French sportives calendar 2017 2


Update for 2018: we expect the great majority of the 2017 events listed below to take place again in 2018, and usually on the same weekend. A full update will be posted before the end of the year, once all the information is available.

The list of more than 80 French sportives provided below includes all the major ones, defined as those that have an established track record and an arbitrary minimum of 400 participants. There are many other smaller sportives that you may discover if you are on holiday in France. You can sometimes find these by an internet search (“cyclo” “department number”) or by making local enquiries.

The sportive season in France runs from March to October. The information provided below includes the basics: name, date, start location, the number of the department where the event starts, the nearest airports, the distance (in km) and vertical climbing (in m) for each course (or “parcours”), the number of years the sportive has been running, the number of participants in 2016 and the website address. Some of the websites have an English section, most are in French only.

We have added a few notes about the differences between British and French sportives at the bottom.

Support from Alpine Cols

If you would like to prepare seriously for a tough mountain sportive, such as the Etape du Tour, the Marmotte or the Haute Route, you might like to consider coming on one of our training camps or engaging one of our coaches.

We support clients directly at several of the sportives, including the Corima Drôme Provençale (March 19), the Cyclotour du Léman (May 21), the Time Megève Mont Blanc (June 4), the Morzine Haut Chablais (June 18), the Grand Bô (June 25), and of course the entire Haute Route series (Alpe d’Huez, Pyrenees, Alps, Dolomites an Ventoux).

“I would like to quote John here – “A lot of the credit […] goes to the Alpine Cols team for looking after me so well.” – Shane

Doing well at a sportive is not just about putting power on the pedals. The most important thing is to manage your energy. Experience counts for a lot in knowing when to push hard and when to ease off, when and how to eat and drink, which clothes to wear at which moment and even which equipment to use. Based on years of experience at the highest amateur levels, our coaches can help you with this.

As well as logistics and hotels, Alpine Cols Race Services include a detailed briefing, pre-race preparation, an experienced coach riding with you, private re-supply and the opportunity to pick up and drop off clothing during the event. Our goal is to help you achieve the best possible place on the day.

“Very friendly and comforting team, it makes a huge difference to gather as a group in the morning and after the race. It really feels like a family. Any sport champions (I am not one) would tell you that the social environment is part of success and resilience in sport events and this is a crucial aspect of the Alpine Cols support” – Stephanie

Many of the riders we have supported at sportives have told us they gained between 10 and 50 places thanks to our support on the day. Read the testimonials here.

Contact us for more information.

Important: medical certificate required for all French sportives

Please be aware that if you intend to participate in a sportive in France you will need a medical certificate dated less than 3 months old. You can download a suitable model here, in English or in French.

FEBRUARY 2017

La Route de l’EtoileFranceSW

Sunday 5 February, Alès (30, nearest airport Marseille)

Distance/vertical: 85km/1250m

Number of events: 5

Number of riders in 2015: 400

http://www.etoiledebesseges.com/la-cyclo-sportive


MARCH 2017

Le Jacques GouinFranceNE

Sunday 5 March, Mennecy (91, nearest airports Paris)

Distance/vertical: 115km/1000m

Number of events: 20

Number of riders in 2016: 600

http://jacquesgouin.blogspot.fr/


La Corima Drôme ProvençaleFranceSW

Sunday 19 March, Montélimar (26, nearest airports Marseille, Lyon, Geneva)

Distance/vertical: 75km/880m, 110km/1580m, 155km/2190m

Number of events: 8

Number of riders in 2016: 2237

www.corimadromeprovencale.com


APRIL 2017

La MorvandelleFranceSW

Saturday 1 April, La Grande Verrière (71, nearest airports Lyon, Geneva)

Distance/vertical: 104km/1690m, 135km/2150m

Number of events: 14

Number of riders in 2016: 500

http://www.calendrier.dusportif.fr/morvandelle-09469

 

Le Roger PingeonFranceSE

Sunday 2 April, Gignac (34, nearest airports Perpignan, Toulouse, Marseille)

Distance/vertical: 90km/1600m, 140km/2000m

Number of events: 19

Number of riders in 2016: 1000

www.heraultsport-pingeon.fr

 

