The 65 Ride 2023
65 NEW CCC stages (in seven separate events) to celebrate Phil’s 65th year and his retirement from the “CCC stage”. Starting in February 2020, details of stages 1-65 will be revealed here. One stage per week (Elevation stats will often read incorrectly on the ridewithgps.com links.) Dates and booking details will be released in August 2021.
The events will cover Piemonte, Southern Alps, Northern Alps, Vercors, Provence, Ardeche, Cevennes, Haut-Languedoc, East & West Pyrenees, Andorra, Basque Country, Cantabrico, Picos d’Europa and Asturias.
EVENT 1: Piemonte—Stage 1
180kms / 4300m
The Veronese "hills" (north of Verona) in the Veneto region make a perfect place to start this journey. Less well known, full of surprises and some very tough climbs. The beautifully harsh Passo Fittanze, climbed from Avio, will be the undisputed centrepiece of this opening stage.
EVENT 1: Piemonte—Stage 2
199kms / 3900m
Passo del Piccon, Passo di San Rocco, Passo del Termine, Passo del Santellone, Passo dei Tre Termini,
The journey starts it's crossing of the region of lakes and mountains so well known for defining the true beauty of Lombardy and Piemont. As well as some fabulous new climbs, this stage also includes a ferry crossing on Lake Garda.
EVENT 1: Piemonte—Stage 3
201kms / 4750m
San Fermo, Gallo, San Pietro, Ganda, Agueglio, Bellagio
Into the heart of Lombardy via some of the real classics of this region, ending the stage on the Bellagio climb after another ferry crossing (Lake Como).
EVENT 1: Piemonte—Stage 4
Ghisallo - Varese
204kms / 4700m
Muro di Sormano, Plan del Tivano, Oratorio San Antonio,Alpe dei Fiori
The Best of the Lombardia finale (to start this one!) before heading over (hills) to Lake Lugano for a couple of Swiss climbs before heading down (up) to Varese. Quite a menu!
EVENT 1: Piemonte—Stage 5
Varese – Biella
193kms / 4060m
San Antonio, Cucco, Colma
The double-whammy finale of Passo's Cucco and Colma make this stage truly exceptional. (This is a new version of stage 3 of CCC Piemonte.) It will bring us to Biella, a beautiful town, for our first Rest Day.
EVENT 1: Piemonte—Stage 6
Biella – Pinerolo
204kms / 4310m
Croce Serra, Monte di Belmonte, Forcola, Lys, Braida
The formidable Colle di Lys is the centrepiece but more 'religious climbs' such as the Monte di Belmonte maintain the intensity of the ride throughout the day.
EVENT 1: Piemonte—Stage 7
Pinerolo – Cuneo
218kms / 5850m
Sampeyre, Dei Morti
Leaving Lombardy behind us and hitting the first climbs of the 'Italian Alps' : two real classics will prepare us for the Giants to follow next.
EVENT 1: Piemonte—Stage 8
Cuneo – Valberg
193KMS / 5500M
Lombardia, Coulliole, St Leger, Valberg
Via the "best" side of the Col de Lombardia, we exit Italy and explore some of the best scenery in the High Maritime Alps : the Gorges de Dalius, for example, taking us up towards our mountain-top finish in Valberg.
EVENT 1: Piemonte—Stage 9
Valberg – San Remo
214KMS / 5300M
Sinna, Turini, Termini di Baiardo
A superb descent section to open then over the Cols de Sinna and Turini and into Liguria (back into Italy) to check out some exciting new roads on our way down to the wonderful town of San Remo. Pure Mediterranean magic!
EVENT 1: Piemonte—Stage 10
San Remo To Carros
180kms / 45750m
Passo Ghimbegna, Madonna di Giorbio, Chateauneuf.
The first 100km explores the best of Liguria before we plunge down to Ventimiglia. Arriving then in Monaco, of course the Madonna climb has to be on our path. A real Classic Climb to end Event #1!
EVENT 2: Alps—Stage 11
Carros – Carros
Mont Vial, Blaine, Pierrefeu (gravel).
The Classic loop stage that has opened the CCC S Alps forever. I just love this route. But with a cheeky gravel climb bonus this time!
EVENT 2: Alps—Stage 12
Carros – Castellane
186kms / 4400m
Features the mighty 20km climb to the Col d'Ecre, one of the most reputed in the Var region. From there crossing typical Provencal hills towards the stupendous Gorges de Verdon, with a tasty loop round the lac Verdon to end the stage.
