Published by Lyn on 27 July 2016
Andy Hodges stayed at Alpine Velo's Montalbert chalet in the Tarentaise Valley on a recent trip through the French Alps.
Situated close to the cycling hot spot of Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Alpine Velo has two chalets in the Tarentaise Valley, ideal for riding some of the iconic cols of the Alps. We stayed at their Montalbert chalet, which has a range of challenging rides nearby. (You can see their other chalet in Landry here).
5 things we liked
1. Sam's local knowledge
It's simply fantastic to stay with people who know the area, the idiosyncrasies of each major climb and suggestions for the best routes to reach the bottom of the climbs while avoiding traffic bottlenecks and unpleasant busy road sections.
2. Snug and peaceful at Alpine Velo's Montalbert chalet
We enjoyed a very peaceful stay at Alpine Velo's smaller chalet in the tiny hamlet of Montalbert. After a tough day of riding the Petit St Bernard in rain and snow the warmth of a log burner and comfy armchairs was just what we needed! Being able to dry out soaking wet kit and shoes ready for another assault is a vitally important part of my tick list for a venue.
3. Refuel, Recover ...
After unseasonable sub-zero conditions, is there anything better than a tartiflette to refuel for the following day? Sam's home-cooked Savoyard classic with locally sourced organic ingredients was simply fantastic. Alpine Velo spend as much time sourcing high quality ingredients as exploring the valley on two wheels so you can tuck in secure in the knowledge that the local farmers and producers are being supported with each tasty mouthful.
4. Location, location, location!
There are the (in)famous climbs of Col du Petit St Bernard and the unending gauntlet of Cormet de Roseland beckoning you from the front door. The whispering of Col de Madeleine and Col de l'Iseran are not too far away, either, and allow the budding grimpeur to take on these beasts.
5. A flexible friend
The guys are Alpine Velo have geared th accommodation and all the support services they offer especially for cyclists. And it seems they have as many options as they have hairpin bends nearby. We were fairly self-sufficient with our own van and bikes, but if you need a bit of on-road support, they offer vehicle supported rides, as well as help planning independent, self-guided rides, plus a drop-off or pick-up service at the start/end of a ride/climb. The drop off/pick up service is invaluable should you want to ride a longer route. There's also plenty of ideas and advice for non-cycling friends and family, as well as airport transfers.
All in all, this is a fantastic option for anyone wanting a cycling base in the Alps. There is everything you need here for a week or so of top-class cycling adventures.