Former Monument Bordeaux-Paris to return as amateur event

The race first took place before Liège-Bastogne-Liège with a British winner at the end of the 560km route

Herman van Springel following his derny at Bordeaux-Paris 1970
(Image credit: Getty Images/Keystone-France)

Former professional race Bordeaux-Paris is set to return to the cycling world, but as an amateur event in the spring of 2022.

The race was famous for its massive distance of over 560km between the two major French cities with some of cycling's biggest names winning such as Tom Simpson and Jacques Anquetil.

Starting back in 1891 with a British winner George Pilkinton Mills, a year before the first ever, Liège-Bastogne-Liège. But Bordeaux-Paris didn't stand the test of time with the event being raced for the final time in 1988.

But in 2022 the race will be revived as an amateur event, where riders will have 40 hours to battle from Bordeaux to the southwest of the French capital city with a stop-off point in Châteauroux at the half way point so riders can change, sleep and get hot food.

It will be run with riders having GPS traces and beacons to follow their progress, similar to several other endurance races around the world.

Organisers, Extra Sport, did bring the race back as a mass participation sportive back in 2014 but it not continue in 2015. Extra Sport have gone back to the drawing board and come up with this new layout.

Speaking to L'Equipe, Extra Sport's director, Michel Sorine said: "Bordeaux-Paris is an old fad for me, in 2014, we opted for the cyclosportive formula. Arranging and securing a 600 km course is a titanic undertaking. Despite the 1000 starters, which was not bad for a first, we had some financial broth. 

"The following year, the holding of Paris-Brest-Paris deprived us of potential candidates, and we were unable to reach an agreement with the Audax Club Parisien, to make our event a qualifying BRM.

"The formula had to be dusted off, from now on, the use of GPS traces, as well as beacons to follow competitors, allows us to do without signage, and to focus our efforts on time-stations. 

"In Châteauroux, we plan to install a real 'centre of life', where everyone can change, eat hot, sleep a little, seek treatment or repair their bike. Especially since we offer a 'weight reduction bag' option, which will allow cyclists to change mid-course without overloading their mount."

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The route is set to be hillier than the race was back in the 1800s and 1900s, with a huge 5,600 metres of altitude gain along the way to Issy-les-Moulineaux in Paris, with riders being set a time limit of 40 hours to get to the finish.

The race will take place on May 22 in 2022 with registration for the event opening on June 7 in 2021.

Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Tim Bonville-Ginn is one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter.

Bonville-Ginn started working in cycling journalism while still at school and university for a voluntary site based on Twitter before also doing slots for Eurosport's online web team and has been on location at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain, UCI World Championships and various track events. He then joined the Cycling Weekly team in late February of 2020.

When not writing stories for the site, Bonville-Ginn doesn't really switch off his cycling side as he watches every race that is televised as well as being a rider himself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager.

He rides a Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on his local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being his preferred terrain.