La Blé d’OrFranceNW

Sunday 2 April, Lèves (28, nearest airports Orly, Roissy)

Distance/vertical: 95km/560m, 155km/1230m

Number of events: 24

Number of riders in 2016: 629

www.tropheepassion.com/labledor

 

Paris-Roubaix ChallengeFranceNE

Saturday 8 April, Roubaix (59, nearest airport Brussels)

(Distance/cobbles): 70km/9km, 145km/30km, 172km/53km

Number of events: 7

Number of riders in 2016: 5300

www.parisroubaixchallenge.com

 

Granfondo Gassin Golfe de Saint TropezFranceSW

Sunday 9 April, Saint-Tropez/Gassin (83, nearest airports Nice, Marseille)

Distance/vertical: 132km/2400m, 160km/2600m

Number of events: 31

Number of riders in 2016: 910

http://www.grandtrophee.fr

 

La BisouFranceSW

Sunday 9 April, Peronnas (01, nearest airports Lyon, Geneva)

Distance/vertical: 75km/560m, 141km/1995m

Number of events: 15

Number of riders in 2016: 1068

www.labisou.com

 

La Cyclo’CorseFranceSW

Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 April, Bastia (Corsica, nearest airport Bastia)

Distance/vertical: 70km/1110m, 99km/1600m, 120km/2600m

Number of events: 7

Number of riders in 2015: 365

www.challengecyclotour.com/cyclocorse.htm

 

La Bourgogne CycloFranceNE

Saturday 22 April, Viré en Mâconnais (71, nearest airports Lyon, Geneva)

Distance/vertical: 102km/1800m, 150km/2500m

Number of events: 4

Number of riders in 2016: 480

La Bourgogne Cyclo

 

La Provençale Sainte-VictoireFranceSW

Sunday 30 April, Aix-en-Provence (13, nearest airport Marseille)

Distance/vertical: 95km/1260m, 133km/2025m

Number of events: 5

Number of riders in 2016: 1467

www.laprovencalesaintevictoire.fr

 

La Ronde CastraiseFranceSE

Sunday 30 April, Castres (81, nearest airport Toulouse)

Distance/vertical: 63km/980m, 96km/1750m, 133km/2230m

Number of events: 17

Number of riders in 2016: 1055

http://larondecastraise.chez.com/

 


MAY 2017

La Vélostar 91FranceNE

Monday 1 May, Villabé (91, nearest airports Orly, Roissy)

Distance/vertical: 135km/1000m

Number of events: 9

Number of riders in 2016: 650

velostar91.blogspot.fr

 

La LozérienneFranceSE

Saturday 6 May, La Canourgue (48, nearest airports Rodez, Toulouse)

Distance/vertical: 88km/1100m, 135km/2000m

Number of events: 13

Number of riders in 2016: 408

challengecyclotour.com/lozerienne.htm

 

La Jean-René BernaudeauFranceNW

Saturday 13 May, Saint Maurice la Girard (85, nearest airports La Rochelle, Poitiers, Nantes)

Distance/vertical: 72km/tbc, 112km/tbc, 172km/tbc

Number of events: 28

Number of riders in 2016: 600

http://www.calendrier.dusportif.fr/jean-rene-bernaudeau-010056

 

La Gaillarde de CarvalhoFranceSE

Sunday 14 May, Brive la Gaillarde (19, nearest airports Bordeaux, Bergerac)

Distance/vertical: 119km/1655m, 132km/1885m

Number of events: 11

Number of riders in 2016: 500

www.lagaillardedecarvalho.com/

 

Challenge VercorsFranceSW

Saturday 20 May, Villard de Lans (38, nearest airports Grenoble, Chambery, Lyon, Geneva)

Distance/vertical: 50km/900m, 103km/2400m, 171km/2900m

Number of events: 26

Number of riders in 2016: 850

Challenge Vercors

 

Ekoi TourFranceNW

Saturday 20 May, Soubise (17, nearest airports La Rochelle, Poitiers, Bordeaux)

Distance/vertical: 118km/900m, 151km/1150m

Number of events: 7

Number of riders in 2016: 700

ekoitour.fr

 

