Alpe d’Huez to Paris (8 Days)
This popular 9-day trip has a focus on exploring the famous climbs of the Alps and experiencing the Tour de France as it enters the decisive final week of racing. This trip finishes in style as we take the TGV to Paris to see the final stage on the Champs Elysees.
TRIP DETAILS: Sold Out
Duration: 8 days (7 nights)
Dates: Monday, 18 July to Monday, 25 July, 2016
Start: Geneva Finish: Paris
Accommodation: 4 star hotels
Group Size: Maximum 34 people (5 Staff)
Suitable For: Cyclists and Non Cyclists
Trip Type: Classique Trip Find out more…
Deposit: A$1000.00 (US$700.00)
Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room. If travelling alone we will match you with a person to share. Alternatively you may choose to have a room of your own by paying the single supplement.
Single Supplement: A$850.00 (US$595.00)
- Bike Rental A$420.00 (US$300.00) (Cannondale Synapse carbon fibre)
- Pre or post tour accommodation in Grenoble and Paris to extend your stay
- Travel Insurance – Email us for details
- Ride the famous climbs of the Tour including Col de Joux Plane and Alpe d’Huez
- Experience the final week of the 2016 Tour de France including the final stage in Paris
- Ride along Lac Leman to Switzerland to see the Tour de France
- Travel to Paris on the high speed TGV to catch the final stage on Champs Elysees
- Choice of rides each day – something for everyone.
- See it Live! 4 Tour de France stages
This Trip will be Escorted by Former Pro-Cyclist, Allan Iacuone
For a rider that esteemed cycling commentator Matt Keenan rated as one of the best to come from this country, the career of Allan Iacuone has been an interesting one. He raced professionally in Europe, the US, Asia and even the Pacific.
Highs included a 2nd place in the 2002 Sun Tour (to Baden Cooke, and beating riders the calibre of Brad Wiggins, Matt Wilson and Mark Renshaw), 3rd in the Tour of Langkawi, winner of the Tour of Tasmania, and was the winner of the 1994 Australian Road Championships. In stage races, he’s placed above riders like George Hincapie.
Contrasting with these highs were cruel twists of fate off the bike that cut short his career. The victim of several teams folding, Allan was at times stranded mid season in Europe. The Team Linda McCartney collapse impacted on Al’s confidence, his views on the sport and his place in it. Al was then thrown a lifeline by Dave McKenzie with his iTeam Nova in 2001, only to see that fold a couple of years later as well.
Fast forward ten years or so to 2013 and Allan is again an Elite Men’s National Champion! This time it’s the inaugural Australian Cyclo Cross Championships in Melbourne. “I fell in love with Cyclo-cross two years ago,” remarked Iacuone. “I was always hoping that I could win the national title, but never really thought I could.
Who is this trip for?
This popular 8-day trip has a focus on experiencing the Tour de France as it enters the decisive final week of racing and riding some of the most famous climbs. After seeing 3 of the biggest stages of the final week in the Alps we move on and give you the chance to ride Alpe d’Huez before finishing in style as we take the TGV to Paris to see the final stage on the Champs Elysees. It’s one of our most popular trips with something for everyone!
This is a trip that will suit cyclists and non-cycling partners and friends.Our trips are geared to suit anyone with an interest in Cycling who wants to see the biggest of the Grand Tours, the Tour de France. This (and riding our bikes) is our main focus for the trip although this trip will incorporate some tourist days as well. We cater for cyclists of all abilities by providing riding options each day.
Each day we’ll have options for rides to suit people who feel like a challenge, or an easy day enjoying the scenery. We ride on quiet scenic roads and where possible we ride on the race route. As with all of our tours you’ll be guided by our expert team of ride leaders, drivers and guides.
See what our clients said about us after the 2015 Tour by reading their Testimonials here.
Monday, 18 July 2016: Bienvenue
The first day of your trip starts with our staff meeting you at Geneva airport at 12.30 pm and transferring you to our hotel in the Alps. Geneva airport is easily reached by international and domestic European flights. The airport also has its own rail station with frequent services from Geneva city, which is easily reached from Paris or Lyon by train.
Once we’ve gathered everyone we’ll start our drive to our 4 star alpine hotel in the ski-resort town of Morzine, in the northern French Alps, close to the Swiss border. In the summer Morzine is a popular centre for cyclists and walkers, in the winter it is a major ski resort connecting to the large Portes du Soleil ski area. Unpack your bags as we spend the next 4 nights in this fabulous location.
After we’ve settled in to the hotel we’ll assemble bikes, or introduce you to your rental bike, and take a short warm up ride to make sure your bike and body are both in working order. We will take it easy as some of you will be a bit tired from travelling, but a few short hills are included to make sure your lower gears and legs are working. After our ride, if it’s warm, take a dip in the pool or relax in the hotel bar and catch the end of today’s Tour de France stage live on TV.
Tonight we’ll have our welcome dinner at our hotel where you can meet your fellow travellers and have our staff answer all your questions about what’s in store for you at the Tour.
