|After meeting the SFIDA Cycling team at Nice Airport (NCE), we will drive to our luxurious accommodation in Saint Paul de Vence.
Upon arrival, our usual checking at our hotel, lunch, trip presentation and build up bikes and ready for a great ride around Gourdon.
Gourdon is one of the many “Villages Perches” (hanging villages), that we will see and ride through during this trip, this is definitely another interesting part of riding in the Cote d’Azur.
Today’s ride is a fantastic way to have first contact with what is to come in the next week of riding in the Nice region.
Gourdon is a very beautiful town on top of a cliff, with amazing views over the Mediterranean.
Our ride starts climbing the classic Col de Vence, this is a typical French climb with a very comfortable gradient, from the top, a wide range of options open up to make your ride as long as you want.
We have decided on a…huge anticlockwise loop involving de Cols de Pinipinier and de Blaine, plus a good number of road sections that are very scenic.
The section from Sigale to Le Mas will be, without doubt, one of the most scenic of this trip, and very quiet too. A mix of gorge and cliff road, very beautiful.
The return via Les Greolieres and Tourette Sur Loup is a very pleasant way to finish a challenging ride.
131km / 3,140m
CLIMBS: Col de Vence 963m. Col de Pinpinier 1,137m. Col de Blaine 1,439m.
HOTEL: Les Vergers de Saint Paul
Leaving behind our hotel near Vence, we ride north to Carros and continue to Gilette, a Village Perche with its castle just above. This is a perfect spot for our coffee stop.
We will continue our ride, climbing constantly, until we reach the summit of Mont Vial. This is a massive climb via a narrow road, and the views from the top on a clear day are amazing.
We descend to the Var valley and, as today we are changing hotels, climb up to Aspremont, this is an area with a good number of small climbs and roads, perfect for a few days of exploration.
We start our ride climbing up the Col de Chateauneuf, as mentioned before, this region is a constant up and down via short cols, some without a name, but this is a fantastic area to ride your bike.
Our main goal today is the Col de Saint Roch, this is a long climb, starting in Contes. Between the climb up and the descent via Luceram (which is part of the Col de Turini road too), we will do a good number of switchbacks and enjoy great views.
After the descent we will have a brief stop in L’Escarene, this town is very central with a lot of climbs in the vicinity, as we will see during the rest of the trip.
From L’Escarene we head back to our hotel via the short climb up to Berre Les Alpes, a beautiful hill town in the middle of the mountains. Once we are in Contes again, we will retrace our first kilometres back to the hotel in the opposite direction. Great ride with little-known climbs.
Today we have different “highlights”. If you follow the Paris-Nice stage race that is on every March, you will be familiar with some of the roads we will ride in the next few days.
The Duranus cliff road and the Gorges de la Vesubie are usually part of the last stages of the “Road to the Sun” as Paris-Nice is known.
Lucky our clients that we will ride the Duranus road on both sides today! After the first time, we will ride through the Gorges de la Vesubie and head north to start the big climb of the day: Madone d’Utelle.
The Madone d’Utelle is an amazing climb, not very high with some incredible sections with tunnels and switchbacks all the way to the top. We will descend back to Saint Jean La Riviere and start riding up the Duranus cliff road in the opposite direction. This time we will arrive at our hotel via Tourette Levens, also very scenic.
Note that with so many short tunnels on this ride, it is difficult to calculate the total elevation for this ride…I hope we will be under 3,000m…maybe 2,950m?
Indeed today’s ride involves climbing a couple of the most iconic climbs in the Nice region.
Col d’Eze has been used by Paris-Nice so many times that is hard to count, it used to be an ITT stage up to some years ago, now it is usually part of the last day, which normally decides the winner after a thrilling ride around Nice’s climbs.