Cyclotour du LémanFranceSW

Sunday 21 May, Lausanne (Switzerland, nearest airport Geneva)

Distance/vertical: 60km/250m, 110km/640m, 180km/890m

Number of events: 14

Number of riders in 2016: 2902

www.cyclotour.ch

 

L’Octogonale AveyronFranceSE

Sunday 21 May, Luc la Primaube (12, nearest airports Rodez, Toulouse)

Distance/vertical: 95km/1500m, 129km/2200m

Number of events: 14

Number of riders in 2016: 460

octogonale.fr

 

Les Boucles du VerdonFranceNE

Sunday 21 May, Gréoux les Bains (04, nearest airports Nice, Marseille)

Distance/vertical: 89km/1200m, 165km/2400m

Number of events: 19

Number of riders in 2016: 1031

http://www.bouclesduverdon.fr/

 

L’AudoiseFranceSE

Thursday 25 May, Villeneuve Minervois (11, nearest airports Perpignan, Toulouse, Marseille)

Distance/vertical: 61km/790m, 102km/1470m, 137km/2000m

Number of events: 6

Number of riders in 2016: 600

https://fr-fr.facebook.com/laclassic11/

 

Les Trois ColsFranceSW

Thursday 25 May, La Tour de Salvagny (69, nearest airports Lyon, Geneva)

Distance/vertical: 99km/1700m, 150km/2700m

Number of events: 37

Number of riders in 2016: 1246

taccyclo.fr/ (click on Les Trois Cols)

 

L’AlbigeoiseFranceSE

Sunday 28 May, Albi (81, nearest airports Albi, Toulouse, Castres, Rodez)

Distance/vertical: 97km/970m, 155km/2040m

Number of events: 23

Number of riders in 2016: 800

albigeoise.com

 

Les Boucles de la MarneFranceNE

Sunday 28 May, Montmirail (51, nearest airports Reims, Paris)

Distance/vertical: 105km/1800m, 165km/2400m

Number of events: 4

Number of riders in 2016: 650

www.bouclesdelamarne.com/


JUNE 2017

Granite Mont LozèreFranceSW

Saturday 3 June, Villefort (48, nearest airports Avignon, Marseille)

Distance/vertical: 96km/1745m, 130km/2360m

Number of events: 16

Number of riders in 2016: 301

Granite Mont Lozère

 

Granfondo Mont VentouxFranceSW Beaumes de Venise

Saturday 3 June, Beaumes de Venise (84, nearest airports Avignon, Marseille)

Distance/vertical: 91km/2600m, 134km/3100m

Number of events: –

Number of riders in 2016: 1150

GF Mont Ventoux

 

La Claudio ChiappucciFranceNE

Saturday 3 June, Arnay le Duc (21, nearest airports Dijon, Lyon, Geneva)

Distance/vertical: 76km/900km, 102km/1200m, 156km/2000m

Number of events: 16

Number of riders in 2016: 600

http://cyclo-claudiochiappucci.fr/

 

La Limousine André DufraisseFranceNW

Saturday 3 June, Limoges (87, nearest airport Limoges)

Distance/vertical: 72km/900m, 129km/1890m, 157km/2010m, 180km/2300m

Number of events: 28

Number of riders in 2016: 1480

lalimousinecyclo.com

 

Time Megève Mont BlancFranceSW

Sunday 4 June, Megève (74, nearest airports Geneva, Chambery, Lyon)

Distance/vertical: 87km/2150m, 117km/3200m, 142km/3950m

Number of events: 14

Number of riders in 2016: 1150

Time Megève

Level 3
⇒ Participate in the Time Megève during the Alpine Cols training camp

“The overall atmosphere of the weekend that you, Emmanuelle and Stephane created was the perfect balance of advice, coaching and personal warmth. This generates a wonderfully supportive environment in which I push myself, try harder but also accept some things may take a while to improve.” – Jennifer, London

Les 3 BallonsFranceNE

Saturday 10 June, Luxeuil-les-Bains (70, nearest airports Basel, Mulhouse, Strasbourg)

Distance/vertical: 125km/2760m, 210km/4400m

Number of events: 21

Number of riders in 2016: 3750

Les 3 Ballons

 

