3 Days cycling. 566 km
The first three stages of the 2025 Tour will provide seriously fun (and often flat’n’fast) cycling, guaranteed sunshine, lots of Tour history and that holiday feeling…
The Grand Depart is always a unique occasion, and in 2025 it’ll be a send-off in Lille… the most easily accessible Grand Depart in years!
But this Loop definitely isn’t just Lille; this is a chance to ride through the fascinating countryside of northern France; through rolling farmland to the northern coast and its resort towns full of 19th century charm, then back south past chateaux and medieval villages with their own, distinct identity… to an finale in Dunkirk, passing historic sites of the World Wars with a new-found sense of this region of France that you’d never get from a normal holiday!… this is a unique and very accessible weekend of Tour cycling. We’d love you to join us!
Stage 1: Lille – Lille. 185km. Sat 28th June
This is an almost flat stage with limited challenge aside from 3 small climbs, the second of which is cobbled (the three climbs are 165m, 144m and 143m respectively – small fry for a Tour stage) and the obvious challenge of any stage that tops 100 miles.
For the pros, today is for the sprinters but for us, it’ll be the perfect Tour Stage 1; a chance to ride in groups and get to know each other.
Despite starting in Lille and quick visits to Lens and Bethune, it’ll be majority quiet, rural cycling with a lot of agricultural views, villages and atmosphere.
You might not think of north east France as your dream cycling destination but we’d urge you to think again… the Tour is coming here for a reason, namely a really strong cycling culture and that will be palpable as we ride the roads where the pros will follow a week later.
Le Loop Logistics
Start: Lille hotel
Finish: Lille hotel
Stage 2: Lauwin-Planque – Boulongne-sur-mer, 209km. Sun 29th June
While you could never describe this as a mountain stage, it’s a bit bumpier than stages 1 & 3 and you’re definitely going to know you’ve climbed some hills, even if they’re short. The stage length is of note (it’s likely to be among the longest 1 or 2 stages of the whole Tour) but the sea views in the last 30km will provide great reward.
There’s a lot of variety hidden in this stage which combines some spectacular castle and historical monument views with forests, coast and a series of lovely villages renowned for their flower-decorated squares.
Being so close to England, this area saw a lot of development during the 100 years war in the 1300s which means there are plenty of fortifications and castles for us to marvel at as we zoom past!
Le Loop Logistics
Stage 3: Valenciennes – Dunkerque, 172km. Mon 30th June
This is another fast, flat day, designed for the sprinters and, skirting the area just to the west of the Belgian border, a slightly different feel from the two preceding stages.
We cross paths with the stage 1 route, revisiting Mont Cassel from the other side as we head for the Dunkerque beaches, known for their significance in the First and Second World Wars.
Amongst the fascinating places we’ll pass today, while we soak up the feel of the this region (frites vans everywhere!), is the town of Isbergues. Not only is it home to the Grand Prix d’Isbergues (a UCI race founded in 1947) but as a centre of the French metal industry, it’s also home to a very impressive monument to steel processing!
Le Loop Logistics
Due end Jan
Due end Mar
due end April
- Accommodation (Mostly twin share. Single supplements are available to buy by January)
- All 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 when the stages aren’t contiguous
- Travel to and from France (but we’ll give you advice on the best travel routes)
- Bike Transport (£40 each way if you want us to drive your bike there and back)
- Evening massage (£10 or €10 per massage if you’d like one – highly recommended)
- Beer/wine/drinks at dinner