THE CYCLE CHALLENGE

The Supporting Wounded Veterans Cycle Challenge

300 kilometers, four days and some of the greatest stories in history. 22nd – 27th May 2021.

 

Supporting Wounded Veterans’ inaugural Cycle Challenge, from Saint-Nazaire to Caen. We will be starting and finishing at the sites of two of the most audacious commando raids in history, the Normandie Docks and Pegasus Bridge. Over the course of four days riding we will take in local sites, a world heritage locations and the battlefields of the D-Day Landings.

We ask every rider raises a minimum of £2000 (£1200 tour costs and a minimum of £800 charity contribution). There is an initial deposit of £600 to secure your place.

 

To Register or find to more, please email: ride@swv.org

Itinerary 22nd-27th May 2021

DAY 1 – PORTSMOUTH-CAEN- SAINT NAZAIRE

We meet in Portsmouth to board the early morning ferry across to Caen. Once there, our awaiting coaches transfer us to our ride starting point in Saint Nazaire. The dry dock here was an important strategic asset for the German fleet in World War Two, as it was used to repair large warships damaged in the Atlantic. By taking out the Saint Nazaire docks, the British hoped to force large German warships to have no choice but to take a longer route home for repairs elsewhere on the continent. On arrival in Saint Nazaire, we'll have time to see the fortified docks where the monstrous U-Boat still loom over the waterfront.

DAY 2 – SAINT NAZAIRE - RENNES

Our ride sets out along the north bank of the Loire before heading north through the Briere national park. This area is incredibly flat and allows us to make up some quick miles. The roads are quiet and winding in this region of Brittany, which makes for some relaxing and scenic riding. We soon join the Vilaine River and follow it north through Redon and all the way to our overnight stop in Rennes.

DAY 3 – RENNES - GRANVILLE

Continuing north through Brittany, the first part of our day is far more undulating the previous but soon gives way to some flat riding towards the world-famous UNESCO site of Mont Saint-Michelle. Before being developed, only a tidal causeway linked the island to the mainland but now a bridge allows passage in all but extreme high tides. so we'll be able to cycle the bridge without getting our tyres wet. Leaving Mont Saint-Michelle marks our transition from Brittany to Normandy as we head onto our overnight stop in Granville.

DAY 4 – GRANVILLE - BAYEUX

Today's route takes us from the west to the east coast of the Normandy Peninsular via many apple orchards used for the production of cider and calvados this region is famous for. As we reach the east coast, we begin to see the monuments to Operation Overlord, the code name given for the Battle of Normandy. On this day we will stop at Pointe du Hock, the site where the U.S Army Rangers scaled the 100-foot cliffs and seized the German artillery pieces that could have fired on the American troops at Omaha and Utah beaches. From here we take time to reflect on the magnitude of the sacrifice made by those in the past on our short ride to Bayeux. 

DAY 5 – BAYEUX - CAEN

Our final day's ride takes us on a tour of the Normandy coast taking in more sites from the Normandy landings. We begin in the day riding the "wrong way" to Caen by heading east, where our efforts will be rewarded with a visit to the Normandy American Cemetery where 9,388 American servicemen are buried. After paying our respects we head east along the coast to Arromanches. From there the final section takes us to the Pegasus Bridge featured in the film "The Longest Day". From here a short ride down the canal cycle path sees us finish our epic journey in Caen where we celebrate our achievements. 

DAY 6 – CAEN - PORTSMOUTH

An early start to catch the morning crossing back to Portsmouth, arriving in plenty of time for our onward journeys home. 

The work and programmes of Supporting Wounded Veterans is funded entirely by donations, sponsorship and contributions. We sincerely appreciate any donation that you might be able to give and you can give in a number of ways, from sponsoring individuals, events, or projects as well as donations.

Supporting Wounded Veterans

The Garden House
​Royal Hospital Chelsea
Royal Hospital Road,
London. ​SW3 4SR

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