La Marmotte d’OltFranceSE

Sunday 11 June, St Geniez d’Olt (12, nearest airports Rodez, Toulouse, Avignon, Marseille)

Distance/vertical: 90km/1325m, 130km/2050m

Number of events: 21

Number of riders in 2016: 632

marmottedolt.fr

 

La Bernard HinaultFranceNW

Saturday 17 June, Saint Brieuc (22, nearest airports Brest, Rennes, Lorient)

Distance/vertical: 80km/1050m, 120km/1500m, 198km/2480m

Number of events: 12

Number of riders in 2016: 1600

labernardhinault.fr/

 

L’ArdéchoiseFranceSW

Saturday 17 June, Saint-Félicien (07, nearest airports Lyon, Grenoble, Chambery, Geneva)

Distance/vertical: a wide range of options, truly something for everybody!

Number of events: 26

Number of riders in 2016: 16,768

ardechoise.com

 

La Morzine Haut ChablaisFranceSW

Sunday 18 June, Morzine (74, nearest airport Geneva)

Distance/vertical: 100km/2200m, 155km/3800m

Number of events: 14

Number of riders in 2016: 640

La Morzine Haute Chablais

Level 3
⇒ Participate in the Morzine Haut Chablais during the Alpine Cols training camp

The best things about the camp (Alan, Perthshire):

A small group ensured we all got a lot of quality coaching
The routes were well chosen and well explained in advance
The on-road support was invaluable in challenging conditions
The quality and delivery of advice on and off the bike was very good. Clear, easy to absorb and effective
Stephane’s patience, despite some shocking weather and some very slow riders (me!) he kept us all going and I looked forward to the next ride with him despite the weather as I learnt more on every ride
Excellent location and hotel
The humour and camaraderie, it saw us through many a soggy moment!

Anjou Vélo VintageFranceNW

Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June, Saumur (49, nearest airports Angers, Nantes)

Distance: 30km, 60km, 120km

Number of events: 7

Number of riders in 2015: 3300

www.anjou-velo-vintage.com

 

La PLB MucoFranceNW

Saturday 24 June, Callac (22, nearest airports Brest, Rennes, Lorient)

Distance: 100km/1300m, 145km/1600m

Number of events: 25

Number of riders in 2016: 6700

www.laplbmuco.org

 

L’AriègeoiseFranceSE

Saturday 24 June, Tarascon sur Ariège (09, nearest airports Perpignan, Toulouse)

Distance/vertical: 107km/2645m, 158km/3590m, 170km/4310m

Number of events: 23

Number of riders in 2016: 5000

www.cyclosport-ariegeoise.com

 

GFNY Mont VentouxFranceSW

Sunday 25 June, Vaison la Romaine (84, nearest airports Avignon, Marseille)

Distance/vertical: 78km/2390m, 127km/3600m

Number of events: 3

Number of riders in 2016: 1320

gfnymontventoux.com

 

La Grand BôFranceSW

Sunday 25 June, Le Grand Bornand (74, nearest airport Geneva)

Distance/vertical: 100km/1500m, 118km/2620m, 135km/3400m

Number of events: 18

Number of riders in 2015: 400

www.legrandbornand.com/19e-cyclosportive-la-grand-bo.html

Level 3
⇒ Participate in the Grand Bô during an Alpine Cols long weekend training camp

“Really good ride at the GFNY Mont Ventoux, with v.g. effort on all climbs and spectacular (even by my standards!) descending with lotsa dropped elbows (got the scars to prove it) and then found myself on the Ventoux Bédoin climb after 67 miles and 2,000m dénivelée for the last 13 miles and 1,610m!!
Thanks, I am convinced, to Alpine Cols training, I managed a P.B. on the climb to the summit finish, beating my previous single climb best!
In my euphoria, I set another P.B. descending to Malaucène from the finish!
All in all, I was very pleased and need, now, just to recover, ready to give Marvin and Stéphane a good thrashing in Saturday’s Marmotte!
Thanks to Alpine Cols for a great training week.” – Fred, Yorkshire

La VaujanyFranceSW

Sunday 25 June, Vaujany (38, nearest airports Grenoble, Chambery, Geneva, Lyon)