EVENT 2: Alps—Stage 13
Castellane – Digne Les Bains
209kms / 4500m
Pas d'Abauc ( Gorges du Verdon), Illoire, Corobin
The Mighty Gorges du Verdon are the stars of this dramatic stage, followed by a complete tour of the emerald Lac de sainte Croix. The final climb, Col du Corobin, has often featured in the Paris-Nice race. A tough wooded climb with a glorious descent into Digne -les-Bains.
EVENT 2: Alps—Stage 14
Dignes Les Bains – Barcelonette
189kms / 4750m
Allos, Champs, Cayolle
On our way north the "Trio Terrible" loop (Allos,Champs,Cayolle) cannot be missed. Surely one of the best combo's road riding in the mountains can offer.
EVENT 2: Alps—Stage 15
Barcelonette – Valloire
179kms / 5300m
Vars, Izoard, Granon, Galibier
Four Mighty Giants make the profile of this epic stage pretty simple. The first time the 'up & back' Granon climb will feature in a CCC.
EVENT 2: Alps—Stage 16
Valloire – St Jean De Maurienne
182kms / 4800m
Telegraphe, La Toussuire, Croix de Fer, Beau Plan, Sapey.
A tough but majestic loop around St Jean de Maurienne is the centrepiece of this typical CCC take on these Classic climbs.
EVENT 2: Alps—Stage 17
St Jean De M – Moutiers
161kms / 5100m
Madeleine, Valmorel, Naves,La Plagne
Totally new parcours here amongst the highest roads. The Col de la Madeleine via the "old road" opens the stage, then we take on the best climbs around Moutiers.
EVENT 2: Alps—Stage 18
Moutiers – Albertville
198kms / 5680m
Col de la Loze, Saisies, Arpettaz, Vorger.
Another stage up there with the Giants. La Loze, a new climb for the Tour de France in 2020, will be the main attraction.
EVENT 2: Alps—Stage 19
Albertville – Belley
180kms / 5000m
Marocaz, Mont Revard, Chat
Superb views over Alpine peaks and lakes and the infamous Col du Chat. Mountain bliss!
EVENT 2: Alps—Stage 20
Belley – Grenoble
191kms / 4400m
Granier, Coq, Porte
The picturesque Chartreuse region makes this a perfect way to end this Alpine chapter of the 65RIDE.
Event 3: Alps / Ardeche—Stage 21
Grenoble – Crest
208 kms / 4450m
Col de la Machine and many other Vercors treasures
Pretty much the best of the Vercors climbs, plateaux and gorges here. Not much missing!
Event 3: Alps / Ardeche—Stage 22
Crest – Malaucene
190kms / 4300m
Pennes, Soubeyrand, Mont Ventoux
The remote and rugged beauty of the Drome region leads us due south to the unmissable Mont Ventoux "en finale". Nice day out.
Event 3: Alps / Ardeche—Stage 23
Malaucene – Ales
195kms / 2200m
Col de Champ Paga, Col de Bourrico
Crossing the Rhone means less climbing, more time to wander and explore like a 'cyclo-tourist', maybe?! Could be more café stops than usual?!
Event 3: Alps / Ardeche—Stage 24
Ales – Ales
208kms / 3200m
Many of the Ardechoise favourites
This is the first of two stages which explore the best roads of the extremely popular, multi-day "Ardechoise" sportive. Although the collective total of climbing is not excessive, the road is rarely flat. It's tough terrain, full of such charm and character. This remote area of France is one of the most genuinely surprising areas to ride in you can find. It needed a loop stage such as this to have time to explore its dense network of narrow roads.
Event 3: Alps / Ardeche—Stage 25
Ales – Aubenas
204kms / 3900m
Pendedis,Tranchée de Malons, Tastavin.
Part Two of the best bits of the Ardèche. Its beauty is equal to its remoteness. Simple as that.
Event 3: Alps / Ardeche—Stage 26
Aubenas – Chaumont Le Bourg
200 kms / 3900m
Mezilhac, Mont Gerbier
Another feast of remoteness. This stage will take us from the northern reach of the Ardeche, around the town of Le Puy ( capital of the very special volcanic Puy region) and into the vast wooded region of the Livardois. We rode this in 2017, but here we ride a new version in the opposite direction.
Event 3: Alps / Ardeche—Stage 27
Ch –Le-B – La Bourboule
184kms / 3600m
Mont Dore ( Col de Croix St Robert)
The second of the original CCC Cevennes stages ridden 'backwards'. The spectacular road up onto the Mont Dore will undoubtedly provide a superb finale to a stage which takes us to the northern tip of our journey, a mere 80 kms south of Clermont Ferrand.
