Nibali on the attack. There were some very tired cyclists riding past and I was amazed to see how many photographers were following so closely on motorbikes.

To see the gallery in full, visit the link here.

16th June 2012 - After last year's rain, the sunshine arrived last Friday afternoon when I organised the sixth annual ascent to Alpe d'Huez with the team from my work at HP. The rain that has hit the Alps in April, May and the start of June disappeared to give us a warm and sunny afternoon in the French Alps. Perfect conditions with great views on the climb to the ski resort. The group was made up of keen cyclists to Alpe d'Huez first timers. You can see our video diary below, with film from each of the 21 hairpins on the ascent.

 

7th June 2012 - I spent the day following the individual time-trial stage of this year's Criterium du Dauphine with a day in the Beaujolais wine region. The 53 kilometre stage started in Villié-Morgon and finished in Bourg-en-Bresse. The rain and low cloud that covered Grenoble in the Prologue had disappeared and it was a warm and windy day in the vineyards. Bradley Wiggins was third at the first checkpoint, but found his legs and finished the stage 36 seconds ahead of the German Tony Martin.

Criterium du Dauphine 2012 Criterium du Dauphine 2012 Criterium du Dauphine 2012 Criterium du Dauphine 2012

There are a lot of images in the gallery for today's stage. I was enjoying taking photos of each rider as they came past so there is at least one photograph for the majority of riders. For all the images, please visit the Image Gallery here.

3rd June 2012 - The Criterium du Dauphine started in Grenoble today with 5km Prologue. A grey day in the French Alps with rain in the middle of the session, which gave the early starters an advantage of dry roads. The stage took the riders around the city centre and was completely flat. The winner was the young Australian, Luke Durbridge, with the favourite Bradley Wiggins one second down. 2011 Tour de France winner, Cadel Evans finished ninth, six seconds down. Here are some photos from the day.

Criterium du Dauphine 2012 Criterium du Dauphine 2012 Criterium du Dauphine 2012 Criterium du Dauphine 2012 Criterium du Dauphine 2012

For all the images, please visit the Image Gallery here.

28th May 2012 - I cycled a 77km tour in the Ain region of the French Alps to climb the 1501 metre Col du Grand Colombier. This climb will be the main ascent on stage 10 of the 2012 Tour de France, and it will be the first time that the Tour de France has raced this mountain. The Col du Grand Colombier is a 18.3km climb with 1220 metres of vertical ascent at an average gradient of 6.9%. The majority of the climb is ridden under the cover of trees with long straight sections which will allow the riders to see riders ahead of them. Each kilometre, a stone by the road details the altitude and percentage for the next kilometre with some kilometres at 3% and others at over 10% with a maximum gradient of 14%.

It was the first time I had cycled the climb and it was certainly a tough ascent and will make a great addition to the 2012 Tour de France. You can see my video diary below - remember to choose the high quality clip.

9th May 2012 - The weather in April was cool and wet with even more snow falling on the high mountains and it was not be a month for cycling. It will be interesting to see when the high passes like Galibier will open up. May has thankfully warmed up and for my first long ride of the year, I headed onto the edge of the Vercors for 80 kilometres. I bought a new camera, a Sony DSCHX9VB, which now allows me to film in HD. In the next few weeks, I plan to ride the Grand Colombier, the new climb that will be used in the Tour de France in July.

At the end of March, I joined a 16 person team from HP France for the 2012 Course du Coeur - the race of the Heart. I was asked to be the official photographer for the four days. The 800 kilometre race started in Paris on Wednesday evening and 14 teams ran through the night and day to finish in the ski resort of Les Arcs on Sunday afternoon. The goal of the event was to promote the message of organ donation along the route. The 14th team was made up of athletes who had received donated organs, and at numerous times over the four days, I saw people in tears. People who were happy to be alive and being able to participate in the Course du Coeur

It was an incredible human adventure, from the stamina of surviving on minimal sleep to seeing the team spirit build as the event progressed, and the emotional journey, meeting people who had had their lives changed by organ donation. Some of my photo highlights can be seen below.

