The stage cities and their gran fondo's: Nice

Saturday 29 August 2020 by Frank Jansen

It won't have escaped anyone's notice: the Tour will finally start today. We had to wait a long time for it, but finally the time has come. Whether we'll make it to Paris is extremely uncertain, but that doesn't make the fun any less. At Cyclocalendar we can't let the Tour go by unnoticed of course. That's why we focus (almost) daily on one of the 19 stage cities of the Tour. Of course we focus on gran fondo's and sportives that will take place in the area. 

Cycling around Nice

Stage 1, 2 and 3 all start from Nice. Recently this region has been declared 'code red' by the French government, which means no gran fondo's and sportives this year anymore. From 'the gateway to the sun' off course there are usually many events organized, because the area around Nice is of course ideal for cycling. The weather is stable and the hills are numerous; it is not only because of the fine tax climate of neighboring Monaco that many pros live here. Famous climbs include the Col d'Eze, the Col de Turini, Col de Braus and of course the Madone, the training climb of Lance Armstrong. A climb that is not very exciting in the real world, by the way. Nice can easily be reached by plane every major airport in Europe.

Nice is also a vibrant, sunny city with excellent food. The salad niçoise is undoubtedly the most famous local dish. 


Of all the events, the amateur version of Parise-Nice and of course l'Etape du Tour are probably the most famous. These events already get enough attention, so we choose a smaller tour: the Granfondo Nice. A trip that will take place early in the season; the provisional date is March 28, 2021. In spring it is already very good to be here. The chance that you can ride (partly) shortsleeved is high. There are two routes. The longest is 124 km/2350m, the short is 102 km/1170m. Real famous climbs are not included, but that should not spoil the fun. In the profile, the organization does talk about the Col de Porte, but they mean the much easier Col de la Porte, which is not particularly difficult: 13 km climbing at an average of less than 5% is also in March just fine. The participant limit of 1200 and the entry fee of just over 40€ certainly speak in favor of this event. As this ride is not too heavy, you could easily combine it well with a few days of training in the area. 

Grab your agenda, the chance of good weather in March is much bigger here than in the Vosges... 

In the next edition: Sisteron, the starting point of stage 4. 

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