Tour de France 17th July.

Well, whatever the outcome of the Tour, with all the drugtaking scandals, and the leaders being sacked by their team, the spectacle of the Tour passing through the village was marvellous, but brief. Preceded by the caravan, and numerous trucks throwing out free gifts, the cyclists passed by in seconds. The pack was well spread out by the time it got to Monetier, having already climbed the Col d’Iseran, and Col du Telegraphe, so the peleton was quite small. An afternoon outside the bar in the sunshine was not to be sneered at though, although we saw more of the race on the TV.

Cycling at Chamoissiere

Cycling is a big thing in the valley. The Tour de France are regular visitors, passing through on the way to one of the mythical ‘Cols’ or mountain passes, the Lauteret, Galibier, and Izoard. Enthusiastic amateurs can take part in several event in the valley, covering some of the routes of the Tour.

For a huge adrenaline rush, take your bike up to the top of the mountain, using a chairlift, or cable car, and see how fast you can descend to the bottom. Not for the faint-hearted though!Helmets and body-armour recommended.

If you prefer a more sedate pace, cycle along the Val de Clarée or along the Guisane.

Well, the guys had a blast cycling down the mountain from the Bachas restaurant. I think they lost the track though, as they ended up on the Tabuc piste, which was apparently a little rocky (an understatement). They also had a trip along to Villeneuve and took the Casse du Boeuf chairlift up to the Bivouac, then cycled back via Fréjus village. They were quite tired when they returned. We didn’t cycle as much as we’d planned as the teens had outgrown their bikes we’d intended to take with us. Hiring them for the whole holiday would have been quite expensive I think .