International Tandem Rally 2012
Saturday, 2nd. June 2012 - Saturday, 9th. June 2012
This event was organised by Neil Wheadon and took place at Camping Lez-Eaux near Granville, a small town and port on the Cotentin Peninsula some 67 miles south of Cherbourg. On a clear day it was possible to see the Island of Jersey, site of last year's International Rally.
Some two hundred people attended with around two thirds of the camping pitches occupied by International Ralliers. Participants came from The United Kingdom, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand and the United States.
Granville and the Department of Manche
According to Joanna Symons of the Telegraph 'The Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy is seaside France at its most unspoilt and welcoming'. La Manche is renowned for its long sandy beaches, quiet lanes and tiny fishing ports. Offering a superb area for cycling. The area is rich in places to eat the freshly caught local seafood. Try the sole meunière in La Citadelle at 34 rue du Port.
Granville houses the Museum of Christian Dior who's childhood home was the Villa les Rhumbs, the scented garden is worth a visit. The town also has a fortified citadel and casino. Nearby the village of Saint-Aubin-des-Prèaux has a 12th. century Romanesque church with a Gothic bell tower.
Each day we were offered a choice of either a short or long route both heading off in the same direction.
Sunday took us down to Avranches with marvellous views of Mont Saint Michel from Bec d'Andaine with a very pleasant return up the coast road. In the evening we were treated to a cheese and wine reception on the château lawn.
Monday we headed off towards Sartilly, convenient distance for a coffee stop, then North to Saint Jean des Champs where many lunched in the square while waiting for the Cider Farm to open. Jean-Luc Coulombier showed us around la Ferme de l´Hermitière where he and his family produce cider and Calvados. There we were able to see the one hundred year old still in action producing this year's calvados.
Tuesday saw us heading North towards Brehal and returning through Granville with the long route reaching Montmartin. We managed to reach Granville in time to lunch while sheltering from the showers.
Wednesday was the traditional day off when no rides were offered and participants made their own arrangements to visit sites of their own choice or just chill out on the camp site.
Thursday offered the chance of a trip to Mont Saint Michel. A long day for some in inclement weather. Many opted to wait for the rain to stop before
setting out for a shortened version of the route.
Friday' s route took us on an undulating out and back trip to Villedieu les Poeles. The sun shone and people were able to visit the Bell Foundry and Copper Workshops. The rally ended with a superb buffet and music by Foumagnac on the château lawn.
Pictures from the rally can be viewed in the event showcase.
Read an article in the local edition of Ouest-France
If you are visiting the area and would like to cycle some of the routes we used the route sheets are available in pdf format with distance columns in miles (Kilometers in text column).
Right click on "Short" or "Long" to save the files to your computer.
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Map showing location of Camping Lez-Eaux