The stunning climbs and quiet roads of the Northern Alps.
This Training Camp is a twist on the traditional CCC formula, for those that wish to test the waters of a ten-day challenge. Based close to Chambéry, in the Northern Alps, we will have easy access to spectacular climbs which aren’t affected by changeable, high-altitude weather, giving riders the chance to put their climbing legs to the test without the worry of adverse conditions. To ease the burden of nightly transfers, the entire trip is based in one hotel, and stages one and five will be bookended by tutor-led sessions that teach the principles of stretching and active recovery. The climbs shouldn't be taken lightly - consider, for instance, the Mont du Chat, a long climb which stands over the Lac du Bourget, with an 8.7km section at 10% average gradient.
Single occupancy — $2,750 per person
Double occupancy — $2,400 per person
The Cent Cols Challenge is the brainchild of endurance rider Phil Deeker: his determination, commitment to riding and will to explore has created one of the ultimate tests of what is possible on a road bike. Cent Cols Challenges take place across Europe, criss-crossing entire mountain ranges to combine the classic routes and climbs from the Grand Tours with lesser-known backcountry gems.
Flights and travel insurance are not included.
Because of the distances, and the huge physical and psychological challenge, the Cent Cols are for the strongest and most experienced riders. On most days riders should expect at least 8-10 hours in the saddle, and to be self-sufficient for long periods of time. The remoteness of the terrain also means that accommodation and food are less luxurious than on Rapha’s other trips. However, Phil Deeker and the Rapha team of guides, mechanics and soigneurs take care of all logistics and everything riders need, letting you focus your mind and legs on the cols. It is usual that some riders don’t complete the parcours. But, thanks to the stunning settings and the camaraderie, and possibly to reserves they didn’t know they had, riders often find they rise to the demands of the trip and take their riding to a new level.
Double occupancy as standard
|Arrival day Meet us at the hotel in Belley.|
|Day 1 Lac du Bourget Loop||147.7 KM||3000 M|
|Day 2 Northern Ain Climbs||216 KM||4600 M|
|Day 3 Jura Giants (Queen Stage)||206 KM||5500 M|
|Day 4 Mont du Chat Double||221 KM||5650 M|
|Day 5 Chartreuse Cheese Tasting||157 KM||3200 M|
|Departure day Transfer day|
See full itinerary
There will be a transfer available from Lyon Saint Exupéry Airport at a set time. Details will be confirmed closer to the trip.
A rolling exploration of the Ain region with a lunch stop at the impressive Abbaye d’Hautecombe on the shores of Lac du Bourget and a return route over Col de Ballon and Les Fontaines to test our legs. There will be guided sessions covering stretching and recovery both before and after the ride.
Venturing further afield, we discover some of the tougher roads and the lesser-known climbs that the Ain region has hidden away. Despite not tackling any typical mountains, this is still a day of serious elevation gain and not to be underestimated.
Approaching the first of three ascents of the Col de Grand Colombier from the south, our long climb will be rewarded with stunning views of Lac du Bourget and the Rhône valley from the summit. We then take on the Col de la Biche and loop round to the gentler Col de Richemonde, across the Colombier again before heading east via the Col de la Rochette. After our final ascent of the Grand Colombier from the steeper side, we can enjoy the long sweeping descent down to Anglefort. This day will be as tough as any CCC stage ever gets
The second day of a tough back-to-back assault on the Jura Mountains. We will tackle the infamous hors catégorie Mont du Chat from both sides while also taking in the stunning green pastures of the Massif des Bauges via Mont Revard and old CCC favourite the Col de Marocaz. A testing day for any rider but after yesterday’s ride, completing this will qualify you for the hardest of any CCC events.
We’ll be exploring the Chartreuse region with a picturesque route taking in the best of the Alps. A gentler ride to end the week on, we’ll stop to taste some of the best local cheeses on our way up to the dramatic Col du Granier. After a lakeside reprieve, we climb the Col du Chat, little sister of the ‘Mont’, before rolling roads bring us back to our hotel. We’ll finish the day with a guided ‘self-massage’ session and a celebratory drink or two.
I think what makes these rides so very special is the fact that Phil and Rapha Travel even dare to attempt them: on paper, they look ridiculous and in practice, they are just that - but also, somehow, possible. Most riders have reserves they never knew existed and Phil's planning and ability to improvise, results in the majority of riders completing stages and events beyond their wildest dreams.
— CCC rider, May 2016
Ride routes and on-bike food/food stops were outstanding!
— CCC Pyrenees 2015
All our trips are physically demanding, but some are harder than others. Cent Cols Challenges are the toughest challenge. Our guides will support every rider to go beyond their usual level of riding, but you should be able to spend up to 12 hours in the saddle for multiple days.
We ask all customers to pay a deposit (usually £500/$800/€650) when they book, which confirms their reservation. The balance is due 60 days before departure – we’ll get in touch to remind you when it’s time. If you book less than 60 days before departure, we’ll usually ask you to pay the full trip price upfront.
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Telephone: +44 (0) 207 482 9175
Hours: 9.30am-6.00pm (BST)
Hours: 8.30am-5.30pm (PDT)
Telephone: +44 (0) 207 482 9175
Hours: 9.30am-6.00pm (BST)