Things to do in 2022: No 12, The Marmotte

Descending the Galibier



2022 LePape Marmotte Granfondo Alpes

As the market for big swish grandiose sportives grows, it is easy to overlook one of the originals. It’s not on closed roads but conquers some mighty Alpine climbs, Col du Glandon, Col du Galibier (via the Col du Telegraph) and Alpe d’Huez. It takes place on Sunday 3 July 2022 and is the amazing Marmotte. And if you missed out on a place on the 2022 Etape du Tour (sold out) then this may well be the one for you.

As it happens, the 2022 Etape du Tour is taking place in very similar territory, albeit doing the Galibier from the Lauteret side and going over the Croix de Fer rather than the Glandon on the way back over to the ascent of the 21 hairpins into Alpe d’Huez. In short they are both finishing on the Alpe, and whilst both are doing a loop to get there, there are going in opposite directions. In case that sounds odd, we should explain that The Col du Glandon and the Croix de Fer are two different cols but share the same ascent/descent from the South, the road forks as you near the top, left for the Glandon and right for the Croix de Fer. The Marmotte involves 175km of riding and 5,000m metres of glorious climbing.

Unlike the Etape du Tour, the Marmotte is not closed roads, but it will seem like closed roads as the locals seem to politely stay off the roads during this annual event.

Various sports tour operators offer packages, including Sports Tours International, which takes the hassle out of organising your trip. British airways generally accept Bike Boxes as an additional ‘normal’ bag even though oversize.

Oh, and in case you wondered, a Marmotte is a rodent-like mammal that lives exclusively in the Alpes.