France From Inside Cycling and Wine Tours France

Cycling, Wine and Cultural Tours in the Dordogne, Pyrenees and Southwest of France.

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Chateau de Pitray
Chateau de Pitray

Without a doubt, this was the cycling trip of a lifetime. The route took us over some of the most challenging and spectacular terrain I've ever encountered. Being an avid cyclist, to have ridden climbs such as the Tourmalet, Aubisque, Marie-Blanque, Peyresourde, and Pailheres is an accomplishment I will brag about for years to come

Rose Hewig, attended in 2009.


Not to be believed! When this trip was first planned I thought to myself, are you crazy? 12 days of riding, 7000-8000 feet per day of climbing? The more I thought about it the more I wanted to do it, and so I did. What an amazing trip. As I have said to everyone, it was everything I expected and much, much more.

Jeff Dux, attended in 2006 and 2010..

Stage 8 Conquer the Pyrenees 2011

Stage 8 for the 2011 edition of the Conquer the Pyrenees cycling challenge. This is one of the toughest stages with 5 mountain passes, totaling a little over 12000 ft of climbing in 93 miles.

Big changes for the Conquer the Pyrenees Cycling Adventure in 2011.

The once annual Conquer the Pyrenees cycling challenge has a few changes for the 2011 edition. As you may know the trip is a 1000 mile loop (give or take a couple of miles), divided into 12 riding stages that take us from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, and back to the Atlantic. For the first 4 years the loop was steered in a counter clockwise direction. This year, the 5th edition, the course is being reversed and rerouted in a clockwise orientation. The reverse sequence is not an identical retracing of the past course.  In fact 3 stages are new, redesigned to keep the route closer to the Pyrenees Mountains and foothills.  In the past, the return leg from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic was routed north of the Pyrenees so as to make the return possible in 4 stages.  These stages are 100 miles long each and it would not have been possible to design them in the high mountains without a prohibitive amount of climbing.  Furthermore, the idea was to also explore the countryside north of the mountains.  For all intensive purpose the route was a great success.  However, this year the idea is to maintain a more authentic course that lays claim to stay within the boundaries of the Pyrenees.  Therefore, these first 4 stages will meander along the foothills of the mountains as we make our way from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean in 4 days.  It should prove to be beautiful riding, though challenging and requiring a real focus and drive from the riders.

A special acknowledgement to Charles Varela, who will be in a class by himself as he returns for his third participation in the trip. 2 other riders, Dermot and Oral are attending for the second time. For the returning riders the reversal of the route will make it a completely new ride, as everything they climbed last time around they will now descend, and vice versa.

Recently I posted the 2011 route, with elevation profile images and maps. You can view them at this link (click here, stage profiles).

Conquer Pyrenees  Bike Tour Pyrenees Cow

Climbing up into the Basque Pyrenees

Pyrenees Cycling Tour

At the base of the Mediterranean Pyrenees the group pilfers some grapes from the vines