Rye Wheelers First Ardres Randonnee

Rye Wheelers meet the Ardres Cyclists for the first time as guests in their famous Le Carre de Vallees 100k. Randonnee.

Eighteen Rye Wheelers set off on the 3.20 am. Ferry from Dover on
3 June and then cycled on to Ardres. They were met here by officials
from the Union of Cyclism for the Ardres Region and entertained to

The event was a 105km (66 mile) ‘Randonnee’ that took in three enormous
climbs and several really long drags. Five riders choose a shorter
course but thirteen Wheelers braved the long hard route. There was
excellent marshal coverage and, as there were boldly painted arrows
on every junction it would have been difficult to get ‘lost in France’.
Even Granville found his way around!

Riders from the Ardres area took part in the event, which was escorted
out of town by a vehicle with flashing lights, very much in the style
of the Tour De France stages. This was done at considerable speed
and some riders commented that they had been in slower road races.

The pace car was called off and the event settled into a steadier
pace. Soon the riders found themselves at a feeding station where
‘energy’ snacks were provided, they were surely needed, the course
then proceeded through three of the toughest climbs in the area and
it was every man for himself. After the third massive climb, where
the word COURAGE was painted on the road and marshals there cheered every rider over the top, it was a two mile down hill plunge to the flat lands below and a gentler ride over the last 15km. to the finish back in Ardres.

An excellent lunch, provided by the very nice people involved with
the local clubs, awaited at the finish and the Rye & District Wheelers
were awarded a special trophy.

Club Racing shirts were exchanged and the Wheelers promised they would
reciprocate with an event in England in the near future.

Then it was a 15 km. ride back to the Ferry and home in time for supper.

From the Rye Wheelers 2007 Year Book