The Valentré Bridge is the symbol of the medieval town of Cahors, the capital of the Lot department. The old town sits on a peninsula, the river on three sides.
This route shows another side to the region, away from the gorges of the Vers route on the east of the town, to the hills and lanes north of the town.
Crossing the bridge and leaving town on the cycle route, whilst not the most beautiful suburban exit to the town, serves to quickly reach the vineyards on the western side of the city. The first opportunity to cross the Lot is in the village of Douelle, from where the route heads north.
The road climbs away from the river on a broad but quiet road, skirting most of the villages. The road sweeps down past the village of Peyrilles - which has a great, and extremely well priced, restaurant in the main square. After the village the route takes to the lanes, turning into the first narrow lane on the right of the main road.
The lanes cut through the hills and descend into St Germain du Bel Air. After crossing the D820 the route takes to the rolling, quiet lanes again.
A short section of the D677 leads back to the lanes, an unassuming junction on the left as the road twists to the right. For the most part the lanes trace the routes of the larger roads down towards the river road.
The lanes are quiet and well surfaced. Secluded climbs, sinuous descents, single track roads.
As the river gets closer the road is more consistently tilted downwards. A shallow descent, but one that rewards hard work through the villages to provide a buzz to the main road at the river.
Turn right and follow the road back to Cahors. This is a more main road, but is well surfaced and fast rolling. On the outskirts of the town take the right hand ramp up into the town.
Dropping back down through the centre of town to the bridge gives a huge choice of restaurants for post ride food. Try the cafe on the square next to the theatre.
Not a coffee stop.