I started this on the training thread but thought it might be of interest to a slightly wider audience.
Basically this is a cycling event which takes one of the stages off the tour de France and allows "normal" (I use the word advisedly) people to enter. The event is over closed roads and fully supported. In this years case the actual event takes place 3 days before the real tour passes through.
Last year there are about 7,500 participants but it isn't really a 'fun' tape event and there is a sweep vehicle to clear the course - some people I know had the ignomy of being picked up in last years event.
Next years event will be on 20 July (so ample opportunity to combine with your summer holiday!) and covers the route between Pau - Bayonne (thats France!) and approximately 197 km (about 123 miles in real money).
Other than that I don't know much except that I am almost certainly going to do it! and that entries open on 29 January 2001.
You can find an introduction to the event here
and details about the stage here
As you can see there a bit of a steep climb between 98 and 110 k but then its all downhill to the finish.
If you're wondering whether you can do it without taking the shopping basket off your bike, or whether the seat on your Raleigh Chopper will be comfortable enough for 197k then you probably shouldn't apply.
Anyone interested e-mail me and I will see about getting a group entry.