Vodafone Epic Challenge Series - Trans-Alp Cycle

7 - 11 September 2022

Trans-Alp Cycle

Join us for the Vodafone Epic Challenges Series 2 and take on this legendary North to South traverse of the Western Alps.

You will experience breathless sightseeing in its purest form as you ride from Grenoble, the capital of the Alps up to some of the most iconic Tour climbs including the highest paved road in France. This ‘lumpy’ ride is rewarded with a 115km descent to clear waters of the Cote d’Azur and the beautiful town of Nice.

Distance: 518km
Route: The ride starts in Grenoble, and traverses the Western Alps south through France, culminating on the Cote d’Azur in Nice
Date: 7 – 11 September 2022
Entry Fee: £440
Fundraising Target: £3,700

GET READY FOR THE CYCLE

General

What date is the event?

The Trans-Alp Cycle will take place on 7 – 11 September 2022 (5 days cycling).

You are expected to arrive in Grenoble on Tuesday 6 September, and depart from Nice on Monday 12 September.

Where is the event?

The ride starts in Grenoble and traverses the Western Alps south through France, culminating on the Cote d’Azur in Nice.

How can I sign up?

Registration has now closed.

What is the cost to enter?

The Team Vodafone registration fee is £440. 

A 50% discount is available for Vodafone Discover Graduates. Please contact epicchallengeseries@thresholdsports.co.uk to request a promo code.

When do I have to register by?

The closing date for registrations is 23:59 on 8 April 2022, unless the event sells out beforehand.

Registration is now closed.

Is there a waiting list if the event sells out?

Yes, we will operate a waiting list.

If the event sells out, please contact epicchallengeseries@thresholdsports.co.uk to request a place on the waiting list. You will be contacted if a place becomes available.

Am I required to take individual leave for this event?

You are able to use your 5 charity days for this challenge, which is a policy under Vodafone Group.

Any additional days would need to be taken out of your individual leave.

Can friends and family participate?

Friends and family of Vodafone employees are able to participate. They will be subject to the same entry fee and fundraising target.

Event Rules and Regulations

View the event rules and regulations here.

Route

Where will the route take place?

Riders will kickstart the challenge in Grenoble, the capital of the Alps for an acclimatisation ride. The route then winds its way South through Grenoble, and heads towards the Lac De Notre Dame, and then climbs the iconic 15k, 21 bend Alpe D’Huez. Continuing to head South through the Alps, riders will be tackling some of the most iconic mountain passes the region has to offer before the long, 115KM+ descent back down to sea level and into the city of Nice.

Famous Tour de France climbs included are:

  • Alpe D’Huez (1,860M)
  • Col De Sarenne (1,999M)
  • Col du Lautaret (2,058M)
  • Col du Galibier (2,642M)
  • Col D’Izoard (2,360M)
  • Cime de la Bonnette (2,860M & highest paved road in France)

More detailed information and a breakdown of the route can be found here.

Route map

You can explore the provisional route here. The route is subject to change.

Training

What kind of training will I be expected to do?

Epic Challenges require both mental and physical preparation, and a period of dedicated training will be necessary in order to build up the strength and stamina required to complete the ride.

The Trans-Alp Cycle will include a series of classic Tour de France climbs, covering a distance of 518KM and a 12,311M ascent. Each day you will cover distances ranging from 100-150KM and reach a maximum ascent of 2,983M.

We ask each participant to commit to:

  • Consistently completing long distance rides (min. 130KM) before the event;
  • Completing a number of training rides on consecutive days in order to experience fatigue brought on by persistent mileage;
  • Undertaking regular training within a group in busy road conditions (e.g. roundabouts, major junctions) in order to feel confident out on the road.

At The Event

Getting to/from the event

You will need to arrange your own flights and transfer to the hotel at Grenoble. You will need to have arrived by late-afternoon for the welcome brief on Tuesday 6 September.

You will need to arrange your own on-going travel arrangements from the hotel in Nice on Monday 12 September.

Vodafone employees may not book their travel to/from the Epic Challenges through CWT (Carlson Wagonlit Travel).

Do I need a visa?

