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Cycling Holidays Vercors Drome/Isere

France


BikeLodging Location Ratings:


+1 star+1 star+1 star+1 star
Family Trails:


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Road Riding (Flat):


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Road Riding (Mountain):


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Mountain Biking XC:


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Mountain Biking DH:


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Bike Park:


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Family Resort:


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Night Life:



Nearest Airport:

Lyon 120km Grenoble (winter only) 80km


Airport Transfer:

Lyon 1h25, Grenoble 55m


Nearest Train:

Grenoble, Valance


Train Transfer:

40m & 40m


Vercors Challenge Sportive

Town:

This huge regional natural park of over 6000 square kilometers, lies between the relatively flat Isere river valley running from Grenoble in the north and down its west side to Valance and a sheer line of limestone cliffs with spectacular views over the Alps run down its eastern flank. This region is famous for spectacular river gorges, including the Combe Laval the largest in Europe. Ancient roads, carved over 100 years ago from the impressive limestone walls that line these gorges are dotted with natural stone arch tunnels and sheer drops with views out over spectacular river valleys.

Towns such as Saint-Jean-en-Royans and Pont-en-Rayans on the lower western side of the region provide the gateway between the relatively flat cycling of the Isere valley and the more challenging routes of the high Vercors.

The Vercors is famous as a stronghold for the resistance, or Maquis du Vercors during the second world, when they used the used many of the high caves of the Vercors plateau as refuge. Tragically in 1944, 600 resistance and 200 civilians were slaughtered by the Nazi’s during their retreat from the area.

Biking:

Compared to the neighboring Alps, the Vercors is relatively low mountain region, with its highest peak, Grand Veymont standing at just 2341meters and its highest col or mountain pass at just 1600meters. However, the roads are quieter, are less steep and in great condition. The scenery is spectacular and diversity of riding with the huge choice of routes in such a compact region mean this is a fantastic region for cycling.

Popular routes include the Col de Machine, the 21km switchbacks of the Col du Rousett and the Col de Torniol.

This world class cross country ski region mixed with low level downhill ski resorts with lifts adapted for mountain bikes, make the ideal terrain for mountain biking. As a result VTT Randos or MTB events are common throughout the summer. 

Although possible to ride almost all year round, cycling and mountain biking are most popular from April until November.

Events:

Vercors Challenge Sportive 31st May 2015 - A Grand Trophee cycling event since 2010, this event is rapidly growing in popularity. The challenging and spectacular race marks the first real mountain event in the Grand Trophee calendar. Cyclists have the choice of three courses, 42km, 121km and the main event 171km with over 3500meters of climbing. All courses start and finish in the pretty ski village of Meaudre. The main course is all set within the Massif de Vercors and passes the Lol de La Perrin, the villages of Lans en Vercours, Villard de Lans. Then over the Col’Herbouilly and the Col de Saint Alexi, Col de Chaud Clapier, Col de La Machine before heading back to Meaudre via Saint Martin en Vercours. 

Challenge Vercors pour Elles – One day prior to the Vercors Challenge is the 120km and 42km womens only Vercours challenges. This fiercely contested event lets the ladies fight it out with just a little less testosterone getting in the way. The 120km event can be competed alone, or as part of a relay of two. Alternatively a leisurely 42km event can be raced by those simply wanting to enjoy the spectacular scenery and friendly atmosphere.

GTV – Grand Traversees du Vercours – This 230km, well sign posted vast mountain bike tour of the region links together the majority of the most beautiful villages, plateau, gorges and historic sites. Also popular with hikers and horse riders. 

Transvercors VTT -  A two day mountain bike event taking place around the village of Autrans in late August with 54 82 and 100km courses.

Vertago Bike Rando MTB – Meaudre Mountain bike event on the 21st August, with 50km, 67km and 78km events.

Thanks to Teresa Harte at Velo Ventoux for information and images. 

Map: