Tour du Vercors with Nicolas Joly
A long-standing project
It's been months since Nicolas Joly first mentionned this Tour du Vercors project. A 200km journey from the Trièves to the Drôme, through the Quatre Montagnes area. This emblematic mountain Massif, both wild and laden with history, is ideal for cycling. The roads wind amazing landscapes, sometimes luxuriant, sometimes arid in its south part.
We finally started it at the end of July 2016, from Monestier-de-Clermont. After an early departure, we head to the North as we try to avoid the traffic around Grenoble. The first pass arises after 30 kilometres: the St Nizier's 14 kilometres and their 6% average, after which we reach the Vercors' plateau.
Despite the summer time, we don't meet a lot of persons: the cyclist likes tranquility and peace! After a route through Vassieux en Vercors, a Resistance symbol, we reach the Rousset pass, which offers us a superb panorama on the Diois. We arrive on the southern portion of the plateau. At the end of an amazing descent, we reach la Clairette area for new supplies. The lanscapes change, so do the villages: there are no doubts we're in the South.
Percentages and gastronomy
We are in the valley and we now need to gain height before diving back in the Trièves region. It's not an easy thing to do after the lunch time. The route progressively rises during more than 30km from Die: first by Châtillon, then by the Menée pass, where it is extremely hot. The amazing landscapes try and make us forget the pain accumulated through all these kilometers.
Once we're at the top, we can't resist the appeal of a nap: wise choice considering the winding downhill part waiting for us. Last supplies in an artisanal cheese dairy in Mont-Aiguille - the cyclist is also a gastronome - which help us start, almost peacefully, the last 15 km of the Fau pass.
Our country is filled with amazing places for cycling, and Vercors is definitely one of them. Big thanks to Nico for this nice route, we'll come back!