Distance/vertical: 40km/1600m, 112km/2450m, 175km/3850m

Number of events: 33

Number of riders in 2016: 1500

La Vaujany


JULY

La Marmotte Granfondo AlpesFranceSW

Sunday 2 July, Bourg d’Oisans (38, nearest airports Grenoble, Chambery, Geneva, Lyon)

Distance/vertical: 174km/5000m

Number of events: 35

Number of riders in 2016: 7500

www.marmottegranfondoseries.com

 

Les Copains – CYFACFranceSW

Sunday 2 July, Ambert (63, nearest airports Lyon, Clermont-Ferrand)

Distance/vertical: 92km/1759m, 115km/2335m, 155km/3105m

Number of events: 28

Number of riders in 2016: 2100

cyclolescopains.fr

 

La PyrenéenneFranceSE

Sunday 2 July, Saint-LarySoulan (65, nearest airports Pau, Biarritz, Toulouse)

Distance/vertical: 120km/2800m, 180km/3880m

Number of events: 11

Number of riders in 2015: 1373

lapyreneenne.a3w.fr

 

La Pra Loup Bernard ThévenetFranceSW

Saturday 8 July, Barcelonnette (04, nearest airports Nice, Marseille, Turin)

Distance/vertical: 86km/2550m, 123km/3850m

Number of events: 3

Number of riders in 2016: 340

La Bernard Thevenet

 

Granfondo Serre Chevalier

Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July, Serre Chevalier (05, nearest airports Turin, Grenoble, Lyon)

Distance/vertical: 205km/4300m (8/7) 88km or 108km (9/7)

Number of events: –

Number of riders in 2016: 970

Granfondo Serre Chevalier

 

La JPP – Neuf de CoeurFranceSW

Sunday 9 July, Cluses (74, nearest airport Geneva)

Distance/vertical: 80km/2000m, 110km/3000m, 140km/4000m

Number of events: 8

Number of riders in 2016: 984

cyclo-jpp.com/

 

La Coeur de BretagneFranceNW

Sunday 9 July, Malestroit (56, nearest airports Vannes, Lorient, Rennes)

Distance/vertical: 95km/600m, 125km/900m

Number of events: 12

Number of riders in 2016: 480

www.lacoeurdebretagne.org

 

La PérigordineFranceSE

Sunday 9 July, Montignac Lascaux (24, nearest airports Bergerac, Perigueux, Brive)

Distance/vertical: 74km/830m, 99km/1160m, 134km/1760m

Number of events: –

Number of riders in 2015: 480

www.cyclo24.fr

 

Haute Route Alpe d’HuezFranceSW

Wednesday 12 to Friday 14 July, Alpe d’Huez (74, nearest airports Grenoble, Geneva, Lyon)

Distance/vertical: 250km/8000m over 3 days, including a time-trial to Alpe d’Huez

Number of events: –

Number of riders in 2016: –

www.hauteroute.org

Level 3
⇒ Participate in the Haute Route Alpe d’Huez with Alpine Cols

 “In short I would really like to thank the entire team. It was just a great experience doing my first Haute Route with you guys. I will surely take your services if I do the Haute Route again. Can’t really think of anything more you guys could have done.” – Kazim, Doha

 

L’Arvan VillardsFranceSW

Wednesday 12, to Friday 14 July, Hermillon and Corbier (73, nearest airports Grenoble, Chambery, Geneva, Turin)

Distance/vertical: 69km/2530m (12/7), 98km/2540m (13/7), 110km/4100m (14/7)

Number of events: 24

Number of riders in 2015: 408

www.challengecyclotour.com/arvan-villards/

 

Le Tour du Mont BlancFranceSW

Saturday 15 July, Les Saisies (73, nearest airports Grenoble, Chambery, Geneva)

Distance/vertical: 330km/8000m

Number of events: 8

Number of riders in 2016: 680

www.letourdumontblanc.fr

 

L’Etape du Tour

FranceSWSunday 16 July, Briançon (05, nearest airports Turin, Grenoble, Lyon)

Distance/vertical: 178km/3530m

Number of events: 27

Number of riders in 2016: 11,471

www.letapedutour.com

 

