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France en Velo In the tracks of Le Tour de France

Here is another Provence biking route from Hannah Reynolds and John Walsh the authors of France en Vélo – The Ultimate Cycle Journey From Channel to Med – St-Malo to Nice.

Sault to Forcalquier 33 miles/53 kms

Le Tour de France visits Provence most years, often with Mont Ventoux as its leg breaking goal. Even if your style of riding is more toward the leisurely there is something breath taking about the whirring sound of wheels as a brightly coloured flock of professional cyclists zooms by. The noise, the speed and the rush of air as the peloton passes by is truly awe-inspiring.

Mont Ventoux France en Velo #Biking #Provence @Franceenvelo

For riders on the St-Malo to Nice route the stage from Sault to Forcalquier offers lots of opportunities for following in the wheel tracks of Le Tour both past and present. Starting in Sault at the foot of Mont Ventoux, although not officially part of the route those who are feeling keen can attempt an assault on this iconic mountain. Sitting at an altitude of 1,912m Mont Ventoux dominates the landscape of Provence and has played a pivotal role in the outcome of Le Tour de France on many occasions.

It was on the slopes of Mont Ventoux that the revered British rider Tom Simpson died of exhaustion and heart failure during the race on 13th July 1967. Don’t forget to bow your head as you pass the memorial or even stop and leave a water bottle or cap as a sign of respect. More recently in 2013 Mont Ventoux was the scene of Chris Froome’s stinging attack that left Contador trailing in his wake.

The 2014 Tour de France crossed paths with the St-Malo to Nice route on Sunday July 20th when stage 15 from Tallard to Nîmes passes through the small village of Banon. One of the quirkiest little villages on the St-Malo to Nice route this is an interesting place to stop and explore. The village’s principle attraction, its bookshop, Le Bleuet, stretches over three floors and offers 150,000 different titles.

For more great routes and Provence tips get your own copy of Hannah and John’s book.

France en Vélo The Ultimate Cycle Journey from Channel to Med – St-Malo to Nice by Hannah Reynolds and John Walsh is published by Wild Things Publishing and available from France en Velo. To get your copy for a special introductory price of £13.59, saving 20% off the RRP, enter code SMNGN at the checkout, free postage and packaging to UK destinations.For a guided holiday from St- Malo to Nice visit Skedaddle.

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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