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Chateaux of the Loire Cycling

Chateaux of the Loire Cycling

Chateaux of the Loire Cycling

  • Perfect cycling routes: traffic-free lanes, majestic forests, vineyards, poppies and sunflowers
  • Hand-picked hotels in fabulous locations, 3 with swimming pools
  • Splendour of Renaissance Chenonceau - 'jewel in the Loire crown'
  • Masses of history and culture: pretty wine villages, charming towns including royal Blois, more chateaux than you ever knew existed
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided cycling
  • Duration8 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From $2027
  • Holiday details
  • Departs Every two days from 11 May '17 to 8 Oct '17
  • All continental breakfasts and evening meals included
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Sustainability rating: 78%
  • Headwater wine service
  • GPS route navigation provided
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

We're here to help

If you've any questions about this holiday call to our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 , or email sales@headwater.com

The Loire Valley is synonymous with chateaux and they are as diverse as they are numerous with over 300 in total to explore. Embark on this eight night holiday which takes you on a journey of discovery through some of the most prominent chateaux of this famous UNESCO World Heritage Site. The chateaux look like they've come straight from a fairytale with their turrets, pinnacles, lanterns and moats. There's the beautiful Renaissance chateau at Chenonceau which famously straddles the Cher, the magnificent royal palace of Amboise proudly dominating the riverside and town, and the dramatic chateau at Chaumont, once owned by Catherine de Medici (before being forcibly 'exchanged' for Chenonceau in a bitter love-battle), and occupying one of the most stunning sites of all the river's chateaux.

The route is relaxed and mostly flat, following quiet country lanes and river banks. Cycle through the verdant green forest of Amboise and on to the charming town itself, where Francois I once played host to Leonardo da Vinci at Chateau du Clos Luce. You then cross the river to mediaeval Blois where you can stop at one of the many patisseries. Take time out to walk around the chateau here, and don't miss the nearby Maison de la Magie (Museum of Magic).

Your hotels range from a fabulous chateau, steeped in history and set in private parkland, to a lovingly converted C17 wine-broker's lodge on the banks of the river. Meals throughout are of a very high standard and, of course, world famous local wines are in abundance too!

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive at Chissay

Arrive in Chissay where your fabulous chateau hotel awaits. Time for a swim before dinner.

Day 2 Chissay to Chaumont 43km/27mi

Today's route takes you west along a marked cycle route through the Foret d'Amboise and to the bustling and lively town of Amboise. Packed with interest, you have time to explore its narrow cobbled streets, stroll along the quayside and visit the house (Le Clos Luce) where Leonardo da Vinci spent the last four years of his life. Masses of lunch choices await in the popular old quarter before you head north-east through vineyards and poppy fields and on to Chaumont in time for a well-deserved swim before dinner

Day 3 - At Chaumont

The chateau here once belonged to Catherine de Medici and is quite spectacular. The beautiful park surrounding the chateau was added in the C19 and, between May and October, it hosts the International Garden Festival, featuring fabulous 'conceptual' gardens created by green-fingered artists and, perhaps unusually, philosophers! Alternatively, cross the river and take the train from Onzain to the bustling university town of Tours, or just relax by the hotel pool.

Day 4 Chaumont to St-Dye-sur-Loire 37km/23.5mi

Today's route takes you over the River Loire and on quiet country lanes to Blois where you can ride around the chateau in a horse and cart if you need to give your cycling legs a rest! For the young at heart, Houdini's House of Magic is a must, but everyone will enjoy exploring the warren of cobbled streets and pretty arcaded squares. You have lots of lunch options before you carry on through well-tended vineyards (with plenty of tasting opportunities) and sleepy villages to our elegant riverside hotel in St-Dye-sur-Loire.

Day 5 - At St Dye-sur-Loire

Explore the graceful village and its old ramparts then we suggest an easy-paced 7km cycle (route notes provided) through the huge Foret de Boulogne to the fairytale chateau at Chambord. The sheer size (it boasts 440 rooms) of this enormous palace reflects the lavish and flamboyant lifestyle of its original owner, King Francois I. The surrounding park is today a national nature reserve, protecting all sorts of wildlife including deer, boar and eagles

Day 6 St-Dye-sur-Loire to Chitenay 40km/25mi

Much of today's route is along the dedicated cycling paths that link selected chateaux in this region. Highlights include Chateau de Villesavin (an unusual museum of wedding dresses throughout the ages and a huge collection of horse-drawn carriages) and the richly decorated Chateau de Troussay - be sure to take a look at the elaborately painted ceilings. The surrounding parkland is worth a detour too - many of the ancient trees are hundreds of years old. Your final stretch takes you along quiet rural roads to the pretty wine village of Chitenay where the affable Gilles Martinet and his team will be waiting for you. Gilles is a pretty competent wine buff, so feel free to soak up his expertise.

