Les Boucles du Sud-Ardèche-Souvenir Francis Delpech will host a professional race for the first time this year. "Les Boucles" is a 150 kilometre cyclo-sportive event which became part of the French amateur cup (Coupe de France amateur) last year.
This year the course has been slightly modified, adding seven kilometres for a grand total of 157 kilometres. There will be three major climbs, but many more uphills. The Col de la Grande Serre will have to be done only once, but La côte du Musée Alphonse Daudet four times and the Le Rocher de Sampzon three times.
The race has a UCI 1.2 ranking and will take place between Vals-les-Bains and Ruoms. There will be eight professional teams, with Professional Continental team Agritubel the biggest of the squads attending. The others include Meitan Hompo (Japan), Differdange-Apiflo Vacances (Luxembourg), Hadimec-Nazionale Elettronica (Switzerland), Rietumu-Bank Riga (Latvia), Designa Koekken and Team GLS-Pakke Shop (Denmark).
"This change of category corresponds to our will to staying consistent," explained Guillaume Delpech, the organiser of the event. At its heart Les Boucles is a "weekend vélo".
Agritubel will be racing with Jimmy Casper, Steven Caethoven, Anthony Ravard, Nicolas Jalabert, Benoît Salmon, Cédric Coutouly, Cédric Hervé and Emilien-Benoît Berges.