La Manche, with its breathtaking landscapes and unspoilt countryside, is the ideal place for amateur and experienced cyclists alike. Hop on your bike and explore the five “Espace cyclosport” labelled cycle routes in la Manche. Created by the French Cycling Federation, this label guarantees varied, safe and high-quality routes.
Choose your circular ride from four levels of difficulty, based on distance and elevation criteria: green and blue - easy, red - challenging and black - very challenging
Tested and approved by professional cyclists, the five “cyclosport” routes in la Manche are ideal for your two-wheeled adventure!
This leisurely cycle route is ideal for exploring the landscapes of the Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin nature park: its unique flora and fauna is well worth the detour! This ride begins in Utah Beach, the site of the Normandy landings by American troops on 6 June 1944, and winds its way along the flat roads in the heart of the park.
About the route: Mark Cavendish won the first stage of the Tour de France in 2016 in front of the Musée du Débarquement (D-Day Museum).
Vire Valley cycle route
A route to work up a sweat while you enjoy the gorgeous hills and valleys of la Manche. You’ll pedal through unspoilt landscapes, with breathtaking views of the Normandy countryside, keeping close to the River Vire. On this fairly hilly circular ride, you’ll discover the ramparts of Saint-Lô, the Château de Canisy, and the Roches de Ham with their panoramic views over the Vire Valley.
“Lush countryside, little towns, panoramic views over the Vire Valley from the Roches de Ham and historical heritage will be your reward for facing the challenges of this ride, including a significant climb, false flats and several steep sections. Head back to Saint-Lô to recover from your efforts in one of the town’s many restaurants”.
Southern Manche hills and valleys cycle route
Ride across la Manche from west to east on this relatively challenging 100 km route. If you’re a seasoned cyclist, you’ll enjoy testing your legs on this route that’s dotted with false flats, climbs, some good level stretches but also some steep sections. This varied ride is perfect for developing your endurance or trying specific exercises. It starts in Avranches, with a first straight section along the hilltop towards Mortain. For the final ascent to Avranches, you’ll need to draw on your reserves to earn a view of Mont Saint-Michel in the distance! This route is sponsored by Mickaël Cherel.
Val de Saire cycle route
This is a great way to discover the Val de Saire. Starting from the Château de Bricquebec, head out along Benoît Cosnefroy’s favourite training route towards the coast. Pass through La Pernelle to enjoy amazing views of the Val de Saire, Tatihou island and the bay of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue. Prepare to push yourself, with a 1 km climb at more than 9%. The record stands at 2min15: think you can beat it? The rest of the ride is more leisurely. Take the opportunity to explore the historical site of the Battle of Normandy.
La Hague cycle route
Rugged cliffs, unspoilt landscapes, windswept lighthouses, winding roads and changing light: prepare to brave the elements on this high-level ride. Amaël Moinard, a native of the area, knows this route well, having trained there many times.
“This route, starting at the famous Cité de la Mer in Cherbourg, winds its way between the heathlands and seascapes of La Hague. The first part of the circular ride provides you with the perfect warm up in the coastal town. Then you’ll head to the valley of Quincampoix, which has a few steep sections on the way to the town of Bricquebec. A few kilometres on from Bricquebec, you may have to battle the wind as you head west. Before arriving at the coast, you can take a welcome break at Les Pieux, but after that, there’ll be no time to stop, as the difficulties come thick and fast! And if the westerly winds and rain make an appearance, the route will be even more challenging on the winding roads of La Hague. If your legs are suffering, it won’t be the same for your eyes: charming little harbours, windswept lighthouses, sea vistas and valleys, and changing light. Once you’ve passed through Gréville-Hague, the last 12 km will be flatter, allowing you to take it easy on the return to Cherbourg, hopefully with the wind behind you”.
“Espace cyclosport” routes: why in la Manche?
The “Espace Cyclosport” label was created by the French Cycling Federation to develop road cycling and make it safer. With its high quality, varied and safe “road” routes, la Manche has what it takes to develop this network. If you’re a cycling enthusiast, the Manche is the ideal place for you to combine sport, leisure and tourism.
To facilitate your cycling adventures, dedicated services and facilities can be found along these five routes:
- An information panel at the departure point, with practical information (map, distance, profile), points of interest and safety reminders;
- Proximity to a tourist office with the “Accueil Vélo” (cycling point) label or to a bike rental or repair point with last-minute requirements, such as water and repair kits
- Availability of a tailored bike rental service;
- Access to nearby shops, restaurants and accommodation;
- Signs on routes to indicate changes of direction;
- Safety signs to alert drivers to the regular presence of cyclists;
- Signs to indicate difficulties.