2017 GC Classic 15 Days

 This 15 day trip combines the spectacle of the biggest stages of the final 2 weeks of the Tour de France with a carefully planned itinerary visiting some of France’s most beautiful regions. This trip has everything a cycling fan could ask for, incorporating epic climbs in the Pyrenees and the Alps as well as Provence’s Mont Ventoux – it is our Great Cycling Classic!

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TRIP DETAILS: 

Duration: 15 days (14 nights)
Dates: Monday, 10 July to Monday, 24 July, 2017
Start: Toulouse Finish: Paris
Accommodation: 3 star and 4 hotels
Group Size: Maximum 34 people (5 Staff)
Suitable For: Cyclists and Non Cyclists
Trip Type: Classique Trip Find out more…
Cost: A$7,550.00 (US$5,440.00)
Deposit: A$1000.00 (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$1,270.00 (US$910.00)

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

Optional Extras:

Highlights:

  • Follow the drama of the last two weeks of the 2017 Tour de France
  • Ride the famous climbs of Tour de France, including Tourmalet, Mont Ventoux and Col du Galibier, escorted by former professional Pat Jonker
  • Experience catching the TGV to Paris
  • See it Live! 7 Tour de France stages Live, including 2 of the queen stages of the Tour
  • Feel like the pro-rider and recline in your luxury coach after a refreshing shower at the end of your ride
  • Concerned about ‘tour-legs’? Take the easier option over the challenging ride on the day of your choosing.
  • Ride around the sights of Paris, including Notre Dame, Louvre, Place de la Concorde, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower

This Trip will be Escorted by Former Pro-Cyclist, Pat Jonker

Although born in The Netherlands, Patrick is an Aussie. He often raced with a Dutch licence during his career and has won 12 major European races in his career.

2016 TDF GC Classic - Tour de France 2016 Dates and Trips

Patrick turned professional at the end of 1993 and teams include: 1993 WordPerfect, 1994 Novemail, 1995 and 1996 Once, 1997 to 1999 Rabobank, US Postal in 2000 (when injury ruled him out of the Tour) and Big Mat in 2001 and 2002.

He finished 12th overall at the 1996 Tour de France (Miguel Indurain was 13th and you will remember that as the year Bjarne Riis toppled Big Mig and a young up and coming Ullrich was second) and he is also a former Dutch and Australian time trial champion.

Many will know of Patrick’s great win in his final race as a professional, the Tour Down Under. It was a fairytale win for him in front of his hometown crowd and one that we will remember for years to come.

Well done Pat!

Who is this trip for?

This 15 day trip combines the spectacle of the biggest stages of the final 2 weeks of the Tour de France with a carefully planned itinerary visiting some of France’s most beautiful regions. This trip has everything a cycling fan could ask for, incorporating epic climbs in the Pyrenees and the Alps as well as Provence’s Mont Ventoux – it is our Great Cycling Classic! With 15 days to enjoy, the trip will be paced so you’ll get opportunities to relax, do some easier rides and enjoy the beauty of France.

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 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

Monday 10 July, 2017: Welcome to France

Toulouse Aiport Exterior ModernOur tour starts today with our staff meeting you at 11.00am at Toulouse Blagnac airport, with a transfer to our 4 star hotel just near the airport. Toulouse is easily reached by train from Paris, or by flights from many European airports.

As the old capital of Languedoc and France’s fourth-largest city, Toulouse (known as la ville en rose, or the city in pink) is the major city of the southwest, and the gateway to the Pyrenees mountain range. Toulouse, today is a city of the future and the high-tech centre of the aerospace industry in France. It is home to Airbus and Aérospatiale — and the National Centre for Space Research has been headquartered here for more than 3 decades. The extraordinarily high population of students, some 110,000 out of a population of more than 800,000, also contributes to the pulse of the city.

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 after your long journey. Tonight we will have a welcome dinner where you will meet your fellow travellers and where our staff will answer all your questions on your upcoming adventure.

