Stage 1 – Three day ride from Oxford to Paris
Starting with the Grand Depart from Oxford, we say goodbye to the city of spires, and start to ride through the quiet pretty villages of the Chilterns and onwards through the South Downs National Park. On arrival into Portsmouth we board the overnight ferry bound for Caen. Breakfast is taken in the ferry terminal, before starting our ride through France, remembering to ride on the wrong side or the road! We spend the night in Evreux, with it’s fantastic Cathedral and night-life.
The final day of Stage 1 sees us riding past fields of sunflower and corn, whilst stopping for refreshments in beautifully tranquil villages. We stop for photos at the Palace of Versailles before embarking on the final section of the stage into central Paris and the Eiffel Tower. Tonight, we toast our achievement with a fabulous meal.
The following day we rise early for the transfer to Dijon where we continue the ride.
Stage 2 – Four day ride from Dijon to Annecy
We depart from Dijon heading towards Cluny. In the afternoon the route picks up a cycle path which takes us through yet more beautiful French villages.
The following morning, the first section of the ride out of Cluny has a short sharp hill to get the legs going before the morning refreshment stop. The descent the other side will be a welcome relief for some!
Our final day in France finishes with a morning loop around Annecy and a ride up to the Col de Semnoz (1,670m). We then hop on a transfer to Lake Garda, where we start the 3rd and final leg of the journey.
Stage 3 – Three day ride from Gardone Riviera to Venice
The final leg of our journey starts with a ride around Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. The rolling roads and the crystal clear water make for a perfect days riding.
The penultimate day of the trip has several hilly options. The first is a gentle climb up to the village of Noarna. The second is a climb out of the town to Trento, which offers spectacular views of the vineyards in the valleys below. The third is an ascent up to Castello Tesino, which offers stunning views over the Dolomites.
Thankfully, the final day of riding is predominantly downhill as we leave the Dolomites behind. Our route takes us through the rural landscape of Italy, passing by farmland and vineyards on our way into Venice. That evening we’ll have a well-earned celebratory meal to toast our achievements!