Citizens from Europe’s Shengen area and UK passport holders do not need to obtain a visa to enter France for less than 90 days.

If you are from another nation, please seek the specific advice for your own country.

Participants are responsible for obtaining their own visa.

Entry guidance from the local Governments can be found below:

What's included in my ticket?

 

  • Accommodation – 6 night hotel stay in a twin occupancy room (6 – 11 September inclusive)
  • Team Vodafone Kit: 2 x cycling jerseys, 1 x hoodie
  • Food – breakfast, lunch and dinner for the duration of the ride
  • Food – Pit Stops x 2 each day with snacks
  • Mechanical support throughout the ride
  • Medical support throughout the ride
  • Bike transport – London to Grenoble and Nice to London
  • Training plans

What's not included?

  • Kit – personal clothing and items of kit not provided by Vodafone Foundation
  • Visas (where applicable)
  • Insurance

Bike Transport

Bikes are transferred fully assembled and we do not remove wheels, saddles, pedals or interfere with your bike set up in any way. Bikes are placed in a heavy-duty polybag for protection during transit. Once on the vehicle, bikes are covered with protective blankets to further prevent damage. Therefore no bike boxes are required/allowed.

Whilst in the care of the bike transport company bikes are fully insured (up to £10,000).

Food and Drink

Pit Stops

There are 2 Pit Stops per day, one each morning and afternoon to give you a chance to refresh and refuel. Each Pit Stop will have a selection of snacks for all participants including a variety of sweet and savoury options, such as fruit, energy bars, crisps, sweets and more.

Main meals

  • Breakfast will consist of a help yourself buffet of hot drinks, juice, fresh fruit, breads, pastries and eggs.
  • Lunch will be based from a café en-route, or on some days a road-side location like the Pit Stops. Food will include hot drinks, sandwiches, hot soup, fresh fruit and a sweet treat.
  • Dinner will be served from the hotel each night and will typically be a help yourself buffet. This will include a variety of filling hot options such as pasta, casseroles, baked potatoes, rice, breads and salads plus a dessert.

 Dietary Requirements

There will be a variety of food at pit-stops and meal times that cater for everyone including gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian and vegan options.

There will be a section on the registration form for you to provide dietary details, but if you have any specific requests and would like to talk about this specifically please get in touch on epicchallengeseries@thresholdsports.co.uk.

Kit

What kit do I bring?

You will be provided with a detailed kit list closer to the event. We do not recommend you bring any valuables (e.g. jewellery, laptops etc.)

When will I receive my #TeamVodafone kit?

Your kit will be available for collection when you arrive at the event so you will have it to wear during your challenge.

Will my kit be transported for me?

 Yes, your overnight kit bag will be taken from hotel to hotel each day. Please note you will not have access to this bag during the day time.

Riders may leave a small rucksack in the route van which can be accessed at lunch time.

Is there a baggage allowance?

Yes, two bags can be accommodated in the support vehicles:

  • 1 large overnight bag (c.100L-120L) – this will contain your overnight kit and will be carried direct from hotel to hotel in the luggage vehicles each day
  • 1 day bag (c.30L-35L) – this is a small rucksack which will travel in the route support vehicle and will contain anything you need access to during the day

What is the accommodation like?

Participants will be staying in hotels between 3*-5* for the duration of the ride, and you will be allocated a twin room with another participant of the same gender.

If there is a person on the challenge that you would wish to share a room with, please fill in the relevant information on the registration form or email epicchallengeseries@thresholdsports.co.uk .

Support on the event

What support is provided?

You’re in safe hands during your journey. During the ride you’ll be accompanied by a set of experienced cycling ‘Chaperones’, as well as a team of Medics, Mechanics an Event Director and a Route Director.

Mechanical support

A team of mechanics will be on hand to look after your bike and keep you moving. The mechanics will be available each morning for minor tweaking before you set off for the day and will also be on the road to fix any major problems with your bike.

Please note that you will be expected to manage any minor problems of your own such as punctures.

Can I take part on an e-bike?

Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (e-bikes) are permitted as a reasonable adjustment for a registered disability whereby the e-bike will enable a rider to complete the event.

