The Komoot Torino-Nice Rally is a bikepacking, touring or randonneur route, a ride that's a bit of most things except technically difficult in the mountain biking sense. It's a challenging and rewarding mixed-terrain route that tests the rider - what bike to ride and which route to take, where to focus your efforts?
The route includes around 300 miles (485km) of tarmac going up to a high point of 9,022 feet (2,750m) and taking in two Grand Tour cols, also 150 miles (240km) of rocky gravel-based military stradas along the border often at an altitude of 6,500 feet (2,000m) or more. The scenery of the Queyras and Mercantour national parks and the Ligurian, Cottian and Maritime Alps will reward those prepared to ride long days and sleep out, seeing the sun rise and set each day.
What started as a group ride and a way to raise a little sponsorship money for a unique and worthwhile cause (torino-nice.weebly.com/smart-shelter-intro.html) has become a yearly event for around 150 riders and a route that many tour independently over the summer.
This route has never been about following one single line on a map. It has options along the way that help to vary the time needed to complete your ride and the route files are broken up into sections to enable this. It's intended to be adaptable and retain a real sense of exploration and freedom.
This is the reviewed and relaunched TNR route for 2021, supported by Komoot: The Komoot Torino-Nice Rally.
It's important to note that the stages here aren't split into daily distances, nor end at overnight spots, but rather start and finish where potential route splits occur.
Why the new route?
In October 2020, Storm Alex devastated valleys in the south east of France and the south west of Italy. The Torino-Nice Rally route was badly hit and it's taken some time to understand the impact and the route revisions needed in that area. This new Collection has revised route options in the affected Roya Valley area (with thanks to Komoot riders Mathias and Sophie for the recce and route report), notes on what to expect there and an additional shortcut options should you need them to get to Nice in time.
Otherwise, it includes the same route highlights that have made the TNR ride more popular than I could have ever expected or imagined. It's a little more refined now after my five rides along the route (each one being slightly different thanks to route options and the weather).
Enjoy browsing the collection here and remember, it's not about the bike. Just "run what ya brung". Get in contact via the TNR website (torino-nice.weebly.com/intro.html) if you have any questions while planning your ride.
Thanks to Komoot for their help with the routing and support of the event and our cause (SSF), and thanks to Turin, Nice and all those wonderful places along the way for their hospitality. See you soon!
Greetings from England,
James Olsen @ TNR
A few notes on how the route is divided up into sections and numbered/named:
* Numbered route GPX route files are the main routes or sections – 1; 2.1; 2.2; 3; 4.1; 4.2; etc. Route sections in this collection are named in numerical order, the same as the TNR route files, so they display in order on your navigation device.
* Route sections numbered 2.1 or 2.2 signify there’s an option for the 2nd section, a decision to be taken at the start of section 2.
* These ‘x.1’ and ‘x.2’ options have the same start and end points. They share the same route along some of their lengths.
* x.1 options need more time than x.2 options, either due to longer distance or inclusion of hike-a-bike sections.
* At the end of each route there is a note in the cues relating to the next route or option. For cue notes, contact us at the Torino-Nice Rally directly.
* SCR GPX files are the Short Cut Routes – SCR.1; SCR.2; etc. SCRs are all are good rides, not only shortcuts. Only the time required or the challenge varies from the main sections. SCR routes are easier and faster in all cases.
* File start/end points or stages are not recommended as daily distances or best start or stopping places. They’re simply convenient places to break up the route for GPS file management of the route option choices.
Stage 1 - Turin, Italy to Cervières, France.
Filename '1 TNR 21 Turin-Cervieres'.
The route out of Turin to get onto the original first climb, the Colle del Colombardo, is direct and fast to give us more time to take on the climb. With a little re-mapping you will find quieter cycle lane routes a little…
Stage 2.1 - Cervières to Château-Ville-Vieille, France, via the Col des Peas.
Filename '2.1 TNR 21 Cerv-CdP-VV'.
The original 'Fred Wright tribute' route over the Col des Peas that we explored during the route recce in 2015. We didn’t do any more than look at the map and see a path marked on it, linking…
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
Stage 2.2 - Cervières to Château-Ville-Vieille, France, via the Col d'Izoard.
