France

Randonnée Massif Central

10th - 17th septiembre 2017

  • Start Location BLESLE
  • End Location PEZENAS
  • Av. Daily Distance 140 KM
  • Av. Daily Elevation 2,592 M
  • Days 7
  • Difficulty
A deeper exploration of the beating heart of French cycling.

The Massif Central is France’s forgotten mountain region: its little-known cols, breathtaking river gorges and densely wooded hills offer spectacular riding, and was showcased in the 2016 Tour de France. These remote and sparsely populated areas have long attracted writers and adventurers, including Robert Louis Stevenson and Tim Krabbé, guests will ride the route of Krabbé’s iconic book The Rider, staying in hidden chateaux and simple farmhouse hotels along the way.

Single occupancy — €4.750 per person

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Who is it for?

Let us challenge and inspire you, and fuel your passion for cycling. Using our vast experience of road riding and our love of the history of the sport, we have created Rapha Randonnées: point-to-point itineraries in cycling’s classic territories, and in select destinations across the world. Take on mythical climbs in the Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites, or cycle the road less travelled through the beautiful landscapes of Japan, California or Corsica. Whichever you choose, you will experience the same levels of service and support. Rapha Travel team cars and experienced guides will be on hand with local knowledge, a morale-boosting chat or a full bidon every pedal-stroke of the way. And, at the end of the day, you’ll simply hand your bike over to our mechanics, who will return them in top condition the next morning. In the evenings all you have to do is enjoy your appointment with our pro-level soigneur, sample the regional wines and cuisine, and relax in our carefully chosen accommodation.

All trips include

  • Expert planning and guide support from guides and vehicles
  • Pre-trip discounts on Rapha apparel
  • High guide-to-client ratios
  • Unique routes
  • Top-level mechanics

Flights, bike hire and travel insurance are not included

All Randonneés include

  • Airport transfers (excludes Japan)
  • All meals including alcohol
  • On-road food
  • Daily massage
  • Laundry

Single occupancy as standard

How Hard is it?

Randonnées are a real challenge, often climbing the same cols used in the biggest races in the world. But because they’re fully supported, they can be enjoyed by everyone from veteran riders with years of experience to relative newcomers who have put in the training and committed themselves to achieving something special.

Day Distance Climbing
Arrival day Blesle
Day 1 Blesle — Saint Flour 144 KM 2,950 M
Day 2 Saint Flour — Château De La Caze 125 KM 2,050 M
Day 3 Château De La Caze — Meyrueis 166 KM 3,900 M
Day 4 Meyrueis — Meyrueis 144 KM 2,400 M
Day 5 Meyrueis — Mourèze 143 KM 2,400 M
Day 6 Mourèze — Pézenas 120 KM 1,600 M
Day 7 Pézenas

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Arrival day

Blesle

Flights into Lyon airport where you will be met by a member of Rapha Travel.

Accommodation

La Bougnate

Day 1

Blesle — Saint Flour

Extinct volcanoes, mountain pastures and the majestic Col du Pas de Peyrol. A tough day of climbing in the Cantal, on the roads that made a star out of Jonny Hoogerland in the 2011 Tour.

Distance

144 KM

Climbing

2,950 M

Accommodation

Château de Varilettes

Major Climbs

Col du Pas de Peyrol (1,589m) | Col de Pertus (1,309m) | Col de Cère (1,294m)

Day 2

Saint Flour — Château De La Caze

From Gustav Eiffel’s second-finest creation, the Garabit viaduct, through the Margeride mountains and the Gevaudun to the beautiful Tarn gorge and a fairytale chateau.

Distance

125 KM

Climbing

2,050 M

Accommodation

Château de la Caze

Major Climbs

Col des Issartets (1,125m)

Day 3

Château De La Caze — Meyrueis

A big day of gorges, bridges and winding roads in the hills, showing the best the Cévennes has to offer.

Distance

166 KM

Climbing

3,900 M

Accommodation

Chateau d'Ayres

Major Climbs

Col des Faïsses (1,026m), Col de l’Asclier (905m), Col du Pas (833m), Col de Perjuret (1,031m)

Day 4

Meyrueis — Meyrueis

The route of the “sweetest, toughest race of the season”, which Tim Krabbé describes in his iconic book The Rider. The river gorges, descents and climb to Mont Aigoual are some of the undoubted highlights of this trip, and will be highly anticipated by fans.

Distance

144 KM

Climbing

2,400 M

Accommodation

Chateau d'Ayres

Major Climbs

Mont Aigoual (1,567m)

Day 5

Meyrueis — Mourèze

A journey from the Cévennes into the rugged, arid landscapes of the southern Massifs, featuring the amazing village of Navacelles and finishing among vineyards near the Mediterranean Sea.

Distance

143 KM

Climbing

2,400 M

Accommodation

Les Hauts de Mourèze

Major Climbs

Col de Faubel (1,285m), Col de l’Homme Mort (1,295m), Navacelles (615m)

Day 6

Mourèze — Pézenas

A few smaller climbs today – the first folds of the Massif Central as it rises from the Mediterranean plain. Terraced vineyards, rolling hills and sun, on our way to our final chateau.

Distance

120 KM

Climbing

1,600 M

Accommodation

Distilleries de Pezenas

Major Climbs

Plaussenous (623m)

Day 7

Pézenas

Transfer from the hotel to Montpellier airport

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Customer Testimonials

So, you could say the odds were against me having one of the most rewarding and inspirational experiences of my life - yet that is exactly what the Randonnée proved to be.

— Rider, Randonée Corsica 2016

It truly was an adventure and a testing one at that. Your companionship made the trip pure pleasure. To sit and eat (steak after steak after steak) and laugh with you all after what were very challenging days will make the trip live long in my memory. Our greatest thanks goes to the Rapha Travel Team. Thank you Ben, Greg, Joe and Francois. I know it's very calm on the surface but I also know that so much goes on behind the scenes. Not only on the trip but back in the office as well. I knew what to expect. But even knowing that my expectations were exceeded. Thank you so much guys.

— Randonnee Pyrenees rider, July 2016

FAQ

Am I strong enough for the trip?

All our trips are physically demanding, but some are harder than others. Randonnées and Cent Cols Challenges are among the toughest, and Retreats are among the most relaxing. Our guides, soigneurs and mechanics will support every rider to go beyond their usual level of riding. Each individual trip is rated for difficulty, and each trip type page gives rough guidelines on who the trip is for, to help you decide if it’s right for you.

What kind of assistance can riders expect on the road?

When you’re riding you’ll always have at least one ride guide on the road with the group - on Randonnées there are high guide-to-guest ratios. There will also be a mechanic with a full tool kit and spare parts not far away – usually in a support car behind the group. Your guides and mechanics will be able to help you out with ride food and drink, as well as local knowledge, first aid, a morale-boosting chat and – if necessary – a hand to push you up the hill if you’ve run out of energy. They’ll do everything they can to keep you and your bike on the road but, if for any reason you can’t make it to the end, they’ll always make sure there’s a seat in a vehicle so you get safely home.

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