2023 Cycling Events in France
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There are lots of cycling events in France for you to choose from if that is something you would like to try while on holiday. You can ride a stage from the Tour de France or cycle on the famous Le Mans motor racing circuit, there is something for everyone. Most of the cycling events in France cater to all abilities and offer courses of different lengths to suit all riders. Events run primarily in the warmer months and in all parts of the country.
Choosing which cycling event in France to ride?
Participating in one of the many cycling events in France is another option to consider for your French cycling holiday. Listed below are some of the more popular and well-known events on offer but it is by no means the full list of what is available. The events listed here are sorted by location and appear in calendar order. Access the event website by clicking on the logo.
Pro tour events
These events all complement one of the professional cycling races and give you the opportunity to ride the route that the race will take for that particular year. They are all very popular and gaining access to them is highly competitive, especially the L’etape du Tour which compliments the Tour de France.
Paris Nice Challenge
Held in March each year this gives you the opportunity to ride a stage of the Paris Nice professional race 24hrs before the pros do.
The 2023 edition is scheduled for Saturday, March 11 starting in Nice. The 2023 event will cover a distance of 127km (79 miles) and take in 5 mountain passes climbing 2,300m (7,660ft). The Paris Nice Challenge website has all the information you need to participate in the event.
Paris Roubaix Challenge
This event gives you the opportunity to ride the famous cobbles of the Paris Roubaix a day before the pros do. The event is held in April with routes announced in February.
The 2023 event will be held on Saturday, April 8. There are 3 different distances to choose from, 70km, 145km, and 170km. (44 miles, 91 miles, and 106 miles). Head over to the Paris Roubaix challenge website for all your entry information.
L’Etape du Tour de France
L’Etape gives you the opportunity to ride one of the mountain stages of the Tour de France on fully closed roads. The event is scheduled for 9 July 2023 and will ride stage 14 of the 2023 Tour de France from Annemasse to Morzine les Portes du Soleil. This is the most sought-after event on the calendar and attracts cyclists from around the world. Often the best chance of entry is to sign up to one of the many tour companies offering packages to ride in the event.
The 2023 event has already sold out for general entries with 16,000 riders taking part. There are some options available for entry via official tour companies or riding with the official charity partner. The l’Etape du Tour website has details on how you might be able to enter.
Cycling events in the Pyrenees
The Pyrenees are a fantastic cycling destination and there are a few events to choose from in this part of France. Being the mountains you can expect plenty of climbing.
Held in the Ariége region in the Pyrénées mountains this event offers 6 different routes from 178km to 58km. Being in the mountains you can expect plenty of climbing. The event also includes categories for women only and e-bikes.
The 2023 event is scheduled for Saturday 24 June and the L’Ariégeoise website has all the details you need.
La Pyrénéenne Sportive
The La Pyrénéenne Sportive is held annually in the Pyrenees. The 2023 event will be held Sunday 2 July. Two routes are on offer, the first crossing 4 valleys, and the second, 2 valleys. The event includes climbs such as Col d’Aspin, Hourquette d’Ancizan and the Col du Tourmalet. Head over to the La Pyrénéenne Sportive website for details on the courses and climbs on offer.
Marmotte Granfondo Pyrénées
This is described as the little sister to the more famous Marmotte held in the French Alps but don’t let this fool you into thinking it is an easier event.
The 2023 course is 163km in length and climbs over 5 600m in elevation. It will take in the famous Tour de France cols of Col du Tourmalet, Horquette d’Ancizan, Col d’Aspin and Luz Ardiden. Head over to the Marmotte Granfondo Pyrénées website for more details.
Cycling events in The French Alps
The French Alps are home to legendary climbs such as Alpe d’Huez and Col du Galibier and attract cyclists from all around the globe each year. There are a range of events to choose from here with the most famous being the Marmotte Granfondo.
GF Mont Ventoux
An event that finishes on the legendary Mont Ventoux and offers two distances, 137km, and 80 km. Both rides have plenty of climbing to challenge you.
The 2023 event is scheduled for 11 June. The GF Mont Ventoux website provides all the necessary information to enter this event.
Marmotte Granfondo Alpes
The Marmotte is held over three days in July and starts with a time trial up Alpe d’Huez and finishes with a 174km course. The option to ride the course over two days is also offered. The route offers climbs like Col du Galibier and Col du Télégraphe and finishes on Alpe d’Huez.
The 2023 event will be held on 25 June and the Marmotte Grandfondo website has more information.
Tour du Mont Blanc
If you are looking for a major challenge then this could be the event for you. Starting in France the ride crosses into Switzerland and Italy before finishing back in France. You will cover a distance of 338km and climb over 8,000m.
The 2023 event is scheduled for 15 July. Head over to the Tour du Mont Blanc website for all the details.
Other locations and cycling events
Haute Route organizes a number of multi-day events each year the longest of which is 7 days in length. Their premier events are the Haute Route Alpes and Haute Route Pyrenees.
In 2022 the Pyrenees event is scheduled from 5-9 July, the Alps from 21-27 August, and Alpe d’Huez from 24-26 June. You can find all the details of their events on the Haute Route website.
This 24hr event gives you the opportunity to ride around the famous Le Mans motor racing circuit. The event can be completed as part of a team or solo. The 2023 event will be held on 26 and 27 August and you can enter on the 24H Velo website.
Vélo Cyclosport website
If none of these events interest you, the Vélo Cyclosport website provides a comprehensive list of French cycling events each year and groups them by region. It also provides the ability to rank events based on distance, elevation gained, and overall toughness.
More information about visiting France
If you are planning to head to France for a cycling holiday be sure to check out the rest of our website. We have lots of great information in our Practical section to help you plan your trip. Here we include information about visa requirements, using your mobile phone in France, accommodation options, when to go, and lots more. Our Destinations pages provide lots of information about specific destinations. Here we include information about cycling routes, getting there, cycling hotels as well as local attractions.
If you will be flying with your bike, our Flying with a Bicycle: Airline fees for bikes article has lots of information and tips. Included is a handy table with over 120 airlines and their policies and fees for bringing your bike on board. Check it out before you book and get the best option possible for you and your bike.