Appointment with the tough mountains of the Tour de l’Ardèche (September 8-14)


The Tour de l’Ardèche is one of those races that brings back many familiar things to long-time fans of women’s cycling. A very humble organization, made up entirely of volunteers; modest teams that mix with some of the best squads in the WorldTour; and varied and very demanding routes, with some of the toughest climbs on the calendar.

The four days to keep an eye on for the general standings are the second in Beauchastel (Thursday 9), with five ascents that include Cornas (2nd) and Rotisson (2nd) just before the finish line; the top finish of Mont Lozère (1st), preceded by the Sommet du Goulet (1st), on Saturday the 11th; the fifth day (Sunday 12) in St-Jean-en-Royans, with Gaudissard (1st) starting and Rochechinard (3rd) facing the finish; and the last one in Privas (Tuesday 14th), passing Fontenelle (1st) and Benas (1st) in just 81 km.