Stage 1 – Five day ride from Venice to Bruges
Starting from Venice everyone boards a boat bound for the port of Punta Sabbioni as we say goodbye to the floating city, St Mark’s Square and the Bridge of Sighs. When we arrive into this small port village our bicycles will have been set up and will be ready for the ride. There will be a chance to meet the bike guides before the Grand Depart commences. We start this leg of the event by cycling around the Venetian Lagoon and through quaint Italian villages as we follow the Piave River north towards the Alps. We finish the days ride in the late-medieval city of Trento.
In the morning we board a coach bound for Merano and start riding into the Alps and across over the border into Austria. We finish the day in Landeck near the ski resort of St Anton.
Today sees everyone ride west through the ski resort of St Anton and up to 1788m as we pass over Arlbergpass. Thankfully what goes up must come down as we get to enjoy a 30km descent down to the village of Ludesch. We then start riding towards Lake Constance and catch the ferry towards Konstanz.
The following morning we take a short coach journey to the German French boarder and ride into the Black Forest. Today’s challenge will be the ascent of the Grand Ballon or the Petite Ballon.
We ride through the Alsace region north towards Strasbourg where we celebrate the end of the first stage of the event. We then board a bus bound to Bruges to commence stage two.
Stage 2 – Two day ride from Bruges to Cambridge
The start of this day we welcome the cyclists who are joining for stage two of the event. We depart the cobbled streets of Bruges leaving the medieval buildings as we head towards The Netherlands. We will ride through the province of Zeeland which largely lies below sea level. The end of the day is at the Hook of Holland ferry where we will board the overnight ferry bound for Harwich.
The penultimate day of riding sees us waking up on the shores of the UK and departing from Harwich. The journey takes us through Constable country where we can enjoy the same views that John Constable had when he painted the Hay Wain. We continue riding until we arrive in the historic city of Cambridge where we meet the new arrivals for the final days ride and share tales of the journey so far.
Stage 3 – Cambridge to Oxford
Our final day will take us from Cambridge, which has its own Bridge of Sighs, through 80 miles of countryside towards the centre of Oxford, where we will have a celebratory meal for all our riders to mark the finale of our 500 miles bike ride across 7 countries. The obligatory celebration photograph will be taken underneath the Hertford College Bridge of Sighs capturing our achievement.