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Ride the famous Stella Alpina route to the top of the Colle des Sommeiller, one of the highest motorable passes in Europe. This is one for the adventure seekers.
WHEN: Tuesday 4th July - 13th July 2023
IN A NUTSHELL: Catch the ferry, ride to the Alps, ride some of the high altitude dirt road mountain passes, including the Stella Alpina and the old dirt roads to ancient Alpine fortresses.
HIGHLIGHTS: Take part in the iconic Stella Alpina, riding the highest possible off-road track in the Alps at 3,009 metres (around 9,872 feet), an event taking place since 1966. On the way there we'll ride through some of the iconic ski resorts of Val-d'Isère and Courmayeur. The event has always been seen as a gathering and social event for riders of all machines, to have a go at riding up the twisting Colle del Sommeiller.
We'll also ride some of the dirt tracks up to the old mountain fortresses before making our way back to the boat.
PLEASE NOTE THIS IS AN EXPEDITION RIDE, MEANING THAT SOME OF THE ROUTE WILL NOT HAVE BEEN PRE-RIDDEN, INCLUDING THE HIGH ALTITUDE DIRT ROAD PASSES.
WHO IS IT FOR: For riders confident travelling with luggage and riding tight gravel track roads.
Meet Tuesday evening at Newhaven dock, ready for the overnight ferry to Dieppe, with bed in shared cabin included. Then taking two days to make a back road ride across rural France down to the Alps. Time in the Alps, then back to Dieppe the following Wednesday night to catch the overnight ferry back to Newhaven.
WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE?
Price includes ferry crossings, camping and guiding.
WHAT DOES IT NOT INCLUDE? The cost does not include fuel, food, breakdown insurance and other associated costs with travel.
RIDING REQUIREMENTS: Riders must be able to confidently and safely negotiate gravel track mountain roads. Whilst there is no pressure or compulsion to go further than you feel comfortable, riders should accept that gravel track riding is part of this tour.
For an indication of some of the riding conditions on the mountain, please see here:
This is the type of riding we'll be doing once in the Alps.
HOW LONG ARE THE DAYS?
The transit days to and from the ferry port will be approximately 250 miles in length. This should be manageable for all machines capable of travelling at road legal speeds. The days once in the Alps will be of shorter duration and distance.
WHAT WILL I NEED TO BRING?
You'll need a well serviced and reliable machine, capable of travelling at at least 60mph. You will need a tent, sleeping bag, roll mat, and cooking equipment would be advisable. You will need breakdown insurance and suitable holiday insurance, providing proof of the latter prior to departure.
An adventure bike capable of holding 60mph would be the ideal, from a 250cc and upwards. A trail tyre should be fitted and bikes suitably prepped for dirt road adventures.
HOW MUCH IS IT?
The route down there will be fairly direct, through rural France but definitely avoiding the motorway. We'll give two days of around 260 miles per day, which is a manageable distance for a 'transit' day.
Once down in the Alps we'll enjoy 4 days of riding the Stella Alpina as well as some other mountain trails in the area. After that we'll begin to make our way back to the port.