2017 Classic Climbs 12 Days

This small group tour is designed for the cyclist who wants the challenge of tackling climbs made famous of the Tour de France. It’s not all hard though with time to relax, do some easier rides and explore the areas we visit. With 12 days we have plenty of time to pick the best stages of the Tour de France as the race travels through the Pyrenees and Alps.

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TRIP DETAILS: 

Duration: 12 days (11 nights)
Dates: Tuesday, 11 July to Saturday, 22 July, 2017
Start: Toulouse  Finish: Lyon
Accommodation: 3 star and 4 hotels
Group Size: Maximum 20 people (3 Staff)
Suitable For: Cyclists and Non Cyclists
Trip Type: Classique Trip Find out more…
Cost: A$6,750.00 (US$4,860.00)
Deposit: A$1,000.00 (US$720.00)
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$890.00 (US$640.00)

Reserve your Place Now  |  Register Your Interest   |   Ask a Question  |  Inclusions

Optional Extras:

Highlights:

  •  Best of both worlds, the famous race and the famous climbs that the Tour de France has visited
  • Ride the famous climbs of the Pyrenees and Alps such as the Tourmalet, Col d’Aubisque and Col du Soulor, Mont Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez
  • See it Live! 5 Tour de France stages
  • Ride options suitable for all abilities, escorted by former professional rider Eric de Clercq

This Trip will be Escorted by Ex Pro, Eric de Clercq 

Eric is a native Belgian whose career spanned 11 years from 1991 to 2002, in which he had 19 victories including a stage win in the Tour of Britain. He is one of the hard men of Belgium having raced the big Classics such as Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix. Eric rode for La William-Duvel from 1991-1993, and Collstrop from 1994-2002.

2016 Grand Départ - 2016 Tour de France Bike Tours

After he retired from racing, Eric became a Director Sportif from 2004-2007 for the Vlaanderen Women’s Pro Team. It was here that Eric learnt the organisational skills that make him such an asset to Bikestyle Tours.

Eric has been with Bikestyle Tours for several years and has run trips to the Spring Classics, Giro d’Italia, La Vuelta a Espana and of course, le Tour de France. Speaking three languages, you will find Eric to be a very capable guide and good guy to socialise with after a ride.

 Who is this trip for?

Our Classic Climbs Trip is focused on riding the famous climbs of the Tour de France both in the Pyrenees and the Alps while catching the key stages of this years Tour. Our carefully selected hotels in prime locations gives you easy access to watching the race and riding the famous climbs of the Le Tour. This great value trip is designed for those who are keen to ride their bikes combined with some race viewing. The trip will be paced so you’ll get opportunities to relax, do some easier rides to keep the legs fresh for the big climbs and enjoy the beauty of the Tour de France.

Please Note: This is a Cyclists Only trip.

On this Cyclists Only trip you do not have to be an elite athlete to enjoy this trip, but due to the terrain it is suitable for experienced riders. As with all of our trips however we do offer easier and harder ride options. 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 ahead of the race. As with all of our tours you’ll be guided by our expert team of ride leaders, drivers and guides.

ITINERARY

Tuesday 11 July, 2017: Welcome to France

Toulouse Aiport Exterior ModernThe first day of our trip starts today with our staff meeting you today at 10 am at Toulouse Blagnac airport for your transfer to the Pyrenees.

Toulouse is well served by flights from all over Europe, so an easy destination to reach. We can arrange for a pre-tour night at our Toulouse hotel if you prefer to arrive before today and take a look around Toulouse.

After we’ve made our introductions we’ll transfer you to our home for the 3 nights in the village of Luz St Sauveur in the Pyrenees in a family run 3 star hotel located close to the town centre. Each night we’ll dine in the hotel’s great little restaurant and socialise over dinner.

Once we’ve got you settled into the hotel we will assemble bikes and take a short local ride to make sure you and your bike are all in good working order. We can take a ride up the Luz valley, or if your legs feel up to a few small hills we can tour a few of the local villages and test out your low gears. After the ride we can catch up with the Tour de France live on TV and see the finish of today’s stage finish.

Tonight we will enjoy a welcome dinner where you will enjoy a glass of wine, meet your fellow travellers and our staff will answer all your questions on your upcoming adventure.

Overnight: Luz St Saveur
Meals: Dinner

Wednesday 12 July, 2017:Col du Soulor and Col’d’Aubisque

We can have a relaxed start to our second day before we start what is perhaps the nicest route in the Pyrenees, over the Col du Soulor and Col d’Aubisque.