3rd March 2012 - I have updated the site with the 2012 Tour de France Alpine preview with details of the three alpine stages in this year's Tour de France. In 2012, the riders will climb the Grand Colombier for the first time in the Tour de France, as well as legendary Cols including the Madeleine and the Croix de Fer. You can see more details on the preview here.

Here in the Alps, the bitter cold that hit Europe in early February has now been replaced by Spring temperatures and I feel motivated to do some sport. When the temperature dropped to around minus 13, I found it difficult to find my running clothes but this week, the temperature has climbed above 20 degrees. .

In late March, I will join a team from HP to participate in the 2012 Course de Coeur. This 750 kilometre running event starts in Paris and finishes in the ski resort of Les Arcs five days later. 14 teams join the event, which promotes organ donation in France and HP have sponsored a team for a number of years. I have been invited to join the team as the official photographer this year, the first Brit to participate for HP and you can see my profile here.

24th January 2012 - Happy New Year to you. We have a cold and humid winter in the French Alps this year, with a good covering of snow in all the local resorts. Alpe d'Huez has three and a half metres at the top of the station and I recommend visiting their panoramic webcam here which is placed at over 3,000 metres. A great view of the resort and surrounding mountains.

No cycling yet for me in 2012, but I have been running to try and help me lose weight after a relaxing Christmas break. As soon as I warms up, I plan to update the site with a video diary from the two main alpine Tour de France stages. We can expect the roads to open in late April.

24th October 2011 - The route of the 2012 Tour de France has now been announced, with three days in and around the French Alps. The 2012 race starts on Saturday June 30th in the northern city of Liège and then takes a clockwise route around France. In total, 3479 kilometres will be covered before the riders cross the finish line in Paris on Sunday July 22nd. Nine flat stages, four hilly stages and five mountain stages make up the road racing stages. There are also three individual time-trial stages over the three week event including a 6.1 kilometre prologue in Liège.

The race arrives in the Alps on Wednesday 11th July with the 194 kilometre stage from Mâcon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine. For the first time in Tour history, the riders will climb the 18 kilometre ascent of the Grand Colombier before the Col de Richemond and then descend to finish for the first time in Bellegarde-sur-Valserine. The Grand Colombier ascends over 1250 metres and has a maximum gradient of 14% and with more time-trialing in 2012, the climbers will have to take advantage of mountains like the Grand Colombier.

Day two in the Alps is the classic alpine stage and takes place on Thursday 12th July. The 140 kilometre mountain stage takes the riders from Albertville to La Toussuire - Les Sybelles. Four climbs await the riders starting with 2000 metre Col de la Madeleine before the 2067 metre Col de la Croix de Fer via the Col du Glandon. The route descends part of the way down the Croix de Fer before climbing over the Col du Mollard. The final climb is the 18 kilometre ascent to the ski station of La Toussuire - Les Sybelles.

On Friday 13th July, the final 220 kilometre stage in the Alps takes the riders over two climbs on the transition into the northern Ardèche, south of St Etiene. The stage starts in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and after 34 kilometres crosses the 1188 metre Col du Grand Cucheron. The final alpine climb of 2012 is crossed after 79 kilometres, the 1134 metre Col du Granier. The riders then leave the Chartreuse and finish south of Lyon in Annonay Davézieux.

You can find more details on the Tour de France website here. I am currently working on the 2012 Preview Page for the Alpine Stages to give you my thoughts on the route, the climbs and the best places to watch the Tour de France in the Alps in 2012.

15th October 2011 - To finish off the cycling year, I headed into the high Alps with two friends for one last ride before the temperature drops and the snow arrives. Our 72 kilometre route started in Allemont, were the temperature was two degrees. We had ten kilometres of flat riding to Bourg d'Oisans before the route then climbed the first six hairpins to Alpe d'Huez and then turned off on to the d211a toward Auris-en-Oisans. The main ascent of the day was the stunning climb to the 1999 metre Col de Sarenne before a small descent and climb into the ski resort of Alpe d'Huez. The spectacular views continued on the balcony road to Villard-Reculas before the final descent to Allemont. In total, 72 kilometres and 2,200 metres of climbing.

I suffered more than I have done for many years on a bike when climbing to the Col de Sarenne. My last time on a bike had been at the start of September and a recent throat infection had kept me away from doing any sport for the previous week. I suffered but I loved it. The mountains were so clear and the views were incredible, and a 'road closed' sign at the bottom meant we didn't see more than five cars on the rugged and desolate climb of the Col de Sarenne. You you can check my Garmin data here.

