BRA - Brevet de Randonneur de Alpes - 2023

edited on Thu 19 Jan at 20:32 in Rides and tours

BRA - Brevet de Randonneur de Alpes - 2023

Format of BRA

The 51st edition of the BRA will take place on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th July 2023.  This event is part of the FFCT Cyclomontagnardes series.  The BRA is a 200km alpine randonnee with up to 6500m of climbing.  As in 2019, it will start and finish at Bourg d'Oisans  The route has not yet been published, but it will include climbs of the Col de Croix de Fer (2067m), Col du Mollard (1638m), Col du Gallibier (2645m), and optionally the Col de Sarenne (1999m) and a descent of Alpe d'Huez.  There are differences from the last 2 editions; this year will include a decent of Les Lacets de Villargondran.

See event website for more details

·        Event Registration (€59) is now open.

·        Luggage service (€10) to Saturday night hotel.

I plan to do the event over two days.  On the night of Saturday 15th staying in either Saint-Michel de Maurienne at the bottom of the Col de Telegraphe, or Valloire (as we did in previous years) after the Col de Telegraphe and at foot of the climb to the Col du Galibier.

I would stay in Bourg again on Sunday 16th.  Probably returning to the UK on Monday 17th.

If you are interested in joining me for some or all of this expedition, please contact me

Travel Logistics

·        Train to Grenoble/Vizille

o   Eurostar to Paris

o   RER between Paris Gare du Nord and Gare du Lyon.  It is relatively easy to move a boxed bike.  It is just 2 stops on RER Line D.  Both stations have lifts and escalator access.

o   TGV Grenoble and possibly local train to Vizille.  Some TGVs on this line will now carry unboxed bikes. 

o   Vizille is the nearest station to Bourg (32km), after that Grenoble (50km). 

o   Then either arrange taxi, or local bus service will take bikes.

o   TGV booking generally opens 3 months in advance.

·        Eurostar to Paris

o   Currently the Eurostar registered baggage service has not restarted since it was suspended in 2020.  They now claim it will restart at the end of January, but this date has repeatedly slipped since last spring. 

o   Eurostar are offering a door-to-door service instead.  It looks like this will cost around £120 return for a boxed bike, this should be compared to around £60 for Eurostar registered baggage to Paris.  If taking the boxed bike to Bourg this looks quite attractive.

o   Eurostar booking generally opens 4 months in advance.

·        Fly to Lyon and take train and road transport as above.


Extension Options

·        Fixed centre touring based in Bourg d'Oisans: 2 or 3 days: 12/13 - 14 July

o   Ride up to Alpe d'Huez (possibly via Barrage du Verney) and onto the Col de Sarenne and then back along the Rochers d'Armentier gallery road.

o   Ride to Les Deux Alpes and back (optionally via Rochers d'Armentier gallery road).

o   Ride out and back along the Vallee de Veneon to La Berade.  This can be combined with the climb of Les Duex Alpes by taking the cable car down from Les Deux Alpes to Venosc.

I am also considering some other options that will include some moving on touring, possibly from a different starting point before the suggested days at Bourg. I have not yet developed these options.

·        Train to Geneva

·        Train to Moutiers - at the foot of the north side of the Col de la Madeleine, it will give access to some other cols.  Ride over to Bourg d'Oisans - possibly arrange luggage transfer.


After the BRA

Stay in Bourg again on Sunday 16th.  Either

·        Returning to UK on Monday 17th.

·        Or spend a couple of days returning to the point of origin if different.

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