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Road Cycling

An opportunity to cycle on some of the most iconic, beautiful roads in the French Alps with UCPA. Whether you want to train for a sportive or event, learn navigation methods or just be led around these amazing mountain passes, there will be a course for you.

Always included in our holidays


Instruction or guiding

All meals

Friendly & social atmosphere

Full road cycling equipment

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All of UCPA’s road biking courses run in the Haute-Savoie area of the Alps giving you the chance to tackle some of the most iconic cols in the French Alps such as Col de la Colombière and Col du Galibier which both have featured in the Tour de France. The great thing about cycling in the alps is not only the stunning scenery and quiet roads, but the summer temperatures can reach as high as 35°C. Bear in mind that mountain air does get colder the higher up you climb up the cols.

The key difference between a road bike and a mountain bike is that mountain bikes are heavier, have larger, grippier tyres and usually have suspension to make it more comfortable on the varied terrain you ride. As road cycling is on the roads as the name suggests, bikes tend to be lightweight with thin, slick tyres to allow the least amount of resistance for a quicker and smooth riding style.

UCPA does expect you to have a good level of fitness to take a road cycling course. You should be able to ride a minimum of 60km per day. It would be extremely beneficial to have ridden at least 1000km in the 3 months leading up to your course for you to get the most out of it.

The key is to be comfortable when road cycling as you will be sat on the saddle for hours. It is always good to wear breathable, lightweight clothing and it is often a good idea to take a thin windproof jacket with you for descents in the Alps as they can be chilly. Lycra padded shorts are the best thing to wear as they protect you from getting saddle sore. Sunglasses or clear lens glasses are great to wear not only to protect you from the sun, but also to help with the wind.

When road cycling, you can wear ordinary trainers, but a lot of riders will use clip in shoes and pedals. The reason for this is that as your feet are clipped to the pedals, you have much better efficiency, handling and power. We would recommend you have tried this before you come along to a UCPA as it will make such a difference to your riding. Please be sure to bring your pedals and UCPA staff will be able to fit them on to the rental bike for you. Don’t forget to bring your shoes too!

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