4th October 2011 - The summer has stayed with us for most of the month of September, with sunny and warm weather for the last few weeks. I rode the Gieroise event at the start of September with Phil, giving us a 141 kilometre tour and taking us over the Col de la Croix des Adrets and the Col de Barrioz near Allevard. It was a cyclotourist event with a goal of making it around the route rather than riding as fast as you can. Our route card was stamped at key stops and the organisation had created a tour that took us on tiny back roads which kept us away from traffic. A great atmosphere with around 300 participant. You can see Phil's Garmin output with the map and profile here.

As we wait in anticipation for the announcement of the 2012 Tour de France route, I found an interesting website which has built the stage list from rumours of the route of the 2012 Tour de France. Velopeleton is predicting three days in the Alps with only one mountaintop finish at La Toussuire. You can see the details of the route here. We only have a few more days until the real route is announced.

It is going to be difficult to beat the 2011 Tour de France. I have been watching some of the key stages from this year's race again and it really was one of the most exciting races I have watched. Evans rode an incredible race and is such a worthy winner. He never gave up and it was great to see him seal the win in the time-trial on the roads I know so well around Grenoble. Stand out moments for me in the Alps included Contador and Sanchez working together in the last kilometres to Pinerolo to try and get away from the other main contenders. Andy Schleck attacking on the Col d'Izoard and winning at the Col du Galibier, and Alberto Contador's attack at the foot of the Col du Telegraphe on the stage to Alpe d'Huez.

20th July 2011 - You can forget the summer, it is snowing in July in the French Alps. Take a look at the Dauphine Libere website for yesterday's photos of the Col du Galibier where 10 centimetres of snow has fallen. You can see the photos here.

The Tour de France arrives in the high Alps today with the stage from Gap to Pinerolo. In Grenoble this morning, it is cool and raining and it is not a morning where it would be pleasant to ride a bike in the valley, let alone climb in the mountains. I hope we see some improvement in the weather over the next few days as the descents from the 2.744 metre Col Agnel and from the 2.646 metre Col du Galibier will freeze the riders. If you are visiting the Alps this week to watch the race, bring your coat and clothes to keep warm as I'm not sure how much sun we will see. You can check the weather forecast in Grenoble here.

We have a very interesting race this year with the main contenders close together as we arrive for the final week in the Alps. The Australian Evans and the Spaniard Sanchez look strong, and yesterday on the stage to Gap, Contador looked stronger than we saw him in the Pyrenees. I was sad to see the loss of Kazakh Alexander Vinokourov, Belgian Jurgen van den Broeck and the Englishman Bradley Wiggins. Vino especially is a rider who can ignite a stage with an unexpected attack, and we already saw this on the stage 8 to Super-Besse Sancy when he jumped away from the pack. He was caught before the end of the stage, but showed he had good legs.

Thor Hushovd as kept the momentum after winning the World Championships at the end of last year. Two stage wins this year in the Tour de France on two stages in the mountains. Stage 13 to Lourdes was one of the most exciting stage finishes I have ever seen. The Frenchman Jeremy Roy had two minutes lead on Hushovd at the Col du Soulor with 33 kilometres of descending and flat riding to the finish in Lourdes. However, Hushovd is one of the best descenders in the peleton and at speeds that topped 112 kilometres an hour, he came back to Roy inside the last three kilometres to attack and win.

Due to badly timed personal commitments, I won't be in Alpe d'Huez or Grenoble for the Tour this year, but I will certainly be watching. My prediction is Sanchez to win the Tour de France after an amazing ascent to Galibier and Alpe d'Huez, Evans will crack finish third and Contador will find his legs and climb to second overall. I may be wrong, but we have an intriguing next few days so let us watch and see what the mountains and time-trial bring.

17th June 2011 - I organised the fifth annual ascent to Alpe d'Huez for my fellow colleagues from HP Grenoble today. This year, we had a record 20 of us setting off from Bourg d'Oisans to climb to the ski resort of Alpe d'Huez, the same climb the Tour de France will use to finish the stage on 22nd July this year. None of the riders are serious cyclists and the goal was to bring the group into the Alps so they can enjoy this great road and feel a sense of achievement on riding to the ski resort.

