La Marmotte 2013
La Marmotte GranFondo is the mother and father of all sportives cycling events. The route covers 174km of alpine cycling featuring the epic Col du Glandon and Col du Galibier. These mythical cols are among the most feared Tour de France mountain passes.
After an epic 5,180m of climbing, La Marmotte finishes with the tortuos ascent of 21 hairpin bends to Alpe d’Huez (1,880m), scene of many literally breathtaking finishes in Le Tour.
La Marmotte Event Details
- Date: Saturday 6th July 2013 – TBC
- Distance: 174km
- Climbing: 5,180m
- Established since: 1982
- Start: Bourg d’Oisans, France
- Finish: L’Alpe d’Huez, France
- Nearest Airport: Geneva International Airport
- Accommodation: Bourg d’Oisans tourism office
La Marmotte Route Recce
La Marmotte Course Profile
The route features a who’s who of the classic Tour de France alpine climbs and the scenery between climbs is not so bad either in the Savoie and Hautes-Alpes regions of France.
The following classic cols feature in La Marmotte:
- 36km – Col du Glandon (1,924m)
- 92km – Col du Télégraphe (1,566m)
- 115km – Col du Galibier (2,645m)
- 122km – Col du Lautaret (2,058m)
- 174km - Alpe d’Huez (1,880m)
Col du Galibier 3D Tour
This Google 3D ascent of the Col du Galibier produced by Cycling in the Alps gives a great taster for riders taking on La Marmotte this summer:
Grimpée de L’Alpe
Training For La Marmotte
La Marmotte represents one of the pinnacles of the European sportive calendar and for many riders it will be the ultimate cycling challenge, As one of the toughest Gran Fondo’s out there, training for La Marmotte is essential, especially if you want to leave with happy memories that block out the pain climbing the final 21 hairpin bends to Alpe d’Huez.
For many cyclists lucky enough to get a place in La Marmotte, training will start in the New Year after Christmas. Ideally January and February should be spent maintaining bike fitness with easy base period miles, using an indoor turbo trainer can help keep things ticking over during the cold winter months. As spring arrives following a progressive twelve week sportive training plan will build the stamina needed to take on some of the mightiest cols from the Tour de France.
For many cyclists training for La Marmotte the most difficult aspect is preparing for climbing in the Alps. It’s hard to replicate Alpine cycling if you don’t live in the Alps and haven’t cycled up (and down) Alpine Cols before. A sportive training holiday with a group of friends can be a great way to train for a challenging sportive like La Marmotte.
Marmotte Training Tips
- CYCLEFILM have an excellent full length version of the recon video featured above full of training tips for La Marmotte. It’s available for just £8 as a digital download: La Marmotte recon video
- Follow a sportive training plan to help you train for La Marmotte
- Book an early season sportive training holiday to get acclimatized to cycling in the Alps and taking part in continental sportives such as the Cyclotour du Leman
Sportive Training Holidays in Switzerland
One of the best ways to train for La Marmotte is to take a cycling holiday in the Alps. A week of cycling a few months before the ultimate cycling challenge can help riders to acclimatize to alpine cycling.
SwissRetreat’s fully supported Tour du Lac Léman holiday finishes with the Cyclotour du Leman. This stunningly beautiful cyclosportive tours 180km around Lake Geneva and gives those aspiring to complete La Marmotte a chance to practice their French, get some miles in and experience riding in a continental sportive.
La Marmotte Entry
For the 2012 Marmotte online registration opened on 2nd Deecmber 2011 and over 6,000 people applied for La Marmotte entry places on that first day leading to 2012 entry being suspended. If you miss a spot then is usually still possible to get a place by entering “L’Trophee de L’Oisans” which includes a saddle busting 400km week in the Alps.
L’Trophee de L’Oisans
- Vaujany Master (173km – 1st July 2012)
- Prix des Rousses (4okm – 4th July 2012)
- La Marmotte Granfondo (174km – 7th July 2012)
- Grimpée de L’Alpe (13km – 8th July 2012)
To enter this unforgettable week of alpine cycling visit the L’Trophee de L’Oisans website.
Useful websites for La Marmotte
- Official website: La Marmotte
- Event organiser: Sport Communication
- Twitter feed: @la__marmotte
- Wikipedia: Featuring La Marmotte winners, Lanterne Rouge records and event history on Wikipedia
- Cycling The Alps: Check out the climbs in detail
Photo credit: All photos supplied by Sport Communication and credited to Photo Breton.