Riders from all over the globe arrived in Annecy, France yesterday, to start the three-day Alpine Challenge today. Based on the same innovative format as The London-Paris, riders will tackle 4 stages with winners jersey's for king and queen of the mountains.
There is however, a real community feel to the event. In the same vein as The London-Paris, riders will be set in ability groups based on a timed section on Thursday to ensure they enjoy a great experience and those taking part range from relative newcomers to the sport, business leaders to elite athletes. The shorter stages, breathtaking settings and same start point each day, provide an incredible setting for relaxing and networking after each days ride.
The Alpine Challenge has attracted some great new partners and sponsors. LeMarq, a new clothing brand by Le Col, have become the official clothing partner. Wattbike will also be on hand to demonstrate the benefits of training on their machines and setting a challenge on the final day as the official training partner, and finally Blacksheep provide the official timing.
British professional rider and entrepreneur (Le Col clothing) Yanto Barker is one of those elite athletes heading to the event, he said: "I have heard so much about HotChillee's events and when asked about riding the Alpine Challenge I couldn't wait to see if I could fit it into my programme. The challenge of riding in the mountains is something that all cyclists should try and I am really pleased to be included. We have even taken the step of becoming the cycling clothing sponsor of the event."
Sven Thiele of HotChillee said: "The Alpine Challenge presents riders with the breathtaking experience of riding the mountains of the Tour De France and other great races. We are looking forward to welcoming all the riders and providing them with a great few days in Annecy. I am pleased to welcome all our new partners and sponsors to join existing companies who enable us to organise innovative and exciting events."
Based out of the beautiful lakeside town of Annecy in the Savoie, the scenery and riding on The Alpine Challenge is breathtaking, with riders enjoying the benefits of rolling road closures, motorbike outriders and lead vehicles whilst riding in groups of similar ability and supported by a professional crew including masseurs, mechanics and Mavic neutral service.
The event provides the opportunity to ride a series of mountain stages (approximately 110-120km per day), and is created to offer a 'Tour de France'-like experience.
Following a stunning warm-up ride around Lake Annecy on arrival, the event starts with a 10km timed mountain stage which is used to seed riders into the appropriate groups. Three mountain stages then follow, crossing some of the infamous mountain stages such as the Cols des Aravis. Each day there will be flagged timed climbs, of which the aggregate time will determine the leader's jersey (male and female) for the next stage.