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Road Cycling Holiday in France

A Chance to watch the Tour de France

See Stage 7 – Fougeres to Chartres.

The Tour de France is the most prestigious cycling event in the world and is the main focus for many pro cyclists in the UCI world tour. In 2018 we are running a weeks guided road cycling in Normandy whilst there you’ll be able to see Stage 7 of the TDF.  You will finish the week off in style with a Gala Dinner and firework display on Bastille Day.

About the Tour de France
The Tour de France was created in 1903 by the struggling French newspaper, L’Auto, in an attempt to sell more copies. To say that the rather drastic measure worked would be an understatement as the Tour de France quickly became and still is, one of the most watched sporting events in the world!

There are several races taking place within the Tour which makes it a fascinating spectacle. The leader and subsequent overall winner wears the Yellow Jersey (le maillot jaune), the daily stage victories, intermediate sprints for the green points jersey, the mountain points for the red polka-dot climber’s jersey and the white jersey for the best rider under 25

Guided Road Cycling in Normandy
In 2018 we are running a road cycling week in Normandy, where we will be able to watch Stage 7 of the Tour de France. This will be a guided weeks cycling led by a local guide, Paul, who has lived in this area for over 14yrs. Needless to say he knows the best routes, places to visit and restaurants to dine out at. Paul also races in the local French Department events, which is NOT just for ‘old gits’ his words not mine!! Paul has also recently worked as a ‘Director Sportive’ in the Women’s World Tour events with one of the main UK based ladies professional teams and has a real insight into the world of Professional Cycling. Paul will happily talk for many an hour on his cycling experiences sharing his knowledge of all things bike….if you let him!!

During the week you’ll be staying at the 3 Star Nouvel Hotel, Bagnoles de L’Orne on a B&B basis with a gourmet dinner included on the last night and then fireworks on the lake to celebrate Bastille Day.
A picnic lunch including all drinks will be provided on Friday 13th when will go to a suitable spot to watch and experience the Tour de France.

5 guided rides will take us on a tour of the real France, through the pear orchards and sunflower fields of Normandy and the Pays de la Loire. We will visit villages and castles and sample the local cuisine on our lunch stops.

Distances will be in the region of 80km per day and there will be guided rides Monday to Friday. Saturday 14th July is Bastille Day and also your rest day. You’ll be able to celebrate Bastille Day with the locals in true French style.

Road Cycling and Tour de France Itinerary

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8Price
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Arrival

Arrive at Nouvel Hotel, Bagnoles de L’Orne and meet your friendly guide and tour representative.

We set off north through the Andaines Forest for a 40k ride to the beautiful village of Saint Fraimbault de Prieres. Famous for winning numerous “France in bloom” awards our ride will take us along the Route du Poire and through the medieval towns of Domfront and Lassay les Chateaux where we will cycle past the 16th Century castle, one of the finest examples in the whole of France and still inhabited to this day.

Distance 80k Elevation 500m

Today’s ride will take us to the highest point in Western France as we climb the Mont des Avaloirs @ 417m. Take a moment at the top to admire the views before we descend down through the forest to the village of Gesvres. We will then wind our way to todays destination Saint Leonard de Bois situated in the region of the Mancelles Alps. Nestling on the banks of the river Sarthe, in the Normandy Maine Nature Park, the village carries the coveted “green village” label. With its unspoilt natural environment, it is a popular destination for outdoor sports enthusiasts and regularly hosts international mountain bike events. We will cycle back through the rolling hills of the Pail Forest on traffic free roads.

Distance 100k Elevation 1000m

After a day in the hills, today we take a flatter ride through the quiet farm lanes to the old Roman town of Jublains. This is the most important gallo-roman site in the west of France and this ancient regional capital has some of the best preserved ruins in the whole of France. Lunch will be in one of the many restaurants in the town before we ride back amongst the fields of sunflowers.

Distance 80k Elevation 400m

Following a shorter ride yesterday, we make our way out to the beautiful town of Ambrieres les Valees with a lunch stop by the river, before heading to the village of Ouisseau, where we pick up the stage route for the following day. We will ride the route through the town of Mayenne and witness first hand the preparations for the arrival the next day. We will continue along the route for approximately 30km to the town of Villaines les Juhels, where we head back through the Pail forest to our base in Bagnoles de L’Orne.

Distance 100k Elevation 800 m

We will set off south to the small village of Loupfougeres which will be our base for the day as we await the arrival of Le grande boucle. We will experience the carnival atmosphere as first the publicity caravan and then the riders pass by. A picnic lunch and drinks will be provided for the group today. Once the race has passed by we will make our way back to our base for a well earned drink.

Distance 60k Elevation 300 m

Bastille Day!

A free day at leisure in the spa town of Bagnoles de L’Orne before a Gala Dinner and fireworks in the evening to celebrate our week of cycling and Bastille Day.

Departure

Time to pack your bags before we head home.

Price

3 Star hotel on a Bed & Breakfast basis €965 per person based on 2 riders sharing a twin/double bedroom

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Bike Hire
Orbea Avant Road Bike Hire is available at cost of 135 Euros per week
They are available in sizes 51, 53, 55, 57, 60cm frames. These are Alu frames, carbon forks and have Shimano 105 group set, compacts and 12/32 rear cassettes

Airport Transfers/Taxi Pick Up. Availble upon request