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?