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Women's Komoot Torino-Nice Rally

Sophie Gateau

Women's Komoot Torino-Nice Rally

Bike Touring Collection by Lael

6

Tours

53:45 h

386 mi

57,275 ft

On the 24th of September, 50 women and I will set off to tackle the Torino-Nice Rally route. The ride will be self-supported: sleep and eat when and where you’d like. Ride with friends. Ride solo. Choose your own adventure. It's just an incredible opportunity. The riding looks magnificent. It’s 700km long and the goal is to finish within a week. Ride fast, ride long, take breaks, take pictures, meet people, make it personal.

As women, we’re individuals that prove what’s possible and that things are changing. I’ve been told that it’s impossible for women to travel long distances, to climb mountains, to ride through remote country. I’ve been told that I could never win a race overall, beating all the men, but I have! Ultimately, I ride because I love it, but I’m very motivated to prove that women are as capable in the world of ultra-distance cycling as men.

I heard about the Torino-Nice Rally years ago and have wanted to ride the route ever since. I first wrote to James Olsen, the TNR route designer, and event organizer, in 2018 and started studying the tracks, imagining the riding and camping and resupplying. I’ve always been drawn to mountain routes and I particularly love riding in the Alps. As an Alaskan, it's paradise to have such complex networks of small roads, options for routing, and the feel of riding through history. I’ve never ridden in Italy and I have dreamed of riding from town to town, eating pasta and pizza, making quick stops for espresso, and riding huge days without the worry of resupply.

I love that this women’s only version of the Komoot Torino-Nice Rally is a challenge and not a race. It’s hard, but not competitive. There’s so much camaraderie in taking on challenges with other members of your community. You share struggles and experiences and overcome obstacles together. You share stories— funny, hard and meaningful. These create bonds and understanding. We all have different backgrounds and different approaches, but we will come together for adventure.

We will set off together on the morning of the 24th from Turin then go on our own journeys crossing paths along the way. You can ride solo, together or a mix. Camp, bivi or find accommodation along the way the adventure is yours. A week later on Friday, 1st October we will host a get together where we can share our stories from the road and celebrate our rides.

Here we've pulled together the official track for the week, using some of James Olsen's route options (2.2,4.2,5.2). These stages are split not into suggested days, but rather begin and end where there are route option choices to be made in the original Torino-Nice Rally route. Here are the stages put together into one Tour: komoot.com/tour/466623423

Check out the official Komoot Torino-Nice Rally Collection with all the shortcuts and route options here: komoot.com/collection/1234066/-the-komoot-torino-nice-rally

On The Map

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Do it yourself

Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.

Women's Komoot Torino-Nice Rally

386 mi

57,400 ft

58,150 ft

Last updated: November 12, 2021

Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Turin to Cervieres — Women's Komoot Torino-Nice Rally

    Difficult
    19:25
    131 mi
    6.8 mph
    20,725 ft
    16,250 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The first section out of Turin heads directly for the challenging Colle del Colombardo climb before the better known Colle del Finestre.

    

    Here's what route founder James Olsen has to say about this first leg of the journey:

    

    'The route out of Turin to get onto the original first climb, the Colle del Colombardo

    by Lael

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  • Difficult
    02:12
    17.6 mi
    8.0 mph
    2,725 ft
    3,575 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The second stage features an alternative to the rougher Col des Peas, with 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 and fame may suggest - it's a different

    by Lael

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  • Difficult
    09:14
    68.8 mi
    7.4 mph
    10,325 ft
    11,775 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    The third stage includes the high point of the ride, the 2,744-meter Col Agnel / Colle dell'Agnello on the France-Italy border, as well as the stunning Strada Cannoni along the Varaita-Maria ridge. A section of the Cannoni descent features the biggest gravel (aka rocks) on the route, it’s a challenge

    by Lael

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  • Difficult
    09:12
    65.5 mi
    7.1 mph
    10,375 ft
    7,350 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    This stage features 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 places to stay here, the Refugio Lou Lindal for example) leads to the Col Preit and then continues into the Altopiano

    by Lael

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  • Difficult
    07:22
    47.0 mi
    6.4 mph
    7,525 ft
    8,400 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    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 on the main descent, up to around 15-17% for short sections around 11 kilometers in, though overall the gradient profile is not

    by Lael

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  • Difficult
    06:20
    56.3 mi
    8.9 mph
    5,625 ft
    10,825 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This last stage is the final run down to the Mediterranean Sea at Nice.

