2013 Hannibal Mini Epics
Hannibal Weekends - The Concise Hannibal
The Hannibal Tour is one of the world's great rides that follows in the trail of the legendary Carthaginian general from Barcelona to Rome. This modern day tour gives riders the chance to take up Hannibal’s trail in Barcelona, Avignon or Gavi and ride 1, 2 or 3 stages of this epic expedition, or for the time poor there is also the chance to join us on a weekend break as part of the tour.
Below are a series of ‘shorter’ options for the upcoming 2013 Hannibal Tour that runs from September 7th to October 3rd.
Mini Epic One
The Best of Southern France
11-15 September (Wednesday to Sunday) Carcassonne to Avignon
This stage gives you the opportunity to experience the best of southern France. Starting in the amazing town of Carcassonne we head up into the high Languedoc. Voted by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s best rides this area has to be seen to be believed. The Languedoc is still to be truly ‘discovered’ as a tourist destination and yet you get the same fantastic landscapes and great cuisine as its more renowned neighbours without experiencing the tourist hoardes. You’ll be amazed how few cars you’ll come across in this part of France. From the Languedoc we then cross the Rhone river into Provence and visit the UNESCO site of the Pont du Gard before heading to the beautiful Papal city of Avignon which provides a fitting end to our tour. Our final day provides you with the choice of taking on the Giant of Provence - Mont Ventoux- or enjoying the delights of one of the finest canyon rides in Europe - the Gorges de la Nesques. A fitting end to a fantastic mini stage.
Duration: 4 days/4 nights
Mini Epic Two
Col Agnel & a Taste of Piedmont
19-22 September (Thursday to Sunday) Le Chalp to Gavi
This long weekend tour takes us from France into Italy and allows us to explore the delights of one of Italy's most beguiling regions - Piedmont. We meet for this tour in the Alpine hamlet of Le Chalp on Thursday evening and our first day's riding takes us over one of the great Alpine Col's - Col Agnel (see below) - which at 2744m is the 6th highest paved road over the Alps. From here we descend to the ’Red castle’ of Costiglione which is situated in the province of Cuneo in the shadow of the Alps before heading towards and along some of the best ridgelines you’ll ever cycle. We take in the stunning Langhe area that is renowned for its fine wines including the ‘King of wines’ – Barolo – on our way to the town of Alba. This town is synonymous with the ‘Slow Food’ movement and white truffles and provides a great stay for the tour. From here we head into the beautiful Monferrato area towards our final destination of Gavi whilst following in the tyre tracks of Italy's greatest ever cyclist - Fausto Coppi - who hailed from the area. We finish the tour with a chilled glass of Gavi di Gavi at Villa Sparina which is one one of the most renowned producers of this fine tipple.
Duration: 3 days/3 nights
Mini Epic Three
16 – 19 September (Monday – Thursday) Ventoux to Alpe D’Huez
Technically this is a short break rather than a weekend as it doesn’t actually incorporate any weekend days! That said it takes in a couple of cycling’s most iconic climbs so we thought we’d include it as an option. We start the trip with the mother of all warm rides – Mont Ventoux – which certainly will wake the legs up. We then head towards the high Alps via the incredible Gorges de la Nesque. Our route takes us past through vine clad valleys and up into the foothills of the Alps via the road less travelled. On the final day of this tour you’ll have the opportunity to challenge yourself on that most iconic of climbs – Alpe d’Huez.
Duration: 4 days/3 nights
Mini Epic Four
The Italian Job
28-30 September (Saturday to Monday) San Miniato to Perugia
Our final weekend has a distinctive Italian flavour as we explore some of the highlights of Tuscany and Umbria. Starting in the quaint town of San Miniato we head firstly to San Gimignano – the ‘Town of Fine Towers’ – before riding south towards the beautiful Orcia valley; renowned for its quintessential Tuscan landscapes and fines wines – Brunello and Vino Nobile to name perhaps the two best known. Our stay in this area is in the beautiful old monastery of Sant’Anna which was used as a film set for the film ‘The English Patient’. From here we head across the border into Umbria and head towards the vibrant university town of Perugia which marks the end of our trip.
Duration: 3 days/2 nights