With the return of Megavalanche and La Marmotte for cyclists, brand new Pic de l’Alpe and Alpe d’Huez 21 for runners and power walkers, in addition to the EDF Triathlon festival, Supermotard, Canicross and an international ice-hockey tournament; holidaymakers will have a whole summer of heart-pumping, adrenalin-fuelled fun in Alpe d’Huez grand domaine.
Famed for its iconic 21 hairpin bends that feature so regularly in the Tour de France, the legendary Sarenne route and its 264km of mountain biking tracks over 2,610m of height difference, Alpe d’Huez is a haven for both road cyclists and mountain bikers. But pedalling a little further, cyclists will discover so much more to the region that surrounds this celebrated resort. A whole host of competitions and events are available in the entire grand domaine for fitness and sports fans.
NEW FOR SUMMER 2016
14th July: Pic de l’Alpe – Alpe d’Huez
Organisers of the Alpe d’Huez 21 race – which involves jogging or walking the 13.8km trail along the 21 bends to Alpe d’Huez – have come up with a new challenge: run or walk 2,161m vertical from Bourg d’Oisans, through Alpe d’Huez, to the summit of the Pic Blanc, which at 3,330m is the highest point in the resort.
For more information and to register for both Alpe d’Huez 21 and Pic de l’Alpe visit www.alpedhuez21.fr
Cycling in Alpe d’Huez grand domaine
Timtoo Timed Routes
Many of the routes in Alpe d’Huez grande domaine have a Timtoo timing device, a marker at the start and finish which is triggered by a chip or a smartphone application, allowing bikers to know exactly how well they did. The microchips can be hired from the tourist office and certain cycle shops in the grand domaine for 3€/day (+ deposit) or bought for 30€ (+ 1€ for the battery). This microchip is valid for one year. Cyclists can also download the Timtoo App so that they can time themselves using their smartphone. Routes include the Marmotte Route, La Montée d’Oz and other trails throughout the different resorts in Alpe d’Huez grand domaine.
Visit www.bike-oisans.com for more information.
Car-Free Cycle Routes: Oisans Col Series
Every Tuesday morning in July and August, Alpe d’Huez grand domaine offers collective timed departures for certain routes around Le Bourg d’Oisans. The routes are challenging test courses for all bikers, however everyone is welcome to participate at their own pace, be that cycling, running or walking. The routes will be closed to cars, allowing cyclists free reign to take on the climbs.
5th July – Villard Reculas
19th July and 23rd August – Vaujany: Col du Sabot
26th July – Auris en Oisans
9th August – Alpe d’Huez
4th – 10th July: Megavalanche – Alpe d’Huez
The Alpe d’Huez Megavalanche is a must for all keen downhill mountain bikers. A week of training sessions, entertainment in the organisers’ village and music in the evenings builds up to the epic descent from the summit of the Pic Blanc. Participants will set off from the 3,330 metre high departure point and will cover 2,600 metres of vertical over mixed terrain. Riders have to be in great shape to compete, and need to have good bike-handling skills to meet the challenge of natural obstacles along the route too.
29th – 31st July: French Cup of MTB Downhill, Cross-Country – Oz-en-Oisans
France’s best riders will descend on Oz-en-Oisans for this notorious competition, where three events are scheduled: downhill, cross-country and relay.
13th – 14th August: French Cup of VTT Trial – Oz-en-Oisans
The country’s best riders will come together to compete on the spectacular exciting stages of this Coupe de France VTT Trial.
26th June – La Vaujany 2016
La Vaujany marks the beginning of a cycling week enjoyed by all enthusiasts, known as the Oisans Trophy. Its route and renowned mountain passes make it an excellent training opportunity, ideal for gearing people up for more cycling events such as la Marmotte.
Find out more about the event at www.bike-oisans.com
29th June: Prix des Rousses – Oisans
A 40km timed cycling race that covers 1,600m of altitude difference leading cyclists from Boud-d’Oisans, l’Alpe-d’Huez, Villard-Reculas and Vaujany.
2nd July: Cyclosportive ‘La Marmotte’ Granfondo Series – Alpe d’Huez
This competition is well known in the cycling world due to its frenetic atmosphere, its international peloton and its gruelling circuit of mountain passes. The challenge is a tough one, and covers five of the most notorious cols in France: le Glandon, le Télégraphe, le Galibier, le Lautaret, and of course the 21 hairpin bend ascent to Alpe d’Huez. Its historic start date on the first Saturday in July has become the ultimate ‘must’ on the international cycling calendar and is the most important one-day summer cycling race in the Alps after the Tour de France. Limited to 7,500 participants, the competition has been a real success and participation is the envy of cyclists the world over.