If you plan to ride an e-bike, please email the team at epicchallengeseries@thresholdsports.co.uk to ensure the correct resource can be put in place.

Riders must comply with the local government rules as to the classification of an e-bike and licensing, tax and insurance requirements, as set out here for France.

The charging of batteries is the rider’s responsibility – there will not be any charging facilities at Pit Stops

Is there any signage?

The route will be fully sign posted. You should be able to use the signage to navigate the route should you become separated from the rest of the group. If you think you are lost at any point, you can contact the Event Team using the emergency contact number on your bike card.

The broom wagon

A ‘broom wagon’ service will also be in operation which consists of a vehicle that will follow the route at the back behind the last participant:

  • The broom wagon will leave the start after the last participant each day
  • The broom wagon will pick people up if they fall behind the pit-stop cut off times and/or route closing time or who become injured/medically unable to continue
  • Once you are in the broom wagon, you will either be transported to the finish where you can re-join the ride the next day, or where resource allows, you will be shuttled forward to the next pit stop to continue with the remainder of the stage.

Fundraising

How much do I have to fundraise?

Your fundraising target is £3,700.

  • You need to have raised 50% by 13 July 2022 (8 weeks prior to event).
  • You need to have raised  the full amount by 7 November 2022 (8 weeks post event).

It’s never too early to start fundraising! To set up your fundraising page, please visit this link.

Not sure where to start? Check out the Your Planet fundraising guide.

 

Where does my fundraising money go?

All money you raise is matched by Vodafone Foundation and channelled straight to the Foundation’s Your Planet Fund, to support charity programmes that are using conservation technology to protect our world. The two charities we are currently supporting through this campaign are:

Tusk: this UK based charity has a vision for a future in which people and wildlife can both thrive across Africa. Founded at the height of the last poaching crisis in Africa, when 100,000 elephants were being slaughtered every year for ivory, they are on a mission to ensure we are not the generation that lets Africa’s unique wildlife disappear. Through progressive conservation initiatives using technology, the conservation of healthy habitats and involving local people in the solutions, Tusk are paving the way for a sustainable future for Africa’s incredible wildlife.

The Ocean Cleanup: this Netherlands based charity is working to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. If nothing is done, plastic pollution is set to quadruple by mid-century, impacting our ecosystems, health and economies. They are embarking on the biggest cleanup in history, aiming to remove 90% of floating ocean plastic pollution by 2040. On top of that, they’re developing advanced solutions to intercept plastic in rivers, to halt it before it can enter the ocean.

Comms

Email information

Here we will publish a list of the comms we’ve previously sent out so you can recap at your leisure:

1st – Welcome to the Trans-Alp Cycle

2nd – Time to get training!

3rd – Invite family & friends

Cancellation and Insurance

What if I can no longer take part?

If you can no longer take part in the event, you must tell us as soon as possible by emailing epicchallengeseries@thresholdsports.co.uk*

*Please note your entry fee and any fundraising donations are non-refundable.

Do I need to take out insurance?

Participants sign up to Epic Challenges as private individuals supporting Vodafone Foundation, not as Vodafone group employees. You are therefore required to arrange your own insurance. Insurance is highly recommend. We advise taking out cover when your registration is confirmed. Please ensure you have the correct cover for this type of challenge.

Note: participants from the UK are advised to revisit policy details post Brexit if planning to use a pre-existing insurance cover.

COVID-19 UPDATES

WHAT MEASURES ARE YOU PUTTING IN PLACE TO MITIGATE COVID-19?

Threshold Sports are paying close attention to the following areas to ensure the best chance of delivering a safe event, without losing any of the traditional Epic Challenge Series magic.

  • Hygiene and distancing: Hands, Face, Space
  • Screening: pre and live event
  • Minimising impact on emergency services
  • Event permissions
  • Timely and concise communications to participants and stakeholders

If you would like to contact the Vodafone Foundation about the fundraising campaign or the Epic Challenge Series in general, please contact connectingforgood@vodafone.com.

If you have specific queries regarding individual challenges, you would like to cancel your place or swap to another challenge, please contact epicchallengeseries@thresholdsports.co.uk

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