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The Big Mountain Challenge - Sept 2019

Cycle the height of Mt Everest or Mt Kilimanjaro in the French Alps

A 4 day road cycling event in stunning mountain scenery to raise funds for the new Thames Hospice. Riders can participate free of charge, subject to a minimum sponsorship requirement.

Road cyling in the mountainsBased from Hotel les Balcons du Lac, overlooking Lake Annecy and surrounded by dramatic mountain peaks, the 4 day experience includes rides ascending the equivalent of Mt Kilimanjaro 5895m (between 4 to 5.5hrs cycling/day subject to speed) or for more advanced cyclists, the height of Mt Everest 8848m (between 5 to 7.5hrs cycling/day). Participants can decide which route to take closer to the event date and can also share the rides as a team* (per person costs and fundraising requirements remain the same).

All day tours will be guided by a fleet of minibuses with drinks/mechanical support/energy bars/gels and space for spare kit. Rides include some of the most iconic and scenic mountain climbs in Europe, several of which feature in the Tour de France. We have qualified personal trainers for morning and evening warm up and exercise classes.

There will be evening activities including BBQs by the pool and the hotel is a short walk from Lake Annecy for swimming, sailing, boating and other outdoor sports. Annecy itself is a medieval town set on a network of waterways with a wide selection of bars and restaurants.

The event has a number of supporters including Wiggle to keep event costs for riders to a minimum. We already have a number of men and women riders.

Why are we doing this?

All sponsorship profit from the event will go to building the new Thames Hospice. Thames Hospice is the only Hospice providing end of life care to patients and their families in East Berkshire and South Bucks and the demand for our services is now so high that up to 10 people every day are waiting for one of our beds.

We need to raise £6m to contribute towards an £18m new build which will offer increased services in a state-of-the-art facility to ensure every local patient and family member who needs support can receive it.

What's included in the ride?

All cyclists will be guided in groups of 20 by two group leaders and a dedicated support minibus with drinks, energy bars/gels, space for spare kit, first aid and mechanical backup. We have a full package which covers all flights, accommodation with half board, transfers and cycle support or a basic cycle-only package, so you can choose your own accommodation and flights.


A legendary medieval town set on a network of waterways with a wide selection of bars and restaurants. It’s a world renown cyclists mecca and host to 2018 and many previous tour de France events. The lake and mountains offer sailing, swimming, waterskiing, parapenting, canyoning, hiking. When not cycling there’s a lot to do.


Full Package

  • 4 nights accommodation at Neaclub Les Balcons Du Lac, Annecy, with half board (breakfast & dinner) based on double/twin room occupancy with secure bike storage.
  • Return airport transfers from Geneva airport to the hotel (approx. 45 min drive, subject to taking suggested flights).
  • Guided cycle rides each day with support vehicles, snacks and drinks.
  • Warm up/down each day and first aid if required
  • Cost: £595 plus flights plus minimum fundraising of £1,500. Total: £2,100*

*Additional cost: Return flights from Gatwick to Geneva and bike transport

Enter Event - Full Package

Cycling only Package

  • Guided cycle rides each day with support vehicles, snacks and drinks.
  • Warm up/down each day and first aid if required
  • Participants can choose their own accommodation, travel and transfers
  • Cost: £290 plus minimum fundraising of £1,500. Total: £1,790*

*For both packages, participants must pay the event cost when booking. If riders fundraise the full amount (£1790 or £2100) the registration costs will be refunded.

Enter Event - Cycle Only

Further information and Booking

Big Mountain ChallengeFor the first 60 riders who sign up for the full package - we will offer a £200 subsidy towards the costs; making the cost: £395 plus flights and minimum fundraising of £1,500. Total £1900.

Event open to riders 18 or over.

For further information please contact Alison Evans, Head of Events at