We had warm temperatures with heavy rain as we prepared the bikes, but the rain thankfully disappeared by the time we climbed to Alpe d'Huez. As in one of the previous years editions, I chose the same date as an old car rally decided to use the climb as well. You can see this years video diary below.

8th June 2011 - The Critérium du Dauphiné time-trial was in Grenoble yesterday, and I was able to catch the last 20 riders come past on a grey and blustery day. Luckily the course was situated about 150 metres from my work so I was able to take a pause in the afternoon to watch the race. You can see photos from me on Cyclingnews here.

23rd May 2011 - The Balcon de Belledonne is probably the most famous day ride for a cyclist living in Grenoble. Starting in Grenoble, the 106 kilometre route follows the valley north towards Chambery for 22 kilometres before climbing into the Alps to Allevard-les-Bains and then turning south towards Uriage-les-Bains. The route follows the Belledonne massif and includes three marked mountain passes, the Barrioz, the Ayes and the Mouilles before undulating to Pinet. The final short ascent up to Venon includes the steepest gradients of the day before the eight kilometre descent back to the edge of the city.

The last time I had ridden the Balcon de Belledonne was in 2004 and yesterday, I spent the day with Gareth, Benoit and Phil enjoying the road and you can see the video diary below. It really is a spectacular place to cycle with views of the Alps, Chartreuse and Grenoble. We took the time for a coffee in Allevard and lunch at the Col des Mouilles and the predicted rain held off for the day.

For more details of the route and profile of the tour, you can visit my Garmin connect page here.

27th April 2011 - For my first cycle tour in the mountains, I chose a tour near Albertville that I had not ridden for nine years with the 1581 metre Col de l'Arpettaz and the 1498 metre Col des Aravis among the five cols on the route. The 97 kilometre route took Phil and myself around the 2,400 metre Mont Charvin and added up to over 2,800 metres of climbing.

For more details of the route and profile of the tour, you can visit my Garmin connect page here.

24th April 2011 - At the start of April on my cycle home from work, I was hit by a car in Grenoble. I didn't have any chance to move out of the way and hit the front of the car and flew over the car bonnet and landed heavily on my shoulder. Thankfully nothing was broken except for carbon spokes and other damage to my bike, but I damaged ligaments in my shoulder. I'm still taking codine to help me sleep at night and it was quite a shocking experience. However, I'm now keen to get on my bike again and with some holiday coming up, plan to get into the mountains and get some kilometres in my legs and take advantage of the sunny weather that we've had this month.

From Sunday June 5th to 12th 2011, the Critérium du Dauphiné will take the riders around the region for a week of great racing. The route includes a prologue in St-Jean-de-Maurienne and a time-trial in Grenoble, as well as mountain stages at the end of the week. For more information on the 2011 race, visit the official website here.

27th February 2011 - The Tour de France will spend four days in the Alps in 2011, with three stages in and around Grenoble. I have now updated the website with my 2011 Tour de France Alpine Preview, with details of each stage and climbs as well as my thoughts on viewing points.

The 2011 Marmotte event is already full with registrations now closed. There are plently of other events taking place over the summer and if you are visiting and want to ride an event in the mountains, you can check the page here for details.

8th January 2011 - Happy New Year to all. The winter weather that looks so promising in November and December disappeared and this weekend, a blast of warm air increased temperatures to nearly 20 degrees. I celebrated the good weather with my first ride of the year to the 1154 metre Col de l'Arzelier. I have never cycled so high, so early in the year. I am sure the snow will come eventually but this time last year, my daughter was skiing at the little ski resort on the second photograph and this year I was cycling there.

Col de l'Arzelier Col de l'Arzelier

6th December 2010 - Registrations are now open for the 2011 Marmotte event. With the event limited to 7000 places, I would sign up as soon as you can if you plan on riding as the event. You can find the registration form on the Sport Communication website here.

9th October 2010 - The mornings are getting cooler in Grenoble now and we had the first dump of snow on the high mountains last week. However, with a week with temperatures in the mid 20s, the snow has disappeared again and we have perfect autumn cycling weather.

