This July, the inaugural Sea to Peak event took off from the westernmost point of France, following a 2,100-kilometer route between Brittany and Queyras through the center of France. A total of 47 riders lined up for the grand depart, traversing a mix of trails, paths, and side roads, accumulating 35,000 meters of elevation along the way. More than half of the route is above 900 metres, and participants had just 15 days to complete the ride.
The organizers just released an hour-long film documenting the event, directed by Louis Lambin (@louislambinphotography), along with gallery of photos by Louis and Aubin Berthe (@aubinberthe) further down. Note: non-French-speaking viewers will want to make sure to turn on English captions.
The 2,100-kilometer route is designed around an ambitious goal to link the most westerly point of France to the highest village in Europe; St. Véran, in the heart of the French Alps and the Queyras. One of the first major peaks riders must climb is the Monts d’Arrée, the highest peak in Brittany, followed by a succession of short ascents and descents through the surrounding countryside. After about 470 kilometers, the terrain transitions between forests and woods, cultivated fields, and vineyards through the Loire region.
Following the second checkpoint, the route gradually climbs up above 800 meters, and riders won’t drop below that for approximately 600 kilometers. As the riders approach the Auvergne volcanoes, the route continues to climb. Shortly after passing the emblematic Puy de Dôme, riders begin the crossing of the Massif Central with elevations between 1,000 and 1,500 meters. The highlands of Cezallier and Aubrac—large isolated areas with herds of cows in summer pastures—leave a strong impression on participants. The Rhone Valley marks the beginning of the Alps and the first summit over 1,500 meters. The Hautes Alpes region includes several major summits, topping out at over 3,000 meters.
The 2022 event will follow a slightly modified route with a grand depart in July. Registration is open now and spots are limited. Learn more here.
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