Filename '2.2 TNR 21 Cerv-Izoard-VV'.
A classic road climb over the Col d'Izoard takes you to the Fort Queyras / Chateau Ville Vieille area. The Izoard is a truly beautiful climb and one that doesn’t feel as hard as its height…
Stage 3 - Château-Ville-Vieille, France to Ponte Marmora, Italy.
Filename '3 TNR 21 VV-PtMarmora'.
This route includes the high point of the ride, the 2744m Col Agnel / Colle dell'Agnello which also marks the France-Italy border, and the stunning and "memorable" Strada Cannoni along the Varaita-Maria ridge…
Stage 4.1 - Ponte Marmora, Italy to Col Tende / Colle di Tenda, France-Italy border.
Filename '4.1 TNR 21 PtMarmora-Chialv-Tend'.
Our original route past Chialvetta with the rough stuff section into Little Peru. A notable hike/push on footpaths in beautiful surroundings beyond Chialvetta rewards with some…
Stage 4.2 - Ponte Marmora, Italy to Col Tende / Colle di Tenda, France-Italy border.
Filename '4.2 TNR 21 PteMarmora-Preit-Tende'.
The road climb through Preit to reach Little Peru, ending at another border col. A quiet, picturesque and at times very tough road climb through Preit (there are some good…
Stage 5.1 - Col Tende / Colle di Tenda, France-Italy border to Col de Turini, France, along the Via del Sale.
Filename '5.1 TNR 21 Tend-VdS-Turini'.
The longer route off the Tende and onto the dramatic Via del Sale (VdS). The Via del Sale is a long, quite remote section of track through a karst limestone…
Stage 5.2 - Col Tende / Colle di Tenda, France-Italy border to Col de Turini France.
Filename '5.2 TNR 21 Tende descent-Roya-Turini'.
This is the shorter 'mini Via del Sale' descent to Tende, heading west from the col towards Casterino and descending towards the Roya valley. There are some steeper sections…
Stage 6 - Col de Turini to Nice, France.
Filename '6 TNR 21 Turini-Nice'.
The final run down to the sea at Nice. From the Turini you descend towards Sospel (keep an eye out just past Moulinet for a small bridge road above you, leading to a lovely little chapel, the Notre Dame de Menor), climb the Col Braus…
Shortcut route 1, Turin to the the Col de Lys then the Finestre.
Filename 'SCR.1 TNR 21 Turin-Cervieres', 207km.
The easier start to the route with an all-tarmac first climb. But you're missing a TNR day 1 classic and part of the full experience...
Ends in the same place as the full route 1, at Cervieres.
Shortcut Route 2 - From the Colle di Sampeyre through Elva, Italy.
Filename 'SCR.2 21 Vallon d’Elva'
WARNING – a genuinely dangerous road with a risk of death. Officially closed. Presented here as 'Off Grid' and for reference.
This road is formally closed by Cuneo Province but remains in use, mainly by…
Shortcut Route 3 - From Breil-sur-Roya to Nice.
Filename 'SCR.3 TNR 21 Breil-Sur-Roya to Nice'
Should you be running short of either time or energy by this point, this is a pleasant ride to Nice via Sospel and it's all on tarmac. There are two cols to manage, the Brouis and Braus, though neither are very…
Col de Turini to Nice, France.
Filename 'SCR.4 TNR 21 Turini descent to Nice'.
An alternative, faster route to Nice from the Col Turini. All tarmac, all downhill! You miss out on Sospel and the Col Braus bivi spots but you get to Nice a little sooner with no more climbing.
Some busier roads towards Nice…
A route linking Turin Caselle airport with the train stations - you can get on the train toward Turin centre with your bike at the airport. The route then takes you to Piazza Giambattista Bodoni, home of Ristorante Alla Lettera and the TNR start at the stature of General Alfonso Ferrero della Marmora.
Bike Touring Collection by NORTH STAR PEDALING
Bike Touring Collection by Giro d'Italia
Road Cycling Collection by komoot
Hiking Collection by Angelina Kuhlmann