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We will begin our day with a ride down the Gorges de Luz before arriving in Argeles-Gazost to start our ascent of the Col du Soulor and Col d’Aubisque. The climb starts as a pleasant ride through small villages until Arrens-Marsous, where a series of switchbacks and some quite steep sections remind us that we are in the mountains! Once at the top of Col du Soulor we can stop at the cafe for refreshments and admire the stunning views before continuing on to the Aubisque along the Corniche du Cirque du Litor, which is a highlight with stunning scenery and the odd cow standing on the road with his bell ringing to warn you if there happens to be some mist.

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At the top of the Col d’Aubisque we will take the obligatory photos to commemorate our achievements and enjoy the long descent back to our hotel. We should be back down in the valley for lunch, leaving the rest of the day free to relax or perhaps catch today’s tour stage live on TV.

Overnight: Luz St Saveur
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Thursday 13 July, 2017: Col du Tourmalet and See it Live! In the Pyreneestourmalet-gradient-sign-green-grass-blue-skies

Today we will take the chance to tackle the highest road in the central Pyrenees, the 2115 meter Col du Tourmalet.

Tourmalet is the highest road pass in the central Pyrenees. You’ve all seen the TV images of this mighty mountain each year on the Tour de France, now is your chance to see what it’s all about. The summit of the HC (hors categorie) climb up to Col du Tourmalet has been crossed 75 times during the history of the Tour.

We’ll head out early from our hotel in Luz St Sauveur, where the 19 km climb up the western side of Col du Tourmalet begins. It’s a constant climb, at an average of 7.4%, but we’ve got plenty of time so choose a low gear and enjoy the view. When we reach the top it will all seem worth it and the cafe at the top is a nice warm place to meet up and regroup, with a nice collection of cycling memorabilia.

12-07-tourmaletOnce we summit this mighty mountain, we will descend down the eastern side to intersect with today’s race route, where we will catch the race in its early stages. After catching up with the passing peloton you’ll have the option to return back to our hotel in the van, or if you’re keen you’ll be able to make a double ascent of the Tourmalet and test yourself out on the Saint-Marie de Campan side as well.

Overnight:Luz St Saveur
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Friday 14 July, 2017: Fete Nationale in Ariege

Today is a big day for us, and for the French people as it is the “fete nationale”, Bastille Day. It’s a tradition for French riders to try and score a stage victory today and being a holiday weekend the locals will be out in force to cheer on their local heroes.

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This short stage is designed to impress audiences around the globe.

We will start the day with a visit to the official plus beaux (most beautiful) village of Saint Bertrand-de-Comminges at the base of the Pyrenees. Saint-Bertrand was a stopover on a pilgrim way to St James of Compostela and today is a beautiful walled medieval village, well worth us taking a bit of time to explore before setting off on our ride.

Today’s stage is the shortest stage in Tour de France history, it will start mid-afternoon. This gives us time this morning for a our rides. We will offer 2 rides today of either 60km or 80km. Both rides will go over Col de Portet-d’Aspet climb, that has been used 32 times in the Tour de France. Our more challenging ride will also summit Col de Menté, which was traversed by riders in yesterday’s stage.

Stage starts are exciting to see and are your best opportunity to see your favourite rider, grabbing their photo or autograph. After watching the start we’ll transfer you to the village of Castres, a historical city whose wealth is founded in art and trade. The river Agout flows through Castres and its flow has been vital for local craftsmen and industry.

Overnight: Castres (Tarn)
Meals: Breakfast

Saturday 15 July, 2017: Albi

We will head north to the region’s capital, Albi. Albi has a long history with cycling and in 2017 it will host the Gran Fondo World Championships. The quiet roads, rolling hills and beautiful scenery make it very attractive for cyclists of all abilities.

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Our ride today will see us make our way along the plane tree lined roads of the Tarn to the historical village of Lautrec, of the same fame as the famous impressionist artist. This village is perched above its surroundings offering great views and has medieval timber houses spanning across quiet passages.

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From Lautrec it’s a mostly downhill ride into Albi, an historic town unlike any other in France with a beautiful medieval centre dominated by the massive Sainte Cécile cathedral. First built as a fortress in the 13th century and under construction for 200 years, it is claimed to be the largest brick building in the world and when you see it for real, you’ll believe it!

