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Brussels to Geneva
9 days. 3 stages. 1,500km. 22,000m climb

Three Classic Rides, One Grand Tour

A challenging ride evoking the spirit of a cultural Grand Tour

The Tour is an epic ride across Europe.  From Brussels to Geneva stopping in Paris on the way, we will all visit some of the most beautiful parts of Europe, mix fantastic riding with a little culture and take the opportunity to sample some of the culinary delights on route.

You can ride the whole Tour, or one or two of the three-day stages.  Each stage has some great riding. From pavé in the north to climbing in the high alps, the route is varied and challenging.  The ride is also intended to be fabulous experience, incorporating breathtaking scenery, quiet country roads and the opportunity to sample fabulous food and wine.  And, in the spirit of the Grand Tours of old, we have also designed the ride to take in the outstanding cultural sights, including five World Heritage sites on the way. 

However, it isn’t just a bike ride – it is also the opportunity to help improve the lives of people with diabetes, showing what is possible for people with diabetes and demonstrating how innovative technical solutions can address the challenge of managing diabetes.  During the Tour a number of leading global technology companies including Orange, Dexcom and Samsung and some innovative technology start-up companies will implement a unique technical solution to support riders during the tour.

Through our partnership with IDF Europe the Tour also works with experts in diabetes, exercise physiology, technology companies, healthcare professionals and patients to learn, share, educate, develop and deploy solutions and knowledge to help people manage their diabetes, liberating them to lead active lifestyles.

Challenging but achievable, the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour will be an experience of a lifetime.

Stage 1 - Brussels to Paris

Brussels to Paris:  3rd September to 5th September

From Brussels we head south into northern France picking up sections of Stage 4 of the 2015 Tour de France into Cambrai.  From Cambrai we head to Reims, the centre of the Champagne region before heading into Paris.  We will ride some pave´, no doubt sample some Champagne and enjoy some of the excellent riding through Belgium and Northern France. For people continuing on the Tour We then have a day in Paris to either rest and recover or to enjoy the sites.

  Start/Finish Description Km/m
Day 1
3rd Sept
Brussels /
Cambrai
From Brussels we head south to Cambrai.  There is something of a military theme to the day as we pass the 1815 Waterloo battle field before heading to the 'Western Front' at Mons, the location of the last fighting on the Western front on 11th November 1918. The cycling will include some of the famous pavé of Northern France as we pick up the 2015 Tour de France Stage 4 route into Cambrai.   At 150km it is a full days riding for the first day of the Tour! 150km
1,281m
Day 2
4th Sept
Cambrai /
Reims
Day 2 takes us into Reims, the heart of the champagne region of France.  There continues to be a military theme as we roughly follow the line of the Western Front past St Quentin and the River Aisne.  The cycling is mainly on quite rural roads through the open 'rolling' countryside of northern France.  The wind turbines highlight the potential risk of windy conditions but as we are heading east, hopefully the wind will be behind us as we head into the champagne vineyards around Reims! 162km
1,628m
Day 3
5th Sept
Reims /
Paris
The final day is the longest day of the Stage at 173km.  Leaving Reims we ride through the region's vineyards roughly following La Marne river which meets La Seine in Paris.  There are no significant climbs but the day isn't flat!  We make our way to Paris following quiet country roads and then into the city using a combination of quiet roads and cycle paths. 174km
1,946m
Rest Day
6th Sept
Paris We have a 'rest day' in Paris.  As part of the Tour we will also host a Diabetes outreach event in Paris on the 6th that riders are welcome to join.  Alternatively it is an opportunity to see some of the sites.  

 

Stage 2 - Paris to Belfort

Stage 2 - Paris to Belfort

Paris to Belfort: 7th September to 9th September

Stage 2 takes the Tour out of Paris and through the Vosges to Belfort.  It has a great mix of riding, from the chalk downlands east of Paris to the Hautes Vosges and the Grand Ballon.  There is also a significant gastronomic and cultural aspect to the stage.  Cheese features quite a bit in the regional specialities. We pass through Provins, a World Heritage site, Troyes, Langres, Chaumont and Belfort all of which have some unique architectural features.  The main character of the stage is however idyllic, virtually traffic free, French countryside.

