From the 1st to the 6th of June, 2019
The Women’s Motorsport Event of the Year!
From Paris to the Beauval Zoo & Vichy to Aix-les-Bains & Saint-Tropez
Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille is celebrating its 20th anniversary! From the 1st to the 6th of June, 2019, the world’s most prestigious women’s motorsport event is gearing up to be a truly golden opportunity and an exceptional event. A noteworthy array of 90 stellar teams will hit the road from Paris to Saint-Tropez at the wheels of their extraordinary cars. This 1,600 km road-trip will take the elegant competitors along France’s most beautiful roads to the beguiling Riviera where the organizers and fans will join them to toast the 20-year mile-marker in the event’s fascinating history with two full days of festivities, Saint Tropez style!
THE 2019 ITINERARY
Saturday, June 1st 2019: check-in and verifications, Paris, Place Vendôme
Synonymous with this gem of an event, the Place Vendôme will once again host the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille kickoff. This jewel-box of a venue, designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart at the end of the 17th century, is the ideal stage to showcase these motorsport treasures. Basking in the golden rays of late spring, they will be examined in every detail by our officials and their drivers and co-pilots will be given the final insider tips by our seasoned pro’s. The competitors will enjoy their last few moments of relaxation and rekindling among friends whilst sipping bubbly and other nectars of the gods thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, Tsarine Champagne and Domaine Bertaud Belieu wines. Last but not least, an event within the event, they will gather for the opening night cocktail party in the grand salon at the Pavillon Vendôme Potel & Chabot to celebrate in style the 20th year of dazzling thrills.
Sunday, June 2nd 2019: 1st leg, 303 km, 4 Regularity Zones (65 km)
Paris – Villampuy – Zoo Parc de Beauval: heading into the hills
Sunday morning, the teams will all need to be at the starting line for the 20th Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille at 8:30am sharp. The participants will pull away from the glamorous Place Vendôme in the order of their assigned numbers heading south-west of Paris, past the legendary Versailles palace to fuel up on courtly glitz before tackling the challenging maneuvers that will begin at Auffargis. The participants’ first Regularity Zone (RZ) will take place in the very heart of the lush Haute Chevreuse regional parc. This clocked test of their skills will be a great warm-up exercise. It will include a balanced mix of hills and dales, woodlands and plateaus that make-up this area’s unique charm as well as a view of the breathtaking Vaux de Cernay Abby. After a quick connecting leg, the 90 teams will embark on their second RZ, this time in the Eure-et-Loire, in the heart of the Beauce. In keeping with the wonderful Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille traditions, this RZ will be speckled with challenges and traps. At the edge of the Conie Valley, the surprising shifts in average speed and navigation will enable the teams to get a feel for the event’s unique pulse. Lunch will then give them a chance to unwind and recharge, after completing their first 166 km.
A country luncheon at a 19th century farm, the Rainville stables in Villampuy, a stone’s throw from Orléans, will provide a quiet respite for the 180 participants. Safely beneath the cathedral ceilings of the sheepfold or out in the fresh air, this break in the action will give the competitors a chance to discuss their first morning on the road together and all the emotions it sparked. The first few cars are expected to arrive around 11:40am.
The afternoon will be less intense, with less than 140 km to cover. The Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille will bring the teams deeper into the country, amidst the Loir-et-Cher. Thanks to a long connecting leg, our princesses will explore the landscapes surrounding Orléans and Vendôme, through forests and fields, before reaching the outskirts of Blois and the Loire valley castles. Then, they will stop for a quick cup of tea or coffee in Saint-Bohaire before embarking on their third motorsport challenge. The rally will then cross the two rivers that comprise the name of their department before reaching the towns of Pouillé and Mareuil-sur-Cher where the day’s final RZ will be held. Amidst the official Touraine and Val de Loire vineyards, it’s the co-pilots’ turn to shine! Between the hairpin turns and the lack of road-signs… their vocabulary may very well expand. Immediately after the day’s last RZ, the participants will be able to relax and enjoy the charming hotels in Beauval.
Monday, June 3rd 2019: 2nd leg, 325 km, 4 Regularity Zones (58 km)
Zoo Parc de Beauval – Audes – Vichy: off to castle country
The Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille will heave Beauval bright and early at 8:30am. Although this route has often been featured on the rally’s roster, it will definitely include its fair share of surprises, even for the veterans! The terrain will include more hills, for example, and the navigation will be extra tricky. After a quick connecting leg, the day’s first RZ will be held in of Boischaut-Nord’s wooded countryside. Amidst this bucolic setting, the competitors will have to prove their ability to remain focused and on-task to find and keep the right route and the right pace. Vast prairies and rolling hills dappled with precious farms… there will be plenty of distractions to spice things up. Next, the teams will relax on a relatively long adventure through the Indre via the main roads to reach the Cher and the Lignières region. The little town of Touchay will host the day’s second regularity race against the clock. Overlooking the Arnon Valley and the Isle Castle, in the heart of the Berry region, the teams will need to carefully maneuver countless changes in direction. Then it’s time for lunch, via the Puyfferand Abby and the Culan Castle, on Jacques-Coeur road. The odometer will read and extra 176 km when the engines stop.
