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There is nothing quite like the challenge of a Marmotte Granfondo. Often set in the most famous mountain ranges in the world, they offer you the chance to ride routes used in the most renowned professional bike tours in the world, including the Tour de France and Vuelta.

The big event feel and the challenge combine with the views that you and thousands of others will experience when you become part of a Granfondo peloton. If that is not enough to whet your appetite and start a training programme to enable you to ride the summits of the most demanding climbs in Europe, here are 17 reasons to make you climb on the saddle and ride!

marmotte-granfondo-sportactive-alps-pyreneesRide a Granfondo this year with SportActive and feel like a pro!

1 Climbing makes Perfect

Climbing is everything in cycling and everyone wants to be good at it. Although you can climb your local hills unless you live in the Pyrénées or the Alps you are unlikely to climb cols that compare to Galibier, Alpe d’Huez or Tourmalet. There is nothing quite like riding these cols. For many of us, the only opportunity we have to do so is by entering a Granfondo.

2 Know Thy Nutrition is to Know Thy Self!

Without knowing your nutrition, you cannot hope to progress well in distance cycling. Marmotte Granfondos offer the ultimate test of your nutritional knowledge. Working out what works for you both on the saddle and off it where food and drink is concerned is a fascinating challenge in of itself.

3 Riding in a Peloton of Thousands

There is nothing that makes you feel more like a professional than riding in a peloton of thousands. It is more than testing your peloton riding skills. This is peloton riding on Le Tour mountains, and this makes it so much more special.

4 It’s a Marmotte Granfondo Altitude Thing

Riding a Marmotte Granfondo often involves riding at higher altitudes than you normally would. This takes getting used to as you climb mile after mile into the sky. Air gets thinner and it takes a little while to adapt.

5 You Get to Climb Alpe d’Huez and other Classic Cols

Yes you can ride the highest climb you can find locally, but does it compare to the 21 switchbacks of Alpe d’Huez? Of course not, so get on the bike and ride a Granfondo.


6 Training Perfecting Training Perfecting

Training for your Granfondo event makes you a much better rider. You will make a training plan and start training hard for it. You will experiment with nutrition and learn about yourself, improving your condition ready for the big day. It is also a great excuse to get out on the bike, not that you need one.

7 Descend Like Sean Kelly, well almost...

Sean Kelly is known for being one of the fastest descenders of all time. Like climbing, descending is a skill best realised when negotiating hairpins rather than a local hill. Here, you can put your descending skills to the test mile after mile rather than a few hundred metres. There is nothing quite like those great long descents in the Alps or Pyrénées.

8 Get a Granfondo Medal and Brag your Heart Out!

Once you complete your Marmotte event, you will have a finisher medal. This medal gives you bragging rights that few of your cycling friends can match. You’ll feel proud and satisfied that you have ridden a very demanding and tough cycling challenge and proved you can do it. You can now annoy your cycling chums by constantly talking about it. This can be its own reward.

9 You’ll Want to Ride More than One

If you’ve ridden one Marmotte you’ll want to ride another. They are addictive and it’s natural to want to get better. If you ride Marmotte Alps one year, you’ll want to get a better time the next you ride it. It is that simple.

10 It is Easier than you Think to Organise

The easiest way to ride a Granfondo Marmotte sportive is to book it with a tour operator. The better operators offer pro-style support and organise your registration into the event. This saves you a world of pain as you don’t have to chase event organisers for your registration, and you avoid the infamous registration queue which can feel like a peloton as it snakes off into the distance.

11 The Views

As you ride the cols you will be afforded magnificent views. These views are like no other and arguably are some of the best in the world. Although Granfondos are intense, there are times during the ride where you can take in the magnificent beauty around you that few get to appreciate.

12 On the Bike Support is Pro Style

Riding with a good Marmotte tour operator is the best way to approach it. You will not only have logistics covered so you don’t have to think about getting to your hotel with your bike, but you will be supported pro-style, during the ride itself. This not only adds to your Marmotte experience, but receiving a water bottle from a support car truly makes you feel like a pro.

