Edition 2021

The 12th edition of the 1000 du Sud took place from September 6 to 12, 2021.

The ride was organized by Provence Randonneurs.

The "Rando" time limit was 100 hours.

The start and finish place was Cotignac (Var).

Two starting times were offered: Monday 6 afternoon and Tuesday 7 morning.


ROUTE SHEET 2021 (English version)




The 1000 du Sud, which will be in its 12th year, has never gone so far north! ... The initial idea was to cycle Col de l’Iseran, the highest paved pass in the Alps, located in Massif de la Vanoise.

We will climb the southern slope. The Iseran will be the culmination of a demanding sequence: Colle delle Finestre (2178 m) - Col du Mont Cenis (2081 m) - Col de l'Iseran (2764 m).

Our expedition to Col de l'Iseran gives us the opportunity to discover two less known passes: Cormet d'Arêches (2108 m), which will take us to the heart of Beaufortain, and Col des Cyclotouristes (1330 m), located above Albertville. Does this pass exist? (read the article by Michel Cartier-Moulin) ... our legs to judge ... Then, we will return to the south, via Col de la Madeleine (1993 m), and Col du Glandon (1924 m), famous passes, but not yet used by the 1000 du Sud.

On the other hand, the beginning and the end of the route are less original, because there is no need to add additional difficulties, and we have to go as short as possible, so as not to exceed the thousand kilometers. We will begin via Castellane, Col de Cheiron (887 m) and Col d'Allos (2247 m), then enter Italy via Col de Larche (1997 m), then cycle a relatively rolling section in Piedmont (a few small passes, including Colletto d'Isasca, 814 m). We will return via the passes of Ornon (1367 m), Festre (1441 m), Espréaux (1160 m), and Espinouse (838 m).

We have been thinking over this route for several years. We had planned to go to Italy via Baisse de Peyrefique and Col de Tende, which, at the cost of a few kilometers of dirt roads, allowed us to see a magnificent place in the Alpes Maritimes. Unfortunately, on October 2, 2020, storm Alex destroyed the roads in the Roya valley. Given the extent of the damage, and therefore the work to be done, it seemed safer to us to modify this part of the course. Even if we can estimate that in September 2021, access to the pass will become possible again, the risk of finding roads blocked for works seemed too important.

Several alternative routes have been considered. We wanted to avoid adding even more elevation, and on the other hand, using passes that were often used in previous editions (Vars, Lombarde). Col de Larche was our preference. The 1000 du Sud never used it. It is easy, except it has a portion of dirt road. Indeed, because of the risk of landslide in the Ubayette gorge, Col de Larche is prohibited for cyclists, on the French side, between the foot of the pass (intersection D900 / D902) and the village of Meyronnes, located 11 km before the pass. The only legal solution to access this pass is to take the old unpaved military road that leads to the forts of Roche la Croix. We do not have to go to the forts. After 4 km of ascent, we descend to Meyronnes (2.5 km; the steep part, in switchbacks, is concrete).

The other unpaved sections are located at Colle delle Finestre and Cormet d´Arêches. Two exceptional passes: they deserve a little ride off the tar.

Colle delle Finestre is a legendary pass, already used in 2017, after the Assietta road. We encounter a first unpaved leg during the ascent on the southern slope. On the Prà Catinat mountain pasture (1785 m), the tar gives way to a beautiful dirt road, which joins the road of Usseaux after 5 km. There remains 2.5 km on paved road to the top of the pass. The first 8 km downhill, on the north slope, are also unpaved.

Cormet d'Arêches is less known than its neighbor, Cormet de Roselend. It allows us to climb higher, in a much calmer atmosphere. Indeed, its few kilometers of dirt, on both sides of the summit, protect it from the crowds. For us, it will be unpaved on 2 km uphill, then on 3 km downhill.

This gives a total of about 25 km of unpaved roads over the entire 1000 du Sud course.