Friday – Col des Saisies, Col des Aravis

113 km, 2975 m vertical

Assemble at 08:45 for departure at 09:00.

The final day’s cycling in the Alps begins with the easy descent to Thônes, where we turn left and pass  over the Col du Marais (843 m) then the Col de l’Épine (987 m). These first two climbs are short and easy, perfect to get the legs going.

The beautiful descent of the Col de l’Épine brings us to Marlens, where we follow the cycle path along the valley floor to Ugine. Here begins the short but steep climb to the second Col de la Forclaz (870 m) – not the same as the one we climbed on Monday! This pass brings us across and down into the Doron valley, which we follow on a gentle climb until La Pierre where we turn left and attack the col des Saisies (1650 m). The slope averages 6.3 %, and we arrive at the top after 15 km without any real difficulties.

We cycle down the northern side of the Col des Saisies to Flumet, where the road immediately pitches up again for the final big climb of the week: the col des Aravis from the south. This is the last chance to settle who is King of the Mountains! 11 km and 560 vertical metres later we reach the summit and have no more than 8 km to ride downhill to the hotel in La Clusaz and a well-earned lunch.

Back at the hotel between 2 and 3.30 pm.

Friday easier option

Les Balcons de l’Arly (81 km, 1895 m). This is a much easier option, starting and finishing in the same way but cutting out the Col de la Forclaz and the Col des Saisies. Back at the hotel between 12.30 and 2 pm.

Friday evening

Local specialities and final-night party at L’Auberge des Aravis, in the heart of the old village.

If you have any Tall Tales left to tell, this is the moment!