2008 – Briançon & Hautes-Alpes

2008 The Hautes-Alpes

Tour Summary

Coat of arms of the Hautes-Alpes department

Motorcycle touring in the Alps

Click to read the Hautes-Alpes tour summary report Click to read the Bewdley to Nice report for Fri 27th June Click to read the Nice to Briancon & Cime de la Bonette report for Sat 28th June Click to read the Barcelonnette report for Sun 29th June Click to read the Col Agnel & Col du Galibier report for Mon 30th June Click to read the Briancon to Belfort report for Tue 1st July Click to read the Col du Ballon d'Alsace report for Wed 2nd July Click to read the Belfort to Etreaupont report for Thur 3rd July Click to read the Etreaupont to Bewdley report for Fri 4th July Click to read the Click to see all the photos taken during the tour

With successful motorcycle tours to Chamonix Mont-Blanc and the Pyrenees behind us, for our third installment we decided to base ourselves in Briancon – south-eastern France – and tour the Hautes-Alpes. Our only dilemma was how to get there. In 2006 when we rode down to Chamonix we discovered that it’s a long way, and if you have time restraints it takes up a lot of valuable touring time. After all we were going to the Alps to ride mountain roads and passes, not autoroutes. After some discussion and a bit of investigation we had our answer. We would catch the Motorail from Calais to Nice, and then ride back through France for the next 6 days.
Other lessons that we’d learnt, this time from our 2007 tour to the Pyrenees, was that we didn’t want to move hotels every day and we should book accommodation in reasonably sized towns. Last year we spent virtually every night in a different hotel and were constantly unpacking and packing. We also stayed in remote villages with no nightlife and nothing for us to do outside the hotel.

After arriving in Nice we would spend the day riding the Alpine roads and passes – including the mighty Cime de la Bonette, which at 2,802m lays claim to the title of highest paved road in Europe – that would take us to Briancon and where Hotel de la Chaussee would serve as our base for the next three nights. We would then spend a day riding up to Belfort where the Grand Hotel du Tonneau d’Or would become our base for a couple more nights. We’d booked into Le Clos du Montvinage in Etreaupont for our final night, a hotel we stayed at in 2006 on our way back from Chamonix. Sorted.

We were one rider down from last year – Mark couldn’t make it due to work commitments. For our third tour the riders were Chris B on his BMW R1100S Boxer Cup, Pete on his Kawasaki GTR1400, Kyle on his Suzuki SV1000S, Phil on his BMW K1200S, Cat on his Aprilia Tuono, Chris P on his Honda Fireblade and Gaz on his Honda Blackbird.

The riders

Chris B Pete Kyle Phil Cat Chris P Gaz

The trip would be 7 riders, 8 days, 15 mountain passes and roads, and 1,750 miles.

Tour Itinerary
June & July 2008
Passes & Roads Ridden
(Over 1,000m)
Fri 27th
Sat 28th
Sun 29th
Mon 30th
Tue 1st
Wed 2nd
Thur 3rd
Fri 4th

Bewdley to Nice
Nice to Briancon & Cime de la Bonette
Col Agnel & Col du Galibier
Briancon to Belfort
Col du Ballon d’Alsace
Belfort to Etreaupont
Etreaupont to Bewdley

FranceCime de la Bonette – 2,802m
FranceItalyCol Agnel – 2,744m
FranceCol de la Bonette – 2,715m
FranceCol de Restefond – 2,680m
FranceCol du Galibier – 2,645m
FranceCol d’Izoard – 2,360m
FranceCol de la Cayolle – 2,327m
FranceCol d’Allos – 2,250m
FranceCol de Vars – 2,108m
FranceCol des Champs – 2,087m
FranceCol du Lautaret – 2,058m
FranceItalyCol de Montgenevre – 1,854m
FranceCol de l’Arpettaz – 1,580m
FranceCol de la Forclaz – 1,527m
FranceCol du Ballon d’Alsace – 1,171m

Tour Photos

[flagallery gid=3 name=”Hautes-Alpes June 2008″]