  Start/Finish Description Km/m
Day 4
7th Sept
Paris to Troyes We head east from Paris along the Marne river using quiet roads and cycle paths to avoid the worst of the traffic.  Once clear of Paris we head to Coulommiers (where the Brie cheese comes from) before going onto Provins, a fortified medieval town, which is a UNESCO world heritage site then heading onto Troyes which is described in the Lonely Planet guide as "one of the finest ensembles of half-timbered houses and Gothic churches in France".  It is a long day but it is flat with most of the ascent gained over a number of small climbs, each less than 100m. 181km
1,525m
Day 5
8th Sept
Troyes to Langres Troyes to Langres is possibly the quietest days riding we have recced in France!  The area is very pretty with a mix of lakes, forests, open countryside and sleepy villages.  There are few claims to fame, Charles de Galle came from the area and the Viaduct at Chaumont is an impressive three story railway bridge with over 50 arches and spanning 600 metres.  Langres is an old fortified hill top town.  Again there are no significant individual climbs but over the day we gain 300m of ascent so the whole day is uphill. 163km
1,704m
Day 6
9th Sept
Langres to Belfort As Langres is a hill fort the day starts downhill.  This is the longest day of the tour at 189km and also has the first big climb of the Tour, the Col du Ballon d'Alsace which was the first offical climb of the Tour de France in 1905.  It has been included in the Tour de France no less than 20 times.  The offical climb from St Maurice is 619m over 9km with a maximum gradient of 8%.  Luckily from the summit this there is a 30km decent to Belfort to enjoy, making the distance less of a challenge. 189km
2,376m

 

Stage 3 - Belfort to Geneva

Stage 3 - Belfort to Geneva

Belfort to Geneva: 10th September to 12th September

From Belfort we head south across the Jura mountains and into Switzerland before going into the Alps and onto Geneva.  The stage has a much more mountainous feel to it with some big climbs as we head into the alps, including the option of taking on the hors category climb to ski station at Avoriaz.  On the final day, when the weather is good, there are spectacular views of the Mont Blanc massif on the descent from the Joux Plane.  Whilst the stage is the shortest in distance it more than makes up for it with climbing having 10,000m ascent over the last three days.  An epic finish to the Tour.

  Start/Finish Description Km/m
Day 7
10th Sept
Belfort / Yverdon L-B Heading south from Belfort, we cross the Jura mountains.  There is a fair amount of climbing but the highest point is for the day just over 1100m so not especially high. There is some cluture on the route too, La Chaux-de-Fonds is a World Heritage site and centre of the Swiss watch making industry. The town is referred to by Karl Marx in Das Kapital and was birth place of the architect Le Corbusier.  From here we head down into the spa town of Yverdon-Les-Bains. 167km
3,312m
Day 8
11th Sept
Yverdon L-B /
Morzine
Day 8 takes us through Montreaux and into the Alps. There are two options for the day.  The 'easy' option is to ride directly to the hotel in Morzine however, for the climbers there is the opportunity to add the Avoriaz climb onto the route when you arrive in Morzine. This adds 30 km (14km up) and 850m of climb to the day but Avoriaz has has been a stage finish of the Tour de France so has kudos and if you are Bernard Hinault it only takes 33 minutes to the top! 151km
3,492m
Day 9
12th Sept
Morzine /
Geneva
The final day is a proper day's riding.  It starts with the famous col de Jeux Plane which, even from the 'easier' Morzine side, is 11km long with over 700m of ascent. The second col of the day is col de la Ramaz which is another big climb before our final climb of the Tour over Col de la Croisette which gives great views of Geneva and the lake.  From here it is all downhill to the hotel and dinner. 125km
3,381m
Fly Home
13th Sept
Geneva We have a celebratory dinner on the evening of the 12th and expect people to be heading home on the morning of the 13th.  

 

Options to get involved

There are options that suit the needs of all riders.

The different ways of taking part in the Tour give everyone the chance to participate and to enjoy the experience.  There are three different ways you can participate: 

  • The epic – where you ride the entire distance from Brussels to Geneva.
  • The stage – riders ride one or more of the three stages.
  • The relay – riders share the riding each day with a buddy, either for a stage or the whole distance.

The Epic is the ultimate challenge.  At 1,500km of riding and nearly 22,000m of ascent over 9 days.  It is a big challenge but massively rewarding for the people that complete the entire ride.

