La Vélo Francette is Cycling Route of the Year 2017
La Vélo Francette was declared to be ‘Cycle Route of the Year 2017’. The accompanying trophy was awarded by the jury on Saturday February 11th., the opening day of the 2017 edition of the ‘Fiets en Wandelbeurs’ in Utrecht.
La Vélo Francette is a 617 kilometre long cycling route from Ouistreham on the north coast of Normandy to La Rochelle on the south-west coast of France. The route was created thanks to the co-operation of a considerable number of partners. The result was one to be proud of, according to the jury’s report. “A splendid route through a varied landscape that is largely along greenways: over old hunting trails or former railway tracks.”
Trying out routes
A total of sixteen routes were nominated for the contest. The jury members Wouter Bazen, Luc Oteman and Bert Sitters took to their bicycles to put six of them to the test: the Dommelfietspad (Netherlands and Belgium), the Weinland Steiermark Radtour (Austria), Penedès360 (Catalonia, Spain) the ViaRhôna, the Vallée du Loir à Vélo and La Vélo Francette in France.
According to the trio La Vélo Francette emerged as clear winner. They summed up many plus points in their final report. “The route is fully sign-posted, the start and finishing points are easily reachable by train, there are various stations along the way where you can join or leave the train, there is plenty of overnight accommodation within cycling distance along the route and La Vélo Francette is suitable for young and old alike. Thanks to the connections with other cycle routes like Véloscénie, la Loire à Vélo and the Vélodyssée, it is also possible to cycle in a complete circuit. This means that the route forms an important new link in the ever-growing network of bicycle routes in France.”