velotel said:If you're ready for some serious riding, Barcelonnette is hard to beat with the 3-col tour (Col d'Allos, Col des Champs, Col de la Cayolle - 124 kms, 3265 meters of climbing), Col de la Bonette, Col de Vars, Col de Larche, etc. Plus Barcelonnette is a terrific small town with good hotels and restaurants and atmosphere. [\QUOTE]
I just came back from Barcelonnette, did the 3 col tour as well! It's TOUGH:
No pics of the Champs - I was toast after I climbed to the top.
Also did the Bonette, but not that day. I'd highly recommend Barcelonnette if you can get down that way. Might be a bit of a stretch from where you are though.
I agree with respect to the Bourg St. Maurice area. Even better, is the area around Beaufort, which is on the other side of the Cormet from BSM. Beaufort is a very nice, small town that has a lot of charm, unlike some of the ski stations in the Alps. From Beaufort, you can not only do the BSM climbs (if you get tired, as I did in 2007, you can take a train from BSM to Albertville after climbing the Cormet and the Petit St. Bernard and rest your legs a little), but cols to the north of Beaufort, such as the Col des Saises. Basically, the whole range towns and cols in France that parallel the Swiss/Italian border are great places to be. I agree with what teo said about Bourg d'Oisans and the Alpe d'Huez area. It is greatly overrated.velotel said:The Bourg St Maurice area offers some great riding options with Petite St Bernard, Cormet de Roselend, Col del' Iseran, the various ski area roads, plus a terrific plateau road. .
thebadger said:Teoteoteo makes some good choices for France.
Taking a little different angle I would recommend being deep in the heart of the Dolomites. They are part of the Alps, too. Towns like Arraba, Alleghe and Caprile, maybe Corvara all though I only rode through. The scenery is amazing and great climbs all around like Fedaia, Pordoi, Sella, Gardena, Campagnolo, Giau, Duran, Falzarego, Staulanza, San Pellegrino among others.
I think that the "infamous" French alpine climbs are overrated. Sure, it is nice to say that you have ridden over the Galibier or up Alpe d'Huez. But, I think that you would have a much better time if you rode the French cols that are next to the Italian/Swiss border (i.e., the cols in the vicinity of Bourg St. Maurice, Beaufort and Annecy).Rider07 said:I still want to do a few of the infamous French climbs just to say I did but I think I will wait until the first week of September and hope the toursts are gone.
I have never ridden the Rettenbachferner, but rode the Stelvio last year.Rider07 said:Anyone ridden Rettenbachferner and Stelvio? Which is harder? I rode Rettenbachferner last year and was really hurting with a 39X27.