Our original Classic Climbs program took a handful of hardy cyclists up, down, and through the Alps back in 1997. It was all based on a casual suggestion from a guest at the Tour, who wanted to come back to France and suffer up the passes with a few less people around. That first 10-day trip was epic, including ascents of the Galiber and Izoard (izz-so-hard!). Not to mention a chilly day in the rain up to Alpe d’Huez, followed by a sunny morning flipping pancakes with the hotel owner.
Climb-focused trips have been popular ever since and 2012 is no exception. In June, we’re taking on the Alps with a private group set to cover the Col de la Madeleine, the Glandon, and a few other choice passes. They’ll wrap up with a jaunt down to northern Provence for a final climbing session on the Mont Ventoux.
Indeed, we have a couple of May-June weeks based around Provence and the Ventoux, both with a few spaces left as of this posting. The highest-altitude show is, of course, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado this August. Though the climbs there are generally less steep, the passes can be 5000 feet higher then their European counterparts.