Lunch at Crête Castle in Audes. Listed in the additional inventory of Historic Monuments, this castle was built during the 19th century. It overlooks the ruins of a medieval fortress from the 13th century, of which only the chapel remains today. The inner courtyard lined with arches will welcome the rally’s participants from approximately 11:50am.
The 20th edition of the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille will leave Crête Castle to wind its way around Montluçon. A 60k connecting leg will then take the teams through the town of Allier. This foray into the Bourbon region is short-lived for the lion’s share of the afternoon will be spent in the Puy-de-Dôme. After visiting St-Eloy-les-Mines, the teams will discover the tiny town of Neuf-Eglise, where their motorsport skills will once again be tested. The day’s third RZ will make the most of the ups ‘n’ downs created by the Sioule’s tributaries to give the participants ample thrills. The route toward the gorges will feature more driving challenges and fewer navigational challenges. And then the rally’s organizers have given everyone a treat: a view of the fascinating Rocher Castle, built in the 11th century, which overlooks the Menat bridge and the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille’s route. The next connecting leg is a short one. It brings the teams to the town of Pouzol for a totally new RZ, never before included in the historic rally’s bag of tricks. On the bluffs of the Chouvigny Gorges, the 90 teams will need to demonstrate remarkable courage. The first part of the day’s last RZ is particularly diverse. Climbing and diving, shifting direction… it’s the perfect example of what regularity racing is all about! The second part is smoother and rolling along the side of the cliff. The rally will then head toward Vichy, in the Allier department, where the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille participants will be pampered like never before. The classic cars will be on display at the Parc des Sources for the fans to admire while the princesses put their feet up for a well-deserved rest at the Vichy-Célestins Spa and the Vichy Thermalia hotels.
Tuesday, June 4th 2019: 3rd leg, 340 km, 4 Regularity Zones (79 km)
Vichy – Saint-Lager – Aix-les-Bains: aiming for the Alps
The first car will leave the Parc des Sources at 8 :30am to open the third day of this exciting event aiming for the Alps. But first, the teams will wind their way through the Bourbon foothills. Just east of Vichy, they will bask in the pleasure of pure motorsports. The first RZ of this third day will start after a 40km warm-up. Along the rolling routes of the hilly region, the teams will be driving at 1,000 meters above sea level. Navigational notes will be increasingly rare and the terrain increasingly dramatic. On the road to Roanne, the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille will catch a glimpse of the remarkable Rouchain dam. After crossing the Loire River and completing a long connecting leg, the participants will enter the Rhône department. After a quick pit-stop in Lamure-sur-Azergues, the princesses will be ready for their next RZ. This relatively short test in terms of km, will be amply challenging with three mountain passes to climb: Croix Montmain, Croix Rosier and Croix Marchampt. Then it’s time for our brave athletes to stop for lunch at the foot of Mount Brouilly to wrap up the exhilarating morning.
A lovely luncheon at the 19th century Château des Ravatys in Saint-Lager awaits our princesses! Dining in the delightful orange grove of this superb Beaujolais winery, they will savor a well-deserved gourmet meal. The tables will be set up in the shade surrounded by the famous Brouilly vines as of 12 noon.
After lunch, the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille will hit the road again, crossing through the Dombes, an unusual part of the Ain, blanketed in lovely lakes. Soon the motorsport competition gets back into gear when the competitors will need to shine as they cross through the hilly Bugey region. Overlooking the Rhône, the afternoon’s first RZ will bring the princesses through a tough, woodland area, where they will need to master their first few hair-pin turns. Although there are fewer navigational difficulties here, the co-pilots will need to stay on their toes to monitor the shifts in average speed and make sure their drivers keep the right pace. The itinerary will cross Raie Mountain and head down into the plains until the “ralliers” reach Virieu-le-Petit. Then, they will climb the impressive Grand Colombier. And at 1,501 meters in the sky, the pass by the same name will provide the highlight of this rally’s 20th edition. As epic as the climb, the descent toward Culoz promises to be unforgettable, laced with tight turns and sumptuous views of the Rhône Valley! The Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille caravan will end the day driving along the banks of the Lac du Bourget, before reaching Savoie and the charming Aix-les Bains for the night. Our princesses will sleep at the Golden Tulip and Agora hotels, after sharing a fabulous dinner at the Casino.