Day 7 - At Chitenay

It's very tempting to stay in Chitenay, enjoy lots of wine degustations in the village, or perhaps just relax by the pool, but it would be a great shame to miss out on a trip to Chateau de Cheverny, just 7km away (we provide cycling route notes). Made of brilliant-white stone, this is arguably the most immaculate of all the Loire chateaux, and is also home to the region's largest collection of fine art. Another option is a 12km round cycling trip to the stunning C16 Chateau de Beauregard. You'll find a rare kitchen garden (400+ plant species) and the recently restored Galerie des Illustres portrait gallery here.

Day 8 Chitenay to Chissay 41km/26mi

Head south past well-tended and sleepy hamlets surrounded by fields of sunflowers, stopping off perhaps at the fortified chateau of Fougeres-sur-Bievre. Continue past Sambin to the superb Chateau de Chenonceau with its famous arches majestically spanning the river. Described by Flaubert as 'floating on air and water' it's arguably the most beautiful of all the Loire landmarks. After a visit here, it's an easy cycle on to the Chateau de Chissay for a well-earned dip in the pool.

Day 9 - Leave Chissay

Please note that cycling helmets are compulsory in France for children under 12. As we are unable to provide these, we strongly recommend that you bring your own.

Please see our Planning you holiday page for full details.

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

If you'd like to keep your bikes with you for any extra nights we can arrange this for you for just £25 per adult per day and £18 per child per day. Please contact us on 1-800-567-6286 for further details.

Chateau de Chissay , Chissay (3 Acorn)

Swimming Pool Icon Hair dryer icon NEARBY:

The Château de Chissay is a château hotel steeped in history, set in 25 ha of parkland overlooking the Cher. Lovingly restored back in 1986, it's said that both Charles VII and Louis XI stayed here.

In the stately dining room, once the guard room, you'll be treated to delicious cuisine inspired by local produce and also a comprehensive wine list.

The rooms have been tastefully decorated and their bathrooms each feature mosaic designs representing famous people from French history who marked the different periods in time.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Dates Superior room Apartment Suite
11/05/2017 - 08/10/2017 £24 £40 £72

All prices shown above are valid from 27/03/2017. Superior rooms are larger rooms overlooking the Cher Valley. Apartments are either overlooking the swimming pool or the Cher Valley. They have a separate lounge with a sofa bed. Prices for Suites are based on either a Troglodyte room or a Duplex room (on 2 floors) in the Tower.

Dates Double Room Single Room
11/05/2017 - 08/10/2017 £122 £148

All prices shown above are valid from 27/03/2017. Prices are per person per night including gastronomic evening meal.
Bike hire is not included in the above prices. Bike hire is not included in the above prices.

Hostellerie du Château, Chaumont-sur-Loire (3 Star)

Swimming Pool Icon Hair dryer icon NEARBY:

This hotel is situated between the Loire river and the famous château itself, the Hostellerie du Château is a lovely, quirky hotel, that just oozes charm.

The bedrooms also reflect the theme of times gone by, but they are well equipped for the demands of the 21C guest, as they all have telephone, satellite tv and hairdryer.

The dining room, with its wooden beams and grand fireplace, adds to the overall antiquated atmosphere.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Dates Double Room Single Room
11/05/2017 - 25/06/2017 £96 £124
26/06/2017 - 10/09/2017 £104 £140
11/09/2017 - 13/10/2017 £96 £124

All prices shown above are valid from 27/03/2017. Prices are per person per night including evening meal. Bike hire is not included in the above prices.

Manoir Bel Air, Saint-Dye-Sur-Loire (3 Star)

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The Manoir de Bel Air is run by the Abel family. This imposing house on the banks of the Loire was built in the 17C for a wine broker. In 1749 it was used as a military hospital for the Marechal de Saxe who was then based at Chambord.

The evening meals are taken in the bright and sunny dining room overlooking the river Loire.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Auberge du Centre , Chitenay (3 Star)

Swimming Pool Icon Hair dryer icon

Tucked away in the elegant little village of Chitenay is the lovely ivy-clad Auberge du Centre, run by Gilles Martinet and his team - the food here is superb! Dinner is served either in the pretty dining room, or on the terrace - Gilles is a keen wine buff, and will happily advise on the best local tipples! With 27 bedrooms, Headwater guests are always accommodated in superior rooms with bath and feature satellite tv (including CNN) and telephone.

