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 the region. Today: stage 4, which starts from Sisteron.
Sisteron (over 7000 inhabitants) is located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provençe. It's nicknamed "the gate to the Provençe". It's roughly located at the same latitude as Mont Ventoux, but about 50 km to the east. It is certainly not a known destination among cyclists. If you look at Cyclingcols, you will understand why: there are almost no (known) climbs here. An exception is Montagne de Lure (over 1748m), which is definitely worthwhile. For those who are not looking for the big names, but just want to ride in a beautiful and especially quiet area, Sisteron is definitely recommended. It's not flat by any means! The hysteria of the area around the Ventoux you will not easily find here. And a day trip to the Mont Ventoux is of course a good option. Sisteron itself is a nice town to visit. The citadel is the most famous attraction.
No events are organized anymore in the immediate vicinity of Sisteron. In 2019, the gran fondo La Sisteronne still existed, but for some reason that event has been discontinued. You will either have to go west (towards the Mt Ventoux) or east towards the famous mountains around Barcelonette. We choose the region of Ventoux, the giant of Provence. It is not surprising there are numerous events here. Do you know the law of the bad website? The worse the website, the better the gran fondo. In that respect the cyclo La Ventoux Sud could be a winner. This is a real, small-scale cyclo, which is still organized by the local cycling club. Pretty rare these days!
In the route, although the name suggests otherwise, no Ventoux. Amongst other, you'll climb the Col de Macuègne and the beautiful Gorges de la Nesques. The longest distance is 145 km and 2300m: certainly not a walk in the park. This year the event has been cancelled, but there is already a date for next year: 12 September 2021.
In the next edition: Gap