13 Feel Like a Pro

Riding Le Tour cols in a peloton of thousands truly is the pro cycling experience. You’ve watched your cycling heroes take on the big mountains, and now it’s your turn to do the same. This aspect is brilliant and can’t be replicated elsewhere.

14 Feel Alive

Big Granfondo events make you feel alive. There is nothing quite like it as you ride for mile after mile. The views, the sound of the chainring, the wind rushing past you as you descend into valleys. This has to be experienced at least once in your cycling career.

15 Say Hello to your Competitive Side

You may not see yourself as competitive but the truth is we all want to do well in cycling. We all have an inner Sean Kelly or Chris Froome dying to get out and perform. This is your opportunity to unleash your inner rider and push yourself to achieve.

16 Camaraderie

When riding a big cycling event you make a natural bond and form a mutual respect with your fellow riders. You may feel you are in competition with the thousands of riders around you, but you also acknowledge each others achievement and respect it.

17 Feel Fitter Feel Better

As you get fitter training for your Granfondo you’ll feel better. You’ll be in great condition, and you will feel confident. As the big day arrives, you’ll be in the best condition of your life, and this is a truly wonderful thing.

Riding Marmotte Granfondo Alps and Marmotte Granfondo Pyrénées with SportActive

At SportActive we are Granfondo experts and veterans. We know every inch of the courses and provide full support, before, during, and after each event.
We take care of your registration, organise all transfers and your accommodation. On the day, we provide pro-style support and organise strategy meetings before the big day. All you have to do is turn up and ride.

Discover your Inner Rider

Submitted: 29/01/2020


The only Early Season Training Camp you’ll ever need.

You want to improve your cycling and take it to a new level. You want to put in better performances in events and train more effectively, but how do you do it?


SportActive Mallorca Training Camp
29th February – 7th March, 2020.      1 Week

To focus on your cycling, the best way to do it is to train with a Mallorca cycling camp like pro peloton teams. You leave behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life, enabling you to better focus solely on your cycling. The benefits of receiving expert pro coaching advice, structured training rides, and riding with like-minded people should never be underestimated. With dedicated training, you can take your cycling to a new level, learn new skills and build fitness. 

Sean Kelly talks about the benefits of Early Season Training in Mallorca with SportActive. Make this your cycling camp week.

Pro peloton teams put their riders through the same form of cycling camp to prepare them for the rigours of the Tour de France and the Classics. Your Mallorca camp training will prepare you for your 2020 season.
You will see improvements in every aspect of your cycling, and you will return with a substantial increase in your base miles.

Mallorca’s Mediterranean climate and undulating roads make for the best training environment. Here, rather than the wind and rain of February and March, you’ll enjoy sunshine, good cycling temperatures and the breathtaking views of Mallorca.

Your training camp includes:

  • 5 Structured training rides
  • Pro coaching advice
  • 2 seminars: training, nutrition...
  • 7 nights Half Board, 4* Hotel in Puerto Alcùdia, Mallorca
  • Hire bike
  • Airport transfers

For only 596 €/pps. Don’t miss your opportunity to train like a professional for the week!

Book Now

Early season training is your foundation for better cycling performances.

Submitted: 21/01/2020


We’ve had a wonderful 2019. From seeing old friends and making new ones, watching your cycling progress in Mallorca and France has been a fantastic experience for the SportActive team. You have improved, gained confidence, and achieved so much, cycling the toughest cols in the world.

Relive your best moments. Thank you for making 2019 so memorable.


If you haven’t cycled with us yet, hopefully, the video has given you a flavour of what cycling with SportActive is all about. Ride with the SportActive team in 2020.

Christmas Voucher

There is still time to give the gift of cycling this Christmas. These make for the perfect present for the cyclist in your life. Full details here.

