By Chris Smith

Tuesday 1st May 2018

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Nice and Cote d'Azur Routes

 


Nice is a great place to ride. One of our favourites. Although the fith biggest city in France, you can easily escape it, and there is a great cycle path network. There are some great routes in the hills surrounding Nice. The climbs top out at about 1000m, so makes it a great area for training and the area has many famous locals, including Ritchie Port and Chris Froome .Check out the Col d'Eze climb or the Col de Vence climb to get a flavour of the climbs in the area. 

Col de Madone - The Col de Madone was made famous by a certain Mr Lance Armstrong getting his EPO level just right on it, and for that reason many pros feel sheepish about using it. It doesn't stop it being a great climb though. It's very much a back road, the road is narrow and the surface, not ideal. This route starts from the top of the Col d'Eze.To ride to the start, ride to the port and follow signs for the Observatory and then the Col d' Eze. Once atop the Col de Madone a fast descent takes you towards Menton. You climb and descend again to warm the legs, before taking a sharp left and starting the climb proper. For a pro it's a 30 minute effort. For mere mortals, think 50 minutes. To begin, you wind up under the motorway and with the gradient always changing, a rhythm is hard to find. The summit is 925m above sea level and offers great views on a nice day. Take care on the descent down back towards Nice and the Col D'Eze, it's not steep, but it's very fast! Arriving in la Turbie, grab a coffee and then return the same way to Nice or Eze.

Click here for the GPX file 

The Col De Vence Loop is a tough day in the saddle. Follow the cycle path along the sea front in Nice along the Promenade d' Anglais out of town. Pass the airport and then swing up to St-Laurent Du Var and start climbing. You will climb steadily till you reach Vence itself. This is an ideal stop for a coffee. From Vence climb the Col de Vence before dropping down for a km and re-climbing for a km. (Unless it's really cold, don't put your jacket on for this bit; put it on at the 'second summit'.  A great fast and twisty descent follows before a sharp left at the roundabout takes you down a beautiful gorge. Swing right across a bridge and then take the right fork to climb to Gourdon. Gourdon is a beautiful old town, well worth a lunch stop here! From here you are downhill all the way to La Colle Sur Loup. From here you work your way back to Nice, jumping on the cycle path when you hit the coast. . 

Click here for the GPX file 

 

 

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