French Sportives Calendar

Published by Andrew on 11 May 2019

If you fancy tackling a cycling sportive in France then our calendar is the place to find the perfect one for you. 

Sportives in France

See here for our full overview of French cyclosportives and Gran Fondos 

There are – literally – hundreds of cycling sportives held in France every year. We've highlighted some of them below. We've included some big ones as well as smaller local events, including events recommended to us locally.

We'll keep adding to this list as time permits (if you can recommend a French sportive, drop us a line at lyn@freewheelingfrance.com). 

Many of these events are supported by local cycle tour operators with weekend accommodation and transport packages.
If you need help finding support, you can use our bespoke service.
If you need help with bike hire, use this link.
To ship your bike to France,
go here.

How hard is it?

The difficulty of a French Gran Fondo or sportive is usually (but not always) classified. The list below shows examples of this:

A EASY Beginners/family up to around 32km/20 miles, flat terrain
B EASY-MODERATE Leisure cyclists, up to around 65km/40 miles, rolling terrain
C MODERATE Proficient cyclists, up to around 100km/60 miles, some climbing
D CHALLENGING Seasoned cyclists, up to 160km/100 miles OR moderate sustained climbs
E DIFFICULT Expert, over 160km/100 miles OR long sustained climbs
F VERY DIFFICULT Expert-expert, 190km/120 miles OR mountain climbs

MARCH

Paris-Nice Challenge
March, 2020
Where: Nice, Provence
Distance: 99km or 126km
Difficulty: C
This challenge welcomes proficient amateur cyclists across a moderate terrain of rolling short, steep hills on the day before the arrival of the professional racers. The roads are open to traffic but with maximum safety precautions for the race. You can race solo or as a team of up to 7 riders.
More information

APRIL

UCI Gran Fondo Golfe de St Tropez
April 8, 2018
Where: St Tropez, Provence
Distance: 62km, 134km, 162km
Difficulty: D
Part of the UCI world series of Grand Fondos, a nice start to the season in the Var valley.
More information

Burgundy Cyclo
April 21, 2018
Where: Vire, Burgundy
Distance: 56km, 104km, 156km
Difficulty: C
More information

MAY

La Gaillarde de Carvalho
May 18-19, 2019
Where: Brive-la-Gaillarde, Corrèze, Limousin
Distance:
49km, 99km, 124km (+2153m) or 157km (+2373m)
Difficulty:
D
Set in the Correze region of France ( just north east of the Dordogne ) the parcours will navigate the beautiful wooded rolling countryside, including the Vezere gorge, that characterises this largely undiscovered cycling region of France.
More information

Gran Fondo Vosges
May 19, 2019
Where: La Bresse, Vosges
Distance: 68km, 135km, 173km
Difficulty: C / D
More information

JUNE

La ProBikeShop Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux
June 1, 2019
Where: Beaumes de Venise
Distance: 103km, 170km
Difficulty: C / D
More information

La Limousine André Dufraisse
June 1, 2019
Where: Limoges
Distance: 4 courses 71km-182km with between 930m and 2300m of climbing
Difficulty: Varies, see above
Great annual local sportive.
More information

TIME Megève Mont-Blanc
June 9, 2019
Where: Aravis
Distance: 81km, 100km, 135km
Difficulty: 
D
More information

La Périgordine Sportive
June 9, 2019
Where: 
Montignac, Dordogne
Distance: 
There are 6 circuits: the 75km, 100km, 130km, 155km, 180km and 200km.
Difficulty: 
Varies, see above
Local sportive held in the Dordogne each year. The start is near Montignac, a town on the Vézère river. Also near the famous caves of Lascaux. 
More information

Explore Corsica by Le Tour
June 8-10, 2018
Where: Corsica
Distance: 4 stages
Difficulty: C
More information

The Three Balloons
June 8, 2019
Where:
Luxeuil-les-Bains, Haute-Saône (Burgundy)
Distance: 125km, 210km
Difficulty:
D
More information 

La Bernaud Hinault
15 June, 2019
Where: 
Saint Brieuc in Brittany's Côtes d'Armor
Distance:

