Paris-Brest-Paris 2019 Alternative Routesheet and GPS files

PBP is a fully sign-posted (arrowed) route and you don't need either a GPS route, or a routesheet to follow.  However, myself and quite a lot of other riders still like to know where we are in relation to the stage, and what's coming up in the next 20-30km, so we know what to watch out for.  To this end I am in the process of creating a full, UK-style routesheet and GPS files in a plethora of formats and point-counts to suit all-comers, for myself and for anyone else who likes to be a little more aware of where they're headed.

Sterling work on GPS and route sheets for PBP.  What could possibly go wrong?— Richard, July 2015

ACP does, of course, produce an official set of GPS files, and a routesheet covering a mere two sides of A4, but I have personally found these suboptimal in a few regards:  (this page updated 18 July 2019)

  • Firstly, the GPS routes provided by the organisers are one-per-stage, and I want to simplify my per-control admin, so would prefer 2x 600km routes.

  • Secondly, the GPS routes in 2015 were incorrect in a few places, usually where either the local control marshals routed slightly differently into and out of the control, and in one place to avoid an apparent safety hazard.  Paris did not know about these changes, so the provided GPS files were inaccurate.  Tinténiac is an excellent example of this — the official route would have 6000 cyclists push their bikes through a 4ft doorway. There were also differences in routing through specific towns and villages.

  • And thirdly, the official routesheet is French-style, which is a list of "go to this town and then exit the town on this road number", without any of the nuanced detail of the in-between bits. 

My versions of both GPS routes and UK-style routesheet attempt to address some of these issues, although it's still only for information and the arrows show the definitive route to follow. 

I maintain my own route on RideWithGPS here (also below), which includes some of these oddities.  I check the official ACP routes regularly for any updates.

IMPORTANT — the route is waymarked with arrows and the arrows are the definitive guide — follow the arrows!  The GPS track and routesheet are only for information, such as "roughly how far to the next control?", or "how far until I turn off this road?".

There's a bit of discussion about this on yacf, here and here.

(If you're looking for my PBP 2015 GPS files and routesheet, they're here.)

Unofficial PBP Routesheet — UK-stylee

I have written a detailed, UK-style routesheet from StreetView for the entire route, as I did in 2015.  This is based on ACP's own routesheets (part 1 and part 2), as well as ACP's GPS routes, with a fair dose of my own hunches based on experience from 2015.  I am still checking it over, but any changes are likely now to be cosmetic rather than anything more serious. (updated 18 July 2019)

I am hoping to provide a large-print version.

(Official two-sided routesheet is here, for reference.)

Unofficial PBP GPS files

IMPORTANT — make sure you understand which version of the following GPS files are most suitable for your device.

  • Garmin Edge devices — new 500, new 700, 800/810/820, 1000, 1030 — use TCX; 10,000 points should be okay
  • Older Garmin Edge devices — you're in a murky area in that TCX should work, but you may get a more reliable result from GPX; 10,000 points should be okay
  • Wahoo devices — TCX 10k or use the RWGPS link for pinning the entire route — please let me know if you have issues with this — it's a much longer route than most people ever pin to their Wahoo, it would be interesting to find out how you get on!
  • Older Garmin devices — GPX and either 250-point or 500-point depending on which device.

Make sure you test these files out on your device before you start!

The full-route files are provided as a single TCX or GPX each.  However, the rest of the GPS routes, where the route is split into multiple GPS files, are provided as a ZIP file for each format — you require all of the files from your selected ZIP file!

The routes are provided as follows:

  • a single route for the whole 400km — FULL;
  • a set of two, 600km halves: race out to Brest, tour back to Paris — HALF1 and HALF2;
  • a set of four, 300km legs — LEG_A, LEG_B, etc.;
  • a set of fifteen routes, one per stage — STG01, STG02, etc.

Each part starts and ends at a control.

All of the names start PBP.  In addition the format (T for TCX and G for GPX) as well as the number of points (250, 500 and 10K) are included in the visible name, so you should be able to load multiple sized files at the same time, although please check carefully before you start!  For example, the TCX file for the tour back to Paris with 500 points will appear on-screen as PBP_HALF2_T500.

Note that the route back to Paris is different in places to the route out to Brest!.

Don't forget to take a pencil with you to write the info answers.  And the routesheet, just in case!  ;)

This is now where it gets complicated — there are a LOT of options here, sorted by how split up the route is, how many points in each part, and whether it's TCX or GPX.  You should only need to install one, but you can install multiple.

(updated 18 July 2019)

The Full 1222km Route — FULL

  • 10k points — TCX or GPX  file
  • Link for pinningRWGPS  link

It would be somewhat silly to try to navigate the whole 1222km route using either the 250- or 500-point files, but here you go for a larf:

  • 500 points — TCX or GPX  file
  • 250 points — TCX or GPX  file

The low-point-count files may be useful for submitting to weather sites.

The route in two parts, equivalent to 'race out to Brest' and 'tour back to Paris' — HALF

IMPORTANT — if you choose the two, 600km parts then you must copy both routes from the ZIP file to your GPS!

  • 10k points — TCX or GPX  ZIP file
  • 500 points — TCX or GPX  ZIP file

It would be fairly foolish to try to navigate each 600km half-distance route using the 250-point file, but here you go for kicks:

  • 250 points — TCX or GPX  ZIP file

The route in four 300km legs — LEG

IMPORTANT — if you choose the legs then you must copy all four routes from the ZIP file to your GPS!

  • 10k points — TCX or GPX  ZIP file
  • 500 points — TCX or GPX  ZIP file
  • 250 points — TCX or GPX  ZIP file

The route stage-by-stage — STG

IMPORTANT — if you choose the stages then you must copy all fifteen routes from the ZIP file to your GPS!

  • 10k points — TCX or GPX  ZIP file
  • 500 points — TCX or GPX  ZIP file
  • 250 points — TCX or GPX  ZIP file

If you're still having problems or have a question, email Nick.

Cambridge Pubinar notes

Cantabridgian riders going to Paris met for a pubinar to discuss some of the broader expectations and worries about PBP.  We took notes: