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The ‘Véloroute du Bourbonnais’ crosses this historic province on rural lanes, from Montluçon on the river Cher, bridging the Allier at Moulins, to the upper Loire near Bourbon Lancy.

It’s fairly hilly but not too challenging, offering classic road touring through quiet agricultural lands, with several long wooded sections. The village of Noyant d’Allier is the greatest surprise of the route, an outpost of Vietnam in the heart of the countryside: depopulated after its mines closed, the village welcomed settlers from France’s Indochina colonies. You’ll also remember it for the short, sharp descent from the highest point of the route a few kilometres beforehand!

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