Tour de France: cycling the opening Vendée stage

The grand départ of the 2018 Tour takes place next weekend on the Atlantic coast. Our writer rides his Brompton through dunes and forests with pit stops to sample fine local seafood

A pretty pass: why France’s Col du Soulor is great for bikes and birding

Regularly part of the Tour de France route, this 1,474-metre Pyrenean pass is also bird of prey central in summer and autumn

Where Nairo Quintana learned his cycling

Nairo Quintana has just won the Giro d’Italia – this article shows you where his cycling education began. http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/jun/01/cycling-colombia-nairo-quintana

48 Hours in Old York

York will be hosting the Tour de France in 2014. If you prefer railways to cycling, visit the National Rail Museum. Walk the walls, take a boat on the river, see a statue of Constantine the Great, visit the Minster, have a beer and try to pronounce whip-ma-whop-ma-gate. Alternatively, read this article: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/48-hours-in/48-hours-in-york-8465380.html