Overnight: Toulouse
Meals: Dinner

Tuesday 11 July, 2017: Col du Tourmalet

tourmalet-gradient-sign-green-grass-blue-skiesToday we will take the chance to tackle the highest road in the central Pyrenees, the 2115 meter Col du Tourmalet.. You’ve all seen the TV images of this mighty mountain 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 76 times during the history of the Tour, making it one of the most visited climbs of the Tour. We’ll head off from our hotel shortly after breakfast to give you plenty of time to ride today before checking into our hotel this afternoon in time to see the closing stages of today’s stage on TV.

We’ll start our rides from Bagneres de Bigorre. The climb starts off very gentle, giving you time to warm up. Only once you reach Sainte Marie de Campan does the official climb begin. With a length of 17.2km from the Eastern side and an average grade of 7.4%, it is the more gentle of the 2 sides to climb Tourmalet. 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.

06-07-climb-col-du-tourmalet

We will descend toward Luz Saint Sauveur where we will regroup once more before the fun coast down the valley to our hotel in Lourdes, making it a total of 80km today with close to 2000m of climbing.

Our base for the next 3 nights is Lourdes in a newly refurbished bike friendly hotel. In the heart of the Pyrenees, Lourdes is a religious centre and receives more than 5 million pilgrims from all over the world every year most of whom come to take the healing waters. Lourdes was just a small market town on the 11 February, 1858 when Bernadette Soubirous saw the Virgin Mary along the Gave. For us though it is the geographical position, at the foot of the mountains making it an ideal starting-point for our rides into the Pyrenees with all of the major climbs not far from us. The candlelight parade is held each night at 9.00pm and is a must see.

Overnight: Lourdes (Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast

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

Today we will tackle another famous climb of the Pyrenees and is always a highlight ride for our guests. It may be because you notch up 2 cols for the day, or attributed to the views that reward those on the spectacular balcony road between Col de Soulor and Col d’Aubisque. The Tour will arrive on the doorstep of the Pyrenees later today and our rides will guide us to the finish in Pau. 

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After fueling up at breakfast, we’ll head off along the bikepath from Lourdes to the village of Argeles-Gazost. The initial climb starts from Argeles-Gazost but it’s not too long before the road flattens taking us to the village of Arrens-Marsous. From here the real climbing begins, a manageable 7.5km averaging close to 8% takes us to the first col, Col du Soulor. Our welcoming party of local cattle and horses grazing on these high pastures will greet us before we carry on. With the most difficult climbing behind us now, we have a short descent before the final 7km to the summit of Col d’Aubisque, where we can reward ourselves with lunch. We will descend to Pau to see the finish and meet the bus before our transfer back to Lourdes.

Aubisque-Combo1

Once we see the excitement of a sprint finish at the Tour de France, we will travel back to Lourdes, where you will be able to choose from the many dining options available in this pilgrim city. This evening, you may also like to visit the grotto where pilgrims believe its water possess healing powers.

Overnight: Lourdes (Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Thursday 13 July, 2017:  Port de Bales and plus beaux villages

Today is a tough stage for riders in the Pyrenees, it may be a pivotal stage for the final result and the winning move may well be on today’s hors categorie climb over Port de Bales.

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. The tour will pass through here later today.

Tour de France 2014 - Etape 14 - Grenoble / Risoul - 19/07/2014 - El Dibalo n'a manque d'encourager Christophe RIBLON, Jesus HERRADA et leurs compagnons d'echappee

Our short ride option today will stick to the valley roads visiting some of the very beautiful villages, before meeting up with the race. Our more challenging ride will head straight up the second last climb of today’s stage, Port de Bales. Since being resurfaced during the summer of 2006, the Tour has returned several times since its first in 2007. Starting from Mauléon Barousse, the Port de Bales stands at 1755m with an ascent of 18.9km and an average percentage of 6.3%. After catching the race we’ll head back for our final night at our hotel.

