Or whatever floats your boat. Just be there! Regardless of number of climbs, this should work well as real training before l'Etape, Marmotte or any other such evil coming our way not that long afterwards. So, who's game? The amateurs will face a km course with an elevation gain of 3, m in the hinterland of Nice. A rising false flat in the first 50 kilometres will help them to warm up before tackling the first challenge of the day, the Col de la Colmiane.
After going over the top, a 20 km descent will give their legs a break prior to climbing the major difficulty of the event, the Col de Turini. Riders will need to leave something in the tank to avoid mistakes in the extremely long descent that will take them back to Nice. The Col d'Èze, ideally positioned near the end of the course, is where they will have to burn their final reserves against the backdrop of the superb view from the Moyenne Corniche.
It will also give riders their first glimpse of the finish line, just a few kilometres down the road, which they will cross with their arms raised in exultation to celebrate their exploit!
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No visas are issued at the land borders or at the airport! It must be inquired in a Sudanese embassy. The easiest way is to ask for it in Aswan in Egypt. If you have evidence of travels in Israel in your passport, your visa to Sudan can be denied! I only do it in Khartoum after spending more than a month in the country. After paying about 30 euros, another sticker is put on your passport for verification at the border. I register at the immigration offices in Khartoum at the airport because I find it easier to do it there and the people at the airport speak English.
CYCLING IN SOUDAN: A NICE ADVENTURE
Hotels and lokhandas will ask you to register locally too sometimes Karima, Shendi. This is free of charge. They will give you a document and you will be able to go back to the hotel to spend the night. They just want to have a control of the foreigners that are transiting through the cities. This permit is issued at the Ministry of Tourism in Khartum. Since I entered cycling from Wadi Halfa, I was not able to do it while travelling in the north. From Karima, the road along the Nile is no longer in shape so I cut by the road in the desert to Atbara.
If you are not in a hurry, I advise you to go to Karima and Atbara before cycling south to Khartum. I really enjoyed visiting Karima, Jebel Barkal and the pyramids around the city. The road from Karima to Atbara in the middle of the desert is beautiful, and, coming down from Atbara, you can visit the pyramids of Meroe!
Long distance bike ride essentials
You can have a look to my map at the begining of this post. As a woman alone, I sometimes had trouble finding accommodation. This is a problem for me quite often because travelers are only men. By insisting, I manage to find a bed somewhere, but I also sometimes have to pay a little more for a single room. In some places, there is a separate dorm for women and for men, as in Wadi Halfa for example.
Women are not allowed to camp in Sudan. I was about to pitch my tent in the desert in a quiet place, when a police car who was following me, stopped and wanted to take me. I understood that I was not allowed camp, so I went on further and I slept in a village that night.
Otherwise, I do not have any particular problem to be a solo woman on a bike and I feel totally safe! I can even leave my bike and I know nobody will touch it! The people are very friendly, and the men respectful. Some are even admiring and very surprised. The veil is not obligatory for non-muslims women. I have no problem and I feel comfortable even in remote villages.