French cycling apparel label Café du Cycliste has announced a trio of Gran Fondos in the Alpes-Maritimes, Where We Ride. With exclusive access to the Mercantour National Park, known as one of France’s wildest and including Europe’s Highest Road* these cyclosportives offer an attractive alternative with the same physical challenges as L’Etape du Tour and La Marmotte.
TURINI | 3rd June 2018 | Saint Martin-Vesubie
The parcours takes on the twisting switchbacks of all sides of the Col more famous for its place in World Rally history, and includes a single climb that traverses three passes – Braus, L’Ablé and L’Orme – before the second topping of Turini.
Finish, if your legs permit, by ‘climbing with wolves’ through alpine forests and beside river gorges up and past the Alpha Parc des Loups, on the undiscovered alpine gem known as Le Boréon.
BONETTE | 17 June 2018 | Valberg
Europe’s Highest Sportive, La Mercan’Tour Bonette will go to 2802 metres – if Mother Nature allows. The only sportive to cross the heart of the Mercantour National Park, this one will run in the opposite direction for 2018. The Bonette is boss. Three distance options deliver corresponding elevation profiles to match your ambition. Pick your parcours and savour the best of the region.
LADIES | 8th May 2018 | La Gaude – Valberg
New for 2018, the Café du Cycliste Ladies Gran Fondo is a celebration of female cycling. From just behind the coast into the depths of the mountains, the parcours follows the gentler slopes of Nice’s l’arrière-pays (backcountry) before going against the flow of the Var river. Tiptoe on the balcony road of the Gorges du Dalouis, carving through the dramatic red rocks before climbing to the mountain resort of Valberg.
*Café du Cycliste know it’s not technically the highest road, but with a climb of 2802 metres they reckon it should be enough to test the legs.
Images: courtesy Café du Cycliste