Scenic view


1-11 June 2021

New CCC route for 2021. A combination of the best of the east and west flanks of the Rhone valley, including the regions of the Vercors, Drome, Vaucluse, Gard, Cevennes, Ardeche and Haute Loire.

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The stunning contrast between the east and west flanks of the Rhone valley is what this event is built upon. " I have always wanted to design a ride through both sides of the Rhone to exemplify the definition of the beauty and character of southern France. It also happens to offer some of the best riding I have yet discovered” ( Phil D.)

The Stages

Stage 1

Chasse-s-Rhone (Lyon) to Tournon-s-Rhone

212 kms / 4200m

Main climbs:
Croix de Mont Vieux, Croix de Chabouret.

(Auvergne-Rhone Alps) A very rural wander into the Pilat National park to open. Rolling hills with huge vistas across the Rhone valley towards the Alpine peaks.

Stage 2

Tournon-s-Rhone to Villard-de-Lans

192kms / 4300m

Main climbs:
Pré Coquet, Mont Ferrier, Montaud, Saint Nizier

(Rhone, Vercors) After a gently rolling start the day begins properly once we hit the eastern flank of the dramatic Vercors region. Deep gorges, dense woodland followed by wide open plateaux : the Vercors is hard to beat for untouched beauty and 'landscape sculpture'.

Stage 3

Villard de Lans to Crest

202 kms / 4600m

Main climbs:
Pra l'Etang, Machine, Portette, Limouches

( Vercors) A second chance to take in the wonders of the Vercors. This stage includes the notorious Col de la Machine with its jaw-dropping 'one-km-down' views into the Combe Laval. Heading south-west we eventually descend back into the Rhone valley for a gentle stage finish.

Stage 4

Crest to Malaucene

214 kms / 4300m

Main climbs:
Pennes, Soubeyrand, Mont Ventoux

(Drome, Vaucluse) The Drome region is a harsh, arid and wild place, so roads are quiet and houses are scarce. Our first climb ( Pennes) is equally as harsh as the landscape, but therein lies its beauty! As we head south, the Bald Giant of Provence will begin to appear in the haze. We eventually circumnavigate this legend on its north side and then climb it from Sault, perhaps its less tough side, but there is no bland side on this very special mountain..

Stage 5

Malaucene to Vallon Pont d'Arc

189 kms / 2,000m

Main climbs:
Pozat, "Corniche des Cevennes".

(Vaucluse, Gard, Ardeche) A transition stage that will be a welcome 'flatter' stage by CCC standards. Nevertheless we will ride some superb roads, not least the full length of the dramatic "Corniche des Cevennes", used for a TT stage by the Tour de France in 2016. That stage ended in our Rest Day town of Vallon Pont d'Arc.

Rest day

Vallon Pont d'Arc

Stage 6

Vallon Pont d'Arc to Le Vigan

203 kms / 4,000m

Main climbs:
Portes, Barraque, Uglas, Pierre Levée

( Cevennes) We head into the heart of the least populated region of France here. Narrow roads, dense woodland, infinity views of multi-horizons. This region has some of the most beautiful roads for riding to be found anywhere in France.

Stage 7

Le Vigan to Mende

197 kms / 4,600m

Main climbs:
Mont Aigoual, Finiels, Croix Neuve ("Mur Jalabert")

(Cevennes) This stage is bookmarked by two Big Names. The Mont Aigoual features in this year's Tour de France. It is the grandest of all the climbs in this area and has recorded wind speeds faster than on Mont Ventoux. The "Mur" up to the airport in Mende has featured several times in the Tour, always providing huge drama for its summit finish. In between lies the fabulous charm of the lesser-ridden roads of this great National park.

Stage 8

Mende to Privas

207 kms / 4,000m

Main climbs:
Coulet, Meyrand, Pendu, Juvinas, Fayolle.

(Ardeche) Fewer open plateaux, more tight gorges; fewer steady climbs, more 'ramps'. More bridges. Such is the character of the Ardeche, whose real character we discover in this stage. No big-name climbs, just endless beauty. Not bad, really.

Stage 9

Privas to Satilleu

197 kms / 4,300m

Main climbs:
Couberon, Faye, Mezilhac, Nonieres, Le Trascol

( Ardeche) A sustained succession of steady climbs shapes this stage which takes us almost due north. Our last chance to savour the remoteness of this very special region which by this stage will have all riders under its charm!

Stage 10

Satilleu to Chasse-s-Rhone (Lyon)

162 kms / 2,800m

Main climbs:
Croix de Chabouret, Pavezin, Grenouze

(Auvergne-Rhone Alps).A second chance to explore the Pilat National Park. A gentler stage to finish this event will be welcome. Overall, although daily ride stats are not on the heavy side by CCC measures, this event is tougher than it looks on paper. However, it does have less steep percentage climbs than many other CCC's. An excellent choice for those who seek peaceful, remote riding and are less concerned about filling their 'bucket list'!