Frequently Asked Questions

Below you should find the answer to many of the questions you may have regarding the Alpine Challenge

How do I enter?

You can only enter via the web site. Use this link to click through to the registration system: Alpine Challenge 2016 registration

What if I don't know anyone else riding?

HotChillee has a wonderful social network. You will meet many new friends, business contacts, ride partners and all will share your passion for cycling. There are no barriers to mixing and interacting. To make it simple for all - just be the first to greet and introduce yourself and the rest will fall into place.

Can my non riding partner join me?

Yes the Alpine Challenge and Annecy are the perfect setting for non riding partners and families to join participants. We offer various packages to accommodate them and there is plenty to do whilst you are riding.  For some suggestions please click here.

"Official Finisher" Status

To be classified as an "Official Finisher" you will need to ride the entire event in one of the seeded groups. Exceptions are made where you may be receiving mechanical or medical attention in a support vehicle.

You will not be classified as an Official Finisher if:

  • You have to withdraw due to injury or illness or irrepariably breaking your bike
  • You take a "ride" in a support vehicle
  • You don't ride in your seeded group
  • You are DQ'd for failure to adhere to ride rules

What is the closest airport?

Geneva, currently cost of flights range between £35-45.  We will have a bus system at pre-arranged times to and from the hotel/airport (see below).

What are the times of the airport transfers? 

Wednesday 1st June 2016:

  • Bus 1 departs from Geneva airport to hotels at 11:30
  • Bus 2 departs from Geneva airport to hotels at 17:30

Sunday 5th June 2016:

  • Bus 3 departs from hotels to Geneva airport at 10:00
  • Bus 4 departs from hotels to Geneva airport at 14:00

What kind of bike may I ride?

The event is restricted to roadworthy road bicycles only. If you are in any doubt then contact the organizers whose decision is final. The ride takes place on tarred or cobbled roads.

Note that no bicycle is permitted to have unconventional handlebars including triathlon bars, aero bars, clip-ons, prayer bars, and cow bars.

May I ride for a charity?

Yes, many riders raise money for their chosen charity.

Who can enter?

Anyone 18 years or older on 1st June 2016 may enter. If you are in doubt as to your fitness then you must have a medical check-up first.

What Insurance guidelines do you have?

We recommend that all riders take out travel insurance and Europeans take out a European Health Insurance Card.  We recommend our Insurance Partner Pro-Cycle Insurance

How do I get a European Health Insurance Card

If you are a UK resident, you are entitled to medical treatment that becomes necessary, at reduced cost or sometimes free, when temporarily visiting a European Union (EU) country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Only treatment provided under the state scheme is covered.

However, to obtain treatment you will need to take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you. Please note: Not all UK residents are covered in Denmark, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.

What happens if I need to cancel my entry?

If for any reason you need to cancel your entry you are able to nominate a substitute for your place and we will refund your entry less a £200 administration fee for a completed substitution. You are able to substitute your place up to 31 days prior to the event Sign On date. If you elect not to substitute your place but still wish to cancel you will receive the following refund

17 Weeks + before the start:  66% of the full entry fee

13-16 weeks before the start:  33% of the full entry fee

0-12 weeks before the start:  0% of the full entry fee

Who manages the ride?

The ride is managed by the Commissaire and ultimately the Event Director. Any decision by the Commissaire is final.

What do I wear?

Helmets complying with international safety standards are compulsory for the duration of the ride. Closed cycling shoes (no fancy sandals), shorts and jerseys are also recommended for your safety.

It is recommended that you take three sets of cycling kit and a plastic bag for the dirty clothes! At this time of the year in France the daytime temperature is 18-30 Deg Celsius. Bear in mind that the morning can be cooler as well as the fact that at altitude (1500m plus) it can be 10C cooler than the town.

Be sure to include a lightweight rain jacket - with global warming you never know! Post riding, (and evening wear) dress is casual.

What's this I've heard about rolling road closures!?

It is true there will be rolling road closures!

Personal Stereos and Headsets

For safety reasons they are not permitted whilst riding.

Musette Service

If you require items during the day please use the Musettes as provided by the service vehicle.

Cyclists must ensure that their bags are labeled with their names and addresses. Every care will be taken to ensure that the bags are safeguarded. However, cyclists are advised not to leave expensive, valuable items in their bags, as the organisers cannot take responsibility for any losses.

Lost Property

We will have a lost property box located next to the "Information" banner. Please place or retrieve lost property from here. Lost property will be kept for 1 week after the event, and thereafter donated to charity. Any postal or couriered returns will be charged for.

Do we have mechanics?

Yes we have a full mechanics service for each group. This service is provided by Head Mechanic Graeme Freestone-King and team. The service runs from fully fitted vans and thus most repairs will able to be facilitated. The service is available to deal with bike repairs/failures and problems. There will also be spare bikes and numerous spare wheels.

...and what happens if I puncture?

Let's hope that you do not puncture! Please try and ensure that you are using new tyres and tubes as this greatly reduces the chance of puncture. Let the group know that you have punctured. Let your support van know that you have a puncture.

If you have lost the group, the support van will drop you off with the group again.

There may of course be a situation with loads of punctures for whatever reason. Thus be sure to carry one tube and CO2 canister at least, so that you can effect the repair yourself. We strongly recommend your bike is fully serviced before the event.

How do I pay for tubes, spares etc used?

We use a "chit" system. All you need to do is sign for the items and your credit card will be charged after the event. In order to use this service you will need to sign a form at Sign On acknowledging that you will be using this service.

Where do I keep my sun cream, wallet, and other small items?

The support van will have musettes available. These are small bags. You can keep items that you may wish to access during the day in this bag, and it will be kept in the support van. It might be useful to keep a dry top etc in the musette.

What are the average speeds?

There will be a minimum of four groups based on both ability and experience.

  • Group 1 (Racing): Rolling course average speed 29+ km/h
  • Group 2 (Ride): Average speed 26+ km/h for a rolling 120km
  • Group 3 (Social): Average speed 23+ km/h for a rolling 120km

By rolling course we mean tarred roads with hills, not mountains.  The timed stage (Prologue) will determine what group you ride in.

What about lunch and nutrition on route?

Each day we have a lunch stop after the major climb and regroup. Lunch is included and consists of endurance related foods.  The service vans will have a supply of bananas and cereal bars, but we recommend you bring your own supply of bars and gels as these are not supplied.

Founder Sven Thiele


The Dunkerque-Roubaix 2016