Don’t forget, the fun starts again in February with our Early Season Training Camp. Not only do you receive brilliant training advice from the team, bike hire is free. So you get the best training riding a great bike.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year from the SportActive Team.

Christmas-cycling-new-year-2019-sportactiveEat chocolates, drink champagne and keep cycling!

Submitted: 23/12/19

Christmas isn’t far away, and you may be racking your brain to think of a suitable present for the cyclist in your life. Fear not. Cyclists are always on the lookout for new gear, and many will be happy with an inner tube or two and a decent water bottle. If you want to go the extra mile, however, this post will point you in the right direction.

Mont Ventoux SportActive CyclingCelebrate your achievements with SportActive!


1 Cycling Holiday Voucher

One of the best things you can give a cyclist is a holiday voucher. There is nothing quite like a cycling holiday or training camp to improve skills and techniques, and indeed to relax and take in the sun. With Sean Kelly riding with us in April and October, and Early Season Training Camps available for under 560 € per person, a SportActive Cycling Voucher is better than most.

See the full details here.

2 Cycling Tools

Cyclists love cycling tools as they often have a part to play in the season. There is a range of gifts you can choose from swanky coloured spanners to clever and compact multi-tools. Don’t forget inner tubes are always welcome and If you want some ideas, consider this offering from Runwell.

To truly make the cyclist in your life happy, buy a range of tools and spare parts.

3 Titanium Bottle Cages

Nothing quite says luxury cycling than titanium bottle cages. The better offerings are made with lightweight tubing approved by the aircraft industry, are handmade using laser technology, weigh almost nothing, and are guaranteed for about 25 years give or take.

It may only be a water bottle cage, but it is made from titanium. I mean, titanium!

4 Indoor Cycle Machines

If you live in Britain or Ireland, you can’t argue that the weather is often wet. This can make cycling a tad less fun. As such, you can give an indoor trainer to keep the cyclist in your life not only happy but fit.
They come in a range of shapes and sizes but by far the most luxurious is this offering from Elite Fuoripista. They are an American company and currently selling the sleekest indoor trainer for just under $17,000 USD.
It looks so amazing that even ardent car drivers will want to at least sit on it.


If this one is too rich for your blood, there are more economical choices. Some of the better ones integrate with apps to give the illusion of climbing mountains such as Alp D’Huez, and you can race with friends digitally.

5 Say it with a Plant Pot

Anhängsel’s LOM plant pot is designed to fit on the handlebar of your bike, allowing you to bring the green as well as live the green when cycling. It is made from recycled materials and is highly suited if the cyclist in your life is also a member of the Extinction Rebellion.

6 Clothing

Good cycling clothing is always in demand, and you can’t wear your favourite SportActive cycling jersey every day. As such, receiving cycle clothing from a leading brand is always welcome. At Christmas winter cycling gear is in demand as keeping out the weather is often paramount.

Give the gift of cycling to your loved one.

Submitted: 21/12/19

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0044/ (0)28 71 36 5997


About SportActive

We've made it our mission to make your experience of cycling in Mallorca one of the most incredible of your life

Every member of the cycle training team at SportActive is a passionate and accomplished cyclist in their own right, not to mention an expert in cycle training. Indeed, it was after taking part in numerous races across Europe, America and Australia that Flora and I eventually decided to set up SportActive in order to offer a new approach to training for cyclists. Having experienced the very best that cycling clubs had to offer, we wanted to make these experiences accessible to everybody, which eventually led us to found SportActive - a unique cycling break company, committed to help cyclists at all levels improve their skills and have fun doing so.


Contact SportActive

28 Gelvin Gardens, Trench Road, L/Derry, BT472DQ, N Ireland
Tel office : 0044/ (0)287136 5997

Martin Birney - 0044/ (0)75 997 191 79 or 00353/ (0)86 196 6006

Flora Mittermair
Landline : 0033/ (0)4 78 59 18 90 (leave voice message only on mobile number) or Mobile : 0033 / (0)6 99 79 12 54