For us Col’Eze is the closest climb to central Nice, with great views over the Mediterranean, this is a beautiful way to start another great ride. We will continue to La Turbie, on time for coffee…well, you know what I mean by coffee when in France…
After a thrilling descent, we will arrive in Menton and start the Col de la Madone, which is regularly used by the local resident pros as a training ground. The last time we were there with clients we saw Richie Porte in one of his last training rides as a pro, he was kind enough to stop by and chat with us for a good while.
We will descend back to La Turbie and arrive at our hotel near the Col d’Eze summit.
We are riding two super classic climbs today!
Leaving our hotel near Col d’Eze, we head towards La Turbie and then onto the beautiful perched village of Peille. Next is L’Escarene on time for a coffee before we climb the Col de Braus. This climb has some of the most iconic switchbacks in the Maritime Alps region. It is not a hard climb and it is also used regularly by pro riders.
We will descend to Sospel and here is the start of the Col de Turini, at 1,600m, this is the highest point of this trip, considering we are still in Spring, this is good enough.
Descending via the Lacets de Luceram is always incredible, next is L’Escarene and we will continue via Col de Nice and a little-known narrow road. Later on, we will navigate through secondary roads until we reach La Trinite area just outside Nice.
We will make it back to our hotel via a couple of narrow roads, the most remarkable is the Voie Aureliene, one of the most important roads in the Roman Empire. It is incredible that parts of these roads are still in use, with new pavement of course but on the original location.
123km / 3,275m
CLIMBS: Col de Braus 1,002m. Col de Turini 1,602m (from Sospel).
HOTEL: Hotel Eze Hermitage
Today we are doing a shorter stage, this will give us time to end the ride earlier, and enjoy the late afternoon and evening in Nice, without doubt, one of the most interesting cities in the Mediterranean.
We will navigate our way to Menton on familiar roads, then we will climb the Col du Castillon, one of the ways into the Maritime Alps from the coast. A beautiful descent into Sospel, then we will head up the Col de Braus from this side.
After descending back to L’Escarene, this will be the end of our ride today. There will be an option to ride back to Nice or transfer by van to our hotel near the airport.
After breakfast transfer by van to Nice airport (NCE). Expect to get there by 10:00, so plan your flights accordingly.
Check options for travelling with our team back to Girona.
TWIN room: 3,950 Euros pp
SINGLE Supplement: 800 Euros
Rental bike: 650 Euros
Rental E-bike: 750 Euros
600 Euros when making the booking. Balance to be paid 90 days before the trip starts.
8 nights of accommodation between 3 – 4 Stars
ALL MEALS INCLUDED.
8 lunches, picnic-style on longer days.
8 dinners, including wine.
Hotel extras: mini-bar, spa, massage.
Tips for the staff.
We will have ride leaders and at least one mechanic on our trip.
Our staff/client ratio is 1:4 staff.
Our passenger vans come fully equipped with all the necessary to give the best support during the rides.
We carry gels, energy bars, powder mix, water, fruit, riding food, tools, pumps, spare tubes and tyres to make sure our first-class support helps you through the trip.
Professional first aid kit.
Adapting to our current COVID-19 pandemic, and incoordination, with most of the hotel’s terms and conditions, we are adjusting our cancellation policy accordingly as follows:
If there’s a travel ban from your country to travel to the country you are doing a trip with us, you will receive a full refund on any payments you have made to SFIDA Cycling.
For any other reasons not related to COVID-19, the following will apply:
61 days before the trip starts – the return of your deposit.
60 days before the trip starts – the return of the full amount of the trip less the 300 Euros cancellation fee, plus any amount that we can’t recover from Hotels and other costs that we have already incurred in the trip preparation.
Less than 30 days before the trip starts – no amount will be refunded. We will, however, try to credit as much as possible towards a future trip. This depends on the amount that we can get back from the hotels and other costs that we have already incurred in the trip preparation.
We understand that it is difficult to commit too much in advance given the situation we are all living in.
For this reason, we won’t be holding any spots until the full deposit has been paid.
Hotels are now more strict with how many rooms they are willing to have on hold for groups, so until deposit payments are made we won’t be able to confirm your spot.