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Cycling the black route loop – Tour du Sancy

pom'. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Cycling the black route loop – Tour du Sancy

Road Cycling Collection by Fred Urrutia



3-4 h

/ day

94.2 mi

9,725 ft

9,725 ft

Departing from the Mont-Dore commune, the Tour du Sancy black route loop is an emblematic adventure of the Sancy massif, home to the highest mountain in France’s Massif Central. Covering 151 kilometres (93 mi), with a vertical drop of almost 3,000 metres (10,000 ft), it's a real test even for cycling experts.

From the moment you set off, you'll be enchanted by the diversity of the Sancy landscape. This Collection reveals the many characters of this region, from the high plateaux to the glacial valleys of Chaudefour and the mountain lakes. On average, you'll pedal at an altitude of over 1,000 metres (3,200 ft). Every kilometre of this route offers panoramic views that’ll leave you awestruck.

For those who prefer to split the effort into two stages, I recommend an overnight stay at La Godivelle. This charming village has a few gîtes where you can book a bed, as well as a wild camping area for the more adventurous. It's the ideal place to recharge your batteries before completing this unforgettable Tour.

A road bike is the ideal choice for this ride. Wear comfortable clothing and pack a windproof jacket to cope with the changing weather and sunglasses to protect your eyes from the bright Sancy sun. Bring your camping gear if you plan to overnight in a tent.

This Tour is also an excellent choice for cyclists looking for their first weekend adventure. It's a chance to get away from it all in the great outdoors and to experience moments of wonder at every turn.

The best times to embark on this journey are from late spring to autumn. In summer, it's best to leave early to avoid the heat. Once you've arrived at La Godivelle, you can continue the adventure with a hike around the lakes.

To get to the start point, you can take a train from Clermont-Ferrand to La Bourboule. From there, catch the P45 bus. For the return journey, do the same in the opposite direction.

Timetables (in French):

Winter: sancy.com/fr/fiche/commerce-et-service/ligne-p45-la-bourboule-le-mont-dore-le-sancy-periode-hiver-la-bourboule_TFO4675557.
Summer: sancy.com/fr/fiche/commerce-et-service/ligne-p45-la-bourboule-murat-le-quaire-le-mont-dore-le-sancy-periode-ete-mont-dore_TFO4675567.

Prepare to be amazed and push your limits on this exceptional route!

On The Map


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Tour du Sancy black loop (complete route)

94.2 mi

9,750 ft

9,750 ft

Last updated: September 5, 2023

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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  1. Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Mont-Dore to La Godivelle – Tour du Sancy black route

    44.9 mi
    11.9 mph
    4,250 ft
    3,750 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly well-paved surfaces and easy to ride.

    Departing from Mont-Dore, you leave this charming village by taking its picturesque streets. Don't worry, when you return you can enjoy the thermal waters to recharge your batteries and relax.


    Right from the start, you attack slopes that put your calves to the test. You cross the plateau of Vendeix and

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  2. 04:20
    49.3 mi
    11.4 mph
    5,475 ft
    5,975 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly well-paved surfaces and easy to ride.

    The beginning of this stage begins with a false flat, ideal for warming up gently. After crossing the Motte de Brion, an artificial hillock sheltering the ruins of a castle, a beautiful descent takes you to a valley.


    You then begin the ascent of Vauzelles, a climb with a maximum gradient of 13%. An easy

    translated byView Original



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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    94.2 mi
  • Duration
    08:06 h
  • Elevation
    9,725 ft9,725 ft

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