Difficulty:

More information

Morzine Haut Chablais
June 16, 2019
Where: Morzine, Alps
Distance: 105km, 155km
Difficulty: D
This Gran Fondo is one of a series of the Grand Trophee Series where you can either ride the 155km or 105km along signposted roads open to traffic. Riders are provided with refreshment stations, a medical service and first aid, and breakdown assistance available along these demanding routes. A current valid license (triathlon or cycling) or medical certificate is compulsory.
More information

Santini Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux
June 16, 2019
Where: Mont Ventoux
Distance: 78km, 135km
Difficulty: E
More information

La Mercan ‘Tour-Bonette’ by Café du Cycliste
June 16, 2019
Where: 
Guillaumes-Valberg, Provence/Alps
Distance: 102km, 116km
Difficulty: E
More information

Ardéchoise Cyclosportive
June 19 - 22, 2019
Where: Saint Félicien, Ardèche
Distance: 57km-278km
Difficulty: C-F
This very well-organised, mammoth event really does cater for all abilities and ages across 4-days. The choice is extensive and depends on your fitness, sense of challenge and time available. Each colour-coded route is mapped out showing the kilometres to complete, number of ‘Cols’ to climb and the overall positive elevation achieved. For example, the 1 day ‘green’ Ardeche ‘Mini’ has 57km; 5 cols; 1000m+ elevation, OR the more adventurous can choose the pink 4-day ‘La Meridonale – Montagne Ardechoise’ covering 629km, 36 cols, and 10, 680m+ elevation. Not for the faint-hearted!
More information

Super Gran Fondo Galibier Izoard
June 22, 2019
Where:
 Valloire, Alps
Distance: 185km
Difficulty: F
More information

Le Loop - The Tour de France
June 29-July 21, 2019
Where: Noirmoutier, Pays de la Loire
Distance: Up to 3344km
Difficulty: F, multi-day
More information

L'Ariégeoise
June 29, 2019
Where: Tarascon-sur-Ariège, south of Foix, lower Pyrenees
Distance: 74km, 109km, 125km, 156km, 172km
Difficulty: C/D/E
More information

JULY

La Pyrénéenne Cyclosportive
July 7, 2019
Where: Bagneres de Bigorre, Pyrenees
Distance: 46km, 115km, 180km
Difficulty: B, D, E
More information

La Vaujany Gran Fondo
July  7, 2019
Where: Vaujany, Alps
Distance: 40km, 112km, 175km
Difficulty: D
More information

Les Copains
July 5-7, 2019
Where: Ambert, Auvergne
Distance: From 55km to 514km, including a gravel road option
Difficulty: B/C/D/E
More information

Etape du Tour
July 21, 2019
Distance: 135km
Difficulty: D/E
The Etape du Tour is probably the most famous sportive in the world and is the only chance 15,000 lucky riders are able to ride the same route as the pro riders in the Tour de France on closed roads. The 2019 Etape du Tour will trace the route of Stage 20 of the race from Albertville to Val Thorens. Not far heh, well there is 4563m of ascent along the way!
More information

Look Marmotte Gran Fondo Alps
July 7, 2019
Where: Bourg d'Oisans, Alps
Distance: 174km
Difficulty: F
More information

Haute Route Alpe d’Huez
July 12 - 14, 2019
Where: Bourg d'Oisans, Alps
Distance: Around 300km over 3 days
Difficulty: D
More information

Gran Fondo Serre Chevalier
CANCELLED FOR 2019
Where: Saint Chaffrey, Alps
Distance: 80km 104km, 152km
Difficulty: E
More information

Campilaro Haute Pyrenees
July 26 - 28, 2019
Where: Luchon, Pyrenees
Distance:
 370km
Difficulty: F
More information