The hotel has a pleasant terrace overlooking its gardens and swimming pool, which are a real treat on a summers day, as well as an attractive sitting area inside, complete with wooden beams and comfy chairs.

There is a car park behind the hotel, or on road parking available at the front of the building. There is also a public car park opposite the hotel. All non-secure.

Access to the Spa area is payable locally at 12€ per person per day. Access is free to those staying in a 'Balneo' room.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Dates Balneo Room
11/05/2017 - 08/10/2017 £19

All prices shown above are valid from 27/03/2017. Supplements are per person per night based on 2 sharing. The Balneo room is a larger room with jet bath and free access to hammam and sauna.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Extending your stay

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Hotel St Louis, St Omer (2 Star)


A traditional hotel in the town centre - very convenient for the channel ports and also for exploring St Omer itself - an aristocratic town that boasts the finest Cathedral in Northern France.

The hotel has two restaurants. One of these has an airy modern feel, the other is more intimate with low lighting and a brick 'cellar' feel. There is also a residents' bar: le Flo.

The rooms are furnished in a simple but appealing style and all have an en suite bathrooms.

The hotel also has private parking for its guests.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Hotel Le Senat , Paris (4)

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The 4* Le Senat is simply stunning! There are just 41 rooms, all stylishly furnished and a couple of suites with terraces, if you really fancy splashing out! All have satellite television, mini bar, air-conditioning, safe and hairdryer, plus Internet access.

The hotel has its own small bar - adorned with photographs of eminent artists, being in the heart of the artists' quarter - plus a reading room with complimentary internet access.

Breakfast is taken in the basement, where you'll find a copious buffet of viennoiseries, cereals, fruit salad, ham, cheese, bread, yoghurt, bacon, eggs, sausage, fruit juices, tea or coffee. If you prefer, you can have a continental breakfast served to your room at no extra charge.

Le Senat is perfectly located on a quiet side street just a stone's throw away from the Luxembourg Gardens and metro, and a five-minute walk from the vibrant Latin quarter, where you'll find a plethora of restaurants to suit all budgets.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Dates Deluxe double
01/01/2017 - 31/12/2017 £26

All prices shown above are valid from 03/04/2017. Supplements are per person per night based on 2 sharing. Deluxe rooms are larger with a sitting area. Some also have a small terrace.

Dates Superior double/twin Superior for single use
09/03/2017 - 03/01/2017 £98 £178
04/04/2017 - 15/05/2017 £106 £196
16/05/2017 - 19/05/2017 £158 £300
20/05/2017 - 18/06/2017 £126 £236
19/06/2017 - 25/06/2017 £158 £300
26/06/2017 - 15/07/2017 £126 £236
16/07/2017 - 04/09/2017 £94 £182
05/09/2017 - 18/09/2017 £126 £236
19/09/2017 - 21/09/2017 £160 £316
22/09/2017 - 25/09/2017 £126 £236
26/09/2017 - 04/10/2017 £160 £316
05/10/2017 - 31/10/2017 £126 £2236

All prices shown above are valid from 03/04/2017. Prices are per person per night including breakfast. Bike hire is not included in the above prices.


Transfers included from Tours St Pierre des Corps train station at 13:21 and back to Tours St Pierre des Corps train station at 11:20 Mon-Fri & 10:50 Sat & Sun.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange connecting flights.


Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Mr Bennett

An excellent first bike trip to the Loire, with 8 nights seeming just about right. We could not have eaten much more of the multiple courses of excellent food. Lovely experience to visit so many interesting towns, villages and chateaux en route, without having to drag the luggage around. Some beautiful countryside and riverside landscapes to explore. Comprehensive maps, directions and travel tips - as well as very helpful and professional Reps - were very useful to help us get the most out of the trip.

Mrs Selby

Fabulous - BUT - need to address both your reps in the Loire and one of your hotels in particular (Manoir Bel Air) - welcome and service was not good - and very old fashioned and uncomfortable beds. That one hotel really let you down.

Mrs Riviere

This is a great family holiday: the cycling was pretty easy for all of us (the children were 15, 13 and 10), but there was enough challenge for us to feel proud of ourselves by the end of the week. The routes were incredibly easy to follow, and took us through wonderfully varied terrain - through beautiful fields of sunflowers, past vineyards, through shady forests and along the rivers Cher and Loir. Every day brought something new to see or do. The roads were all quiet and there were lots of we... read morell-maintained cycle paths. The hotels were well-chosen and welcoming, and the only downside of the week was that we ate far too much delicious food! The back-up from James and Hazel, the local reps, was fantastic, and the bikes themselves were excellent. We're looking forward to another cycling holiday soon!