Risoul QueyrasFranceSW

Sunday 30 July, Risoul (05, nearest airports Nice, Turin)

Distance/vertical: 47km/1300m, 90km/2200m, 140km/3700m

Number of events: 8

Number of riders in 2016: 1000

www.risoulqueyras.com


AUGUST 2107

La Barousse BalèsFranceSE

Sunday 6 August, Izaourt (65, nearest airport Toulouse)

Distance/vertical: 122km/2615m, 139km/3270m

Number of events: 15

Number of riders in 2016: 587

barousse-bales.fr

 

La VélotoiseFranceSE

Sunday 6 August, Figeac (46, nearest airports Toulouse, Rodez, Aurillac, Brives)

Distance/vertical: 109km/1715m, 145km/2170m

Number of events: 17

Number of riders in 2016: 491

www.lavelotoise.fr

 

L’Etape San FloraineFranceSE

Sunday 13 August, Saint-Flour (15, nearest airports Loudes, Aurillac, Clermont Ferrand, Rodez)

Distance/vertical: 57km/1070m, 109km/1820m, 146km/2585m

Number of events: 17

Number of riders in 2016: 735

www.etape-sanfloraine.fr

 

La MadeleineFranceSW

Sunday 13 August, Saint François Longchamp (73, nearest airports Chambery, Grenoble, Geneva)

Distance/vertical: 70km/2300m, 100km/3090m, 127km/4320m

Number of events: 14

Number of riders in 2016: 415

cyclomadeleine.com

 

Haute Route PyrénéesFranceSE

Sunday 13 to Saturday 19 August, Anglet (64, nearest airport Biarritz) to Toulouse (31)

Distance/vertical: 800km/20,000m in 7 stages, 7 days

Number of events: 5

Number of riders in 2016: 415

www.hauteroute.org

Level 3
⇒ Participate in the Haute Route with Alpine Cols race support

 

La JalabertFranceSE

Sunday 20 August, Mazamet (81, nearest airports Toulouse, Perpignan)

Distance: 90km, 120km

Number of events: 16

Number of riders in 2015: 950

La Jalabert

 

La Granfondo Les 2 AlpesFranceSW

Sunday 20 August, Les 2 Alpes (38, nearest airports Grenoble, Lyon)

Distance/vertical: 66km/2400m, 172km/4000m

Number of events: 18

Number of riders in 2016: 600

La Granfondo Les 2 Alpes

 

La Jean-François BernardFranceNE

Sunday 20 August, Corbigny (58, nearest airport Nevers)

Distance: 103km/1360m, 142km/1930m

Number of events: 13

Number of riders in 2016: 480

jeff.cyclosportive

 

24H VéloFranceNW

Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 August, le Mans (72, nearest airports Angers, Tours, Orly, Roissy)

Distance/vertical: as many tours of the circuit as possible in 24h

Number of events: 9

Number of riders in 2016: 2141

www.24heuresvelo.fr

 

La Cyclo MorbihanFranceNW

Friday 25 August, Plouay (56, nearest airport Lorient)

Distance: 120km/950m, 150km/1250m

Number of events: –

Number of riders in 2016: 2716

www.grandprix-plouay.com

 

Marmotte Granfondo PyrénéesFranceSE

Sunday 27 August, Luz St-Sauveur (65, nearest airport Lorient)

Distance: 163km/5500m

Number of events: 2

Number of riders in 2016: 1000

www.marmottegranfondoseries.com

 

Haute Route AlpesFranceSW

Monday 21 August to Sunday 27 August, Nice (06, nearest airport Nice) to Geneva (CH)

Distance/vertical: 800km/22,000m in 7 stages, 7 days

Number of events: 7

Number of riders in 2016: 550

www.hauteroute.org

Level 3
⇒ Participate in the Haute Route with Alpine Cols race support

 

La Scott Cimes du Lac d’AnnecyFranceSW

Sunday 27 August, St Jorioz (74, nearest airports Geneva, Chambery, Lyon)

Distance: 100km/2400m, 133km/3000m

Number of events: 7

Number of riders in 2016: 761

challengecyclotour.com/lescimesdulac.htm

 

