Alpes Open Tour: Cycling’s Most Notorious Mountain Climbs, No Longer Just for Spectators…

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The Alpes Open Tour is an increasingly popular annual race. It’s a “Rando-sportive” event that will be taking place from the 15th to the 20th of August. Over the course of six stages, participants will ride their bicycles from the shores of Lake Geneva through the Alps and eventually will reach Val Cenis. This race is suited towards avid cyclists, although the atmosphere is very friendly and relaxed. As the official tour operator for this race, Cyclomundo will arrange all logistics for participants; from race entry to accommodations, meals, transportation and race support.

Alpes Open Tour

the ultimate test… cycle the same Alps mountain passes as the pros by signing up for the 2010 Alpes Open Tour!

This year’s “Rando-sportif” Alps event from Lake Geneva to Val Cenis features many of the same historically unforgiving cycling climbs that have been featured in the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré and the Tour de France, time and time again.

Cyclomundo and the organizers of the Alpes Open Tour are calling all cycling enthusiasts to put themselves to the ultimate test… cycle the same Alps mountain passes as the pros by signing up for the 2010 Alpes Open Tour!

In the Alpes Open Tour you’ll be faced with such challenging climbs as the Col de la Madeleine. At 2,005 meters altitude and having been featured in the Tour 22 times with varying bends and gradients, this Col is best described as both “classic” and “epic”.

You’ll also attack one of the oldest and longest mountain climbs- Col du Galibier, which first made its appearance in the Tour almost a century ago (1911) when it was still a dirt path. This pass has been featured 31 times in the Tour’s history and regularly appears as a stage in the annual Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré. With an altitude of 2,645 meters, this tried and true Alps mountain pass is often the highest point in these two professional cycling races and will be the highest altitude in the 2010 Alpes Open Tour.

One of the most scenic roads you’ll experience is the climb to La Toussuire ski resort. This climb will come at the end of stage four, after the day’s only other main climb (the previously mentioned Col de la Madeleine). In 2006, the 16th stage of the Tour de France featured three of the mentioned climbs: Col du Galibier, Col du Mollard and also ending with La Toussuire. This was the stage where the controversial Floyd Landis bonked, right before his remarkable stage victory the very next day.

Oh don’t worry; you won’t just be cycling uphill. After climbing one face of the mountain, you’ll experience rapid hairpin turn descents of the infamous Cormet de Roselend which has some of its steepest sections at 10% and the pros reach speeds of 100 kilometers an hour.

Even many non-cyclists are familiar with the Alpe d’Huez. Although this mountain pass isn’t the most challenging, doesn’t reach the highest altitude, or hasn’t been featured the most in the Tour de France, it’s extremely anticipated by fans and embodies the Tour’s stages in the Alps. Its fame comes from its 7.9% average incline and the hundreds of thousands of spectators that line this mountain pass’s 21 switchbacks all the way to the top. Amazingly, only two men, Marco Pantani and Lance Armstrong, hold top five fastest times for this mountain pass (Pantani being the fastest at 37 minutes and 35 seconds after already conquering two mountain passes- one of them being Col de la Madeleine)! Many other historic moments have occurred on this particular climb, including Fausto Coppi’s inaugural win in 1952.

The event is from August 15th until the 20th. The Alpes Open Tour is organized by professional cycling race organizers, so this event will be conducted with the same professional execution. For more information on the event’s organizers or basic tour packages, please refer to their website: http://www.alpesopentour.com/ .

Cyclomundo, the event’s official tour operator, is still offering all-inclusive accommodation and tour entry packages which can be found at: http://www.cyclomundo.com/alpes_open_tour.htm.

For more event information or to register for the Alpes Open Tour, please email.

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BRUNO TOUTAIN
CYCLOMUNDO
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