Image : @OSMfilms, 1st TNR
The Torino-Nice Rally is a bikepacking, touring or randonneur event - a ride that's a bit of most things except technically difficult in the mountain biking sense. It's not a race, just a challenge to finish and a question of what to ride and where to focus your efforts.
The route includes around 300 miles / 485km of tarmac going up to a high point of 2750m and taking in two Grand Tour cols, also 150 miles / 240km of rocky gravel-based military stradas along the border often at an altitude of 2000m or more. The scenery of the Queyras and Mercantour national parks and the Ligurian, Cottian and Maritime Alps will reward those prepared to ride long days and sleep out, seeing the sun rise and set each day.
Image : upper, @rotgans_photo, 1st TNR
Location - Col de Tende / Colle di Tenda, France-Italy border
Here, you can take one of two options. Descend the countless dirt switchbacks off the Col de Tende into France or turn east and keep your height riding out onto the longer and more remote Via del Sale section, a historic trade route and military road through some of the most stunning scenery of the whole route, past an alpine hut that will be open with food if your timing is good. The shorter route down the Tende may make up lost time, avoid bad weather, catch up those in front or just keep your options open.
Other route options are included in the cues and GPS files to allow short cuts or added miles depending on how your pace works out. This gives added flexibility to the ride and means riders of different pace may overlap on the route more often than if it were a one-track route.
Route image gallery
Taken during a route exploration trip in early July 2015 and the 1st run of the rally in September 2016.