[quote]I can’t recommend the Cyclotour du Léman trip highly enough, either as a start to the season ahead or as a holiday in its own right.[/quote]
Over to you Patrick!
Cyclotour du Léman Review
I arrived early at Geneva airport from Manchester to be greeted by Tom Eeles, my host for the next few days. We had plenty of time to chat and learn about his transition from living in the UK to running cycling tours full time in the Swiss Alps whilst we waited for my companions for the week, they were arriving from London, Australia and Brazil.
We eventually made our way in the Brevet mini bus through the Geneva traffic and out up into the hills above Montreux to reach our wonderful alpine mountain village of Les Diablerets.
[quote]The whole place looked very pretty in the afternoon sun with the snow dusting the tops of the mountains all around Lake Geneva.[/quote]
It was only on later reflection that it dawned on me that the snow should have gone by now, as it was the last week of May and summer was around the corner!
With Tom’s help we all set up our bikes and set off in the evening for a spin up the back lanes above Les Diablerets reaching the Col de Mosses and returning via rather damp roads through magnificent alpine scenery.
A good Swiss meal was prepared for us at the hotel – the first of several excellent local dishes – and after a good cycle training overview from Tom, we retired for a comfortable night.
Col du Pillon and Col des Mosses
The next morning the weather had closed in again, snow was forecast on the higher passes and so we set off at a “lower” level.
This still included going over Col du Pillon, in a mild snow storm and down into the magnificent valley beyond, through the millionaires mountain hideaways around Gstaad.
[quote]The sun came out, the sky cleared and all became wonderful in the world, as we following some awesome quiet lanes through remote villages beautiful Alpine pastures.[/quote]
Eventually we climbed out of the valley for a coffee stop at Hotel du Chamois in the mountain village of L’Etivaz.
For our final climb of the day we tackled the Col du Mosses from the West side before returning down into Les Diablerets, to another excellent meal.
UNESCO World Heritage Lavaux Vineyards
The next morning we woke to a white out! It was still snowing up in the mountains so Tom made arrangements to move us down to Lausanne.
We were down in the sunshine at Lakeside by lunch time. Excellent contingency planning!
The afternoon was spent exploring the hills of Lavaux travelling through the UNESCO heritage vineyards and eventually dropping down to the lakeside and going through the opulent town of Montreux , before continuing along the lakeside past the Chateaux Chillon and eventually around the far side of the lake.
After crossing the French border into Evian we caught the ferry back to Lausanne for another wonderful Swiss meal.
The next morning we cycled into Lausanne via the Olympic HQ and to the start of the next day’s Tour du Lac Leman (Lake Geneva to the rest of us).
After collecting our numbers, shirts etc. we set off back up into the Lavaux vineyards for a leg stretch ready for the next day’s 180km push. It’s a pity we were on an easy day as the weather was exactly as you would normally expect at the end of May;
[quote]Glorious warm sunshine, a light breeze, the sort of day when you want to go on for ever![/quote]
Cyclotour du Léman Sportive
Cyclotour du Léman is a big sportive run all the way round the lake (180km) or alternatively starting from Evian via the Lausanne ferry, half way(ish) round (110km).
Having elected to do the full lap of the lake I arrived early at the start. A cold damp morning that soon turned to incessant rain. In spite of that I enjoyed the event helped by the camaraderie of the other two thousand plus riders.
[quote]When the sun broke through at lunch time it made it all worthwhile.[/quote]
The food breaks were perfectly placed and the offerings were excellent, including hot soup, which was perfect for the day. It was also strange going through the customs barriers 3 abreast at close to the legal speed limit !!
At the end of the event it was good to be welcomed back by Tom and the Brevet crew at the Brevet Club House in the recovery pasta party area in Lausanne.
All-in-all an excellent few days of great cycling in wonderful scenery accompanied by like-minded cyclists and guided by a very knowledgeable person and his supporting team.
I can’t recommend the Cyclotour du Léman trip highly enough, either as a start to the season ahead or as a holiday in its own right.
Patrick loved the experience of riding in Switzerland so much that he is coming back in 2014 to ride the Cyclotour du Léman with Brevet again!
Ride the Cyclotour du Léman With Brevet
Inspired by Patrick’s Cyclotour du Léman review?
This camp is perfect for riders training for a classic European sportive like the Etape du Tour, La Marmotte or the Maratona dles Dolomites
- Three days of climbing in the mountains
- Workshops on cornering, descending and climbing
- Practice group riding skills, race nutrition and sportive tactics
- Culminates in the 180km relatively flat Cyclotour du Léman sportive
- Pacing yourself through a 5-7 hour sportive challenge
What are you waiting for?