Route Details

Start: Limoges

39km: Le Monte Gargan: Cat 4

67km: Col de Lestards: Cat 3

79km: Cote de St-Yrieix de Dejalat: Cat 3

94km: Ville de Egletons: Refreshement stop

114km: Cote de Soursac: Cat 3

126km: Cote de Monteplair: Cat 3

159km: Salers: Refreshments

162km: Col de Neronne: Cat 2

173km: Col du Pas de Peyrol: Cat 1 Refreshments(Puy Mary)

189km: Col d' Entremont: Cat 3

189km: Murat: Refreshments

202km: Plomb du Cantal: Cat 2

238km: Finish St Flour! Refreshments

Provisional Route by Road Number

The D98 then the D12 to Linards;
The D12 then the D16 as far as Treignac;
The D16 up to the Barrage de l'Aigle;
The D105 then the D678 to Mauriac;
The D122 then the D22 to Salers;
The D680 as far as Dienne;
The D3 to Murat;
Then the D39 to Plomb du Cantal;
Finally the D44 to the finish at St Flour!

2004 Route

Though the 2004 Etape does not scale the highest peaks in the Pyrenees or the Alps, it is extremely challenging. Based in central France, it is not only the longest Etape du Tour ever, it is also the longest stage in the 2004 Tour de France! Its total length is 238km – that’s nearly 150 miles!

The first 30 km is flat, but to make it more interesting, the organizers have imposed an average speed of 30 kph ( about 18.7mph) over this section! You will be sure of an exciting start!

"Undulating" terrain then follows, with a succession climbs and descents, which should be fun if somewhat exhausting. Half way through the ride, we approach the spectacular Volcano region of the Auvergne.

 

After Mont Plaisir there are 30 km with an average up hill gradient of just over 1%, after which we will be rewarded by views of the beautiful medaeval town of Salers. The ride then climbs on to what appears from the map to be a spectacular ridge route, with panoramic views over the crater an ancient extinct volcano.

After scaling the side of Puy Mary to Col du Pas-de-Peyrol to 1589 meters, the road descends. Expect some steep climbing here followed by an interesting descent!

If that were not difficult enough, you are expected to acheive an average speed of 19 kph up to this point. This is just less than 12mph. The organizers feel that this is a reasonable cruising speed in this type of terrain, though for most of us it will be quite an acheivement over this distance and terrain!

The last major climb is up Plomb de Cantal (1392 meters ) , famous for hang gliding and similar arial sports. After descending from Plomb, there is a 2Km climb to the finish at the medaeval hill top town of St Flour. This last climb may not be quite 10%, but after nearly 150 miles of hard cycling, it will certainly seem like it!. Expect a warm welcome, as St Flour is known for celebrating the Tour de France in Style!

Good Luck!