2 or 3 Days cycling. 360 or approx 520km
The first two or three stages (TBC) of the 2020 Tour will provide seriously good cycling, guaranteed sunshine, unlimited ice cream and that holiday feeling…
The Grand Depart is always a unique occasion, with much more going on than your average Tour send-off and with the 2020 Grand Depart in Nice, now’s the time to come and see the show!
The Cote d’Azur, the punchy mountains straight off the bat, the glory and the sunshine… this a great weekend of Tour cycling. We’d love you to join us!
Fri 19th June. Arrival to Nice
We’ve booked three nights at an extremely nice beach front hotel where you’ll stay for all three nights. Tour luxury!
But please note that the extra expense of the posh hotel means a slightly higher Loop cost
Sat 20th June. Stage 1: Nice – Nice: 170km
Stage 1 is a 170km double loop (the second loop being a little longer and a little hillier than the first) to give the spectators all-day fun and to let us work out where the best photo opportunities are.
Le Loop Practicalities:
Start: Nice hotel. Finish: Nice hotel.
Loop payments include a Friday arrival with the rider briefing at 7pm followed by dinner. You can buy an extra night of accommodation in Nice if you’d like to arrive on the Thursday rather than the Friday.
Sun 21th June. Stage 2: Nice – Nice: 190km
Stage 2 is a punchy 190km including the Col de Turini, Col de Colmiane and the famous (if you watch Paris-Nice or swan around the Cote d’Azur on a regular basis) Col d’Eze.
Le Loop Practicalities:
Start and Finish: Nice hotel.
Mon 22nd June. Stage 3: Nice – Castellet: TBC
Until the route is confirmed in October, we won’t know if the Grand Depart will be 2 or 3 days cycling. If the rumours are true and stage 3 finishes just outside Marseille, we may run this as a 3-stage Loop to make the most of the long weekend of joy, variety and Tour de France experiences.
Mon 22nd June or Tues 23rd June. Depart from Nice or Marseille (TBC)
Due end Jan
Due end Mar
|Fundraising Target||80% Fundraising|
due end April
£600 or £765
|£250||£||£||£800 or £1200||£640 or £960|
Emily, Lead Cyclist:
“This is what the Tour’s about. Great stages to re-live once back home. Or don’t go home and stay in France for a holiday!”
Sarah, Event Organiser:
“It’s rare to have a Grand Depart which is so accessible, so stunning and so French. Plus the luxury of three nights in the same hotel!”
Paul, Alumni Cyclist:
“If you’re scared about doing full Tour de France stages, all I can say is don’t be. You’ll be amazed by how much faster you cycle in a group and on better tarmac. The emphasis on enjoying the cycling and not racing on Le Loop is really refreshing – you’ll love it!”
Le Loop is known for its camaraderie and inclusiveness and we strongly believe that there’s a Loop for everyone. We have no cut off times and cyclists will always be supported as far as safety and daylight hours allow. However, there is a speed and a level of training required for some of the longer Loops and the Grand Loop because we have limited space in our support vehicles and this event is not designed for cyclists who cannot complete full stages.
We need to be clear about how tough the Tour can be in order to help you pick the right challenge…
The Grand Loop…
You should be able to complete 200km stages with 2500m of climbing in under 10hrs (including stops). Assuming a total of 90 mins stopping, this equates to an average cycling speed of 23.5 km/h (14 m/h) or faster, day after day over relatively hilly terrain.
On a mountain stage of 180km with 4500m of climbing, we expect Grand Loopers to take between 8 and 12 hours, including stops. Assuming a total of 90 mins stopping, this equates to an average cycling speed of 17km/h (10.5 m/h) or faster.
If in any doubt, please get in touch to discuss. Or consider joining us for a shorter Loop with a view to completing the Grand Loop once you have tested yourself over 3 to 5 stages.
Whilst we have back up vehicles for injured or exhausted cyclists, this is intended as just that: a back-up plan should something go wrong. If there is a reason why you cannot complete one or two stages (injury, illness, one-off extreme fatigue), we will of course help you and offer you space in a support vehicle. But if you are not able to cycle full stages without medical or equivalent reason, we will have to ask you to take public transport or find alternative arrangements to travel between stage starts and finishes.
If in doubt, please see below for our more manageable Loop options and use that as training for the Grand Loop at some point in the future.
First Half, Second Half, Mountains Week…
As with the Grand Loop, these Loops are extremely testing. You should be able to complete full stages which will sometimes involve over 10hrs cycling and we would not expect you to need to take the Lite options in the Alps or Pyrenees.
For advice on average speeds, please see the guidelines above for the Grand Loop.
Alps, Pyrenees, Alps Lite, Pyrnees Lite…
The Tour de France mountain stages are extremely tough and completing back to back mountain stages is something that requires commitment and training. However, we are not all equal: in time available, experience, natural ability or desire for the toughest challenge. Which is why we have our Lite options…
If you sign up for the Alps or Pyrenees, you will be given the option to cycle the full stage or the shortened, ‘lite’ version. We usually take numbers the night before, giving you plenty of flexibility should you wish to go long or short.
Please, please avoid the temptation to view the Lite options as a weaker challenge: they are not! The extra transfers or short-cuts serve simply to open up the Tour de France to more people, encourage more diverse groups to join us, or offer an alternative to people who would like a really great day of Tour riding, rather than an overly-epic day which leaves them broken.
As a rough guide, a cyclist who can complete an undulating 100 km sportive in 5hrs or less in March and a hilly 100 km sportive in 5hrs or less in late April/early May will be well placed to join us in France.
Middle Mountains, Tour de France Adventure, Grand Depart…
The variety of the Tour de France route each year means that there can be quite a variation in the difficulty and length of stage within these options. Please see the Loop descriptions for more information and get in touch if in any doubt about your ability to take part.
Often the Mountains Lite Loops can be more manageable than the longer stages involved in other Loops. And sometimes morning transfers, hotel changes and other logistical variations can affect how difficult a Loop feels. So don’t be put off by the climbing involved in the mountains – with training and commitment, we believe that there really is a Loop for everyone and we’re always happy to discuss your options with you.
We will update this advice once the routes and stages for these Loops is known.
Included in all Loops
- Accommodation (Mostly twin share. Single supplements are available to buy in January)
- Food (3 meals and the best feedstops you’ve ever seen)
- Fully signed route, the stuff of legend
- Mechanical, medical and moral support
- Luggage Transfers
- Coach transfers to the next stage start where applicable
Not included in all Loops
- Travel to and from France (but we’ll give you advice on the best travel routes)
- Bike Transport (£30 each way if you want us to drive your bike there and back)
- Evening massage (£10 per massage)
- Beer/wine/dinner drinks!