Not everyone can spare the time for the whole trip.  For those people that don't have time for the Epic they can complete one of the stages or two of the stages. Each stage is a big challenge on it’s own but gives people a great opportunity to ride through some of the most beautiful and scenic countryside and cities in Europe.  

The days are long some people would prefer to share the load with a buddy rather than ride full days.  The relay option allows riders to share the riding for a day.  The riding is still tough but the distances should be more manageable for riders less confident in their ability to push out the miles.

Whatever option is chosen the Tour will be a challenge and a great experience!

JDRF Places

Ride the Tour and raise vital funds for research

Experience the mHealth Grand Tour whilst raising vital funds for type 1 diabetes research with JDRF.

For 2015 the mHealth Grand Tour we have reserved charity places for JDRF on Stage 1 of the Tour.  This is an excellent opportunity to experience some classic riding whilst at the same time raising vital funds for type 1 diabetes research.

JDRF places are available with a minimum sponsorship option -  participants pay a deposit of £99 at the time of booking and commit to raise a minimum of £1,300.  

The JDRF option includes 4 nights accommodation (an extra night in Paris is included on 5th September at the end of the stage), 3 days riding and all of the support and back-up of the mHealth Grand Tour.

If you want to ride the whole tour for JDRF this option is also available.  You can either take the minimum sposnorship option for Stage 1 and 'self fund' Stages 2&3 or contact Rebecca at JDRF to discuss the minumum sponsorship option for the entire Tour. 

To take up the JDRF charity option, just select JDRF when registering! 

 

 

 

How much does it cost

Epic and Stage costs

Outlined in this section are the costs for the different Tour options.  The Tour is all-inclusive, the only costs not included are the cost of getting to the event and home at the end.

In 2015 the mHealth Grand Tour is discounting Epic places for people with Type 1 diabetes.  Any rider with Type 1 diabetes can register for a discounted place.

Costs:

Epic:
Brussels to Geneva
9 days riding
1 rest day
11 nights accommodation
€2,705.00 £2,150.00
Epic:
Type 1 Riders
9 days riding
1 rest day
11 nights accommodation
€2,325.00 £1,830.00
Stage 1:
Brussels to Paris
3 days riding
3 nights accommodation
€800.00 £630.00
Stage 2:
Paris to Belfort
3 days riding
3 nights accommodation
€800.00 £630.00
Stage 3:
Belfort to Geneva
3 days riding
4 nights accommodation
€965.00 £760.00
JDRF Stage 1:
Brussels to Paris
inc. 1 night Paris
3 days riding
4 nights accommodation
Fundraising Commitment
€N/A £99.00

£1,300.00
Extra Night
Stage 1
Single
Twin
€231.50
€151.50
£183.00
£120.00
Extra Night
Stage 2
Single
Twin
€120.00
€75.00
£95.00
£60.00
Single Room
Supplements
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Epic
€TBC £TBC

The costs for single room supplements and for any extra night accommodation are charged at cost, these options (and the costs) will be made available before the final balance is due.  There is no deposit required for these options.

Notes on Prices and Options

  1. A 25% deposit is required on registration to secure your place.  The balance is due 8 weeks prior to the event.
  2. Accommodation and dinner on the 2nd September (the night before the ride starts) is included for Epic and Stage 1 riders. 
  3. Accommodation and dinner on the 6th September is included for riders starting on Stage 2 and 9th September for those starting Stage 3.  All riders need to ‘register’ the night before their stage starts.
  4. Riders completing two of the 3 stages (e.g. 1&2 or 2&3) should select this option in registration as this automatically include the extra night at the end of the first stage completed.
  5. Final night.  For all riders participating on stage 3 of the ride we include the costs accommodation and a celebratory dinner on the 12th September in Geneva
  6. Extra nights: For riders finishing in Stage 1 or Stage 2 accommodation at the end of the last day is not included automatically.  If you would like to travel home the following day then there is the option to book an extra night 
  7. Single Room Supplements:  We have a limited number of single rooms available (standard accommodation is a twin room). These vary depending on the charges we get from the hotels so will vary by stage.  The single room supplement will be confirmed prior to the final balance being due.
  8. Discounted Epic places for riders with Type 1 diabetes.  A number of places have been reserved for riders with Type 1 diabetes. These are available on a first come, first served, basis.  Medical certificates will be required prior to the start of the ride.
  9. JDRF places include an extra night in Paris on the 5th September.  A £99.00 deposit is required to secure a place and a commitment to raise £1,300.00 for JDRF UK.  Options to extend Stage 1 to include Stage 2 or Stage 2&3 are available.

