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Scenic road cycling
Group cycling

Lille to Lyon Cycle

France Cycle
CycleHotelLong DayORANGE 1
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About the Challenge

This is a fabulous and challenging ride from Lille to Lyon, through the heart of the world-famous Champagne country. Setting off from London on the Eurostar, we begin our ride through medieval historic towns, small villages and farmland with fields of sunflowers and vines. Gentle rolling hills through vineyards form much of our landscape en-route. With long days in the saddle and undulating terrain, reaching Lyon will evoke an unforgettable sense of achievement.

Lille to Lyon Cycle

  • We depart for Lille on a morning Eurostar from London St Pancras, after loading our bikes onto the support vehicles. On arrival,we transfer to our hotel and are free to do as we wish before meeting again for dinner and a detailed trip briefing. Night hotel.

    (Lunch not included)

  • We head south from Lille, on fairly flat terrain passing through small villages and farmland, with some areas of shady woodland. A few hills mid-way through our morning stretch the legs a little! The area we pass through saw a great deal of action in WW1 and many road-names in towns and villages testify to the history. Our afternoon is predominantly flat as we ride southeast,though a few hills await us before Cambrai, a town which dates back to Roman times. From here, we follow the Scheldt River on scenic roads through quiet towns, dotted with impressive chateaus, before we end our first day in St Quentin. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 112km (70 miles)

  • We’re once again cycling through the Champagne region of France, where the conditions are perfect for wine production. There are a few short climbs today but most of the terrain rolls along gently. We will start to see distinctive rows of vines on the slopes around us as we enter Reims. We cycle through the picturesque streets to our hotel, where a glass of Champagne will surely be available! Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 121 km (76 miles)

  • Today takes us through the National Park of Reims, with its prestigious vineyards situated between the wooded massifs of the Reims Mountain Regional Nature Park. The scenery today will not disappoint! Once on the other side of the National Park, we will continue to head south, passing even more lush vineyards and beautiful villages along the way. We will follow the River Seine into the old town of Troyes, one of the jewels in the crown of Champagne with its medieval architecture and cobbled streets lined with colourful, half-timbered houses, mostly dating from the 16th century.

    Cycle approx 128 km (80 miles)

  • Today takes us further into rural Burgundy, over gently rolling hills that open up to wonderful views over this typically French countryside. We leave our hotel on quiet, flat roads, passing small villages and open fields of barley and wheat. Some miles before our lunch-stop at Chablis – which gives its name to one of France’s most famous white wines – we come to the vineyards: rows upon rows of vines, mainly pinot noir and chardonnay, on the south-facing slopes. We pass several old wineries before riding right through the pretty old town of Chablis itself, then cycle on small, quiet country lanes connecting the abundant farms and villages that dot the landscape. There are some wonderful views as we crest the rolling hills, and every rise is followed by a lovely descent. As we approach the end of the day’s ride, our road brings us out at a wonderful viewpoint over the picturesque medieval hill-top town of Semur-en-Auxois; our hotel is only a short distance away. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 137 km (86 miles)

  • Our longest day is a day of two halves, separated by our most significant climb so far! The morning continues on quiet rolling roads through yet more picturesque towns and villages; some of the churches have the distinctive coloured roof-tiles typical of Burgundy. We pass fields of sunflowers, corn and small pockets of woodland and ride for a short stretch alongside the Canalde Bourgogne. A 250km-long feat of engineering, the canal connected Burgundy to both northern Europe and the Mediterranean, allowing it to prosper. We come to the picturesque town of Bligny-sur-Ouche, which lies at the foot of our most challenging climb so far – a 6km ascent which twists up through woodland before the road straightens out and an easier gradient takes us through pastures at the top. A wonderful descent follows – at twice the length of the climb, we definitely tackle this hill from the best direction! Wide sweeping bends takes us through fields and woodland, passing small villages,right down into the town of Beaune below us. It’s an exhilarating descent with wonderful views, and we’ll be buzzing when we reach lunch shortly afterwards. We cross the River Saône, heading towards Verdun, and the rest of our day is fairly flat. As we enter the Jura region we can see the ridge of mountains looming on the horizon, though they still look quite distant. Our last few miles see a few gentle uphill sections through lovely quiet woodland and we finally reach the Roman spa town of Lons-le-Saunier. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 158km (98 miles)

  • We set off from Lons-le-Saunier, keeping the Jura Mountains of Switzerland on our left. Today is incredibly scenic, as we follow the valley of the River Ain. We pass fields of sunflowers and sections of woodland, and ride through some very picturesque villages with old churches and striking town halls. This evening we enjoy our final meal as a group and celebrate ourachievements together. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 138km (85 miles)

  • After breakfast, say your goodbyes, it's homeward bound depending on your own arrangements. (Lunch not included)

Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £200 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,591 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • Accommodation is usually on a twin-share basis in hotels convenient to our route. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller in a shared room.

    There may be a limited number of single rooms subject to request, on a first-come first-served basis, after you have booked. Extra charges will apply.

  • We usually stay in hotels or lodges of a 2-3* standard or equivalent. Standards may vary between the hotels but they are generally comfortable and convenient for our route. Hotels are often on the outskirts of towns to minimise unnecessary extra mileage and avoid traffic.

  • The food provided is plentiful and will give you plenty of energy. Lunches are generally buffet-style while dinners are usually eaten at the hotel. Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply.

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders and support crew, including mechanics. Our leaders are selected for their knowledge and experience, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises; they are also trained in first aid. The crew will have mobile phones and/or radios where appropriate, medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary.

    The number of crew and support vehicles looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but the team will be looking after every aspect of your trip whether that’s transporting your luggage, ensuring your route is well-marked, making you lunch and sorting out any mechanical problems. Support vehicles are with the group all of the time, and carry all luggage and spares.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

  • Your booking is part of a group challenge and the tour costs and fundraising targets listed on our website are based on a minimum number of participants which is shown on the challenge  Our typical groups run with approximately 35-40 participants however you may find your group is smaller or larger than this.

    We will confirm at least 12 weeks prior to departure that your challenge is guaranteed to run however occasionally it may be possible to still to run the challenge with less than the minimum numbers, subject to a small group supplement.  If we think a small group supplement may be necessary, we will discuss this with you as soon as possible, usually 5 months before your departure date. 

    Minimum numbers and groups sizes may vary on Bespoke Charity challenges.  If you are booked onto a bespoke challenge please contact your charity for full details.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

  • Travel Insurance is compulsory on our challenges; we strongly suggest that you arrange insurance cover as soon as your booking with us is confirmed. Should you need to cancel on medical grounds, you will need insurance to cover the costs involved (registration fee and any trip costs depending on cancellation date). 

    You should also ensure that you have adequate cover for the type of challenge you are taking part in as well as medical emergencies, evacuation and repatriation.

    You can obtain a quote with Insure to Travel from our website here, or you may choose to take out your own travel insurance, just remember to let us know the policy number and emergency phone number!

    For more information about travel insurance, please click here.


Trips are graded Yellow, Orange or Red, in increasing level of challenge. This trip lies within the ORANGE range.

Orange colour

The grade is determined by factors such as terrain, distance, climate, altitude, etc. Each colour grade has a spectrum which reflects the difficulty of these factors; trip duration, accommodation and living conditions (see icon) are also taken into account. 

Trip grading explained


Challenges 2019-2020

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