We were treated to a fantastic breakfast in the Hotel Corniche du Lioquet in preparation for our second day’s ride on the Marseille to Cannes Tate Hindle MIPIM cycle. The sea lapped a crescent-shaped beach just below the hotel as the team got ready for their second day in the saddle.
Our plan for the day was to follow the coast around from La Ciotat to Toulon, then cut inland for a few miles, then rejoin the coast for the final few miles to Rayol Canadel sur Mer and to our hotel for the evening.
The first climb of the day started almost immediately. The route began on some quiet backroads flanked by vineyards as we began to climb.
After a sharp switchback right, we left the quiet country lanes and climbed the final stretch of the hill on a slightly busier road. There wasn’t much difference timewise in the first riders arriving at the top and the last which was a promising sign.
We soon entered the outskirts of Toulon and decided to stop off for coffee as we were making excellent progress. Our chosen coffee stop overlooked the harbour which was filled with sailboats of all different sizes and shapes. A woman with an orange face and blue lipstick muttered words to her tiny dog as we got our caffeine hit next to the water.
Leaving Toulon and the orange woman behind, we headed onto a fabulous cycle path where we could relax a little after the city, chat and enjoy the ride.
The team flew along the cycle lanes and soon we’d dropped back to the coast and were cycling alongside palm trees and the sea once more.
From here our route simply followed the coast to Rayol Canadel Sur Mer, a cluster of buildings perched on the dramatic coastline. After one final climb, we descended into the village and were greeted by Debs and Nesta at the gorgeous Hotel Terrasses Duballi with amazing views of the bay and sea below.
We showered then made our way up the steep hill to our restaurant for the evening. This would be our first bit of cycling tomorrow the following morning, but we didn’t let that spoil our evening! Nic’s “one for the road” turned into a few so we stayed a while longer…