« Our first “Gravel of Legend’’ trial took place on June 25th, the day before the “Tour de France” 2021 in Brest, » says proudly Thierry Gintrand, the event planner of this legendary race. « This is a sign of Destiny. We started this adventure like the most passionate cycling competitors during the Tour de France in 1903. The first sportsmen during the Tour cycled hours and hours on roads that were just rough tracks. With nearly no assistance. We can say these first Tour de France cycling competitors cycled on… gravel ».
This is the word : gravel. Nowadays, cycling is trendy and gravel has become the most popular bike. Gravel stands for the gravel on paths, it is a bike in between a road bike and a mountain bike. There are more and more people enjoying cycling with a gravel, it is a way of cycling for people enjoying nature. People can cycle on paths and get off paved roads with that kind of bike. Last year, we followed Louise and her Triban.
“Gravel of Legend” could be part of famous cycling races… Outside the Arromanches beach (Calvados) at low tide, you can cross the “Liberty Place ” with your peloton, turn left and climb the hill on the top of this small town. Once up there, you cycle through very high grass fields that tickle your calves. Pure happiness. It was exactly 6.31 am, on saturday June 25th. 310 cycling competitors joined to live the very first “Gravel of Legend’ race, also called “GOLD”. They cycled south, towards Angers, outside on bike paths, rocky roads, through undergrowth and riverbanks. You had to cycle less than 20 hours to join Angers with your GPS. “Gravel of Legend” is no competition: it has no time limit, no overall ranking. This is a live experience!
« We expected only 80 people to join, but had to register 310 people and stop. » says Thierry Gintrand, manager of “Destination Angers”, the agency that promotes the Angers region. Thierry became a paralympic tandem Champion in 1996, with Patrice Senmartin, a blind track cyclist, who created the “Cyclo Anjou Vintage”, and invented “GOLD” with its teams. Thanks to his gravel passion. Also in the memory of WWII: « Gravel arrived in Europe with the allied soldiers, mainly american ones, during D-Day in Normandy. Arromanches was in the “GOLD” area, in the allied strategic issue, east of “Omaha Beach” ». The first English and Canadian battalions arrived in Normandy at 6.31 am on June 6th 1944. In front of them, the cliff, the wooded countryside, and « a strong desire of freedom ».
The ‘’Gravel of Legend” challenge is a tribute. « It is also a way to live your passion for cycling differently, maybe a way of life. With gravel, you can cycle to the end of the street or to the most remote place in Europe. Everyone can just follow his own desire ». Within ten years, this trend coming from the United States has become a very popular reality. The event: ‘’Nature is bike’’ in Angers was a great success during the “Gravel of legend”. It is a way to reconnect with nature, to cycle on side roads. “Reconnecting with nature has become a reality. It is no competition – it could be – but it is more a state of mind » says the organiser from Angers. « We do not keep looking at handlebars, we look around and enjoy the scenery. Cycling with gravel is an exploration. When we prepared the route of the race, it took us 3 days to find the right route, to improve it, to meet people and discuss, in more than 80 places the race crossed. After the pandemic, everyone needs to take over its own territory. ».
Thanks to people’s passion for gravel, the different types of Triban bikes are a great success. The special frame, the larger tyres, the specific gear make people dream and want to travel. The 120 grvl, 520 grvl and 900 grvl show people passion for gravel.
Triban is a road bike without any notion of time, guided by comfort: enjoy the pleasure of speed, sharing moments between friends while discovering new places and beautiful landscapes.
Because you will meet liberty and adventure at the next curve.