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I recently took a trip with some friends down to the Haute-Savoie region of France to spend a week camping and riding amongst the mountains surrounding Lake Annecy. This area offers some magnificent Alpine routes and our campsite next to the cleanest lake in Europe was the perfect base for us to ride daily through a truly beautiful part of the world. Whilst monstrous Alpine cols such as the Galibier lie further to the south, this location has plenty to offer including some lesser known but very majestic mountains such as the Cret de Chatillon and also classic Tour cols like the Colombiere.
Time Trial around Lac d'Annecy and a climb up the Col de la Forclaz 1157m - a 'chunky' col, especially in the midday heat.
Col de Bluffy - just a shrug of the shoulders really (it was bluffing).
Col de Leschaux 900m - Quintessential Alpine 'roller' with cowbells tinkling amongst lush green hillsides.
Cret de Chatillon (Semnoz) 1790m - tough climb that gets rugged to the top with amazing panorama of the Alps and a superb descent through a national forest (nice waitress at the Hotel Semnoz).
Recovery ride taking in the lake again and a trip back up the Forclaz where ice cold Oranginas were enjoyed. A dip in the lake after lunch.
Veyrier to Thones
Grand Bornand (lovely rolling climb).
Colombiere 1680m - great omelette and frites at the top.
Col de Fleuries 920m - beautiful undulating climb.
A tough but amazing 85 miles.
Another Forclaz 'recovery' ride (it was our local col). Goat's cheese, saucisson, wine, beer and Armagnac for dinner.
Alpe d'Huez - Job done.
Photography Gavin Campbell copyright
View more pictures here.
Read another account of the trip here.
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