Tuesday, 19 July 2016: Col de Joux Plane
Our first full day will be a mix of challenge and charm, taking in some of the most breathtaking scenery of the Haute-Savoie and the chance to ride the final climb of the 2016 Tour de France. The Tour de France has a rest day today so we’ll take the chance to ride some of the route of the final Tour stage of 2016 and explore one of the most beautiful valleys of the Alps.
After enjoying a leisurely breakfast at the chalet we will start our ride along the valley floor that takes us to Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval, one of the official “plus beaux” villages of France. It’s a charming alpine village and surrounded by some of the most stunning scenery in the alps. We’ll ride on up the valley a bit to the natural amphitheatre of Cirque du Fer à Cheval. It is one of the most scenic rides in the Alps along the valley dotted with waterfalls and majestic cliffs. We can return to the village of Samoëns for lunch, where the shorter 50 km ride finishes with a transfer back to the hotel, while those choosing the longer ride have a harder journey back to Morzine.
The ride up the Col de Joux Plane starts from Samoëns . It’s actually only 11.5 kms from Samoëns to the top of the Joux Plane, but it is steep all the way. The climb has featured 11 times in the Tour de France and is the final climb of the penultimate stage of this year’s Tour. On stage 16 of the 2000 Tour de France to Morzine the infamous Lance Armstrong described the stage over Col de Joux Plane as ‘the hardest day of my cycling life’. At the top you’ll enjoy great views across the Alps to Mont Blanc before descending 12kms back to the chalet.
Back in Morzine you’ll have time to relax this afternoon, with this evening free to have dinner in a restaurant of your choice in the village.
Wednesday, 20 July 2016: Lac Léman and the Tour de France
Today’s ride takes us from the mountains to the water and the famous Lac Léman, or Lake Geneva as it is often called. We will enjoy a scenic ride through the hills and along the lake shore across the border to Switzerland. It is here in the town of Aigle, the headquarters of cycling’s governing body the UCI, where we will get our first look at the Tour de France as the race travels from Berne in Switzerland to Emosson-Finhaut in France.
With a drop in altitude from Morzine to Lac Léman of 600 meters there is more descending than climbing on our ride today, although our longer 80 km route has it’s share of hills passing through some lovely little villages before it reaches the lake. If you want an even easier day then you can choose our 50 km ride, that joins the longer ride after it’s covered most of the lumpier sections of the route, just before the descent to the lake. Both rides finish off with an easy 15km run along the Rhone river to Aigle where we can have lunch and see the race pass through town. Aigle is an historic town surrounded by ancient vineyards. Close to the town is the 12th century Castle of Aigle, quite a sight as it appears to float in a sea of vines. You may wish to visit the castle today and tour the excellent vine and wine museum.
After we have seen today’s stage of the Tour we’ll drive back to Morzine, making a stop along the way home in Evian-les-Bains on the lakefront where we can have a break and watch the mountain top finish unfold live on TV.
Tonight is free in Morzine, so you can head in to the village and sample one of the local restaurants.
Thursday, 21 July 2016: Time Trial Day
Our second day of the Tour de France will reveal another side of the Tour to us, with a 17 km time trial from Sallanches to Megève this afternoon. Time trials are a great place to see the riders up close and a short mountain time trial like this is extra special. If the race lead is close a time trial this late in the race can be decisive, which all adds to the excitement today.
As the riders will be departing at regular intervals throughout the afternoon from the start ramp in Sallanches we can use our free time this morning to take a ride. We’ve chosen part of one of the most scenic routes from this years Alpine stages to ride today, over the 1613 meter Col de la Colombiere, which the race will roll over on the penultimate stage on Saturday. The pass was first included in the Tour de France in 1960 and has since featured 20 times, most recently in 2010. It’s one of the most scenic routes in the Haute-Savoie Alps and a nice gradual climb over 12 kms from Le Grand Bornand at an average gradient of 5.9%. You can choose to ride the full 70km route today, or if you want to take it a bit easier you can choose the 50 km option starting in Le Grand Bornand, so you can get a head start and take it easy and enjoy the scenery.
Our rides will finish in Sallanches, the start town of today’s time trial course. You can see the teams as they prepare for the day, or head out on to the course and see the fast men of cycling in action. The 17km TT course starts out easy enough, but after a few kms the road kicks up and the pressure is on.
Once we’ve seen the last rider head off, the yellow jersey, we will return to Morzine for our final evening before we start the next leg of our journey to Alpe d’Huez.
Friday, 22 July 2016: Albertville Stage Start
Stage 19 of the 2016 Tour de France takes the peloton on a mountainous 146 km route from Albertville to the Le Bettex ski resort, with a total of 4 categorised climbs. Not a long stage, but one that offers little respite for the weary pro-riders. We’ll have the chance to see the race twice today, once at the race start and again in the valley part way through the stage.