What's included in the cost

Our focus is on giving the riders the best possible experience.  That starts before the ride, when we will provide training advice and guidance, and will continue right through to the end, where we will have a celebration dinner.

Included in the costs are:

  • Hotel accommodation (prices based on sharing a twin room) 
  • Luggage transfer between hotels
  • A signed route each day
  • GPX / TCX route files
  • Full medical and physio support
  • Feed / lunch stops with drinks and food
  • Sports drinks and nutrition
  • Support vehicles on the road at all times
  • Mechanical support on route
  • Day bag for all participants
  • Training guidance for all abilities
  • Final night celebratory dinner

 

Accommodation

Accommodation on route will be mainly comfortable 3/4 star hotels in city centres.  However, there are a couple of nights when we will be staying in fairly rural areas.  To sleep and feed everyone, our team has searched out the best accommodation available, including smaller boutique hotels. 

 

Support Team

We have a great support team to allow you to make the most of the experience. The support team look after the hotels, transfer your luggage, organise lunch and feed stops, provide physio and first aid support and generally take care of all of you from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave.

Signing and Guiding

We will be signing the full route each day to allow riders to go at  their own pace. We also be provinding GPX and TCX files of the route so riders can track their progress. Our guides will be the road to encourage, support and help everyone taking part so if you are worried about navigation you can keep with the guides and they will help you along the route.

Medical Support

We have a Doctor with us at all times on the Tour. They look after emergencies, can prescribe medication and help deal with any issues that may arise.  We also have physios to look after the biomechanical issues and to deal with any niggling injuries.  As well as the specialists many of the crew are qualified and experienced first aiders with years of experience supporting cycle tours.

Diabetes Support

There will be quite a few riders on the Tour that have diabetes.  Whilst we realise that diabetes is a very individual condition and needs to be managed by the person with diabetes, we have a team of that is experienced at  supporting riders with diabetes helping them stay safe and well during the tour.  Our partners Dexcom also have CGM devices and sensors available for people that want them to help with the management of their diabetes on the Tour.

Food

Getting the right fuel on board is important!  We organise dinner and breakfast in the hotels.  On the road, we have ‘standing’ feed stops in the morning and the afternoon and a ‘sit down’ lunch.  The feed stops have everything you need from energy products and hydration drinks, fruit, nuts, jelly babies.   Lunch is more substantial with pasta salad, sandwiches or soup on cold days.

Mechanical Support

We have some great mechanics to keep you and your bike on the road.  We also carry a range of standard spares (that we can provide at cost).  

Transfers

We will help people with transfers from airports and train stations.

Bike Boxes

We understand that people flying in for the event will want to use bike boxes to protect their bikes.  We will transfer boxes from the point you arrive to the point you leave the Tour.  

Transfers

Getting to and from the event

Getting to and from the event should be releatively easy!

Joining in Brussels

For people joining in Brussels transfers should be relatively easy. We will be arranging pickups from Brussels airport and train station on the afternoon of the 2nd September for any riders on Stage 1 or the Epic.  

Joining or leaving in Paris

Paris is also a relatively easy transfer.  We will be arranging transfers for riders leaving the Tour at the end of Stage 1 to airports and Train stations on the morning of the 6th and collection for riders on Stage 2 in the afternoon of the 6th.

Joining or Leaving in Belfort

Belfort is the trickiest transfer!  It has good rail links (Paris is 2.5 hours by train).  The closest airport is Euro Airport (Basel-Mulhouse).  If you want to transfer to Geneva to use the more extensive International flight service the best way is to take the train from Basel.  We will help to organize transfers to the Belfort and Basel train stations and to Basel airport.  

Leaving in Geneva

Geneva has good rail and flight links.  We will be helping with transfers on the morning of the 13th September. 

 

Previous mHealthtour Tours

The 2013 and 2014 events