Summer holidays are supposed to be relaxing, right? Wrong! For those who love nothing more than putting themselves to the test, there is only one destination this summer. In Les Menuires, sports enthusiasts can find the physical challenge of a life time. Every July the La Bourgui timed cycling race takes place through the French Alps and anyone can enter. Put yourself to the test alongside semi-professional cyclists and see how you do. |
This year is the 16th edition of the race and there are two new courses on offer. You can opt for a short course of 77km with a 2,520m elevation, or the longer course of 137km with a 4200m elevation. There are two different age categories for women and five for men, with an additional category of all ages for handicapped participants.
The courses follow part of the route of the Tour de France, so while it is very challenging, the scenery makes it all worth it. The race leaves Saint Martin de Belleville and proceeds to climb and descent through Moûtiers, Villargarel, Naves, Cevins, La Léchère, Doucy, and Saint-Laurent-de-la-Côte before the final ascent to the finish line in Les Menuires.
Summer in Les Menuires can mean very high temperatures, so make sure to stay safe and hydrated. The longer race climbs up and down to a total of three ski stations so there will be some steep sections of the course, which they can be dangerous at times. But, if you’re looking for something to motivate yourself to get into shape this summer or just to push yourself even further, La Bourgui is for you.
Starting the Race
The races begin at 8am in front of the town hall of Saint Martin de Belleville. Shuttles are arranged to transport your luggage to the finish line so you don’t have to worry about taking them with you. The starting point of the course is 1,450m with a steep 1km climb at the very beginning, so you’ll want to ride as light as possible.
Reaching the Finish
Once you’ve crossed the finish line, you’ll most likely want to freshen up. Showers are available at the sports centre in Les Menuires and competitors are also given free access to the aqua spa for a well-deserved rest. Then it’s time for the prize ceremony where trophies and other goodies will be given out to the winners of each category. But don’t worry if you don’t win a prize – everyone is a winner when the Pasta Party begins! Fill up on some well-earned carbohydrates and rest those weary legs.
How to Enter
Cyclo-sport events – races that are open to all – are now widespread and increasingly popular. All participants are welcome in La Bourgui, but they must sign up in advance. Entrance fees are €20 before the 21st July, rising to €25 on the 22nd July, and €30 on the day of the race, the 23rd July. Sign up now if you’re looking for a way to spend a challenging, cycling-filled summer in Les Menuires!
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers craft their perfect winter or summer holiday for over a quarter of a century. If you're looking for the best chalet for summer in Les Menuires, Ski Amis is the go-to company for those searching for the holiday of a lifetime in the French Alps.
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