2 days cycling. 383km
Two stunning stages taking you from Roman history and Provençal beauty on into the foothills of the Alps
Nimes, with its Roman arena, is a town rich in history and culture, and just as importantly for us, it’s surrounded by Provencal countryside. This Loop is going to be gorgeous!
As far as the Tour organizers and the pros are concerned, these are flat stages. But in reality (with approx. 800m and 1300m apiece) they’ll feel much more rolling and probably leg-sapping than that. They’re not easy stages (they never are) but they are very achievable and what you put in in effort, you get back in spades in beautiful routes.
Don’t forget either that two 100+ mile Tour stages come with major bragging rights and finishing in the foothills of the Alps will give you the confidence and inspiration that next time you should return for some big mountains!
So… Provence to the Alps… the wine, the peloton, the perfect roads, the Tour!
Mon 15th July: Arrive to Nimes hotel
Thur 18th July: Depart from Gap hotel
Mon 15th July – Arrival to Nîmes
Tue 16th July. Stage 16: Nîmes – Nîmes: 177km
This will be a super-scenic, gentle stage, showing off the finest features of the Gard department before doubling back for a second night in Nîmes (big treat!). This city is so full of ancient architecture that it’s known as “the most Roman city outside Italy”. And what surrounds it is pure Provence: expect sun-baked countryside, pretty stone villages, fruit markets and a flat, speedy finish. The stage never goes above 250m so this is one for for the pro sprinters to anticipate as they crawl through the Pyrenees: for us it’s a smile-making, holiday-feeling, Tour treat.
Wed 17th July. Stage 17: Pont du Gard – Gap: 206km
We’ll start the day from a Roman wonder, setting off from the 2,000-year-old Pont du Gard, an aqueduct built as part of a 50km channel bringing water from the river Eure to the growing Roman population of Nimes. A gentle start (passing Orange’s amphitheatre and triumphal arch) belies the true nature of this stage because once we’ve crossed the Rhône, and skirted Vaison-la-Romaine’s ancient hilltop stronghold, we enter the hills and there’s no more pretending! For much of the day we’ll climb steadily up and east, climbing 800m over 60km, so while this is no mountain giant, your legs will feel it and the kilometres won’t be fast. This is all topped off with the very pretty Col de la Sentinelle and a short descent to Gap, marking the end of a delightful stage which, by crossing from Provence and the Rhone into the low Alps, is a beautiful stage in the Tour’s 2019 journey.
Thur 18th July – Depart from Gap
Due end Jan
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Emily, Lead Cyclist says, “A beautiful duo of 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 says, “The roads round here are great: gradients and tarmac that make everyone feel like a cycling hero – you wait!”
Lee, Alumni Cyclist says “400km 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 – you’ve never seen any like it!”
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!