Cyclocalendar heroes the Tour de France. In a series of articles we focus on the stage cities and the gran fondo's and sportives of thee region. Today: stage 13, which starts from Châtel-Guyon.
The town Châtel-Guyon (approx. 6000 inhabitants) is located 20 km north of Clermont-Ferrand. It belongs to the Auvergne and lies on the north side of the Massif Central. The town is a former health resort. The Massif Central is a volcanic mid-mountain range, not a meter's flat here and the peaks can reach as high as 1400 meters. The terrain resembles the Vosges, although it rains much less here. Short climbs, gradual climbs, tough cookies: you'll find it all here. The most famous summit in the region is of course the mythical Puy de Dôme, about which we will tell (much) more tomorrow.
As a base for cycling is Châtel-Guyon not ideal; the highest climbs are just too far to the southwest. Yet near the village there are some interesting climbs, for example the Col de la Nugère or the Col des Goules. Climbs which are not in the today's or yesterday's Tour stage by the way.
At less than 10 km from the starting place, a beautiful GF will be organized: La Volcane. The date for 2021 has already been set: June 13th. The longest distance is 155 km and 2500 m. The race director is ex-pro and local hero Sébastien Fournet-Fayard. The course contains a decent amount of elevation, and of course the two climbs mentioned above are also in the route. No further famous climbs are included, but that shouldn't spoil the fun. This is really a beautiful region for cycling. Relatively quiet, fairly good roads, usually little wind, a varied landscape and pleasant temperatures.
An additional advantage is that this region is very easy to drive to: although this obviously depends on where you are located. A region that deserves more attention as far as we're concerned, and given the elevation you can collect here, it's strange that the Massif Central is not included in the Tour's route every year.
In tomorrow's edition: Clermont-Ferrand. With, as said, earlier, special attention for the Puy de Dôme.Related stories