    

    Here's what route founder James Olsen has to say about this stage:

    

    '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

    by Lael

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  • © OSM

    The official pre-rally dinner spot for the Torino-Nice Rally! This brilliant restaurant has seated over 100 TNR riders at one time before, and is typically where everyone meets up the nice before setting off on the annual event.

    Highly recommended! Check out more at: allaletteratorino.it

    Tip by Katherine Moore

    Take Me There
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  • © OSM

    Refuge Lago delle Rane Pian Dell Alpe is just over the top of Finestre on the Torino-Nice Rally.

    Here they offer overnight stays (you must book first) and meals and are very cyclist-friendly.

    Check out more at rifugiolagodellerane.it

    Tip by Katherine Moore

    Take Me There
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  • © OSM

    Rifugio di Elva la Sousto dal Col

    Bike Touring Highlight

    Find out more about the refuge here: lasousto.it

    Tip by Katherine Moore

    Take Me There
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  • © OSM

    Route de la Maglia

    Bike Touring Highlight

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  • © OSM

    Colle di Tenda / Col Tende

    Bike Touring Highlight

    At the Col, it's decision time for the TNR rider - the 50 switchback descent, the longer descent to the west via the Baise de Peyrifique or the longer section east onto the famed Via del Sale?

    The Col also marks the Italian/French border.

    Tip by The Torino-Nice Rally

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  • © OSM

    Fort de la Forca

    Bike Touring Highlight

    The high point of the last big climb on the TNR route takes you to Circuit de l'Authion and the Fort de la Forca. When French-Italian relations deteriorated in the late 19th century work began on the Fort, built on this high point above the Col de Turini.

    Tip by The Torino-Nice Rally

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  • © OSM

    Strada Cannoni

    Bike Touring Highlight

    A high track in a stunning setting, the cannonball run of gravel riding. Bring your fat tyres.

    "Big ole gravel... Some might call them rocks"
    - Bas Rotgans

    Tip by The Torino-Nice Rally

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  • © OSM

    Camping Val Varaita - TNR Camping

    Bike Touring Highlight

    A real friend of the Torino-Nice Rally having completed the route several times, Davide from Camping Val Varaita has offered camping for TNR riders for some years here, in Sampeyre at the foot of the Colle Sampeyre climb.

    Check out more at campingvalvaraita.it/home.asp

    Tip by Katherine Moore

    Take Me There
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  • © OSM

    Rifugio Don Barbera

    Bike Touring Highlight

    You'll find the Rifugio Don Barbera in the Natural Park of the Marguareis under the “Colle dei Signori”, right at the base of the Punta Marguareis, known as the queen of the Ligurian Alps.

    The refuge offers meals and overnight stays, so you can get a refreshing night's sleep or a top up on food in the beautiful, remote location.

    Check out seasonal opening times and facilities here: rifugiodonbarbera.eu/en/home-en

    Tip by Katherine Moore

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  • © OSM

    A quiet bike path left when the main road took the faster closed tunnel just to the north. The old road is a strangely quiet section of calm on this climb and a respite in bad weather.

    Tip by The Torino-Nice Rally

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  • © OSM

    The Service Course Nice

    Bike Touring Highlight

    Part of a small chain with locations in Girona, Oslo and Wilmslow, UK, The Service Course Nice offers great coffee, rental bikes and merch as well as regular shop ride-outs.

    Check out more here: theservicecourse.cc/nice

    Tip by Katherine Moore

    Take Me There
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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    6
  • Highlights
    14
  • Distance
    386 mi
  • Duration
    53:45 h
  • Elevation
    57,275 ft

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