Today, (17th July) at 12h 40 the Tour de France will pass through the Tarn on the D631 road, past Graulhet and only 35 minutes from La Durantie. Graulhet is a charming medieval village, crossed by the Dadou River and surrounded by stunning countryside; certainly a picturesque spot for the cyclists to whizz through!
The Tour de France is a popular sporting event that attracts a worldwide television audience of 3.5 billion people per year. Some popular French cyclists taking part in the competition this year include Jean-Christophe Péraud, ranked number 11 in the world, and Romain Bardet, ranked number 12. Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas are two of the five Britons in the Team Sky (GB) line-up.
The route covers 3,500 Kilometres in total, of which 198.5 kilometres of the route travels through the Tarn between Muret and Rodez (13th stage). Upon reaching Rodez the cyclists will soon travel up the spectacular Gorges du Tarn (Tarn Gorge), a canyon formed by the Tarn River with numerous scenic villages to visit nearby.
Cycling is a popular attraction for holidaymakers in The Tarn with surrounding vineyards and sunflower fields. The bastide towns of Lisle-sur-Tarn, Cordes-sur-Ciel and Puycelsi are also often dotted with lycra-clad men and women experiencing ‘authentic France’ by bicyle.
Bikes can be rented for €12.50 a day in Gaillac (only 20 minutes from La Durantie), at Serge Botta’s business, located at 98 rue Joseph Rigal. A popular cycling route includes cycling through the Gresigne forest; 35 square kilometres of forest with marked tracks and paths, a short distance from both la Durantie and Gaillac. Alternatively, why not cycle past some of the local vineyards and get a taste of some of the delicious wines the local region has to offer. Château de Saurs, a short distance from the centre of Gaillac, offers spectacular views from its vineyards along the hillsides overlooking the right bank of the Tarn River.