A shameless plug for the region where I live, but it might be interesting for anyone who has ridden, or is planning to ride, l'Ardechoise. I received a link today to a film of the 2018 event:
l’Ardechoise is an annual 4-day cycling event in June, in the Ardeche region of France, for all ages and experience levels, with around 12,000-15,000 cyclist each year. There are 13 designated routes, varying in distance and number/height of hills and mountains to climb.
They all start from the village of Saint Félicien.
It starts on a Wednesday, for the 4-day rides, Thursday for the 3-day rides, Friday for the 2-day rides, and Saturday is the big party day, with most of the roads closed to cars, and carnivals in all the villages on the routes. And plenty of free cheese, saucisson, wine and other local foods for all the participants.
The routes are also permanently signposted now, so they can be done all year round.
A link to the website:
You can download GPX files of the routes by selecting them individually on the interactive route map:
Registration is still open for 2019 (June 19th-22nd):
More links in English:
looks superb. would love to do this one day.
This weekend is the annual Boucles Drome Ardech.
Saturday 27th Feb - 'Faun Ardeche Classic'
Sunday 28th Feb - 'Royal Bernard Drôme Classic'
Both are shown live here in France on l'Equipe channel, but I don't know if they can be viewed in the UK. Today's race (Faun Ardeche Classic) starts and finishes just near where I live, it's all on my local cycling routes. I usually take the kids out to watch a bit, and to see the riders and teams at the start/finish. Bit more subdued this year due to Covid restrictions, but still good to see riders and bikes up close, and far less crowded than the TdF.
Faun Ardeche Classic:
Pics from the start today:
A few photos of some the roads ridden on yesterday's pro ride, from my (very un-pro) ride this morning. From the route map above, the first two are on the D533, going up from St Peray to Alboussiere; 15km, 450m climb, pure smooth tarmac.
And then coming down from Col de la Justice to Charmes-sur-Rhône on the D232; 21km, 600m descent.
Thanks for sharing these pics. We stayed near Anduze last summer and I loved the area and had some of my best rides on a road bike..
Anduze is a bit further down south than where I live, but the roads, rocks and vegetation in your photo look similar to the more southern parts of the Ardeche. There are so many great roads around here like that.
I reckon Valence is a totally under-rated base for cycling. You have the Ardeche on one side, the Drome and Vercors on the other, and pootling along the Rhone back track is lovely (if you don't have a headwind)
Covid restrictions mean being limited to a 10km radius from home for now, so a previously undiscovered back road at the weekend. No road number, but it's signposted 'Route de Biguet'; 9km, 450m climb, more gravel than road, great views.
Still within the 10km radius from Valence, and another back road, from the D86 up to Saint-Romain-de-Lerps this morning, Route de la Garde; 7.5km, 490m climb. Dense trees, twisty and narrow to begin with, then wide open through the vinyards in the middle section.
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