Well, a busy summer crossing the centre of France has come to an end and it is time for Marmot Tours to thank the Cyclos Country Club Mazametain without which this magnificent Raid Massif Central might not exist.
Between our starting point in Roanne and the arrival in Mazamet, our riders have been tested and amused by the terrain, weather and fauna. We were lost in the fog on Puy Mary, caught in a heat wave on the Finiels Pass, and witnessed the changing livestock from Charolais, Salers and Aubrec cattle further north to the Raïole sheep on the slopes of Mount Aigoual.
Following the first two tours in 2016, our three recent trips have introduced some forty riders from seven countries to this gloriously varied route, many of whom are traversing these parts of France for the very first time. Everyone has been amazed by the quiet roads, the impressive landscapes and the relentless testing ground that easily rivals many of our other trips to the more famous cycling terrain of the Alps, Dolomites and Pyrenees.
Some riders sweated and cursed every metre gained, while others took each climb and kilometre in their stride. All were united however by appreciating the quantity and quality of exceptional cycling of the area, that the Raid Massif Central showcases to perfection.
We are especially grateful for the warm welcome and generosity of the club members who take the time to meet and present the medals to our clients. It’s a really special touch that means a lot to riders who have completed this epic traverse of the massif.
The three tours in 2017:
27 May – 2 June, 1 – 8 July, 22 – 29 July
46 cyclists: 33 English, 2 Scottish, 1 Welsh, 2 Irish, 1 Dutch, 5 Australians & 2 Americans
Now looking forward to what 2018 might bring!