Mr Hutchison

I can't imagine any other type of holiday that is so satisfying in terms of exercise combined with relaxation, visiting new places, and truly excellent food & drink.

Mr Brown

Advise customers that municipal pools in France only allow tight fitting swimming trunks not baggy shorts. We could not use the pool on the way to St Die

Mr Bruce

easy cycling, great countryside and good accomodation but take proctection against mosquitoes.

Mrs Cant

all in all - good trip, excellent gear - too much food!

Mr Dunn

An exciting and demanding adventure with the reward of wonderful food in beautiful surroundings.

Dr Brech

Another excellent Headwater holiday. This was one of the flattest ones we have done with some undulation only on the first and last days. Most of the route was on tracks through the forest, cycle paths and minor roads - it was only crossing the river in Amboise that we encountered alarming traffic. The hotels were all good, the food excellent. Along with other Headwater guests, we found the meals at the Manoir Bel Air too overwhelming - but it was easy to ask to drop a course. Lots of different ... read morechateaux to visit and we spent an additional two days in Chitenay which enabled us to go back and spend a complete day in Blois (an easy cycle ride through the forest and on cycle-tracks) and to further explore the area.

Mrs Iron

In one word.....relaxing......because of the fantastic accommodation in great locations, simplicity of directions and easy routes with plenty of see and do along the way, topped off with superb food every evening! Hassle free holiday, thank you.

Mr Coombs

We really enjoyed the holiday which was very well organised. The only slight downsides were that the route notes were ambiguous on occasion and we got lost on a few occasions meaning that the distances were somewhat longer than they should have been and it would have been really appreciated if all 4 hotels had carried our luggage up to our room. Two hotels did this but it was no fun after a long day's cycling having to carry all our bags up 2 flights of stairs.

Mrs Sanderson

We have done many Headwater cycling holidays, and this was very good. The routes were relatively easy, but there were plenty of options to do your own thing too. Accommodation and food great.

Mr Higgins

Excellent all round except for the dreadful welcome at Bel Air (the lady is a bit hit and miss we understand) of which we made light hearted remarks!

The highlight hotel was the Auiberge du Centre at Chittenay where FOUR people took our bags to our room when we arrived.

We have been many many times with Headwater and find the routes marvellous and varied with fantastic food and hotels. All the arrangements were excellent.

Mrs Fowler

Excellent way to enjoy an area. Taste the food and visit the local areas of interest.

Mr Wignall

Chateaux of the Loire is an excellent intro to Headwaters cycling holidays, excellent bicycles with professional support, gently rolling hills, routes on quiet country lanes through golden fields of ripening crops, and welcome warming sunshine . With ample opportunity to visit the numerous Chateaux on route, whilst staying in a variety of outstanding Hotels/Chateaux all with superb menues to choose from, and most with swimming pools what more is there to wish for ?. This was out 8th holiday with Headwater and it is definitely in the top 3.

Mr Baker

Apart from the excellent food and accommodation, the cycling was about as perfect as it can get: smooth, quiet gently undulating roads, considerate drivers, friendly people and good weather but not too hot. Plenty to see and visit.

Mrs Henderson

Most enjoyable. Well planned and varied routes with excellent dining in the evening. Something for everyone.

Mr Henderson

Easy cycling. Good hotels with excellent food and accommodation in the main. Weather in late September was brilliant which made visits to chateaus etc more spectacular. All in all we had a really good holiday.

Mr Hickman

The holiday met all our expectations, as the description in your brochure proved to be accurate in all respects. The level of accommodation, in fact, exceeded expectations as did the dining experiences. Whilst not a budget holiday, you provided excellent value for money.

Mr Smith

Compared to other companies, our view is that 'Headwater', is at the top of the tree.

Ms McVeigh

Great holiday with plenty of exercise. Beautiful châteaux to visit and lovely hotels to stay with lots of fabulous food. Good idea to have a 'sat nav' or map on your mobile phone as route directions not totally accurate!

Mrs Rawcliffe

Our Rep John was very helpful and we were aware that if we needed assistance he was only a phone call away

Also very friendly welcome

The hotels and food were great especially after a long day cycling

Will use you again next year!

