2 Days cycling. 369km
Celebrate the rich cycling history of Brittany with two stunning stages, culminating in the Mur de Bretagne double! (Option to add stages 3, 4 & the stage 5 time trial for an even longer challenge).
What a way to visit Brittany! This unsung corner of France might not be as easy to get to as Paris, but it’s worth the train or ferry ride for the pancakes, cider, relaxed vibe and cycling history that you’ll find on arrival…
Over two days of stunning cycling, you’ll see expansive beaches, rugged Cornwall-esque coastlines and quiet, beautiful roads and villages. It’s also far hillier than you might expect (the Arree mountains don’t rise higher than a weedy 386m but it’ll feel anything but weedy when you’re cycling over them!) which means serious pride at the end of your Loop and even more one week later when the pros are doing the same.
Extensions: once you’ve signed up, you’ll be able to buy an extension to this Loop for £330. This adds stages 3, 4, 5, leaving after the time trial from Tours. (See your Rider Zone for more details and to purchase)
Fri 3rd September: Meet at Brest hotel
Mon 6th September: Depart from Pontivy hotel
(OR, for those with extensions, Depart from Tours after 2pm on Wed 8th September)
Arrival day: Fri 3rd Sep
Arrive to the hotel in Brest.
Loop payments include a Friday arrival with the rider briefing at 5pm followed by dinner. You can buy an extra night of accommodation in Brest if you’d like to arrive on the Thursday rather than the Friday.
Stage 1: Brest to Landerneau. 187km. Sat 4th Sep
We set off from France’s westernmost city, and our route initially takes us south, through the fresh salty air of the Atlantic coastline and the picturesque towns of Locronan and Quimper, before swinging north towards our finish town of Landerneau. This is an area known for its strong westerly winds as well as its scenery, so we can expect a buffeting from both sides throughout the course of the day. The second half of the stage takes us through the Monts d’Arée – a region of steep climbs, wooded valleys, rocky outcrops and wide open moorland that may remind you of Wales or Cornwall. Make sure you save some energy for the final 3km – the steep Côte de la Fosse aux Loups will ensure our legs are well-and-truly warmed up for what’s to come tomorrow.
Start: Hotel in Brest
Finish: Hotel in Landernau
Stage 2: Perros-Guirec to Mûr-de-Bretagne. 182km. Sun 5th Sep
This hilly, rural stage flirts with the Côte de Granit Rose (Pink Granite Coastline) during its first half, delivering us to a series of seaside towns, then intermittently plunging into the pretty – and punchy – Breton interior. Expect refreshing sea breezes and a summer holiday vibe. We’ll bid a final farewell to the Channel at Saint-Brieuc – famous for medieval atchitecture and delicious scallops – and then turn inland, where a quiet landscape of forests and farmland ushers us towards our second uphill finish: a double ascent of the fearsomely steep Mûr de Bretagne, cited by locals as their version of Mont Ventoux. (Grand Loopers will be able to verify this claim later in the Tour.)
Start: Transfer to Perros Guirec
Finish: short transfer to Pontivy hotel
Departure day: Mon 6th Sep
Depart from Pontivy hotel under own arrangements
Extensions: for those extending this Loop with stages 3, 4 & 5, please see the link below for descriptions of the other stages. Departure will be on Weds 8th Sep in the afternoon from Tours.
Due 18th Apr
Due 16th June
|Fundraising Target||80% Fundraising
due end July
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 for a holiday!”
Sarah, Event Organiser:
“It’s rare to have a Grand Depart which is so unique – people will remember this for years!”
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 (Click here for e-bike and non-standard bike info).
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.
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, 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.
Included in all Loops
- Accommodation (Mostly twin share. Single supplements are available to buy once you\'re signed up)
- 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!