Organisers of the Marmotte Granfondo have released details of the revised route for 2015 following the closure of the Chambon Tunnel for repairs. The amended 2015 route replaces the iconic climbs of the Telegraphe, Galibier and Lautaret, with ascents of the Lacets de Montvernier, Col du Mollard (1630m) and Col de la Croix de Fer (2058m), all of which feature in the 2015 Tour de France.
The 2015 Marmotte takes place on 4 July and will feature the Col du Glandon and Alpe d'Huez as usual. However rather than the usual full circle route, the revised format will see riders continue northeast after the ascent of Col du Glandon. Riders will face a challenging loop that packs in the three new mountain passes, before retracing the road back to Bourg d'Oisans for the climb of Alpe d'Huez to finish.
In terms of distance and elevation the route is as close as possible to the traditional format, featuring an extra 100m of climbing (5100m in total) over a 170km course that is just 4km shorter than usual.
In a statement on the event website, the organisers explained the reasons behind the changed route:
We announced a few weeks ago that the road RD 1091 between Grenoble and Briançon was closed due to cracks in the Tunnel du Chambon and subsequent reconstruction works.
Despite the important works that have been started, this major axis in Oisans and Hautes-Alpes will remain closed until the end of July.
In the mountains more than anywhere else, nature controls human activities, and this is true for residents and cyclists alike.
With the support of partner local authorities in Oisans and Maurienne and the relevant state services, we changed the route of the Marmotte sportive.
Together we managed to elaborate a new route with characteristics as close as possible to those of the original route:
170km instead of 174km, and 5100m/d+ instead of 5000m/d+.
We will keep the Glandon, but replace the Telegraphe, Galibier and Lautaret with prestigious passes in Maurienne that will feature in the Tour de France 2015:
The picturesque Lacets de Montvernier, Col du Mollard (1630m), Col de la Croix de Fer (2058m).
The Maurienne area will have the place of honnor among the 7500 participants from 50 countries that come every year to La Marmotte, and we will do everything we can to turn this unforeseen event into an outstanding experience.
We would like to thank the towns, communities and services involved for their support and their help in creating this new route.
You will find below the details of the route in order to better prepare for this challenge.
We hope you will appreciate this new Marmotte with as much enthusiasm and pleasure as ever, but also with reason.
Bonne Marmotte 2015.
The start and finish points for the Marmotte are unchanged, while four feed stations will be located at Glandon, Albiez-le-Jeune, Saint-Sorlin d'Arves and Bourg d'Oisans. The revised route promises a challenge equal to that of the traditional Marmotte route, while in terms of logistics most participants should be unaffected by the change.
Some riders may rue the fact that they can't compare their times to past efforts, but the novelty value of the included climbs should help compensate. Think of it as an exclusive chance to ride a one-off, limited edition route of one of Europe's classic sportives...
For more information, visit www.sportcommunication.info