Wednesday, June 5th 2019: 4th leg, 408 km, 4 Regularity Zones (43 km)
Aix-les-Bains – Sisteron – St-Tropez: the marathon along Napoleon’s route
Starting at 8am, the teams will hit the road for a long day of adventures during this 20th edition of the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille. When they leave Aix-les-Bains, they will need to cover a 130 km connecting leg split between a short sprint on the motorway and a historic stint on Napoleon’s route. In the heart of the Isère, the rally will cross the road to the 17th century Vizille castle. At the foot of the Grand-Serre mountains, the teams will head toward Valbonnais, where the athletes will stop for a rest before climbing the north face of Parquetout Pass (1,398 m.) as part of the next RZ. With approximately a 10% incline over about seven km, this is one of the toughest climbs in all of France! The descent toward Corps will be amidst a sumptuous backdrop, all the way to Lake Sautet. The teams will then cross through Devoluy, via Festre Pass and the routes of the famous Monte Carlo rally, as they head toward the Upper Alps. The long day’s second RZ will be held at Chateauneuf-d’Oze. In the heart of the Gapençais, the teams will climb Espréaux Pass. This will be a decisive test, amidst the region’s typically grey landscapes, filled with countless turns. After zigzagging through this RZ, the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille will reconnect with the emperor’s road and stop for lunch in Sisteron.
Lunch at the Mas des Cinq Fontaines, overlooking Durance Valley. This Provençal inn offers our princesses a n incredible view of Sisteron and the Vauban citadel. This bucolic setting will welcome the teams from half past noon.
When the 20th Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille’s 90 teams leave Sisteron, the will quickly cover a short connecting leg to Malijai, in the heart of the Préalpes Mountains, where the participants will need to make every effort to show their valor on Espinouse Pass. Up and down the winding roads, the afternoon’s first competition has all the ingredients of a classic RZ. Next the athletes will have to cross through the Valensole Plateau, where the lavender will be in starting to bloom. They will then head into the Verdon Regional Park. After a loop around Lake Sainte-Croix, the rally caravan will head to the Var via a lovely connecting leg before tackling their next RZ. On the outskirts of the Garde-Freinet, in the heart of the Maures Mountains, amidst the region’s iconic cork oak trees, the competitors will go head to head on their way to Saint-Tropez. The final trek’s finish line will be celebrated at the Domaine Bertaud-Belieu before winding down with a game of pétanque on the charming Place des Lices. The rally’s participants will spend their last two nights at four remarkable palaces: Le Byblos, La Messardière, l’Hôtel de Paris and la Villa Belrose.
Thursday, June 6th 2019: 5th leg, 214 km, 3 Regularity Zones (41 km)
Saint-Tropez – Taradeau – Saint-Tropez: the Saint-Tropez Grand-Prix
The fifth and final day of the 20th Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille is comprised of a stellar loop through the back country of the Var, complete with three Regularity Zones. A short connecting leg will take us to Gratteloup Pass where the princesses will be in the heat of the action. Along the roads that have made the Rallye du Var famous, the day’s first competition will take the teams through the Grimaud valley, and over to the Aille waterfalls. The itinerary then takes the teams north, on a connecting leg through Les Arcs, across the Route de l’Abbaye de la Celle Roubaud, Pennafort Gorges and the town of Fayence. The second regularity test will start straightaway and focus on reaching the village of Mons, perched atop the ridge. To get there, the teams will have to maneuver several tricky turns via the Siagnole Gorges. The road will then wind its way to Seillans for the rally’s 19th and final RZ. Along the journey, wide curves alternate with tight ones for a suspense-filled finish to this 20th anniversary edition’s motorsport challenges. After crossing through Draguignan, the competitors gather at Saint-Martin Castle in Taradeau for their last luncheon together.
The birthplace of the Paris-Saint-Raphaël Féminin rally in 1929, in whose tracks the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille has been following for the past 20 years, Saint-Martin Castle once again welcomes the participants. At this former priory, converted into a castle during the 18th century, wine has been made since the Gallo-Roman era, as evidenced by the remains which were found when the cellar was being renovated. Today, the women of the family manage the domain. The Comtesse de Gasquet and Adeline du Barry (the daughter and granddaughter of Count Edme de Rohan-Chabot, founder of the famous rally) and their entire staff await the competitors around half past noon to share in a country meal.
After quenching our thirst at the hot springs and enjoying a friendly ride through the countryside, it’s time for our royalty to head for the seashore and the dazzling finish line of the 20th edition of the incomparable Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille which will be staged at the illustrious Place des Lices in Saint-Tropez around 3pm.