If you're looking for an Alpine MTB trip but want to venture away from the (justifiably popular) Morzine/Les Gets/Portes du Soleil axis, you might want to consider Italy's Alpi Bike Resort. Like the Portes du Soleil, Alpi Bike Resort encompasses a substantial area - nine towns across four valleys, with 50 freeride routes, several hundred kilometres of XC riding, skills parks, 4X tracks, dirt jump areas and North Shore aplenty.
The resort is served by 10 chairlifts and two cable cars, with bike hire, workshops, tuition and hotels across the whole area. Alpi Bike Resort includes the towns of Bardonecchia, Cesana Torinese, Chiomonte, Claviere, Monginevro, Pragelato, Prali, Sauze d’Oulx and Sestriere, with some lifts running already and others starting up shortly. The lifts in Sauze d'Oulx will open this week, running every day until 30 August.
Coinciding with the lift opening, Sauze d'Oulx will host the first round of the Superenduro Euro Cup. The race will feature a town centre night prologue on Saturday 4 July before the main event on Sunday. The race format is the kind of thing that relies on the presence of both mountains and chairlifts, and unlike anything you'll encounter in the UK - timed special stages linked by either climbs or chairlifts, including the new Super Sauze trail that drops 1,500m and is reckoned to take around 15 minutes to descend.
Sauze d'Oulx is an hour from Turin's Caselle airport, or high-speed trains from London and France stop in Bardonecchia and Sauze. Find out more at www.alpibikeresort.com.