2011 Tour de France Comments

23 Days in July & French Cols to Champs Elysees

Other than the riding, the guides, particularly Liz and Vincent, made the whole experience that much better. Knowing they were guides on future tours would make me want to do it all again.
Paul H

It was great from start to finish. I thought that the Champs Elyse and our climb up the alp D’huez were the highlights. The staff and fellow clients were all fantastic and certainly made the trip what it was. Cadel winning was also an unbelievable bonus.
Adam C

Being there for the first tour which Cadel won was the biggest thrill of the tour, but also the friends I made and my renewed enthusiasm for riding the bike were highlights. Aside from that the cycling and the challenge of the climbs, and completing them was a great achievement. Before the tour I really wanted to complete the climb of Alpe D’Huez, and am proud to say that I completed it without stopping. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole three weeks of the tour. I suppose that I was lucky in not being in a group of ego maniacs just trying to race everyone to the top of the next climb. I liked that it was mostly a relaxing holiday rather than a full on power cyclist boot camp.
Gerard S

“Being able to cycle up Alpe d’Huez was a personal highlight. Experiencing the excitement and craziness of a mountain stage on the Col du Lauteret was amazing!
And having the opportunity to cycle up the Champs Elysees on the last Sunday morning was something pretty special.
Having a chat with Cadel in the hotel at St Nectaire was NOT on the itinerary, but enjoyable +++ (we met him BEFORE he became famous!!)”
Graham A

Grand Depart Trip

“Too many things to mention really.
Staff was always helpful, friendly and polite, and good to ride with.
Parking our bus in the team bus area was a highlight.
Riding on the tour course and through the set up intermediate sprint point was also a highlight.
The VIP weekend was exceptional. The fully cater marquee and position on the course was more than I had expected, thank you for that experience. Our hotel had a sensational position in Paris as well.”
Scot m

The bike riding with other like minded cyclists was great. The structure of the days was great.
Kerry L

I particularly liked the opportunity to park down near the team buses and meet some of the riders. I know that was a one off, but I felt very fortunate
Rebecca

Extraordinarily well organized; superb tour leaders – everyone of them; very attentive, catered for everyone’s different level of fitness and at no stage made anyone feel less special because they weren’t the fittest cyclist to don lycra
Richard C

Classic Climbs

“Being able to be in the best places without being too tied down.
The handling of the bikes, bus travel etc. worked well.

I loved the fact that I virtually didn’t have to do a thing with my bike. It would miraculously appear and then get put away again by the elves. It was nice to help the guys with the equipment though from time to time.
The amount of riding…I really got my legs at the end, Fantastic!!
I really liked the expertise and knowledge from the fellas and even though I was an inexperienced rider compared to the others, I was never made to feel less important….but what I really loved was that VIP package at the end. That was priceless after all the hard work put in climbing those mountains!!”
Maureen D-E

“No stress, everything was planed and taken care of.
The rides were awesome, the roads, the hills, the scenery.
The flexibility of the guides to cater for individual requirements and to be able to provide alternatives when conditions made the planned impractical.”
Nigel K

“That there was always a guide prepared to ride or assist at any time even when not expected or required.
Having the van in addition to the bus!
Not having to change hotels daily or every other day.
The bikes provided were better than expected as was the guide’s assistance in helping with adjustments and managing the bikes every day.

Learning that I actually enjoy climbing big hills.

Richard C

Cadel winning! Being the only non rider, I felt the guides very supportive in helping me to see everything the riders got to, allowing me to travel in the support van so I also got to the top of the mountains and had every opportunity to see the race & everything that goes with it. I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything just because I wasn’t riding. Next time though I will hopefully also be on the bike.
Liz E

The fun of being with so many other bike riders. I also loved the Bikestyle guys that were on our trip.
Margie C

Too many highlights to pick out just one – I thought the whole trip was awesome!
Liz S

Spectator Tour

Size of the group. Small enough to get to know everybody but large enough that any particular member/s did not get on your nerves. Fabulous meals to enjoy after what were very full and enjoyable days. Even after the very late return from l’alpe d’huez, the hotel staff were able to get together a very competent meal. That was very much appreciated.
Richard

The atmosphere in the bus (particularly having Jason on board), as well as the fantastic planning to get us to Alpe de Huez via the ski lifts! .. also, the attention to detail and all the small things, like having our bags waiting at the hotel for us in Paris was very well done and really appreciated. Great tour, we felt privileged to be there in Grenoble and Paris, and really respect Laurie for the contacts that allow BikeStyle to have the access. And if there was one thing I’d pay extra for, it would be to go in closer to see the riders warming up before the time trial
Michael S

The fact that I was there. Cadel won. Loved the accommodation, loved the food and had a great time with the company. The fact that Lawrie, Natalie and Caitlin were so nice and good at what they were doing just made it more perfect.
Stephanie W

Having the opportunity to see many different aspects of the tour. Lawrie and staff explained things ahead of time so we knew what to expect and could make the most of it. I liked the cable car ride up in the Alpes, very exciting to have experienced it. And it was a thrill to have the riders “zoom” right past us on all the days!!!
Dorothy F

The feeling of the tour was relaxed and the focus was very much on ensuring we had an enjoyable trip. For a spectator trip, the itinerary was well organised to ensure that we had the best possible spectator experience.

Lawrie’s sense of humour. The convenience of being taken everywhere in a bus, almost right up to the race. Freedom to wander at the locations.
Y

Great organisation, wonderfully friendly staff and they got us a lot further than we could’ve gotten on our own
Marc C

Week in Limoux

Well the riding and scenery was the reason I went so I liked that part a lot. The tour guides and staff did an awesome job and know what real service is. It was all the little things they did, like at the end of a hard day of riding taking the bikes off the roof and putting them away. Great service.
Ashleigh

Where to start? Most of all I loved the riding and the opportunity to ride every day in different locations and in different directions from Limoux. The ride routes were really thoughtfully selected and the French countryside was so lovely! I loved my hire bike (and wanted to buy it but unfortunately it’s not available). I found all the staff professional, knowledgeable and friendly and felt they catered expertly for riders of vying ability. Seeing a Tour start, a mountaintop finish and a sprint finish was excellent. The meals at the Hotel were beautiful and it was also good to have every second night free so we could explore Limoux on our own. Limoux was an attractive town to use as a base for the week and I appreciated not having to move hotels/locations every day. The itinerary allowed us to spend enough time with the group without having to spend too much time together.
Barbara B

The rides we did were beautiful, from our warm-up loop out from Limoux on the first afternoon to the ride to the Med! The steep slopes were very enjoyable – maybe because they were do-able, the van at the spot where you could take a break and enjoy a peach or nectarine and the good company of the riders and our amazing drivers. Arnoud’s wine-tasting was fantastic. He was able to give us so much appreciation of the wines he selected and of the diverse regions of the country.
Dav R

“Enjoyed staying in the same hotel for 7 nights, this meant we had time to explore the city and enjoy some of the local culture including markets and a fabulous fireworks display on Bastille eve.
The day we rode up Plateau De Baille before the tour riders came through was truly memorable, made even more memorable when Phillipe did a “”meals on wheels”" delivery of a lunch pack half way down as he was concerned we may not make it all the way down before the road was closed.”
Fleur Q

The lack of pressure to ride more than my comfort level was awesome. The sights were amazing and the chance to meet great tour mates made for a great trip. Seeing 3 different aspects of the Tour de France (sprint finish, mountain stage, and stage start in Limoux) was better than expected.
Kate K

The friendly Bikestyle crew and the fun we all had, and the people we met on the tour. Each day we had some amazing bike rides. It was a pity we didn’t see more of the actual racing but we knew that when we booked but it was the only tour we could afford.
Robin C

Pyrenees to Podium

The rides available to us, the opportunity to ride or not, the way our guides all treated us even though we were of a differing standard.
Di Bichard

The opportunity to ride some of the great climbs of the Tour de France and being blessed by Reverend Zee before my descent of Alp D’Huez.
Michael F

I liked doing the climbs on the same day the Tour did the climbs. I like being with the Aussies as they celebrated Cadel’s victory.
Z. Zsohar

The ability of staff to gently encourage you to attempt what seemed difficult climbs. Staffs knowledge of cycling ,France and the tour was excellent.
Grahame K

“There was a huge amount of planning that went into this trip, probably built up over the years. This allowed the trip to operate very effectively. The flexibility of the guides was excellent and appreciated, particularly for alp d’Huez to be changed and not getting stuck on the mountain the day of the race. Well done!
Alex and Leigh I would say were excellent in their roles on the tour.”
Kristian H

“To see Cadel win was a great bonus. Attending the time trial was very good. Stage starts are the best time to actually view the tour process. The objective for my daughter, Jane, was to climb D’Huez but after she climbed Ventoux as well she is delighted (and still grinning).
Avoiding riding D’Huez on race day was a good decision.
Riding up Madeleine, away from le Tour and late in the trip was a good wind down ride.
Thanks for a memorable trip.”
John F

