The stage cities and their gran fondo's: Lyon


Sunday 13 September 2020 by Frank Jansen


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 15, which starts from Lyon.


Bicycle around Lyon

Lyon is the second largest city in France after Marseille and Paris: over half a million people live here. Many readers will have ridden around or through the city countless times on their way south. However, few make a stop there and that is actually a shame because it is a beautiful city with many sights. The historic part of Lyon has even been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1998. But even if you don't like architecture and culture there is plenty to do. Lyon is together with Paris and Bordeaux one of France's culinary capitals. 

The terrain around Lyon is quite hilly, and not far from the city you will find climbs of over 800 meters high. Colleague Sjoerd Swinkels describes it as "low mountain range with lots of greenery and distant views. It's a bit like the Black Forest in Germany, but a bit smaller". It's certainly fun to do a ride through the countryside, but Lyon is of course not a good starting point for a cycling vacation. You won't find famous climbs there and you're endlessly trying to get out of the city. 

Gran fondo's

Around Lyon there are several cycling events. We choose the nearest one: Les Trois Cols Material-Velo.com. A horrible name, but a beautiful event, with an excellent organization. No famous climbing songs, but "'well organized, friendly atmosphere, no hectic or long descents and a selective course with enough climbing work", as noted in the report (Dutch) that Sjoerd Swinkels made. The numbers? 130 km with 2700 m. A tough day in the saddle, without dying completely. 

Tomorrow is a rest day in the Tour, after that we will be back with a article about La Tour-du-Pin.






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