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Granfondo Marmotte Alpes Sportive 2017 – The Climbs, the Cold, the Win

On the 2nd July 2017 thousands of riders took on Granfondo Marmotte Alpes sportive.  They experienced the giants of the Tour de France, many of which are hors category cols.  Col du Glandon, Télégraphe, Galibier, and Alpe d'Huez were ridden in one day. 

As an official tour operator of the event, we looked after over fifty riders who not only had to cope with a 174km ride, featuring 5180 metres of climbing but surprisingly cold weather conditions.  The 2013 edition of the sportive saw temperatures reach 44 °C.  Nonetheless, our riders soldiered on to reach the finish line.  So let’s take a look at the challenges they faced when they took on the toughest alpine sportive, Granfondo Marmotte Alpes.

Marmotte-sportive-2017-sportactiveSome of our riders at the beginning of the toughest alpine sportive in Europe


Pacing is essential to complete any sportive or long ride.  For Marmotte, because of the amount of climbing involved pacing becomes even more important.  You are riding cols that are used in the Tour de France and steeped in cycling history.  As such, it is easy to get lost in the big event.  Combine this with challenging climbs featuring gradients that can reach 15%, and it becomes clear why pacing is so important.

We have seen riders get lost in the sportive especially when they are approaching the final few kilometres.  The importance of keeping your focus cannot be overstated.


The climbing is the obvious challenge of Granfondo Marmotte Alpes sportive.  These cols are used to test professional riders accustomed to climbing and competition.  If you have never ridden a col of this calibre then you are no doubt in for a shock.  That said, getting your pacing right and simply keeping the pedals turning, and you will be surprised at what you can achieve.

Marmotte-granfondo-alpes-sportactiveIf you complete Marmotte you have achieved something special in cycling


On a training ride, your focus is tested as you ride kilometre after kilometre.  In a sportive of this magnitude, it is tested and pushed further than you can imagine.  To help you maintain your focus ensure your refuelling is on point, and that you are well supplied.  To help you in this regard, we keep personal items handy in our back-up cars which include an endless supply of water!  We give you full support so you can focus on reaching the finish line.

Marmotte-support-sportactiveWe provide full Tour de France style support so you can focus on completing the sportive


You cannot help but take in the spectacular beauty of The French Alps, so ensure you savour and enjoy the mountain air, the feel of the wind, the sound of the chainring and the incredible views as you ascend and descend the mountains.  It will make you realise how great it is to be alive.

Want to conquer Marmotte 2018? You can view more details of the tour and download the brochure here.

If you want to take on a Tour de France challenge this year, the ‘Beast of Provence’ is waiting for you, mocking you.  Ride Mont Ventoux and test your limits.  You can download the Ventoux brochure here.

Submitted on: 08/07/2017

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