Tour du Mont Blanc Cyclo
July 20, 2019
Where: Les Saisies, Alps
Distance: 330km
Difficulty: F
This tough ‘ultra’ Tour of Mont Blanc event can be entered as a solo rider or as part of a relay team. You will climb the most legendary alpine passes, on a loop through 3 countries around "the roof of Europe" for a total of 330 km and 8000d/m+. The route will be signposted and open to traffic, with refreshment stations, a medical service, a breakdown assistance and first aid available. A current valid license or medical certificate is compulsory to take part in this event.
More information

Risoul Queyras Jollywear 2019
July 28, 2019
Where: Risoul, Alps 
Distance: Lots of options, including routes for kids and over 70s
Difficulty: B/C/D/E
Recommended by a reader this popular sportive has lots of options in and around the ski stations of Risoul, and takes in Col d'Izoard and St Veran. On the Saturday there is also a timed ascent of 15km to the Risoul 1850 station, a big event in the local calendar.
More information

Pierre Jacques en Barétous
July 27, 2019
Where: Arette, Pyrenees
Distance: 56km, 124km, 148km
Difficulty: C/D
One of France’s top Sportives but scarcely known outside of France. It starts and finishes in Aramits (64), Pyrenees, where you can compete within your age category and choose from three routes of increasing distances and elevation.
More information

AUGUST

Haute Route Pyrenees
August 17 - 23, 2019
Where: Pau to Bearn, Pyrenees
Distance: Around 780km over 7 days, 19,000+ metres of climbing
Difficulty: D
More information

Le Mans Cyclosportive des 24H Vélo
August 24- 25, 2019
Distance: Endurance event, ride as far as you can in 24 hours
Where: Le Mans, Sarthe (Pay de la Loire)
Difficulty: Varies (individual, teams, elite, leisure)
Endurance event run on the famous car racing track. Solo rider and teams see how far they can ride in 24 hours.
More information

Mercan ‘Tour-Turini’
August 25, 2019
Where: Alpes-Maritime
Distance: 85km, 115km, 125km
Difficulty: E
More information

Figure of Hate
August 18, 2019
Where: Axat, Pyrenees
Distance: 95km, 195km REVERSE route for 2019
Difficulty: E/F
Locally run sportive in the Eastern Pyrenees. Billed as one of the hardest Sportives in the World and therefore has limited availability. There are two routes; 95K long with 2500m of climbing, or the 195K, with 5000m of climbing. You will cycle up Tour de France HC and Cat 1 climbs and ride on near-deserted roads that are as brutal as they are beautiful, with a following broom wagon.Both races start and finish in the picturesque village of Axat and both distances feature 2-4 feed stations on route, lunch in Axat, a goody bag and a finishers exclusive F8 T-shirt.
More information

Look Marmotte Gran Fondo Pyrenees
August 25, 2019
WhereArgelès Gazost, Pyrenees
Distance: 165km
DifficultyE/F
This very challenging GF will start in Luz Saint Saveur and finish in Hautacam. The route takes in Col du Tourmalet 18km 7.4%, Hourquette d'Ancizan 17km 4.5%, Col d'Aspin 12km 6.5%, Ste Marie - Col du Tourmalet 17km 7.5% with 5500m of climbing. Riders benefit from a signposted route and course plan, breakdown assistance and first aid, refreshment stations, timing with chip, medical service, medal, souvenir and diploma.
More information 

Haute Route Alps
August 25 - August 31, 2019
Where: Megeve-Nice, Alps/Provence
Distance: 887km, 20,650m of climbing in 7 days
Difficulty: D+
More information

SEPTEMBER

La Ronde Picarde Gran Fondo
Sep 14, 2019
Where: Bay of Somme, Picardy
Distance: 50km, 128km, 180km
Difficulty: C/D
More information

OCTOBER

Haute Route Ventoux
October 4 -6, 2019
Where: Ventoux
Distance: 3 ascents in three days taking in all the ways up, and down
Difficulty: E
More information

Useful websites 

Vélo Cyclosport:

Gran Fondo Guide: Calendar of sportives all over the world.

You can use our bespoke holiday service if you need help getting sorted.

On the blog

French map and book sale

French map and book sale

The very excellent online Stanfords Travel bookshop is having a sale on all things French, including cycling maps.

Posted: 20 May 2019

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