Ride for Willen - Paris to Nice

Postponed to 18 - 21 September 2021

Two cities – three mountains – 650 miles – 7 days

Feel as though you’re riding the Tour de France on this epic cycling challenge, passing 650 miles from Paris to Nice, through the beautiful French countryside. 

Following in the tyre tracks of the iconic ‘Race to the Sun’, this route will take you along quiet, meandering roads. You’ll be put to the test on unforgiving Tour de France climbs, including the famous Col de Saint Jean, Col du Galibier and Col du Telegraphe, but the stunning views of the Maurienne Valley should distract you from the burn.

To take part in this challenge you must be a fit and experienced cyclist with a road bike, however there is plenty of time to train if you’re just getting back in the saddle. 

Take on the challenge and raise vital funds so we can continue caring for patients and their families when they need us most.


Travelling Day

Travel to Paris Orly from St Pancras International via Eurostar, where we will meet up with the support vans and our bicycles at the hotel. The evening is yours but make sure you’re back at the hotel for a briefing to prepare you for the challenge ahead. 

Day 1 – Le Grande Depart - Paris Orly to Auxerre 

Departing south of Paris Orly, from the Foret de Senart, through the leafy suburbs of south Paris towards Foret de Fontainebleu.  We will be skimming the edge of the picturesque Chateau to Fontainebleu before heading Southeast through a variety of small French villages before arriving in Auxerre. 

93 miles / Elevation 3468ft

Day 2 – Auxerre to Chalon Sur-Saone

More climbing than yesterday but still a relatively flat day. We depart Auxerre heading South East through the Parc Naturel Regional du Morvan.  There will be a lunch stop in or around the village of Arnay le Luc before continuing to Chalon Sur Saone. 

115 miles / Elevation 5534 ft

Day 3 – Chalon Sur-Saone to Aix les-Bains 

We depart Chalon Sur Saone and head towards Bourg en-Bresse where the terrain gets a little more bumpy.  We cross over the Rhone and continue our ride past Lac du Bourget hopefully catching a glimpse of the Abbaye d’Hautecombe on the opposite side before arriving in Aix-les-Bains

115 miles/Elevation 4220 ft 

Day 4 – Aix Les-Baines to Briancon (Inc the Col du Telegraphe and Col du Galibier) 

Today is all about climbing. Departing Aix Les Baines we cycle in between two national parks, Parc Naturel Régional de la Chartreuse and Parc naturel régional du massif des Bauges.  Before tackling the iconic and challenging Col du Telegraphe and the Col du Galibier before descending into Briancon. 

105 miles/Elevation 9748 ft 

Day 5 – Briancon – Digne (Inc Col de Saint Jean) 

Departing Briancon we continue our descent, cycling on the edge of the Parc National des Ecrins and then alongside the Lac de Serre Poncon.  We then start our climbing for the day ascending the Col de Saint Jean and finishing in Digne. 

85 miles/Elevation 6598 ft

Day 6 – Digne to Cannes

Departing Digne we start our penultimate day with a gradual climb through the beautiful Parc Naturel Regional du Verdon and through the stunning scenery of Parc Naturel Regional des Prealpes d’azur before arriving in Grasse (the world’s capital of Perfume) and descending into the outskirts of Cannes. 

84 miles/Elevation 6039ft

Day 7 – Cannes to Nice

Our final day sees us depart Cannes travelling along the Cote d’Azur taking in the beautiful towns of Cannes and Antibes before hitting the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. 

25 miles/Elevation 1000ft

That’s it! You did it! You’ve cycled over 650 miles and conquered 36000 ft of climbing (that’s higher than Everest!).   Now it is time to pack your bikes away and celebrate your achievement.  

Please note - Route subject to change.

What’s included?

Standard Class Eurostar ticket to Paris and transport to the Paris hotel 

7 nights bed & breakfast accommodation 1*/2*/3* (this will be on a shared basis)* 

Daily buffet breakfast

GPS routes

Fuel for support vehicles and trained first aider vehicle 

Lunch/water each day 

Cost Breakdown 

Fundraising amount to be raised before departure.


Set up a Facebook Fundraiser or JustGiving Page for online donations, or download our sponsorship form, plus more resources here.

What’s not included:

Transport to London St Pancras

Your flight home from Nice

Your hotel accommodation on arrival in Nice and any subsequent nights you wish to stay

Local hotel and tourist tax – approx. €1.50 per person per night

Your evening meals

Drinks with meals

Travel insurance

Any spares you require en-route

Cycling kit (and bicycle)

* Singles rooms may be available upon request at an additional supplement. 

Please read and sign this disclaimer before booking.  Email to challenges@willen-hospice.org.uk. Thank you.


Event dates

Sat Sep 18th 2021 to Sat Sep 25th 2021

All Day Event

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