Mr Curtis

A taste of the Loire, in more ways than one. The meal at Manoir Bel Air is possible the best you will ever encounter

Mrs Griffiths

Another amazing Headwater holiday - everything excellent as usual! John, our Rep, was really enthusiastic and informative - he was keen to find out what we were particularly interested in and then suggested relevant ideas which made the holiday extra memorable. He also gave a very professional demonstration of repairing a puncture.

Mrs Thorp

A great holiday, well organized.

Dr Whittington

I really enjoyed this area of France and to cycle around made it that much more special.

Mr Valentine

This is an excellent holiday for those that can afford it. Loads to see and do if the weather isn't wonderful. Easy cycling. Good food all the way around the trip.

Mrs Lythell

Very well organised holiday. Quality reliable reps. Food and accommodation was good.

Mr Wall

Cycling in the Loire is a great way to see the area, with the opportunity to visit at least one Chateau a day (so that by the end one is 'chattered'!). The accommodation arranged by Headwater, amazing food, and efficient back-up, all provide for a memorable holiday.

Mrs Russell

We thought the food was at times too good, we were not expecting either the standard or quantity - which was at times off putting. The cycling distances were far enough and at our age, with the quality of bikes (could be better) not sure if we will do it again. This was I think our sixth cycling holiday with you, but the first for five years: age is catching up with us, it was sometimes a slog. We have electric bikes at home and we would definitely go on another Headwater holiday if you could or... read moreganise them.

We were supposedly not on the Gourmet Menu, however it felt as if we were and to be honest, while lovely, the food was just over the top at times. There was a mix up with our arrival, totally my fault, however if Marg had just called or texted me from the station when we weren't there, (she had my number), then we would have saved ourselves a very expensive taxi ride. The reps were helpful when a bike chain jammed, although it took them an hour to reach us, and at times we thought they were very 'stretched': it seemed to be a very busy time. Hotel accommodation was generally a little lower than expected for the cost and Room 28 at the Hostellrie du Chateau was the worst: very cramped and smelt due to the sewage pipe outside the bedroom window. However, that was the friendliest hotel owner by a mile: Madame was delightful. Generally, we felt the standard of accommodation offered to Headwater guests was that of getting the poorer rooms in the hotels, but I do appreciate that often rural French hotels of this type are like that. We did have a major, irreparable puncture, fortunately discovered in the early evening of an 'off' day - when we were just planning to go for a short ride to the next village. The bikes are 'okay' but I am sure there are better ones. John was contacted and came as soon as he could, but it clearly added to the pressure the couple were under. John did ask us for money for the return transfers, claiming we were not on their list, however when I checked our invoice it definitely stated that they were included in our costs.

Nothing major to complain about, I guess we're getting a bit pickier as we get older.

Mr Alden

great fun holiday adventure

Mr Godsall

This was our first cycling package holiday and we very much enjoyed it; just the right level of route for reasonably fit beginners. Carefully planned holiday with excellent information and service from Headwater.

Mr Davey

Holiday very good and food very good but level of accommodation was poor.

Mrs Mackenzie

Overall experience excellent, weather fabulous, scenery beautiful - all-in-all our holiday came up to our expectations as with previous Headwater Cycling holidays.

Mrs Rodely

A wonderful holiday for food lovers with excellent accommodation and super cycling for 'softies' - the routes were nice and flat, passing through some lovely countryside with many interesting places to visit on the way.

Mr Williams

We have travelled with Headwater many times (a dozen or more) and this holiday was one of the very best. The chateaux and region were wonderful, the accommodation and meals were superb, and the support given by the reps was outstanding.

Mr Tuke

Very well organised, brilliant hotels, easy cycling through scented countryside

Dates and prices

The prices quoted below for each individual departure supercede those published in our current brochures. Air prices are subject to change and are shown for guide purposes only. Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information.

Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss your requirements in more detail.

You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday. Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.

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Holiday details

Please contact us for child prices.

Holiday type
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed rep.

Every two days from 11th May 2017 to 8th Oct 2017, for 8 nights.

All continental breakfasts and evening meals included

Tailor-made travel

Tour only
Transfers included from Tours St Pierre des Corps train station at 13:21 and back to Tours St Pierre des Corps train station at 11:20 Mon-Fri & 10:50 Sat & Sun.


Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Chateaux of the Loire Cycling. Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.

Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss your requirements in more detail.

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We can often obtain preferential rates with our travel partners.

We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. During busy periods we cannot always guarantee a specific call time but we promise to try our very best.

Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or other questions. If you’d like to travel by an alternative method, i.e. Ferry / Eurotunnel etc. please give details here so we can advise you on appropriate options.

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