Cycling and scenery at a new festival in Pays de la Loire
Enjoy the sights of the Loire from your saddle at the Nature is Bike Gravel Festival in Angers
The new Nature is Bike Gravel Festival, which takes place from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th June, aims to combine a sporting challenge with the desire to reconnect with nature and the environment. As the world’s cycling elite sets off from Brest in Brittany for this year’s Tour de France, those taking part in Nature is Bike will embark on a two-wheeled tour around the bike-friendly city of Angers and through the surrounding Loire Valley.
While the festival itself will take place in the Maine-et-Loire capital of Angers, one of France’s greenest cities, the event also incorporates the 278km-long ‘Gravel of Legend’ ride which will see participants departing from Gold Beach in Arromanches-les-Bains in neighbouring Normandy at 6.30am on the Friday morning. The route will pass through four departments – Calvados, Orne, Mayenne and Maine-et-Loire – and partly follows the Vélo Francette cycle route, ending in Angers where the Nature is Bike Gravel Festival will begin in the afternoon.
The weekend’s programme includes three different rides for everyone to enjoy, from experienced athletes to enthusiastic amateurs and family groups with children. A nocturnal challenge for teams and solo riders begins on Saturday 26th at 9.30pm, covering 64km on four laps around Angers under starry skies, while the 50km and 100km circuits take in the city sights as well as passing through the Layon vineyards and along the Loire river. Meanwhile, the festival camp provides plenty of music, food, activities and workshops.
The event also features the Gravel and Adventure Bike Show which takes place from 26-27 June, with exhibitors showcasing the latest cycling equipment and technologies as well as ideas for adventure holidays and outdoor activities.
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