This stage begins in Alençon. The town is known for its exquisite Point d’Alençon lace. Find out more about the intricate technique used to produce it at the Museum of Fine Arts and Lace, or marvel at the rich architecture of the magnificent basilica before you head out of town on the quiet country roads. On arrival in Saint-Cénéri-le-Gérei, listed as one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France® (a distinction awarded to the country’s most attractive villages), you will feel as if time has stood still. Take a few minutes to stroll around the village, which is also a designated Petite Cité de Caractère® (village with character), a favourite with artists. Then prepare for some more serious cycling as you climb into the Alpes Mancelles to admire the hills and valleys through which the River Sarthe runs. Have a well-deserved break at Domaine du Gasseau to sip a flower cordial in a tranquil setting. Then head off again towards Saint-Léonard-des-Bois, another Petite Cité de Caractère® nestled at the foot of the ancient screes.
From Alençon’s basilica, pass under the D 438 road, going by the Sarthe River, then take the Chemin de la Fuie right of the bridge. Continue on for 600 metres, then follow signs for Perseigne. Next, follow signs indicating Chartres/Orléans, using the cycle lane beside the D 955 road. After the railway line, look out for the signposts for the V44. Take care along the D 166 bis road. Arriving at Arçonnay, there’s a useful cycle lane. Then you’re on quiet roads, but with quite significant slopes.
Train station at Alençon
Ligne TER : Caen – Alençon – Le Mans – Tours
Ligne TGV/TER: Alençon – Le Mans – Paris
Office de Tourisme des Alpes Mancelles
Tel: 02 43 33 28 04
Office de Tourisme d'Alençon
Tel : 02 33 80 66 33
Alençon - Gesnes-le-Gandelin et Moulins-le-Carbonnel - Saint- Céneri-le- Gérei - Jardins de la Mansonnière - Saint-Léonard-des-Bois