Equipe Flamme Rouge  

EFR Island Circuit ~ 5* Gran Fondo

Who's it for?
This, very challenging, circuit caters for the rider who has successfully completed the 4* Medio Fondo Ride and wants something to take them to the edge.

If you enjoy the challenge of the big hills and a big distance, this course is ideal for you. Take an extra water bottle, an energy bar and maybe a gel. Don't go too fast, too hard, too soon. This is Jersey's very own, Circle of Death...

Course Description
Starting at the Sugar Basin Slip, head west to the bottom of St Aubin and go right to the end of the bay and go around the back of the Old Court House, to climb Ghost Hill. Watch out for cars coming down hill, as (for some reason) it's not one way! Carry on all the way to the main road at the top and when you get to the yellow line, turn right to head for the Noirmont Corner Shop.

Take a left at the main road and almost immediately after the lay-by bus stop, drop down left in to St Brelade's Bay. Head towards the end of the bay, and just before you get there, take a left to turn between the chapel and the church hall. At the end of the road, take the right to climb Route des Camps, (Chapel Hill) to Beauport. Once at the top, continue all the way to the yellow line, where you turn left, to head for Corbiere Lighthouse.

As you drop in to the bay, be aware of the strong cross winds, and climb out the long sloping side. Carry on for 500 metres, turn right just before the garage and head for La Pulente, and the 10 km marker. Drop in to St Ouen's Bay and hope you have a tail wind to carry you along.

Looking from the 10k marker across an angry looking St Ouen's Bay.
The L'Etacq Climb & Stinky Bay are at the headland
you can see on the horizon! ~ Photo David Conboy

Ride all the way to the end of the bay, follow the road around and keep going until you reach the foot of Hydrangea. Where you turn left to pass the L'Etacq Woodcraft and head down to the point and Stinky Bay. Round the point, and climb out of L'Etacq, up the steep climb until you reach the top of the headland where you take the first left. Head for Les Landes race course and just as you get there you hit the 20 km marker.

Keep on this road all the way to the top of Greve de Lecq and drop down in to the bay. The long drag out of the bay is the day's fifth climb which brings us out at St Mary's 20 mph lane and the Ecole Francaise. Carry on for around 300 metres and at the West View Hotel, take a left turn and head down Le Grand Rue.

At the first fork in the road, go right, past the old Butterfly Farm, and head for Mourier Valley and the north coast. At the top of the very steep and bumpy Mont de Barcelone, turn left down the 15 mph lane, which opens out on to the north coast at Sorel, where we find the 30 km marker.

Follow the coast road past Ronez Quarry and beyond. Keep going all the way to the end and the steep Quarry Hill, where you take a left at the top. Follow this narrow road until you get to the yellow line, then take a right. You follow the twisty lane for 100 metres, then take a sharp left and drop down the steep, fast, dead-end drop to Bonne Nuit Harbour. Take Care!

Here's the daddy of all the islands climbs. Not the steepest, not the longest but the worst combination of the two. It's a long grind, so don't go too fast too soon. Just climb all the way out and keep going until you get to the Les Platons headland. The finish line for this segment is the car park where the cafe is. Don't stop, keep going...

Follow the road around the top of the island and at the end of Rue des Platons, go straight on in to La Vielle Charriere, the back road to drop down in to Bouley Bay. It's two way and a very narrow, "country-style" road. It's agricultural so take care until you pop out at the bottom. Take a right and head up hill following the hair-pins, keeping on the International Hill Climb Course.

Carry on through the finish line and at the top stay left. Take the first left in to Chemin d'Olivet and follow it all the way to the top of Rozel. Safely drop down to the harbour; as you start the steep descent you reach the 40 km marker.

As you leave the harbour you begin the short, steep climb out of the bay. After the main climb ends there is a long drag of 300 metres, where the road turns sharp left. Carry on for a further 100 metres and take the next left to head towards St Catherine's.

The first turning you come to is a sharp right. At this point go straight on and hit the the very twist, turny, slow, drop down in to Fliquet and ride around the glorious Fliquet Folly (below).

Prepare yourself for a long drag out back to the headland. When you get to the end of the road, turn left and carry on towards St Catherine's.

Follow the road, without turning off, until you reach the junction at St Catherine's Walk. Take a left and do the loop around St Catherine's breakwater until you return to the junction just departed. Where you now turn left again and head for Archirondel, the 50 km marker and Gorey Castle beyond. Keep going, drop down off the top of the island, in to Gorey.

It's now a "straight" run in, along the flat coast road, all the way back to town. Follow the coast road all the way back home. As you pass the Samares Stores, you hit the 60 km marker. It's now just a short run to Harve des Pas and the final climb of the day, the deceptively challenging Mount Bingham.

Drop down on to the sea front and pass the Old Harbour, heading for town. When you get to the Normans Building, just before the Steam Clock, you've reached your destination. An extremely challenging ride, in any one's books; completed. Well done.

The only things more challenging than this are local racing, or our Climbing Drills Training Routes. Which will be posted soon...

Course Profile
Thirteen climbs; Ghost Hill, Chapel Hill, Corbiere, L'Etacq, Greve de Lecq, Mourier Valley, Quarry Hill, Bonne Nuit, Bouley Bay, Rozel, Fliquet, Gorey Castle, Mount Bingham.

Distance and elevation, 65 kms long, 946 metres of climbing.

What Next?
When you can comfortably tackle this rides' 65 kilometres you're ready to tackle almost anything. Why not try a local race or a local, Brittany, sportive? Contact us if you're interested and we'll advise you on how best to proceed.

What's a Fondo?
A Fondo is an Italian-style, organized, timed, cycling event. They're not just a bike ride, they're a way of life in Italy. The glorification of everything that makes being a cyclist one of the most rewarding pastimes, sports, lifestyles there is. The food, the people, the atmosphere make it a day you will never forget. Medio, is Italian for medium!.

Here's a selection of the European events we've taken part in over the last decade... The French and other European's call them cyclo-sportives.

Garmin Course Download...
Follow the link below and download the ride to your Garmin of choice and just follow the directions, couldn't be easier. But keep your eyes on the road at all times and keep safe...

How did I do?
Now you've ridden the circuit, why not open a Strava account and upload your results to their site and join Equipe Flamme Rouge, it's all free to compare your results to those of other riders in the island.

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EFR ~ World Wide Rider Activity

Here's what Equipe Flamme Rouge riders, around the globe, have been doing this week...

Below is my contribution to our team's total...