Peloton Sky train Froome Yellow Jersey

After grabbing lunch we’ll catch up with the race on-route to our 3 star family run hotel on the edge of the Aveyron where we will stay for the next 2 nights. The hotel restaurant, L’Alicanta, serves delicious regional cuisine and is typical of the better small hotels in France where the emphasis is on food, hospitality and a truly French experience.

Overnight: Le Rozier (Lozère)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sunday 16 July, 2017: Stage start in Aveyron

We will drive to Laissac for another stage start this morning. Seeing a race start in a quiet French village offer the best opportunities to see riders and walk among some of the team buses. Be sure to take your camera to capture your favourite rider or evaluate your next piece of bike componentary to upgrade.

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After the riders roll off and grabbing some lunch, we’ll make our way back to our hotel by bike. The quiet roads in this region of France are popular among cyclists and the rolling terrain will ensure we’re adding to the vertical metres of your French cycling holiday.

Overnight: Le Rozier (Lozère)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Monday 17 July, 2017: Ride through the spectacular Gorges du Tarn

This morning after breakfast we’ll start our transfer to Provence first on bike, as this is one of the most spectacular roads in the central massif. The Tarn river over many, many years has carved its way through the terrain to form a beautiful gorge. Water rafting and cycling make this area a popular summer destination.

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The towering cliffs either side of the river Tarn offer wonderful views from the bike. After 80km we will meet up with our transport for the final transfer to our base in Provence.

Our accommodation over the next 2 nights is a charming country hotel. Among the guides, there is jealousy for who is fortunate enough to stay in this accommodation where fine dining on the terrace and a cooling pool await you after a day on the bike.

Overnight:Valaurie
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Tuesday 18 July, 2017: Géant of Provence – Mont Ventoux

Today we ride one of the most famous climbs in cycling, the Giant of Provence Mont Ventoux. We can see how our efforts compare with the riders of the Tour from 2016. We may take a bit longer but we’ll enjoy it a bit more perhaps!

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We’ll get away in the cool of the morning and travel to the village of Malaucene where we will begin our warm up ride over to the base of Mont Ventoux, Bedoin. For those who want an easier ride today we can propose starting you from a little further along today’s ride route, saving your legs for the more mystical part of the ride.

The route up Ventoux from Bedoin is the most famous and traditional route of the Tour de France that winds its way up through the forest to Chalet Reynard where the well-known “moonscape” of Mont Ventoux comes into view. From Chalet Reynard the final 7 kilometres of bare landscape provides magnificent views over the plains of the Luberon as you pass by the monument to Tom Simpson, who died tragically on the slopes of the mountain in the 1967 Tour de France.

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After the compulsory photographs at the summit we’ll head back down via the thrilling descent to Malaucene for lunch and a cool drink in the shade. Once we’ve recovered its back to the hotel in the bus, or if you still have the energy a 45 km ride back to the hotel, but you’ll have to be very keen!

Overnight: Valaurie, Provence
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Wednesday 19 July, 2017: See it Live! On Col du Glandon

We will get away soon after breakfast this morning so that we can avoid any race road closures. Our transfer will take us into the Alps and have us on our bikes near the base Col du Glandon. We will make our way up the climb to view the race coming through later today.

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Once the riders come through, we’ll return to near its base before making a left turn and heading up one of our favourite balcony roads in France. Riding through Villard Reculas to Huez village rewards you with spectacular views across the Romanche valley before the roads opens onto turn 6 of the mystical Alpe d’Huez. Riding this way should have you at our hotel in time to see the lead riders summit the final climb of today’s stage and watch the finish on TV and enjoying a cold drink on the Terrace looking across the French Alps.

Some of the famed hairpins on the Alpe d'Huez climb

For the next 3 nights, we will enjoy a homely meal at our family run 3 star hotel.

Overnight: L’Alpe d’Huez (Alps)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Thursday 20 July, 2017: Alpe d’Huez

Today we’ll have a full day to experience what is perhaps the most famous of the Tour de France climbs, Alpe d’Huez.

AlpdHuez sign flowers clients branded chalk road

The 2013 Tour de France had two ascents of Alpe d’Huez, but unless you are feeling strong we think one will be enough today. We will however follow part of the route from the 2013 Tour and travel via the small road over the Col de Sarenne to the valley and then on to Le Bourg d’Oisans where we can take a break before starting our climb up the 21 switchbacks of Alpe d’Huez. We can have coffee in one of the pleasant outdoor cafes and 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. They stock a great range of gear, including the compulsory souvenir jerseys.