Event 3: Alps / Ardeche—Stage 28
Bouboule – Laguiole
203kms / 4100m
Puy Marie ( Pas de Petrol)
My favourite part of the Massif Central. New stage-end in the best "knife town" in Europe!
Event 3: Alps / Ardeche—Stage 29
Laguiole – Florac
204kms / 3700m
The Aubrac National Park is a wild, desolate place populated mainly by its very distinct rusty-coloured cows. It's an impressive place to ride through. This stage ends in Florac, close to the Gorges du Tarn, which offer more drama of a different kind.
Event 3: Alps / Ardeche—Stage 30
Florac – Montpellier
196kms / 3600m
Espinas,Mont Aigoual, Minier.
The final stage in this exceptional region includes the mountain which perhaps defines the character of this area better than any other : Mont Aigoual. We approach it via the "best side" and combined with the Col de Minier has the making for an unforgettable ride. After riding up to the 'roof' of the Cevennes our route takes us through some more stunning landscape and villages on our way down to sea level where we finish just outside Montpellier. The 65RIDE will then take a break of three weeks before re-starting with Event 4 from this same point. Destination the Pyrenees and then Cantabrico.
EVENT 4: East Pyrenees—Stage 31
Montpellier – Castres
219kms / 3620m
Baraque de Brai, Femme Morte, Croix des Deux Sous
Part Two opens with a wonderful route through the Montagne Noire region, crossing the Herald and Tarn departments. Seldom visited region with so much to discover. Much more than a "transition stage"!
EVENT 4: East Pyrenees—Stage 32
Castres – Ax Les Thermes
210kms / 4050m
Fontbruno, Vammigere, Chadnelier, Pradel
From the Tarn to Arriege, skirting round the medieval town of Caracassonne, this stage brings us finally into the Pyrenees via one of it's better doors : the Col de Pradel. 'Little' brother of the Port de Pailheres, this very rural, wooded climb offers an equally generous vista of what follows from it's summit.
EVENT 4: East Pyrenees—Stage 33
Ax Les T – Amelie Les Bains
180kms / 4200m
Port de Pailheres, Dent, Auzines, Palomere
The Crown Climb ( Pailheres) of the Arriege region opens this stage and offers riders superb vistas of the Canigou Massif from the top. Beyond can be seen the first Spanish mountains, waiting expectantly for us. This region is rich in impressive Cathar castle ruins several of which will be seen on this stage. The dense network of narrow roads makes this area a treat to explore. You may even see a bear....!
EVENT 4: East Pyrenees—Stage 34
Amelie Les Bains – Girona
190kms / 3000m
Mirailles, Figuier Bosc della Margallia, Portell (Els Angels)
The first of 18 stages that weave their way across the French / Spanish border from East to West. A wonderful coastal route but with the mountains never far enough away from us to forget what lies ahead!
EVENT 4: East Pyrenees—Stage 35
Girona – Girona
188kms / 3000m
El Far, Palomera, Sesplanes
The Girona Hills are deservedly favoured by many pro's as the perfect training ground. Gradients are never too harsh, roads flow in a twisty dance with the landscape and the gentle climate makes this area very special for cyclists to explore. The gravel network is equally impressive, so we have to include a bit here and there!
EVENT 4: East Pyrenees—Stage 36
Girona – La Molina
191kms / 4400m
Collfred, Vidra, Creueta (la Molina)
A new route from Girona to the lofty ski station of La Molina, often featured in the Vuelta as a stage finish. But of course via the unmissable Collfred! Perhaps the toughest climb of these ten stages....
EVENT 4: East Pyrenees—Stage 37
La Molina – Ordino
189kms / 4550m
Guardia, Gent, Galina, Baixalis
The first of two stages that cover the best of the climbs in Andorra. We will approach Andorra from the south, via Spain, exploring roads new to the CCC. This stage will be dramatic, beautiful and particularly challenging.
EVENT 4: East Pyrenees—Stage 38
Ordino – Foix
207 kms / 4550m
Port d'Envalira, Chioula, Marmare, Montsegur, Mont d'olmec
Over the highest road point of the Pyrenees is our way out of Andorra, offering a thrilling 40 km descent to Ax-les Thermes. From here we explore more of the wonderful Arriege region and take in a new climb featured in the Tour in 2018 : the Mont d'Olmes, just before we glide into the medieval capital town of this region, Foix.
EVENT 4: East Pyrenees—Stage 39
Foix – B De Luchon
205kms / 5200m
Biert, Uscla, Portech, Portet d'Aspet, Menté, Port de Balès
A classic Pyrenees Tour stage with a fair bit extra! Here we explore some of the best pages of cycling history. The roads ooze with their own special charisma. They wait for us with glee!
EVENT 4: East Pyrenees—Stage 40
B De Luchon – Tarbes
185kms / 5460m
Peyresourde, Aspin, Seyrede, Palomieres
More classic Tour summits to close this chapter of the Journey. From the High Pyrenees to the gloriously green lower foothills, this stage shows how the charm of the Pyrenees is not only found on the High Roads.
EVENT 5: Pyrenees & Basque Country—Stage 41
Tarbes – A-Gazost
190kms / 4600m
Croix Blanche, Spandelles, Hautacam ( Tramassel)
A gentle-ish intro via the foothills around Lourdes leads us back into the heart of the Pyrenees, the stage ending with the superb duet of Spandelles and Hautacam. These two very contrasting climbs enclose the charming town of Argeles-Gazost, our destination for the night. Many 'new' CCC roads here since we have time to explore the lesser ridden part of this area.
EVENT 5: Pyrenees & Basque Country—Stage 42
A Gazost – Oloron
206kms / 6030m
Courade, Tourmalet, Luz-Ardiden, Aubisque, Marie Blanque
Part One of the "Triple Crown" of the Pyrenees. Three very tough stages to take in the Very Best of this wonderful range of mountains. The "Old Daddy" of them all had to appear : perhaps THE Tour de France climb.
EVENT 5: Pyrenees & Basque Country—Stage 43
Oloron – Esterencuby
188kms / 5600m
Pierre St Martin, Port Larrau, Bagargui, Arnosteguy
Now we enter the Basque Country, with a short section in Spain. Rolling skylines hide some of the toughest and steepest road climbs of the Pyrenees. This is Wild. Beautiful. Peaceful. Timeless.
EVENT 5: Pyrenees & Basque Country—Stage 44
Esterencuby – Esterencuby
125kms / 5300m
Too many unpronounceable Basque names !
Perhaps a shorter stage than usual, , but this stage could prove to be the hardest of all 65 stages. Every climb is an exercise in 'HC Basque Steepness'. One comfort will be that this loop stage allows us a second night at a quite unique family hotel in the Middle of Nowhere!
EVENT 5: Pyrenees & Basque Country—Stage 45
Esterencuby – San Sebastian
215kms / 4560m
Legarre, Ibardin, Lizarrieta, Erretxeko Lepoa
A welcome rolling stage with less ultra-steep. An exploration of the Basque hills around St Jean Pied de Port before we head into the Spanish part of this wonderful Basque area.
EVENT 5: Pyrenees & Basque Country—Stage 46
San Sebastian – San Sebastian
187kms / 4000m
Ezkurra, Arritxulegi, Elurretxeko
A new version of this Loop stage from the CCC W Pyrenees : many new climbs but the song remains the same. Steep, narrow, quiet, rural, dramatic, intimate, intense. The next four stages will complete our Basque Bashing.
EVENT 5: Pyrenees & Basque Country—Stage 47
San Sebastian; Elgoibar
163kms / 4800m
Another "shark-profile" stage with an intense succession of remote, steep dramatic roads that make this region so tough, unique and wonderful!
EVENT 5: Pyrenees & Basque Country—Stage 48
144kms / 3960m
Dense forest, (pines, eucalyptus, oak) take us up to windswept open hilltops. As the stage progresses wonderful sea views lighten the mood!
EVENT 5: Pyrenees & Basque Country—Stage 49
Leikitio – Ipinaburu
168kms / 3800m
Unpronounceable and too hard to spell!
Another shark-tooth profile stage that never has a dull moment!
EVENT 5: Pyrenees & Basque Country—Stage 50
Ipinaburu – Bilbao
191kms / 4600m
A lot of "Mendeata's"
The final stage of this thorough exploration of one of the most exciting areas I know to ride a bike. Tapas in Bilbao is a very fitting way to end this chapter!
EVENT 6: Basque Country—Stage 51
Bilbao – Puente Viesgo
190kms / 4000m
Heading into the wilds of Cantabria here, via the majestic expanses of the Portillo de Lunada. Then comes the terrifying concrete staircase of the Espina. Used recently in the Vuelta, the pro's also needed to make sure they had enough gears for this one! Here begins the final 15 stages of this Journey. One that will cross the best of this most remote and impressive area that is quite hard to beat for riding a 'bike sensations'.
EVENT 6: Basque Country—Stage 52
Puente Viesgo – Cangas de Onis
200km / 4100m
Carmona, Ozalla, Hoz, Caballar
A stage steeped in Vuelta history. Contador attacked famously over three of these climbs here in 2012 (st 17) and won the Vuelta right here. But the real pearl of the stage is the climb up to the ancient village of Sotres (Collada de Caballar) , another often-visited Vuelta summit finish. We're in the Big Hills now, for sure!
