Ride through the centre of France on this eight-stage tour through some of the country's least-visited regions. Starting from the valley of the Gier, a tributary of the Rhône, you'll spend most of this tour flirting with the headwaters of the Loire. Small rivers and canals are your constant companions as you ride, while forests, agriculture, and villages define the landscape.
Lyon - Orléans
Saturday 22 August - Monday 31 August
8 riding days
7 départements: Rhône (69), Loire (42), Saône-et-Loire (71), Alier (03), Nièvre (58), Cher (18), Loiret (45)
3 département capitals: Saint-Étienne (42), Moulins (03), Nevers (58)
2 région capitals: Lyon (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), Orléans (Centre-Val-de-Loire)
557 km total riding
70 km average daily ride
Moderate relief with some significant ups and downs over the first 2 riding days. mostly flat for the latter 6 riding days
Mostly paved, with some canalside sections on hard-packed trails on the latter half of the tour.
Mostly on small local roads with minimal vehicle traffic for the first few days of the tour, including several stretches on busier roads. Mostly on dedicated cycle routes for the latter part of the tour
This tour is supported by experienced tour leader Ryan Matthews, who has ensured the logistics for a wide variety of group tours in over a dozen countries. He will transport your luggage directly between your lodgings each day, while also being available on the road to give rides to up to two cyclists and their bikes at once if needed. He's neither a cycle coach nor mechanic, but rather a logistician. He's also a cyclist like you and knows the entire route, so he'll be able to describe what to expect each riding day.
This Lyon-Orléans tour is one of six sections of our Grand Tour Cycliste. In August 2020, we're offering four sections of this Grand Tour, of which this is the fourth. For cyclists who would like to enjoy longer cycling holidays, it's possible to join multiple back-to-back sections, while also enjoying multi-tour discounts. The luckiest participants can cycle 1700km over 25 stages!
Please get in touch if you would like to combine multiple tours.
Feel free to check in anytime as of 15:00. The tour begins as we gather for the first time to get ready for the road ahead, with a group rendez-vous at the hotel at 18:00. We'll go over the eight stages, we'll meet each other, and then we'll all head out together for a group dinner (included) so we can all get to know each other before our coming adventure.
Lyon is one of France's best-known cities, so try to spend some time before our meeting to explore its sites. The city centre is a great area for just roaming around, while the basilica on the hill is rather astounding for its opulence. But rest up, because tomorrow we ride 64km to Saint-Étienne, starting off with the biggest elevation gain of the tour (around 1200m)!