Meet Vineyard Velo
We provide cycling holidays and training camps in partnership with Château de Larrouzé in rural South West France. Our holidays are designed for groups of cyclists who are looking for terrain which is both physically challenging and culturally rich. Within our package we include:
When Cycling around Condom, Gers & Lot-et-Garonne it is not uncommon to encounter fewer than half a dozen cars on a substantial training loop from the property; more frequent obstacles being the occasional tractor or pair of startled deer. Château de Larrouzé, beautiful in and outside, provides modern comforts whilst recognising its rich heritage. It is located 5 minutes drive from Condom along a tiny side road leading up to the wine domaines. The Gers, being one of the least densely populated areas of Europe, is in many ways one large, unpolluted rural community with little in the way of industry, apart from the distillation of Armagnac brandy and wine-making cooperatives.
Although you will not find the area widely featured as a training camp location, Gascony (and in particular our corner of the Gers) is a perfect location for a week of challenging cycling. While the region does not feature the mountain climbs or altitude which make The Alps, Mallorca and Tenerife extremely popular, Gers and Lot-et-Garonne departments are characterised by undulating terrain; scattered with vineyards, sunflower fields and fortified medieval ‘bastides’. The landscape is thus a true representation of rural southern France.
We believe that a week in the Gers offers the perfect opportunity to complete a solid block of training interspersed with some equally intensive rest, relaxation and gastronomic fulfillment.
Our Training Camp
The week of training is ideally suited to a group of reasonably experienced cyclists who are prepared to ride together as one group over the course of the week. Although each ride will be guided, monitoring (and navigating for) more than one group on the road is a challenge! While your guide will take the stress out of navigation on each ride, GPX files for each day’s route will be shared in advance to allow riders to self-navigate with their own devices if for whatever reason they are unable to ride with the group.
The provisional schedule below involves around 600km of riding over 6 days, with total climbing of over 10,000m. Of course this can be adapted depending on the level (and desire) of the group. There are plenty of high quality training loops that can be incorporated as additions to the planned routes to add distance. Equally, the schedule can be adapted to suit the needs of a group who require a less demanding week on the bike.
The Provisional Schedule
Based on a seven night stay, we have planned six days of cycling, with the most challenging being day 4 when we visit the Pyrenees. The range of rides below covers a variety of the areas surrounding Château de Larrouzé, deliberately designed to incorporate local areas of interest such as the Abbaye de Flaran, local Roman ruins and hilltop bastides. So you will be able to absorb culture on the bike providing you are not suffering too hard.
|Day||Ride Name||Distance (km)||Elevation (m)||Time/hrs (@27kph)|
|1||Fources/Roman Villa Circuit||90||1,291||3.3|
|2||Circuit de la Reine Margot||118||1,800||4.4|
|3||Romieu easy loop (recovery)||53||785||20|
|4||Pyrenees excursion - Col du Tourmalet + Hautacam||127||3,382||5.3|
|5||Abbaye de Flaran + Moncrabeau loop||70||1,071||2.6|