Published by Lyn on 5 February 2015
The Le Mans 24-hour Cyclosportive takes over the famous Le Mans racing track every August.
Le Mans might be a petrolhead's paradise synonymous with the annual 24-hour car race, but it's easier on the ears in August each year when thousands of cyclists take to the circuit for the Le Mans 24-hour Cyclosportive.
The 24-hour race takes to the famous 4,185m Bugatti race track in the Sarthe department of Pays de la Loire every summer, with upwards of 2,000 cyclists taking part. Entries usually close late-July (see the website for details). Entry charges apply.
Racing in teams of 2, 4, 6 or 8 or riding solo, riders are expected to complete as many laps as possible within 24 hours.
If you want to take part but don't want to commit to the whole 24 hours, you can join 'La Matinale, a one-hour session that's open to anyone on a bike.
And to help you make the most of it ...
See the official website for more information, including details of how to register.
Le Mans is in the Sarthe department of Pays de la Loire, about one hour from Paris by train, or around three-hours’ drive from the ferry ports at St-Malo, Caen and Cherbourg. There are low-cost flights to Angers and Tours. See voyages-sncf.com train times and ticket prices. See also our information on taking bikes on French trains.
If you're not able to take your own bike, see our bike hire listings for bike rental options in the area.
The Stanfords travel bookshop website is a good place to start for maps. Michelin has an Orne, Mayenne and Sarthe map, while IGN has a good Pays de la Loire regional map. IGN's Serie Bleue 1:25,000 maps cover the area in much more detail (use the grid map on the left of the screen to search for the map you need). See here for guidebook options.
See also the Sarthe tourist office website.