EVENT 6: Basque Country—Stage 53
Cangas de Onis – Pola di Lena
210kms / 4300m
High plateaux, wild horses, a bit of gravel. We begin to get wilder here, and we are rewarded with the first sightings of the heart of the Asturias. Some of the best bike experiences you can imagine will begin right here!
EVENT 6: Basque Country—Stage 54
Pola di Lena – Cangas del Narcea
179kms / 4800m
Gamoniteiro, San Lorenzo, El Acebu
Right into some of the toughest Vuelta climbs on this stage. Bucket list time for those who collect. It's hard to beat a day on the bike like this one!
EVENT 6: Basque Country—Stage 55
Cangas del Narcea – Lugo
184kms / 4000m
Piedras Apanadas, Puerto del Connio
Heading due west into one of the most remote parts of Spain, here begins our exploration of Galicia. Get ready for a serious sense of isolation now!
EVENT 6: Basque Country—Stage 56
Lugo – Piedrafita do Cebreiro
193kms / 5050m
Porto de Ancares, Puerto Piedrafita do Cebreiro
Our exploration of 'Deep Galicia' continues along some of the most iconic roads of this region. Occasionally visited by the Vuelta, but always resulting in unforgettable racing. The contrast between the tranquility of this area and the buzz caused by the passage of a Grand Tour couldn't be greater!
EVENT 6: Basque Country—Stage 57
Piedrafita – Ponferrada
207kms / 4060m
The final stage in the Galicia region. Another feast of remoteness with superb vistas of this unspoilt landscape. The climbs may be totally unknown to most of us, but will remain very vivid memories to those who dare to ride here!
EVENT 6: Basque Country—Stage 58
Ponferrada – Cangas del Narcea
202 kms / 4300m
Lumeras, Ancares, Connie
Back into the Asturias region, via the south side of Ancares. Through many places Time seems to have forgotten.
EVENT 6: Basque Country—Stage 59
Cangas del Narcea – Pola di Lena
191kms / 5600m
Linares, Cordal, Angliru
The heart of the Asturias and the first meeting with the Mighty Angliru. This stage is pure drama and beauty from start to finish!
EVENT 6: Basque Country—Stage 60
Pola di Lena – Pola di Lena
203km / 6030m
This has to be one of the stand-out stages of them all : a combination of the two most feared climbs of the Asturias. The Loop of all loops! I have wanted to share this loop stage with CCC riders for years and finally here it is! There will be much-needed rest day after this one. The 60th stage just had to be special in some way. I think this one will be step up to all expectations.
EVENT 7: Asturias—Stage 61
Mieres – Cangas de Onis
170kms / 3500
Colladonna, Arniciu, Moande
The first stage of the 'final five' continues our epic exploration of the Asturias region, taking in some lesser known climbs seeped in the rural charm of this tranquil area.
EVENT 7: Asturias—Stage 62
Cangas de Onis – Pola Di Lena
176kms / 4200m
Lagos de Covadonga
This stage opens with one of the most beautiful ( and challenging) climbs of the Asturias : the Covadonga. After this giant the stage tackles many other shorter climbs as we ride deeper into the heart of this superb area on our way to the historic small town of Potes, considered the tiny 'capital' of the region.
EVENT 7: Asturias—Stage 63
Potes – Reinosa
210kms / 4540m
Palombera, Alto Campoo
Farewell to the Asturias, of which we have a superb final view from the Puerto de Palombera. Then into Castille y Leon before our return to Cantabria. The Campoo climb takes us nearly up to 2000m : epic, rugged landscape makes it a very special place.
EVENT 7: Asturias—Stage 64
Reinosa – Puente Viesgo
185kms / 4300m
Jumedre, Mattonella, Trueba, Lunada
The first of two sensational stages to finish this odyssey with. Both explore the best of Cantabria. The highlight of this stage has to be the first of our two ascents of the Portillo de Lunada. Both sides provide a moment of isolation, contemplation and sheer admiration in equal amounts!
EVENT 7: Asturias—Stage 65
Puente Viesgo – Santander
163kms / 4200m
Lunada, Sia, Espina
As luck would have it, two of my favourite climbs in Northern Spain are to be found in this final stage. Such a contrast : the Lunada climb deserves this second ascent, with all it's majestic grandeur and gently snaking roads that hug the hillside; whereas the Collada di Espina, is a savage, raw and excessive battle with gravity. The whole spectrum of 'riding sensations' in one stage! Not a bad way to wrap up 65 stages of bicycle, mountain roads and willing legs!