2018 Auvergne Challenge

Start

Our start location is at Orleans – set at the northernmost bend of the Loire. This historic UNESCO World Heritage site echoes the history of the 100 Year war and Joan of Arc is remembered for relieving the siege of Orleans in 1429. This didn’t deter the English Royalty from maintaining close links with Orleans – and Henry VIII funded scholarships at the University – where Calvin and Moliere studied.

Friday - Day 1 cycling

Our first day cycling heads south skirting the Loire valley and vineyards – detouring to the odd gradient to allow views across the valley and takes us through familiar French rural agriculture and climbing to the Massif Central towards a 2 night stop at Clermont Ferrand. As we approach Clermont we envisage the odd summit at or a little above 2000 ft.

Saturday - Day 2 cycling

Clermont Ferrand sits on the Plain of Limagne, circled by the ‘Chaine de Puys’ – a set of dormant volcanos rising spectacularly from the landscape. The 2 night stay allows us to head into more adventurous territory – through the Auvergne National Park and always in sight of one of the Chaine volcanos or a hidden Chateau amongst the lakes and forests. Our focus as we plan our Day 2 route is to include a few picturesque climbs but always make the challenge achievable for all our entrants.

Sunday - Day 3 cycling

We head North East through the Burgundy region – skirting the Allier and Saone rivers and a grandstand finish through the Morvan region to our finish destination at the small Chateau de Marsannay, near Dijon. Our gala dinner will be at the chateau and will be enhanced with a tasting of the wines of the region.