If you’re passing through Paris and you’re itching to do a cycle tour, consider exploring the race routes and other sites (track, mountain biking, BMX) for the Paris Olympics in 2024. You can discover them before the crowds…
Road: A weekend trip to the Chevreuse Valley, like a Parisian
The men’s and women’s road races should start near the Eiffel Tower and finish on the Champs-Élysées, like the Tour de France, according to the organisation committee’s website. However, they may also finish at the Pont d’Iéna, in front of the Eiffel Tower, as is planned for the triathlon events. There won’t be an official route until after the test events in 2023.
>> See the presentation video of Paris 2024
What we do know for sure is that, between the start and finish, the riders will follow a loop around Paris that shows off its most famous monuments. They will then leave the city, heading south west to the Palace of Versailles and along the slopes of the Chevreuse Valley. You can tackle this route with your ordinary road bike (the hills are never more than 1.5km). This is where entire pelotons of Parisian cyclists spend their weekends since decades!
The Olympic route will then head back towards the Champs-Élysées or the Pont d’Iena, 5km away from the last hill, the formidable Pavé des Gardes, which has some 10% gradients. The time trials should finish at the same place, though they will probably stay within the city limits.
Velodrome: try a test run on the Olympic track !
The track events will take place at the National Velodrome, which was opened in 2014 at Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, 25km west of the Eiffel Tower, and just 6km from Le Golf National where the Ryder Cup will be held in 2018. The 250m track, in Siberian larch, is extremely steep. For €30 you can have an adrenaline-filled test run, accompanied by instructors, any weekday except when the French teams are training (you can stay and watch them).
The BMX trials will be very closed from the same venue. But you can also try, right now, the current dirt “olympic” track at Velodrome.
The 291m “mountain” bike challenge!
The mountain bike trials will be staged on Élancourt hill, 7km west of the National Velodrome. This former sandstone quarry is currently a wasteland, which is due to be transformed into a site for extreme sports by 2021. It may be only 291m high but experts say it can be turned into a severe-level trail. And you can see the Eiffel Tower from the top.
Photos Paris 2024 and Vélodrome national.