Mercan'Tour, 3 great gran fondos in Southern France


Tuesday 07 July 2020 by Herman Nekkers


Mercan'Tour is a series of three beautiful cyclo's in one of the most beautiful areas of France: the Parc National du Mercantour. Outside France, this organisation is hardly known yet. Completely unjustified, because these events are very worthwhile. And we have 3 free tickets to give away!

Photo (Mercan'Tour): Cime de la Bonette

Mercan'Tour Turini - Over the route of the Tour de France

The Mercan'Tour Turini starts in Saint Martin Vésubie and has two distances: 115km/2900m and 85km/2100m. The Col de Turini (1604 m) is at the heart of the route. This beautiful col in the department Alpes-Maritimes is one of the most beautiful in the South of France. If you're doing the long route, you'll ride the Turini twice: via the west side (15km/7.3%) and from Sospel (22.5 km/5.2%). The short distance follows the west side to the col. This side is part of the the route of the Tour de France this year.

In order for the event to take place this year it was not possible to apply time registration over the whole route. Only the two climbs of the Turini are timed. If the situation next year is normal, there will be registration over the entire course again.

Date: 2 August 2020.

Mercan'Tour Turini

Photo (Mercan'Tour)Col de Turini

Mercan'Tour Bonette - Europe's highest gran fondo

The highest cyclo in Europe! And a marvelous course. That's the Mercan'Tour Bonette. With 95.6 points it is number 27 in the CWiX 500. This GF has everything to become a classic in the gran fondo world.

The longest distance is 190 km and 4600m. The 'short route' 166 km and 4000m. Starting point Valberg is the best place to discover the beautiful Mercantour. Via the Col de la Couillole you descend to Saint Sauveur du Tinée. From here it's one long climb to the Cime de la Bonette: 55 km and 2300m. This is the highest main road in Europe. Beware, the last kilometer is very difficult. The participants of the short distance return via the same road to start the final climb: the Col de la Couillole (16 km/7,2%).

In the long route you descend the Bonette in a northerly direction. Here awaits the fantastic climb to the Col de la Cayolle through the Gorges de Bachelard. It's 29 kilometers of easy climbing; only the last 5 kilometers are more difficult. The final climb to the finish in Valberg is also a beauty; the Marcantour at its best. Whether you'll get a lot of that is a question, because you will feel the kilometers now.

This year however, everything is different, because only the short route can be organised through corona. But it is a gran fondo that actually occurs! That's the most important thing right now. Next year everything should be back to normal.

Date: 23 August 2020.

Mercan'Tour Bonette

Photo (Mercan'Tour): The route of 2020


Photo (Mercan'Tour): The regular route (again in 2021)

Mercan'Tour Madone-Peille - The favorite climb of Lance

The Col de la Madone became famous in the heyday of Lance Armstrong. This was the favourite climb of The Boss who tested his legs for the Tour every year. This GF is held annually at the end of September. There is one distance: 95 km with 2500m. Despite the short distance, it is not exactly a piece of cake. It is a perfect season finale.

Starting point is Peille at only 24 kilometers from Nice. So the gran fondo is perfect to combine with a wonderful holiday at the Cote d'Azur.

Date: 20 September 2020.

All info and subscriptions

Visit the official website.

Win a free ticket!

We give away 3 tickets for a Mercan'Tour gran fondo of your choice in 2020. Subscription is possible up and until July 10th. The next day we draw the 3 winners randomly. If you win you can choose a ticket of the Mercan'Tour gran fondo you like.

Subscribe here.







Related stories




© C Y C L O C A L E N D A R (2014 - 2020)