2 days cycling. 337km.
Islands, beaches, windswept vistas, flat, perfect roads: you too can ride the Tour!
The Atlantic coast, with it’s wild landscapes and island life, is waiting… Two gorgeous days of relatively flat cycling!
However, this isn’t an easy challenge; both stages are over 100 miles, we’ll be contending with the ‘coastal breeze’ and the flat profile means you don’t get much free-wheeling…
So we’ll encourage group cycling for maximum chat and maximum cycling-fun and we’ll make sure there’s time for ice cream.
In two days, you’ll be surprised by how much of France you see and how much of an impression this region of France makes on you. Whilst the islands and the coast are the obvious attractions, the small towns of Royan, Rochefort and even La Rochelle are incredibly attractive, especially when the sun is shining, the markets are in full swing and you have some delightful villages to cycle through en route from one town to the next.
The 2020 Tour de France offers a route which is anything but boring and that extends to the flat, sprinter stages too. This Loop will be as magnificent to ride as it will be to watch one week later when the helicopter footage makes us all wish we were back there…
And what’s more, knowing that the Ile d’Oleron isn’t the easiest location to get to, we’ve included a coach transfer to the first hotel from either Bordeaux airport or La Rochelle train station (see travel info for times etc), making this a great, easy-to-organise way to experience the Tour and see Atlantic France from a bike.
Arrival day: Ile d’Oleron. Mon 29th June.
We have included travel to the Ile d’Oleron as part of your Loop. Your two options are:
11:30am from Bordeaux airport (ties in with the easyjet flight from Gatwick)
or 15:30 from La Rochelle train station (ties in with the 12h22-15h15 train from Paris Montparnasse)
We will email more details and arrangements in early May.
Stage 10: Ile d’Oleron-Ile de Re. 170km. Tue 30 June.
We ride from island to island today, on one of the Tour’s few genuinely flat stages, soaking up the mood of French holiday makers in paradise. That doesn’t mean it’ll be an easy ride though – this stage has been designed in the hope that brisk coastal winds will disrupt the peloton, so it’ll be a day for us to help each other out, ride in groups and maybe even be grateful for the cooling breeze. We leave the quiet dunes and pine forests of the Ile d’Oléron, and cross ancient salt marshes (now repurposed as oyster farms) en route to the old naval town of Rochefort. Then we rejoin the Atlantic coast, passing through relaxed La Rochelle before crossing the 3km Pont de Ré which is a suitably impressive bridge to end a very impressive stage.
Start: Ile d’Oleron hotel
Finish: La Rochelle (west) hotel
Stage 11: Chatelaillon Plage-Poitiers. 167km. Wed 1st July
We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the wind will be blowing us inland today, as we head across wide open landscapes. Salt marshes and mud flats are criss-crossed with canals and rivers, making for a fascinating and possibly unexpected landscape, home to geese, cattle and horses. There’s a rich history in this area and some beautiful villages and architecture which reflect the region’s 500 year old trade. The afternoon will take us into more forested terrain but still pretty much flat (this is, afterall, the flattest stage of the Tour). It’ll be a delightful ride, finishing in the lovely university town of Poitiers.
Start: La Rochelle (west) hotel
Finish: Poitiers hotel
Departure day: Poitiers. Thur 29th June.
Departure from the Poitiers hotel under own arrangements. See our travel advice page for suggested routes.
Due end Jan
Due end Mar
|Fundraising Target||80% Fundraising|
due end April
Emily, Lead Cyclist:
“Lovely French roads and a first class experience of riding in France… If you’re nervous about doing more, new to cycling or time strapped, this is the perfect cycling trip in the perfect destination.”
Sarah, Event Organiser:
“The roads are great… you’ll be fully supported and you’ll feel like a cycling hero – you wait!”
Lee, Alumni Cyclist:
“Two hundred milers in two days? If you’re intimidated by cycling two back to back stages with people you don’t know and who you think will be faster than you, really don’t be. For me, the best two things about Le Loop were not having to think about anything other than riding my bike and the feedstops – just fantastic!”
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 Tour de France Adventure…
is one of our most inclusive Loops in 2020. There’ll be plenty of opportunity for fast, joyous pelotons and sprint finishes if you want to test yourselves. But these are also two stages that can be taken more gently, pacing yourself in slower groups (of which there will be plenty) and enjoying the scenery and atmosphere in France.
We would expect almost everyone to complete these stages within 10 hrs (including stops) which averages out to a very achievable (with some endurance training and long rides over the spring) 20km per hr cycling speed (plus 90 minutes for stops).
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!