6th August: L’Alpe d’Auris
Cycle part of the Tour de France route covering 50km and 2,000m vertical, starting at the Bourg d’Oisans Tourist Office at 9am and climbing to the legendary Alpe d’Huez (on the Col de Sarenne), passing le Freney before arriving at Auris. E-bikes are accepted.
Priced at 10€
Running and Walking
18th – 19th June: The 3 Villards Challenge – Villard Reculas
The 3 Villards Challenge is a friendly yet challenging event tackling three kilometre-long vertical climbs, linking Bourg d’Oisans to the hilltop villages of Villard-Notre-Dame, Villard Reymond and Villard Reculas. The route passes ancestral paths once used by mountaineers to facilitate trade with the valley and leads participants to charming alpine villages where they will no doubt get a warm reception from onlookers.
Completed in teams or individually, each participant can choose to do the whole challenge or just one stage. The 3 Villard challenge is aimed at passionate runners and walkers who want to push themselves to the limit, and to three summits. Participants will climb up to 1000m at three different points. A complimentary alpine meal will be provided on arrival.
Priced at 15€ for one stage, 35€ for all three stages
Register at www.defi-3villards-oisans.fr
2nd July: La Villaraise – Villard Reculas
La Villaraise 4th Edition is a walking and running event on a 5km or 10km course which crosses the alpine pastures of Villard Reculas. In partnership with French charity Grenoble Association for assistance and research in oncology (AGARO), all proceeds from the day go to the treatment of tumours. Visitors can support the cause by donating money or taking part: the 5km race costs 5€ to enter and the 10km costs 10€ to enter.
16th July: Vertical Kil – Auris-en-Oisans
Starting from the hamlet of Chatains at 10am and finishing at the top of Signal de l’Homme at 2,176m, this 3.7km hiking race (rising 1,000m vertical) takes place on the mountain paths surrounding Auris-en-Oisans. Priced from 10€ if booked before 10th July (14€ on the day), including pool entry and provisions on the course.
14th – 16th August: Man and dog compete together in Canicross
Oz-en-Oisans 6-8th August; Auris-en-Oisans
An internationally renowned competition where challengers will demonstrate endurance and true grit with a their dog at their side. More than 250 participants of all nationalities visit Oz-en-Oisans and Auris-en-Oisans for the event every year. The competition is open to all levels of walkers and runners and all breeds of dog, and anyone can come along and watch. For more information on the competition, rules and how to register visit here.
15th August: Alpe d’Huez 21 – Alpe d’Huez
Alpe d’Huez 21 celebrates its 30th birthday this year. This recognised race sees participants climb the 21 iconic bends in to Alpe d’Huez by running or walking.
For more information and to register visit www.alpedhuez21.fr
More for the fitness fanatics and sporty tourists
14th – 17th July: Fitness convention – Alpe d’Huez
In the summer, mountains are a source of revitalisation and wellbeing. On top of the numerous sports and leisure activities that Alpe d’Huez offers, the ‘Fitness Convention’ unites professional and amateur aerobic enthusiasts who share the same passion for cardiovascular exercise choreographed to the latest music. Instruction is from Latino professionals who bring a sensual and warm atmosphere to the classes.
24th – 29th July: EDF Triathlon Festival
Budding triathletes can head to Alpe d’Huez grand domaine to show their enthusiasm for multiple disciplines in a fun and friendly atmosphere. The festival will comprise four races: Duathlon, Long Distance, Short Distance and the Children’s Triathlon. Visit: www.alpetriathlon.com/en
30th July – 7th August: International Ice Hockey Tournament
The ice hockey tournament is back and bigger than ever before, with eight teams (from Germany, Italy and Switzerland, and further afield) competing throughout the week at the 1,860 m high open air ice rink. Access to the ice rink is free and everyone is welcome to come along and cheer on the teams. The grand finale is scheduled for Sunday 7th August at 12 pm.
6th – 7th August: Supermotard – Alpe d’Huez
This free spectacular motorcross show, is made up of the best French and Italian riders, keen to demonstrate their dexterity and determination at great speeds.
Alpe d’Huez: www.alpedhuez.com
Oz-en-Oisans : www.oz-en-oisans.com
Villard Reculas: www.villard-reculas.com
VIP Chalets: www.vip-chalets.com 0208 875 1957
Zenith Holidays: www.zenithholidays.co.uk 0203 137 7678
Peak Retreats: www.peakretreats.co.uk 0844 576 0170
Pierre & Vacances: www.pierreetvacances.co.uk 0870 0267 145
Odalys: www.odalys-vacances.com +33 (0)825 562 562
Madame Vacances: www.madamevacances.com 0203 475 4756
For more information on Alpe d’Huez grand domaine and what’s on this summer season visit: www.alpedhuez.com