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, have some lunch then ride down the end of the street to our hotel!

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This afternoon you can relax, enjoy the views from the resort and watch the finish of today’s Tour de France stage live on TV from the comfort of the hotel. If you like walking there are a number of great walking trails in the mountains you can try out or for an even better view take a gondola to the 3330 meter Pic Blanc or one of the surrounding villages.

Overnight: L’Alpe d’Huez (Alps)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Friday 21 July, 2017: Col du Glandon and Alpe d’Huez

Wake up this morning to the stunning view from our hotel on Alpe d’Huez. Over breakfast you can make the toughest decision of the day, which of our two great rides will you choose? Do you want to add another famous col to your palmares or have a later start and do the smaller of two cols?

Atop the Col de la Croix de Fer with Peter, Brian, Robyn, Mal & Liz

The harder option today is a beautiful ride up to the Col du Glandon. The ride starts with us taking the winding small balcony road from Alpe d’Huez to Allemont, where the climbing starts. Once we finally reach Col du Glandon, after 24 kms of climbing, we can continue on for a few kms and up to the Col de Croix de Fer, giving us two Cols for the day. Once at the top we will turn around and enjoy the descent back down to the valley, where we can have lunch and you can choose between riding back to our hotel on Alpe d’Huez, or catching a lift back in the support van.

Those not wanting to tackle Col du Glandon, or looking for something a little different we can have a later start, descend Alpe d’Huez and explore some of the “flatter” roads of the Oisans valley on a pleasant 55 km local ride.  Don’t count on no climbing, but it’s one of the easier routes of the region and we’ve got plenty of time to stop and take in the scenery along the way. From the chalet we descend to the valley and follow a small road along the Vénéon river valley to the village of Vénosc. We can take a break here and admire the view over coffee before we ride back via Le Bourg d’Oisans.

If you want to do something a bit different you can take the telécabine cable car from Vénosc with your bike to the ski resort of Les Deux Alpes and enjoy the ride back home from the 1650 meter summit – ride a famous climb without the effort!

This afternoon there is always the chance for more kms, or time to relax over a cool drink, take in the views and catch up with the Tour de France live on TV in the comfort of the chalet.

Tonight we will have our farewell dinner at our chalet and celebrate together our achievements on the classic climbs of France.

Overnight: L’Alpe d’Huez (Alps)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Saturday 22 July, 2017: Au Revoir

It’s farewell to your new friends as our tour comes to an end this morning. It is the final day of our tour. During your time with us you’ve experienced the excitement of the Tour de France up close, challenged yourself over some famous climbs and hopefully had an unforgettable holiday.

After breakfast we will provide transfers to Lyon Part Dieu rail station where you can travel on to your next destination, with TGV trains available direct to Paris and Lyon St Exupery airport. We will arrive at Lyon Part Dieu rail station at approximately 11.00am and we advise not to book a train from Lyon before 12.30pm.We hope we see you again one day.

Meals: Breakfast

Would you like to see the finish in Paris?

Trip Option: Extend your trip to finish in Paris (packages available) Email us for Details

Tour de France 2016 Vacation Trips - A Week in the Alps

 

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Inclusions

Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:

  • Transport throughout by custom mini vans or luxury coach
  • Services of our experienced tour guides, mechanics and drivers
  • 11 nights accommodation in quality 3 & 4 star hotels
  • Buffet breakfast daily
  • 3 course evening meals on 10 nights
  • Wine at welcome and farewell dinners
  • Mechanical assistance with your bike
  • Scheduled arrival transfer on day one from Toulouse airport
  • Transfer to Lyon train station on final day
  • Maps and Bikestyle guide to the 2017 Tour de France
  • Full Bikestyle Tours kit including knicks, cycling jersey, cap and musette bag


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Reserve your Place Now

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below
Deposit 2017 Classic Climbs 12 Days ($1000pp)
2017 Classic Climbs Bicycle Hire ($726.00)
2017 Classic Climbs Single Supplement ($890.00) book now pay later
Tick the box to accept the Bikestyle Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If renting a bicycle you also agree to our Bicycle rental Conditions
  • We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD) and prices shown in other currencies are only approximate. We advise that you check the exchange rate before booking.
  • A surcharge of 1.5% is applicable for payments made with visa or mastercard and 3% for payments made with American Express credit cards.
  • Deposits can also be paid by direct deposit or cheque.
  • It is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.
If you have any further enquiries please email us at tours@bikestyletours.com

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