La Marmotte 2015: Because

I knew all along when I started this journey that the day would come when I would need to do La Marmotte. Well, if I’m lucky enough to get registered this Saturday (anyone know when it opens?) I already have the all-important accommodation booked nearby, so I’ll (along with some riding buddies…right Erik?!) be set.

La Marmotte is one of the oldest sportives in the world, Wiki tells me, and is surely one of the toughest. The (unchanging) route is 174 km long, with a total elevation gain of 5180 meters. I think I did more climbing in Act Two of the Etape du Tour a couple of years ago, but the distance was less. My knee hurts just typing this.


La Marmotte is also a pretty prestigious ‘race’, it seems. Here is a short list of previous winners:

  • Laurens Ten Dam (Belkin)
  • Sander Armée (Lotto Belisol)
  • Patrice Halgand (formerly with Festina)

Okay, not that many household names, but still not too shabby for a cyclosportive. The route features a who’s who of Tour de France monuments; namely Col du Glandon, Col du Télégraphe, Col du Galibier and, of course, Alpe d’Huez. If you arrive at the top of the Alpe in one piece you will have checked off some pretty major boxes on your Bucket List.  Anyone else out there considering this madness?


5 thoughts on “La Marmotte 2015: Because

  1. I’m considering it. Perceived wisdom in these parts is that you need 3000km on the annual “compteur” by the time you take the start line: a tough ask when there is snow on the roads at least until the start of April. But it would be a wonderful thing to do… Good luck!

    • Sounds about right. I think I’ll have a few more than that in the bank, just in case! If you need a spring training camp, come on down to Le Sud. No snow there. Great looking chalet you have there, by the way. Looks like some pretty nice cycling, after April…

      • Thanks Gerry, maybe some spring sunshine is just what is required… Once the roads are clear we are very lucky to be surrounded by some brilliant cycling terrain. This last month has been wonderful with the good weather and autumn colours. But winter is on the way…

  2. Have riding mates in Scotland who have done it, several times. Thinking about it. But also thinking about the Etape and do not have the time to do both. So long as the winter is not too bad in Scotland I should have the miles in my legs. I’ll have to decide quickly!

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