Living and riding at the heart of the French Alps, in Annecy, France; I’m a climber, racing and cycling for 30 years. Cycling is way of life for me on & off the bike and I love to share my passion with the community. I am deeply into cycling through this obsessive passion and also work, as head of soft good product for Mavic.
When/why did you start cycling?
I’ve started to be serious about cycling at the age of 8 years old in my home local village in Champagne thanks to local cycling volunteers who want to develop a cycling culture in this region, better known for the wine than sport.
At this time, I was a shy kid who loves to be alone on the bike, being in a club give me the taste of the community and the love to share my passion, I’ve been obsessed by cycling, especially MTB until 16 years where I’ve raced at a good regional level, then I’ve reconnected with road cycling after my study but I still be very active about sport.
Where are you cycling the most?
Definitely in a mountain area, where I live, in the French Alps. My favourite place is Le Cormet de Roseland where the Tour de France queen stage will be Albertville – Val Thorens, one the most beautiful pass in the north of Les Alps between the beaufortain and Tarentaise valleys. Stunning view, narrow roads, high elevation pass, all what I love and have good friends in the valley. Part of the love, the apres-velo is great too in Tarentaise thanks to cosy mountain accommodation with sauna and Hamman to relax after a long ride, around Bourg Saint-Maurice and, or the mountain resort around.
For someone who is visiting your area for a weekend, which routes are a must see, what they shouldn’t miss?
Annecy has a wide riding option, for all cyclist levels, from easy or casual flat ride around the lake, or step climb such as the Semnoz which goes up to 1699m, with on side starting right from the center of the old medieval town of Annecy.
Le Col de la Forclaz pass, near the lake, is the place to not miss for this perfect point of view on the lake, it’s not a long climb with an altitude of 1147m but the final km from both side are very steep but the rewarded view is at the end.
One the east side, Les Aravis range are a great playground for climber too, with some popular passes such as Col de la Colombiere and Col des Aravis, but can be a bit busy in summer. An unknown pass close to the Grand Bornard is the Col des Anne, a single climb side but a stunning view on the full Aravis Mountain range.
Can you share your favourite Strava routes?
Here my top 2 secret favourites rides in the Alpes with some unexpected gravel segments
Le Plateau de Solaison which is in the shade of Col de la Colombière, starting from le Grand Bornand at the heart of the Aravis Mountain resort
Bourg Saint Maurice – Cormet de Roseland – Cormet d’Areches, maybe my best ride in Alpes with 10km of groad in high elevation between Beaufortain and Tarentaise Valleys
We love coffee and after-cycling activities, do you have any other recommendations related to cycling?
At the heart of Annecy, there the old medieval part of the city called ‘La Venise des Alpes’ crossed by a river call the Thiou. The castle is the home a local museum about the history of Annecy and long tradition about fishing in the lake.
The après-velo evening is great too, part of the French art de vivre with a good network of wine bars and local gastronomic restaurants.
Annecy is getting the alpine cycling destination with great bike coffees like the Base camps
For bike rental, Base camp is the best place to rent a proper gravel bike or Alpinbike for high-end performance road and MTB bikes
What is a cycling paradise for you?
Some key ingredients which make a cycling paradise if it’s possible, it will be a ride with road less-traveled with stunning views, high elevation passes, warm weather to wear my favourite summer kit, good coffees on the way and great companies to share our love of the sport.
Actually I’d love to combine Girona and the Alpes in one place, having the après-velo part of Girona with the playground of the Tarentaise Valley.
What is your favourite climb and why?
A bit unknown and not in the Alps, one of my best memory on the bike with my friends, it was the MASCA climb on the Tenerife island, I love it for the endless switchbacks in an exotic landscape: in the middle of green vegetation, and amazing cliffs. Tenerife is such a great place to ride and train, with high contrast between the north and the south of the island, where you meet all the best world tour team off-season.
An HC climb you have pending?
The Fuka and Gotard passes in Switzerland are definitely only list this year
What is your next cycling destination?
We’ve planned a long trip to Scotland end of summer, on the family origin land of my girlfriend, on gravel bike in search of a remote place and amazing adventures. Scotland has a great network of “groad” or dirt rideable road suitable for Gravel bike.
Could you recommend 2 Instagram accounts of cyclists who inspire you?
Jered Gruber for the most inspirational cycling pictures all-year long and the behind the scene stage with pro athletes which are still cycling heroes for me.
Xavi Güell because this is the real life of what is a Passionate cyclist living the dream, to work and ride for this passion all the year in Girona, the cycling mecca in Europe. It gives me the feeling to be here again and continue the good Catalan vibes.