Cycling and Historic Motorsport Tour – Day by Day
A week of awesome cycling topped of with a weekend at the Historic Grand Prix.
1: Arrival Day
Your Cycling and Historic Motorsport tour commences in the afternoon when we meet you at the Menton Train Station and we take a short walk to your base in Menton.
Once checked in and freshened up we will head out for a local spin to settle onto our bikes and make any final adjustments.
Of course we haven’t planned just any ol spin! Our warm up ride includes a little climb with nice views across the coast, we then just pop over into Italy (afternoon Gelati??), before returning along the coast and the iconic Mediterranean beaches.
2: le Parcours au Cent Lacets
Our first day will be a ride like no other. Offering stunning scenery our curated route deep in the heart of the dramatic Alpes-Maritimes is both challenging and rewarding in equal measure.
The worlds most inspiring roads are in the mountains, their character defined by what the French call “Lacets”. We know them as hairpins. They ignite all the wonderful emotions of road riding fun, challenge and discovery.
As the title for our first day’s ride suggests, our route includes over 100 lacets. 100! You will discover for yourself if too many hairpins are not enough! The roads en route are a rich mix of historic military civil engineering and generations of habitation.
On our ride scaling mountains, thick alpine forests and breathtaking views, we achieve a peak elevation of 1415 meters. This is a ride you will remember and enjoy retelling for a long time. You will soon understand why these roads are so stepped in Rallying history.
We will stop by the humble memorial for René Vietto, the pre WW2 French cycling hero who sacrificed his own 1935 Yellow Jersey chances for his team leader. A proficient Yellow Jersey wearer, he never took it all the way to Paris. It was said he “owned” these roads that were in his backyard and he grew wings in the Alps. Legend!
3: The route of “The Long Knives”
Rally’s mythic stage, le Col du Turini is ours to discover. As the Rally Crews compete this incredible stage at night, Rally fans christen it “the night of the long knives” in reference to the rally cars powerful spotlights that send piercing blades of light cutting through the cold night air.
There are two classic routes to the col du Turini summit, each so different, iconic and engaging. We climb the most challenging (for the drivers due to the number of hairpins and short straights) and descend into Sospel. Both routes highlight the challenges that have faced Rally Crews over the decades, justifying Col du Turini’s place as Rallying’s Holy Grail.
All around there are ancient visual distractions, a testament to the centuries of human habitation in these mountains. Charming hill top villages, isolated chapels, vast valleys and ancient viaducts. All set in awe inspiring landscape.
Reaching the Col du Turini summit will call for an obligatory coffee stop and spending some time in atmospheric les Troise Valley’s cafe. We think it is Motorsport’s version of Italy’s cycling Ghisallo Chapel. Its walls are filled with memories from decades of Rallying and the autographs of Rallying’s royalty.
If we are lucky, our caffeine fix will be interrupted by the arrival of any number of classic rally car clubs that come to experience these roads now they are clear of the snow and ice.
4: Allez la Cote d’Azur!
Coursing along the coast we will cross the border into Monaco and through its prestigious boulevards and streets lined with the boutiques of the finest labels.
We arrive onto the circuit on pit straight, and complete one “flying lap”. Your first time around the Monaco GP circuit is difficult to describe, it’s a feast for your eyes – and your legs after Ste Devote!
On our second lap we will take our time to soak up the history of this amazing venue. Which is your favourite spot? Ste Devote, Casino Square, Loewes Hairpin, the Casino Tunnel, or the Swimming Pool complex. We can stop for a memorial photo and reflect.
We continue our ride along the coast, poking in and out of the streets of the Cote d’Azur’s and worlds most expensive real estate. There are many incredible panorama’s to take in up close and personal.
After turning our handlebars right, we ascend onto an upper level “corniche” offering some of the most provocative views above the coastline that we have just been exploring. It is a great perspective. In the distance Mega yachts and boats enjoy the azure waters that give this stretch of coastline its name.
We will stop at the marble Trophée d’Auguste monument, built in 6BC. It’s Rallying link being its use as the WRC podium ceremony backdrop.
We continue along the corniche enjoying the views and the flowing descent back to our costal base in the historic resort town of Menton.
Remember though….we have one more ride tomorrow morning….and it is one of Richie Porte’s favourites!
5: Circuit de Monaco GP
Our last day on the bike gets us intimate with possibly the most glamorous training ride you will ever do.
After a brief roll along the beach front, we commence our day’s climbing challenge. The resident Pro’s favourite training climb and another chance to spot cycling royalty!
Even though it has never been used in a major race, the climb is so iconic a popular bike has been named in its honour!
We will return to our apartments for showers and freshen up, before heading to Monaco and our first sounds of Grand Prix’s history for Friday afternoon’s first practice session. It is going to be mind blowing!
6: Historic Motorsport – Day 1
Our first full day at Monaco. Our stand not only has you so close to the racing you will see their hands on the wheel, and you can almost see the drivers eyes! We choose this stand for Saturday specially so you can experience first hand the incredible engine notes that have sadly long gone in the modern F1 era.
During the morning we will visit the paddock area, allowing plenty of time to enjoy your opportunity to get up close and personal to the Grand Prix cars and drivers.
It is a free day where you have the freedom to come and go from the stand and explore.
7: Historic Motorsport – Day 2
Our stand for the second day is located in another great location offering unparralled viewing of the cars at speed. With no traction control or electronic driver aids you will see just how much the cars move about as the drivers work to maintain control of these high speed works of art on the limit…..and sadly sometimes over it.
You will have the chance to explore another area of Monaco from our stand, taking in some of the magnificent gardens and public spaces. This is also the best time to grab any Monaco souvenirs that you might like to get.
8: Departure day
Sadly it has to come to an end where we wish you au revoir et bon voyage. Menton train station is only a short walk from your apartment.