For all of the right reasons, we will be cycling in France again this year and hope that you will join us for the Annecy Challenge 2018. Teams will make their own way across the Channel by ferry or tunnel and will head to the centre of Rouen on the evening of Wednesday 3rd October 2018, where hotels have been reserved for all. You can explore this medieval city, its Notre Dame Cathedral and its astronomical clock. This is also where Joan of Arc was tried, burned at the stake and then re-tried and pardoned in 1431. You will choose your own restaurant to fuel yourself ready for the ride ahead!
Thursday 4th October Rouen – Montargis 180 miles, 2587m ascent.
We will need an early start as we head out of Rouen along the banks of the Seine before we head South of Paris, through the Forests of Rambouillet and Fontainbleau towards our first night in Montargis. There we will dine together in the magnificent ‘Salle des Fetes’ which we enjoyed on our Chartreuse Challenge in 2002.
Friday 5th October Montargis – Macon 190 miles, 3677m ascent.
Day 2 takes us through ‘La France profond’ past farms and lakes into mountains and mines, far from large population centres and cut off from the fast lane. The biggest climb is the Col de Grand Joux, close to the end of the day, as a warm up for tomorrow! We are all staying at the Novotel Macon Nord, where we will dine together.
Saturday 6th October Macon – Annecy 140 miles, 4618m ascent.
At first we head alongside the river Saone and then across it’s flood plain, through small lakes towards the Jura Mountains! After a warm-up on the Col de la Lebe (914m) we will conquer the Col de la Grand Colombier (1531m) followed by a big descent into the Rhone valley. Ahead lie the Alps and soon we join the route of the 2013 Tour de France and climb the Semnoz to the Cret de Chatillon, where Chris Frome sealed his first TdF victory. From the finish at 1699m we will look East, across Lake Annecy to see Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe. After the finish, we will drive down the Semnoz to the old town of Annecy and enjoy our celebration dinner together cruising around Lake Annecy.
The entry fee for a team of 4 riders, to include 4 nights accommodation with breakfast and 3 nights dinners together and marshalls support en-route is £1560. Accomodation has been reserved for 60 teams, so please enter soon and encourage new teams to join us for a great 3 days of cycling, camaraderie and charitable fund raising!