“The way the tour flowed despite road closures, weather, differing standards of riders and minor unforeseen incidents.
The transport was excellent as was the knowledge of the guides about the areas and the race tactics (this was Doug’s specialty and he was great)”
Jon H

Final 14 Days

“The whole bikestyle team was great from start to end. The guides and drivers help with our every request.
Being in France for the first time and riding in the Alps and Pyrenees was awesome.”
Frank S

The calm leadership and unflustered manner in which it was organised on a daily basis without anyone being left out or made to feel inadequate. The flexibility to deal with changing circumstances including rain was explemary.
Armon H

The standard of care from the guides was tremendous and the fact that you were able to arrange for Cadel to win. I have been a racing cyclist for 54 years and have just had the trip of a lifetime and would recommend Bikestyle tours to either a weekend warrior or racing cyclist, you catered for everyone
Lionel C

“Things being all organised but enough room to do what you wanted too. Being guided to places with lovely guides and having the support on the mountains was fantastic.
Meeting wonderful like minded people but there being enough of us so that you weren’t in each other’s pockets.
Three days in each town was perfect and I loved the various locations, particularly the vineyard in Provence and the hotel in Italy.
I also really liked that we had rides that were non TDF routes, just to enjoy the quiet roads and beautiful scenery without the crowds of people.
I will be recommending this trip to friends and colleagues.”
Susan C

The friendliness of everyone and nothing was a problem for our guides. Being able to climb mountains I had only read about.
Garry D

The guides on our trip were very helpful and were able to cater to everybody’s needs. Eric was a very positive influence on the team dynamic and was able to relate to everybody in a very relaxed but effective manner.
Mark F

French Cols to Champs Elysees

“Liz and her team (Lorian, Vicent and Peter) were brilliant. I thank the team for their effort, patience, encouragement and good humour – they really made it a fantastic adventure.
(Thanks to Grace and her support team, they helped to make Mount Ventoux great fun).”
Phil R

“I really liked everything. I tried hard to think of something I did not like, but seriously, I do not have any complaints, rather the contrary. Everything was planned to the very detail. Day-to-day communication was great. If anything had to be changed e.g. due to adverse weather, a suitable Plan B was drawn up and communicated ASAP. Lorian and Peter are great and reliable guides, always happy to help. Liz is a wonderful and competent leader with a great sense of humour. I admired how well she handled a range of different personalities. And Vincent, he is just a star: A lovely person who despite his relatively young age is a most competent and experienced guide who in my opinion would make a perfect all-round leader.
The guides and leaders are the face of Bikestyle Tours, and no matter how well the tour organisation is, they are on the coal face, so to speak, and they ultimately make the trip a success.
Also, I like the jersey: the fit, the material, the colours and the design. Well done!
Ilke B-K

Meeting different people with a passion for cycling and the love of Le Tour de France. Been able to pick up new bike handling skills from the tour staff, embracing the French country side and taking on the mountain climbs that past and present pro cyclist rode. But watching Cadel Evens cross the finishing line in Paris to be the 2011 Tour de France champion would have to be the highlight of the trip!
Bao H

Final Week

Professional and well organised. Although a big group, I still felt the guides were always there to help. Some amazing experiences, the group got on really well and perhaps this had a lot to do with Steve, Michelle and the other guides styles. The riding was fantastic and challenging. The options each day were a great idea and catered for everyone. Certainly a trip I will never forget and if I could would be there again tomorrow.
Greg H

Week in the Alpes

“Seeing the stage in Alp d Huez!!
The staff with Alp Cycle
The chalet!!
Staying in 1 location
Gail Stewart

I couldn’t single out one element. It was beautifully organised and a wonderful trip. My congratulations (and thanks) to all at Bikestyle and AlpCycles.
Matt C

Excellent bunch of very friendly and well trained staff plus well organized days with excellent support on the rides..Option of bike hire was excellent as well, bikes exceeded expectations.
Emma C

The personal touch that Alp Cycles provided to all guests
Gavin E

Ade and his Alpecycle team were amazing!, nothing was too much trouble. Being in the one location the whole time not having to move every night was perfect and the way I would do it again.
David L

“Friendly staff/guides at Alpecycle. Very professional and able to engage all levels of client whether experienced A level roadies or casual older riders. Impressive attention to detail and safety, and fun, perfect blend of offbeat humour and professionalism that worked very well with our group. We had less than perfect weather with unseasonable snow but the team always found a ride to do and put safety first at all times. Accommodation and location actually in Alpe D’Huez was magic. Cooking/meals and support excellent – cheers to our house leader! Aiming to come back to the Alpes in 2013 if Adrian and his team will put up with me again.
Cris D