Route – 2016

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The main theme of this year’s Tour de Travoy was “To Savoy with Travoy”. Savoy is the region of France south of Lake Geneva and it is the most mountainous region in all of France.  My trip also coincided with Euro 2016 and en route to the Alps, I was hoping to see the Ireland vs Belgium game in Belgium and the Ireland vs Italy game in Italy after watching the Ireland vs Sweden game in Ireland. However, I was offered a lift to London, so ended up watching the Ireland vs Sweden game in the UK before cycling to Belgium and then onto Italy.

(Part 1) London to Bourg Saint Maurice

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2016-06-17 (Day 01) London – Arlon  (30 km)  [Train – 300 km] Grand Depart of the 2016 Tour de Travoy on the Eurostar high speed train from London to Belgium

2016-06-18 (Day 02) Arlon  (Rest day) Behind enemy lines in the Ardennes as Ireland played Belgium at Euro 2016

2016-06-19 (Day 03) Arlon – Basel  (45km)  [Train – 300 km] Letting the train take the strain from Luxembourg to Basel in Switzerland

2016-06-20 (Day 04) Basel – Sutz  (95 km) Ambushed by Predator and Puss ‘n Boots in the hills of northern Switzerland

2016-06-21 (Day 05) Sutz – Chatel St. Denis  (90 km) Following the Yellow Brick Road past herds of buffalo and cows with bells in central Switzerland

2016-07-22 (Day 06) Chatel St. Denis – Aigle  (30 km) A day no-one in either Ireland or Iceland will ever forget after both their teams won in Euro 2016

2016-06-23 (Day 07) Aigle – Martigny  (40 km) Visiting world cycling’s HQ, the Mont Blanc Express and timber covered bridges in southern Switzerland

2016-06-24 (Day 08) Martigny – Etroubles  (65 km) A grand day for climbing the Grand Saint Bernard mountain pass  into Italy

2016-06-25 (Day 09) Etroubles – Arvier  (30 km) Almost washed away by a thunderstorm in the Aosta valley in northern Italy

2016-06-26 (Day 10) Arvier – La Thuile  (30 km) Despite my best efforts not to jinx them, Ireland bow out of Euro 2016 after defeat to France

2016-06-27 (Day 11) La Thuile – Bourg St. Maurice  (50 km) Car crash TV as England brexit from Euro 2016 after taking a hell of a beating from Iceland

(Part 2) Bourg Saint Maurice to Donegal

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2016-06-28 (Day 12)  Rest Day in Bourg Saint Maurice  (0 km) Over 1,000 books have been wrote about Hannibal but none of them agree on where he crossed the Alps in 218 BC

2016-06-29 (Day 13)  Bourg Saint Maurice – La Bathie  (50 km) Reminising about the 1987 Tour de France, which was won by Stephen Roche here at La Plagne

2016-06-30 (Day 14)  La Bathie  – Annecy  (55 km) A week after the referendum, Brexit and its aftermath finally catches up with me at a campsite in Annecy

2016-07-01 (Day 15)  Annecy – Nantua  (85 km) All day today, there were ceremonies marking the centenary of the Battle of the Somme yet the man most responsible for it was barely mentioned

2016-07-03 (Day 17)  Nantua – Louhans  (110 km) A Super Sunday of cycling past tranquil lakes, scenic wine valleys, prehistoric caves and poignant WW2 memorials

2016-07-04 Day 18) Louhans – Beaune  (65 km) 190 years after the world’s first photo, I took a few extra today to honor the inventor of photography, Joseph Nicephore Niepce

2016-07-05 (Day 19) Beaune – Veneray les Launes  (90 km) The hills of Burgundy are good for growing wine but not so good for a weary cyclist with just one gear on his bike

2016-07-06 (Day 20)  Veneray les Launes – Saint Florentin  (90 km) The day ended with me under siege by mosquitoes in the same place where the Romans set siege to Vercingetrorix in 51BC

2016-07-07 (Day 21) Saint Florentin – Provins  (95 km) Fireworks aplenty after France beat Germany to qualify for the final of Euro 2016

2016-07-08 (Day 22) Provins – Mary sur Marne  (70 km) Recalling water protests back home and Laurent Fignon here in France while cycling between the Seine and Marne valleys

2016-07-09 (Day 23)  Mary sur Marne – Bresles  (90 km) Cycling along the 1914 Battle of the Marne frontline, which was arguably the biggest and bloodiest battle of all time

2016-07-21 (Day 35) Bresles – Dangu  (65 km) Ireland’s very own Iron Man, an endangered species and one of the greatest hoaxes of the 20th Century

2016-07-22 (Day 36) Dangu – Saint Pierre de Vauvray  (70 km) 90 years after his death, Claude Monet’s gardens continue to attract visitors and his paintings continue to cause controversy

2016-07-23 (Day 37) Saint Pierre de Vauvray – Roumere  (50 km) On the road to Rouen, on the same road where the world’s first cycle race and also the world’s first motor car race took place

2016-07-24 (Day 38) Roumere – Honfleur  (100 km) Crossing the River Seine on one of the longest bridges in the world, the Pont de Normandie

2016-07-25 (Day 39) Honfleur – Ouistreham  (60 km) In June 1944, battle raged here in Normandy and also in Saipan in the Pacific, where in 2002 another battle was waged that split Ireland in two

2016-07-26 (Day 40) Ouistreham  – Quineville  (120 km) A day cycling past all 5 D-Day beaches left an incredible impression as to the scale of the D-Day landings

2016-07-29 (Day 43) Quineville – Cherbourg – Portsmouth – London – Barnet  (50 km) After 6 weeks touring round Europe, I almost met my Waterloo after mangling the gears on my bike

2016-08-01 (Day 46) Barnet – London – Holyhead – Dublin  (50 km) A hectic weekend trying to get the gears fixed on my bike was followed by a hectic day’s travelling from London to Dublin

2016-08-06 (Day 51)  Dublin – Donegal  (270 km) The 2016 Tour de Travoy comes to an end with  a 250 km spin to Donegal across the least visible international border anywhere in the world

2016 Tour de Travoy interactive map

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