Cyclists jump at the chance to following in the wheels of cycling legends
HotChillee, London, 23 November The Alpine Challenge, HotChillees premier multi-stage alpine sportive, sold out in two hours after entries went live. In response to demand, HotChillee has increased places by 50 per cent, from 150 to 230, with only a handful of entries left.
The 4-stage event, taking place on the 5th to 9th September 2012, will have approximately 7,000 metres of climbing across 350km of stunning French countryside, allowing riders to follow in the wheels of cycling legends. With rolling road closures and a professional support team, the event brings cycling enthusiasts as close as it gets to a Tour de France experience. They will be able to rub shoulders with some of cyclings greats, including Stephen Roche.
Triple Crown & Tour de France winner, Stephen Roche riding The Alpine Challenge 2011
Sven Thiele of HotChillee says: Our aim is to create an event that takes riders as close to the professionals experience as possible, in a safe and fun environment. This years event was a huge success with many commenting on the Tour de France feel. Were incredibly excited about getting to the start line next year.
Jacky Bernett, who participated in 2011 and is signed up to 2012, says: The Alpine Challenge is such a well organised and professionally run event. Its the only opportunity you have to feel like a pro. Ive made some lovely friends while cycling in the most fantastic scenery. It is certainly the toughest thing I have ever done, but when you reach the summits of the climbs you feel completely exhilarated. The Ride Captains encouragement really helps you get to the finish line. I also love the training rides ahead of the event. They give you the opportunity to train in a group, get to know people before you go and give you something to work towards.
About the event
A 4-stage event based in the beautiful lakeside town of Annecy in the Haute Savoie, The Alpine Challenge kicks off on arrival with a warm-up ride around Lake Annecy. Stage 1 sees a 10km timed mountain section to determine rider speed groups. The riders will then be taken into a series of breath-taking mountain stages, over famous Cols, including Col Des Aravis, Col de la Forclaz and Col de la Croix Fry, averaging 120km per day. With rolling road closures, motorbike outriders, lead and support vehicles, the participants come close to the experience of the professionals in the Tour de France.
The Alpine Challenge Peloton and support cars
The riders are seeded into speed groups, from those who wish to get into the competitive spirit and win the stages, to those who see the challenge as completing the event. It gives participants the chance to enjoy the buzz of a peloton and to socialise in a stunning setting, while doing what they love most.
Each stage has a timed climb determining the King and Queen of the Mountains. The King and Queen are then awarded the Leaders Jersey for the next stage. Riders are supported by an entourage of professionals, including mechanics and masseurs.