Dauphine Cycle Race 2011 in Annecy
Welcome to your Dauphine cycle race tour with Practice Bicycle pure Escapism!
Tuesday 7th June
Our first ride together and what we might like to call our very own warm-up ride before we catch up with the Criterium du Dauphine race action tomorrow. It is also the perfect introduction to the French Alps, spoilt for choice we have chosen the Col de l’Epine.
Planned Moderate ride: 75km approx ride time 3.30hrs Col de l’Epine (947m).
This climb is often used in both the Dauphine and Le Tour and we will enjoy it at our own pace! This moderate ride will take us south following the edge of the crystal clear waters of Lac Annecy before we head east in the direction of the Grand Alps, stopping for a Café break on route as we enjoy this amazing ride on the l’Epine (947m). After the descent we arrive in Thones, a beautiful town and the centre of the “Roblechon” cheese production and the ideal café stop before we roll back into Annecy.
Feel free to relax amongst the delightful cafes, cobbled streets and historic buildings, allowing the perfect opportunity to experience gastronomic French cuisine at one of Annecy’s many renowned restaurants.
Wednesday 8th June – View the Criterium du Dauphine Stage 3 Grenoble – Grenoble (Time Trial)
Today is “Contre-la-montre” (Time Trial) day and an important day for the best professional racing cyclists trying to win this years Dauphine cycle race. It’s also our first opportunity to catch the action live and the Practice Bicycle “spot” is the perfect location to relax, catch up with the action live from the roadside and watch your favorite cycling stars throughout the day at the individual Time Trial.
As with all the Practice Bicycle planned rides you always have the option of taking it easy and enjoying the comfort of the support vehicle or choosing our carefully designed rides.
Planned Easy ride: 40km approx ride time 2hrs route of the Dauphine Time Trial circuit.
Due to the nature and magnitude of this great sporting event and that the roads will be closed to all traffic early. We will need to get an earlier start this morning, so that we can make a short transfer by vehicle to the course, before we enjoy riding the race circuit ahead of the
professionals! Once we have ridden and discovered exactly what awaits the pro’s it’s time for a wonderful french lunch at the Pavilion on the Park, with the rest of the afternoon free for relaxing under the shade of the trees in the beautiful park, enjoying the pleasures of the famous thermal spa and viewing the action up close and personal, especially the incredible speed and skill of these superb athletes as they pass by only a few meters away! Once the leader of the race and the last rider to compete the course has passed us by and the French
Gendarmerie (Police) open the roads to the public we will return by vehicle and be back in Annecy early evening.
Thursday 9th June – View the Criterium du Dauphine Stage 4 La Motte Servolex (Stage Start)
After yesterday’s full day of action at the time trial, today it’s our turn for some action as we ride to the stage start, heading west through undulating French countryside, passing by neighboring Lac Bourget, spectacular views all the way!
Planned Moderate ride: 110km approx ride time 5hrs route La Motte Servolex.
The stage start gives us the opportunity to see the professionals relaxed and preparing for their day at work (in the saddle). Once the team cars and buses have arrived the riders appear at the podium for their “Sign on” and are often relaxed and approachable for a photo or autograph, you may just find
them sitting and taking a café before “Go”. The Dauphine cycle race is a very unique sporting event in that the very best cyclists in the world are easily accessible to the public, which is often not possible one month later in July at the Tour de France. Once we have watched the stage start and the race peloton as “departed”, we will have lunch at a favorite restaurant of the area, before a leisurely ride back to Annecy.
Tonight, a perfect evening promenade would be to stroll through the “Jardins de l’europe”, the “Pont des Amours” continuing along the famous “Avenue d’Albigny” for an aperitif on the terrace of the “Imperial Palace”.
Friday 10th June
One of our favorite areas awaits you today as the Dauphine peloton are on route from Macon, we head south out of Annecy and into the Park Massif des Bauges region, this area has a wonderful network and choice of quiet valley roads available to you, all with spectacular and breathtaking scenery.
Planned Moderate ride: 50 – 90km approx ride time 2 – 4hrs route Park Massif des Bauges.
After the leisurely climb of Col de Leschaux (900m) and a small taste of this region of cycling paradise you will have the opportunity for a café and patisserie or lunch stop in our ‘local’ ! But a must try is Mark’s chocolate or café éclair…they’re famous in the Haute Savoie! It’s then a beautiful descent back into Annecy with amazing views of the lake and Alps around each corner, arriving back in town to catch up with the action of the stage finish on TV, from the comfort of your accommodation.
This afternoon and early evening you may wish to enjoy the water of Lake Annecy, it is the cleanest in Europe and a great way to enjoy its natural beauty is with a leisurely boat trip, you will discover unique and splendid views of the French Alps and the town of Annecy as seen from the lake.
Saturday 11th June – View the Criterium du Dauphine Stage 6 Les Gets-Le Collet d’Allevard (Alps)
Today is our last opportunity to ride together during your Criterium du Dauphine week and to share some of our favorite cycling roads with you in the Grand Alps with a fantastic ride, followed by an Alpine lunch and the close up action of the very best climbers in the Alps!
Planned Difficult ride: 80km approx ride time 4hrs route Col des Aravis (1498m)
The Dauphine cycle race peloton will be fired up for this big mountain stage of this year’s Criterium with 7 Col’s awaiting them. We have chosen the climb of the 2nd Category Col des Aravis (1498m) to catch up with the action live.
This is one of Practice Bicycle’s local favorites, we have many Cols of varying difficulties and duration’s accessible from Annecy and the clear blue waters of the edge of the Lake, but the Aravis Mountain
range is one of the most spectacular and on a clear day you will see Mt Blanc (4810m) famously known as the ‘White Mountain’ and the highest peak in Europe.
Supported all the way by the professional guides at Practice Bicycle as you pedal on the slopes of this magnificent Col we are on the race route for the final 10km with an average gradient of 5.9% to the summit. Don’t worry if you wish to stop half way, as we have the perfect spot on the mountain with a well deserved French restaurant lunch available (compliments of Practice Bicycle) in time to catch all the atmosphere, action and excitement of peloton passing by, this experience of a lifetime for all cycling fans and travelers of the world.
Sadly this evening is your departure day and it’s time to pack your bike ready for your onward journey from Annecy. Practice Bicycle wish you a “Bon Voyage”, safe cycling until we Practice Bicycle together again.