What started off as a good year for training went out the window at the end of May when I developed some knee problems which meant I couldn't take part in my eighth Marmotte event. Now I can think about next year and I do plan to ride in 2011, and will run and cycle over the winter to keep the weight a low as possible. I have rested over the summer and now don't feel any pain in my knees, so I will train with a little less intensity than last year and hopefully stay fit. Next year we have a Marmotte and Brevet de Randonneur des Alpes to look forward to and I plan to be at both.

The main news is that Alberto Contador is under invesigation for doping allegations at the Tour de France. Now it seems that the Dauphine is also under scrutiny. Cyclingnews.com have used my photo for their recent article on the Dauphine doping here.

14th July 2010 - Today is Bastille Day in France, a national holiday and a day where a French rider will try their best to win the stage of the Tour de France. Today's Tour de France stage takes the riders south from Chambery to the outskirts of Grenoble before turning towards Uriage-les-Bains and Vizille. The 16 kilometre section between Gieres and Vizille is part of our Wednesday cycle tour from work so it will be great to see the professionals riding a road that I have ridden so many times since arriving in France. The riders then climb the Cote de Laffrey and La Mure before the climb over the Col de Noyer to finish in Gap.

Tour de France 2010 Tour de France 2010 Tour de France 2010 Tour de France 2010 Tour de France 2010

We have seen an interesting and unpredicatble start to this year's Tour de France. Alessandro Petacchi showed that he still had the legs to still win at the Tour de France and Mark Cavendish did get the stage wins he so badly needed. The tears on the podium in Montargis showed us that. Sylvain Chavanel took the stage to Spa and the yellow jersey on a day that the peleton felt that the roads of Liege-Bastonne-Liege were too dangerous. The stage to Arenberg was one of the most exciting Tour de France stages I have seen, with the race splintering into small groups on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix and race favourite Andy Schleck taking time out of Alberto Contador with the help of Fabian Cancellera.

This week, we also saw Lance Armstrong's luck disappear with a puncture on the cobbles and a number of crashes that have ended any hope of finishing his last Tour de France on the podium. I would like to see him take a final stage victory before the end of the Tour. And yesterday, Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador blew the race apart on the Col de la Madeleine. The race is celebrating the 100 years of the Pyrenees this year and the numerous mountain stages in the last week will show us if Schleck can drop Contador to take the time he needs before the time-trial on the penultimate day. I hope we continue to see such great racing.

I did enjoy Jens Voight's quote from the first week - "If they listened to me we'd go flat out and then see how far we could go. They don't want to listen to me. I suggest it every now and then though."

13th June 2010 - My second day following the Critérium du Dauphiné with the sixth stage from Crolles to Alpe d'Huez. The riders had 151 kilometres of riding before the finish in the ski resort of Alpe d'Huez, with the Col du Grand Cucheron and the increasingly tough Col du Glandon climbed before the final ascent.

The climb of Alpe d'Huez was surprisingly quiet and I cycled up to hairpin nine with my camera gear and joined the spectators here for a great view of the road winding up the natural amphitheatre of the mountainside below. The race did not disappoint and we saw the lead group decrease down to two riders by the time the front of the race passed us.

You can find the photos in the gallery here.

12th June 2010 - I took an afternoon away from work yesterday to follow the fifth stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné on the climb to the ski resort of Chamrousse. The 17.5 kilometre climb would be the springboard for David Navarro from the Astana team to take his first professional victory in Grenoble.

You can find all my photos in the gallery here.

24th May 2010 - Yesterday gave me the chance to ride my first longer ride of 2010 with a 151 kilometres tour to the south of Grenoble, and a route that took me on the south-eastern side of the Vercors before riding back through the lovely, quiet roads of the Trieves region. In all, the route took me over nine mountain passes. Some of the passes were higher than others but the notable climbs were the 1402 metre Col de Menee, the 1318 metre Col de Grimone and the 899 metre Col du Fau from both sides and adding up to over 3,000 metres of climbing.

You can also see details logged from my Garmin 305 GPS, although I can see it had some problems to work with the tunnels as I do not remember riding at just under 500 kph and there is some additional blips on the climb to the Col de Grimone. You can see data from the ride here - click the Google Earth option to see the route in three dimensions.