We’ll drive down along parts of the race route this morning via the town of Megève to Ugine, where we’ll start our short ride to the stage start town of Albertville, famous for being the host city for the 1992 Winter Olympics. From Ugine we’ll take an easy flat ride along the valley to arrive at the stage start in plenty of time to see the organisation that goes in to preparing for another day of racing. We’ll have plenty of time to get to Albertville this morning, enjoy some lunch and see the race head out some time shortly after 1 pm. Race starts offer a great opportunity to see the race close up, get some photos and perhaps a selfie with your favourite rider. Once we’ve farewelled the race from Albertville we’ll jump back on our bikes and choose from two different ride options.
The easier option today after the race start will head back to Ugine, where we’ll catch the race one more time. The valley has a lovely wide bike path that will get us right on the race route to see the race go by, roughly 1.5 hours after they departed Albertville. After our race viewing we’ll continue on and ride along the path and the shore of Lake Annecy to one of France’s loveliest towns, Annecy. It’s a great recovery day ride with wonderful scenery on a largely traffic free route.
The harder option will follow the race route in the tracks of the Tour riders over the mini col, the Collette de Tamie, to Faverges where you’ll join the same route as the other riders along the lake shore finishing up in Annecy. If you make good time you’ll see the race as it descends from the Col de la Forclaz and rides up the valley.
From Annecy we’ll drive to the southern Alps capital of Grenoble for our final 2 nights before Paris. On arrival at the hotel cool off in the hotel pool before we enjoy dinner together in the hotel restaurant.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Saturday, 23 July 2016: Alpe d’Huez!
Today we’ll take the opportunity to experience what is perhaps the most famous of the Tour de France climbs, Alpe d’Huez.
We will drive down the valley to just before Alpe d’Huez for a bit of a warm up before the climb up the 21 switchbacks of l’Alpe d’Huez. The route up the 1850 meter Alpe d’Huez is only 13.5 km, with the first few kilometres being the toughest, but it’s an achievable ride for most people. Don’t forget to smile and make it look easy for the photographer who is there each day to record your efforts.
Once at the top you can have your photo taken on the podium, then ride down to Le Bourg d’Oisans for lunch in one of the pleasant outdoor cafes. You can also make a visit to one of the local bike shops that service the huge number of cyclists that transform this normally quiet little town during the summer months and pick up compulsory souvenir jerseys.
Mid-afternoon we will drive back to our hotel in Grenoble where we can relax and watch the finish of today’s Tour stage on TV in the comfort of the hotel bar.
Tonight we will celebrate another great day in France at our our farewell dinner. It’s not our final night, but we’ll leave tomorrow night free for you to enjoy the stage finish on the Champs-Elysees and the delights of Paris.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Sunday, 24 July 2016: Paris here we come!
This morning we will leave Grenoble and drive to the TGV station in Lyon, where it’s on to the high speed train to Paris, arriving in the French capital late morning. Travelling at speeds of up to 320 kmh we’ll be there in no time at all. On arrival in Paris we will transfer the short distance from Gare de Lyon to our 4 star hotel situated in the revitalised Bercy area of Paris, close to the river Seine.
After we’ve checked in to our hotel we will head down to the Champs-Élysées to enjoy the racing and festivities of this great occasion on what is probably the most famous avenue in the world.
For the 3rd year running the women’s one day race, La Course by Le Tour de France will precede the final stage of this year’s Tour de France.
The last stage of the Tour De France is traditionally a procession until the entrance onto the Champs-Élysées where the racing really starts. Riders traditionally chat, celebrate the final stage, pose for photographs, drink Champagne… sometimes they even dress-up, swap bikes and generally horse around. Traditionally, once the race gets into Paris, the Yellow jersey and his team lead the peloton onto the Champs-Élysées for what is basically a big criterium in the centre of the French Capital. For the second year running the Tour will have the spectacle of an evening finish on the Champs-Élysées, with the riders expected to cross the finish line for the last time at about 7.00 pm.
Tonight after the finish you are free to explore the city of Paris, taking in a show or dining in one of the famous restaurants.
Monday, 25 July 2016: Au Revoir
It is farewell to your new friends as our Alpe d’Huez to Paris trip comes to an end this morning. Over the past week you’ve experienced the excitement of the Tour de France up close, challenged yourself on some famous climbs and hopefully had an unforgettable holiday with Bikestyle Tours. We hope we see you again one day.
Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:
- Transport throughout by luxury coach with custom bike trailer
- Support van
- Services of our experienced tour guides, mechanics and drivers
- 7 nights accommodation in quality 4 star hotels
- Buffet breakfast daily
- 3 course evening meals on 3 nights
- Wine with welcome and farewell dinners
- Arrival transfer from Geneva airport to our hotel on day one of our trip
- Mechanical assistance with your bike
- Sightseeing and entry fees as listed
- Maps, GPS files and Bikestyle guide to the 2016 Tour de France
- Quality Bikestyle Tours kit including cycling jersey, knicks, cap and musette
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