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The Route des Grandes Alpes

Four members of the Shutt Velo Rapide Racing Team spent a week in June following the historic Route des Grandes Alpes through the high mountains of France from Lake Geneva to the French Riviera. 

The Route des Grandes Alpes (Great Alpine Road) is a 700 km long route through the French Alps devised by the French Touring Club and constructed between 1909 and 1937. It runs from Lake Geneva to Menton on the Mediterranean and includes some of the highest and most beautiful mountain passes in Europe.

The Route des Grandes Alpes

Route profile. This version is for a 7-day trip. We’re attempting to complete it in 5

The route takes in 16 of the French Alps’ highest passes: Col des Gets (1,170 m), Col de la Colombière (1,613 m), Col des Aravis (1,486 m), Col des Saisies (1,650 m), Col de Méraillet (1,605 m), Cormet de Roselend (1,968 m), Col de l’Iseran (2,770 m), Col du Télégraphe (1,566 m), Col du Galibier (2,645 m), Col d’Izoard (2,360 m), Col de Vars (2,108 m), Col de la Cayolle (2,326 m), Col de la Couillole (1,678 m), Col Saint-Martin (1,500 m), Col de Turini (1,604 m) and the Col de Castillon (728 m).

Team Shutt for this adventure comprised Justin, Marcus, Luke and Jered. The trip was conceived to help Marcus celebrate his 40th birthday. The plan was to fly to Geneva and ride south following the Route des Grandes Alpes to Menton, and then on to Nice to catch a flight back to London. Easy peasey.

This was a credit card tour, so kit wise the emphasis was to keep everything as lightweight as possible. This meant carrying taking the minimum amount of stuff, so just one change of clothes for the evenings, plus toiletries, suncream, phone, and a few tools. Bags wise, everything was crammed into one small saddlebag each.

The Route des Grandes Alpes

The Grand Depart from Thonon. The plaque on the ground in front of us celebrates the start point of the route.

To read the full account of how the boys got on, check out Justin’s blog site here



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