25th January 2010 - Happy New Year to all site visitors. Grenoble has been enjoying a cold winter with a substantial fall of snow the week after New Year. Over 30 centimetres of snow fell in Grenoble which is a record for the ten years that I've lived in France. The irony was that Christmas and New Year break were snow free in the valley until the Monday 4th January when everybody returned back to work.

My plans this year include my eighth Marmotte event and you can already sign up online here. If you are planning to ride the event, I'd recommend registering as soon as possible and the event is now limited to 7,000 places. I signed up last week for myself and a friend, and I have number 1600 with my friend 4500. My other goal is the Tour de Mont Aiguille running event in June. I really enjoyed running the 24 kilometres in 2009, so will try and improve on last year's time.

I have also heard that the Challenge du Dauphine event may not be run this year at the end of May. I have heard that the Dauphine Libere, the regional newspaper, has new priorities. I'll confirm this.

24th July 2009 - I spent the day in Annecy following stage 18 of the Tour de France with my friend Alain. I wasn't going to turn down his offer to join him after Bernard Hinault had invited him and a friend for the day. I spent time in the Tour Village, the team warm-up area and near the start ramp.

19th July 2009 - An epic day out in the Alps with the 2009 edition of the Brevet de Randonneur des Alpes. Held every two years, the 225 kilometre event includes 4,650 metres of climbing on a route that starts and finishes in Vizille, just outside Grenoble. The route climbed the 2,646m Col du Galibier, 1,566m Col du Telegraphe, 1,638m Col du Mollard and the 2,067m Col de la Croix de Fer. I finished in a little over 10 hours and had a great day on the bike in one of the best cycling events I have ever ridden in the Alps. Great organisation, fantastic scenery and the four seasons in one day. Three days before the event, we had 38 degrees in Grenoble, the day before, we had snow down to 2,200 metres on the Col du Galibier. Here is my video diary from the ride.

 

6th July 2009 - I joined 7,000 cyclists on Saturday and rode my seventh Marmotte event. It was a day when the heat played an important factor, and the climb to Alpe d'Huez was as hard as I can remember. I finished in 920th place in a time of eight hours and 18 minutes, over seven minutes faster than in 2008 but I was six minutes slower on Alpe d'Huez. Here is my video diary.

 

6th May 2009 - I've added some new Cycling Wallpapers to download on the Wallpaper page with a Lance Armstrong theme to celebrate the return of Lance in the 2009 Tour de France, as well as a Dauphine Libere wallpaper and some Grenoble Cycling Page themes with a mixture of races and mountain photos. Do let me know if you have any comments and if I should add some more.

 



Grenoble - A city in the heart of the Alps

Surrounded by three mountain ranges, Grenoble is in a unique position and offers a cyclist a huge variety of rides. The rolling mountains of the Chartreuse to the north, the high plateau of the Vercors to the south-west before the huge imposing climbs of the Alps to the east.


The Alps

The Alps around Grenoble are include some of the most famous roads in cycling. The Col de la Croix der Fer, the Col du Galibier and Alpe d'Huez are the mountain roads made famous by the Tour de France, and are close to Grenoble.


The Vercors

South west of Grenoble, the Vercors run as far as the town of Die. The limestone plateau, where the average height is around a thousand metres, make it perfect in the winter for winter sports and perfect in the summer for a cool ride. You will find amazing gorges, rolling roads and stunning countryside.


The Chartreuse

Grenoble's third mountain range and you will find quiet roads that run though a pretty rolling range. The most famous ride taking you from Chambery to Grenoble over the three cols of the Granier, Cucheron and the Porte.


Other Pages on the site

The Grenoble Cycling Pages also include information on cycling around other towns in the French Alps that are certainly worth a visit: Barcelonnette, Bourg St Maurice, Briancon and La Clusaz. Mont Ventoux is close by and shouldn't be missed.

Web Links - useful websites when planning your trip.

About the Cycling Pages - Background information on the Grenoble Cycling Pages


 

Site Photos Copyright Russell Standring unless stated otherwise

The photos that appear here are all subject to copyright, and may not be reproduced in any form anywhere else without the owner's permission.


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