Growing up beneath the soaring peaks of the Pyrenees, Jean-Philippe has dedicated his life to leading expeditions and guiding across the far-flung globe. After serving as mountain rescue and alpine guide for the French special forces, he then left European shores for the USA where he swapped the great outdoors to work for Microsoft as a program manager.
Afterwards, feeling the pull of adventure he moved to Asia and Latin America to lead expeditions. After years of travel, adventuring, and leading expeditions, his path brought him back to the USA where he followed his passion pursuit of racing track while training and guiding cyclists.
With over 30 years’ experience leading expeditions and guiding across a myriad of outdoor activities - from kayaking to trekking, scuba diving and jungle exploration - across multiple countries and endless terrain, Jean-Philippe understands the intricacies of guiding under challenging conditions. Deciding to focus on his love of cycling, he became a certified USA Cycling Coach with the USA Cycling Federation, and then spent 16 years of his experience specifically dedicated to leading cycling tours.
Jean-Philippe adores sharing his passion and intimate knowledge for Europe’s mightiest mountains. It was only natural that Jean-Philippe would return to his native green mountains of the Alps and the Pyrenees – the very place his adventures started. He earnt his French Professional Cycling Guide License making him fully licensed, registered, bonded and insured to legally guide cyclists from across the world on French territory.Find out more about our licenses here.
As a native French speaker, he can gift tours the secret lore of local knowledge. He is totally bilingual in English and also fully fluent in Spanish, Japanese, and Indonesian.
Jean-Philippe also has a MSDT License (Master Scuba Diving Trainer, the highest level of Scuba diving instructor), and used to teach rescue, first aid and CPR.
In 1996 he won the prologue of the UCI Asia Tour de Hokkaido despite having no prior experience in road racing. Jean-Philippe puts his win down to a strong cardio capacity after having recently swapped mountaineering and cross-country skiing for cycling.
Today he has returned to his native love of tackling mountains and trains in the Pyrenees. When not guiding, he spends his time riding every switchback and road that winds around the mountains of Europe – ever on his quest to find and ride the world’s best climbs and most majestic cycling routes.
Together with his VeloTopo partner Yumi, they enjoy the toughest Gran-Fondo Cyclosportives of distance and elevation climbs, including the world’s toughest one-day cycling road races such as Tour du Mont Blanc (330 km / 8200m) and Luchon-Bayonne (320 km / 6000m). When not pedaling and pushing up mountains, Jean-Philippe and Yumi love to cross-country ski, and sometimes find time to follow their second passion of trekking the dizzying heights of the Himalayas. Jean-Philippe just released his first book – a memoir of his Central American Sea Kayaking Expedition covering 3000 miles of coastline across seven countries. The awe-inspiring account of his adventure is available on Amazon and Kindle. Click the link to find out more. Jean-Philippe is the founder of VeloTopo and in-keeping with his belief that hands-on bespoke experiences lead to life changing moments, is the one to personally design and oversee each and every custom cycling tour. Click here to learn more about Jean-Philippe