La Louis PasteurFranceNE

Sunday 27 August, Dole (39, nearest airport Geneva, Basel)

Distance: 45km/380m, 74km/700m, 110km/1030m, 145km/1450m

Number of events: 23

Number of riders in 2016: 801

veloclubdolois.fr

 

SEPTEMBER

La Jean-Cyril RobinFranceNW

Saturday 2 September, Crossac (44, nearest airports Nantes, Lorient, Rennes)

Distance: 125km/1200m, 150km/1500m

Number of events: 13

Number of riders in 2016: 988

jcrobin.org

 

Haute Route Dolomites

Saturday 2 to Friday 8 September, innsbruck to Venice

Distance/vertical: 800km/20,000m in 7 stages, 7 days

Number of events: 4

Number of riders in 2016: 450

www.hauteroute.org

Level 3
⇒ Participate in the Haute Route with Alpine Cols race support

La Ronde PicardeFranceNE

Saturday 9 September, Abbeville (80, ferry to Dieppe, Boulogne or Calais)

Distance: 50km/350m, 128km/750m, 180km/1000m

Number of events: 25

Number of riders in 2016: 1390

La Ronde Picarde

 

La CasartelliFranceSE

Sunday 10 September, Saint-Girons (09, nearest airport Toulouse)

Distance: 48km/900m, 100km/2300m, 128km/3380m

Number of events: 20

Number of riders in 2016: 556

www.cyclosportive-la-casartelli.fr

 

La ForestièreFranceSW

Saturday 16 September, Arbent (01, nearest airports Geneva, Lyon)

Distance: 85km/1500m, 125km/2300m, 150km/2900m

Number of events: 9

Number of riders in 2016: 450

www.la-forestiere.com/

 

Les Bosses de ProvenceFranceSW

Sunday 24 September, Marseille (13, nearest airport Marseille)

Distance: 94km/1430m, 136km/2040m, 164km/2440m

Number of events: 23

Number of riders in 2016: 2400

bossesdeprovence.fr

 

La DrômoiseFranceSW

Sunday 24 September, Die (26, nearest airports Valence, Grenoble, Avignon, Lyon)

Distance: 119km/1800m, 147km/2250m

Number of events: 10

Number of riders in 2016: 800

www.cyclodromoise.com

 

GFNY ProvenceFranceSW

Friday 29 September to Sunday, 1 October Montbrun les Bains (65, nearest airports Pau, Toulouse)

Distance: 360km/6900m in 3 stages, 3 days

Number of events: –

Number of riders in 2016: –

GFNY Provence

OCTOBER

Haute Route VentouxFranceSW

Friday 6 to Sunday 8 October, Bédoin (84, nearest airport Marseille)

Distance: 270km/7500m over 3 stages, 3 days

Number of events: –

Number of riders in 2016: –

Haute Route Ventoux

Level 3
⇒ Participate in the Haute Route Ventoux with Alpine Cols support

 

Differences between British and French sportives

The principle difference you will notice is that there is a long tradition of racing on the road in France, and thus practically all the sportives are proper races, in the sense there is a mass start and the winner is the first to cross the line. While the prizes vary from the symbolic (e.g. a cheap plaque) to the attractive (e.g. a set of carbon race wheels), there is always a podium ceremony with the first three riders in each category called up.

The fact they are genuine races means that the start is nearly always VERY fast, with the quicker riders keen to make a clean break from the mass and form the leaders peloton out in the open. It is thus important to judge the initial pace well: you should go hard but not so hard you will blow up before the pace slackens off. Generally the pace stabilises as small groups form after the first 30-45 minutes. From then on you will likely ride with the same people to the finish.

Feed stations are usually well spaced and well stocked, however as always you should not rely 100% on this.

With the exception of the entire Etape du Tour and short sections of some of the other sportives (typically the first few kilometres), the roads are OPEN. You must therefore be prepared to obey the Highway Code and stop if necessary, while always riding on the right-hand side of the road. France is a very large country compared to the UK and the population density in the countryside where most sportives are held is very low, so traffic is usually very light. I have personally ridden for 3 hours on a sportive without seeing a single car. However, don’t take this for granted: you do not want to be the subject of a column in the local paper…


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