Overnight: Lourdes (Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast

Friday 14 July, 2017: Fete Nationale in the 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.

160713-bastille

This short stage is designed to impress audiences around the globe. The final climb on a narrow steep road, followed by the 25km descent to the finish will be where riders will make their selection. The entire stage today will be in the department of Ariege and finish in its capital, Foix. Being the shortest stage in Tour de France history, it will start mid-afternoon. This gives us plenty of time this morning for our rides along some of today’s race route arriving at an exciting section to watch the race. After the race we’ll meeting up with our bus to transfer us to our hotel.

Our hotel for the next two nights is in Quillan, a pleasant town at the foot of the eastern end of the Pyrenees mountain chain. Soon after arrival to our hotel dinner will be served, a setting where we can share our stories from experiencing the Tour de France live.

Overnight: Quillan (Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Saturday 15 July, 2017: Cathars country and balcony roads

The tour heads toward the north today, before making its way across the central massif. Having seen the tour over the last few days, we’ll take time to relax and enjoy the beautiful riding on offer in the Eastern Pyrenees where rivers have etched the landscape. We will start off today with breakfast and being market day, we can source some snacks from the local producers before heading off on our ride.

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Later this morning we’ll head off on our rides through Cathar country and along one of France’s famous balcony roads. Catharism is an old religion violently repressed by the Catholic Church of Rome between the 10th and the 12th century. The cathar castles, quiet roads and dramatic gorges along Aude river offer some stunning rides. Our easier ride option of 50km will keep to the lower foothills and return along the gorge. While our more challenging 90km ride will encounter more climbs before descending back along the gorge.

Tonight you are free to enjoy dinner in one of the local restaurants close to our hotel in Quillan.

Overnight: Quillan (Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast

Sunday 16 July, 2017: Carcassonne and to Provence

Today after breakfast we will visit the famous walled cité of Carcassonne. UNESCO World Heritage listed, the Cité of Carcassonne is one of the most popular and unforgettable sites in France so we can’t pass up the chance to visit it today. Carcassonne is among the major attractions in France. The medieval cité is perhaps the best example of a medieval fortress in Europe and paints a stunning picture as it stands proudly on the hill overlooking the plains of the Aude. There are remarkable views over the surrounding countryside from the three kilometres of ramparts.

Bikestyle GC 2016 - Day 3-44

Both of our rides will finish in Carcassonne giving you the opportunity to look around the old cité. For those wanting a shorter ride, we will get you part way there before starting the ride. Our longer ride of 60km ride leaves from the hotel. After visiting the medieval cité, we’ll transfer you to the small town of Nyons in an area known as Drome-Provencale. This is typical Provence with a landscape of vineyards, lavender fields, olive groves and picture book villages. We spend the two nights in this delightful town staying in a traditional hotel and enjoying their hospitality and the local cuisine in the hotel’s fine restaurant.

Overnight: Nyons (Provence)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Monday 17 July, 2017: Mont Ventoux

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.

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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 25 km ride back to the hotel, but you’ll have to be keen.

Overnight: Nyons (Provence)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Tuesday 18 July, 2017: See it Live! Tour de France

After our time in Provence we will head north today and along the way we’ll intersect the race in a quiet village. We’ll stop and take to the bikes and ride toward today’s route. We’ll try to get most of our riding out of the way before the heat of the day builds up and relax and find a good place to view the race in one of the local villages.

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After watching the race we will transfer to our 4 star hotel in Chambery, the perfect place for us to travel to tomorrow’s first stage in the Alps. Tonight you are free to take a walk through the historic old town of Chambery and dine in one of the many restaurants. Why not try the hearty local food, Cuisine Savoyard.

Overnight: Chambery (Alps)
Meals: Breakfast

Wednesday 19 July, 2017: Col du Telegraphe

We will leave Chambery and drive to Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne at the base of the Col du Télégraphe and Col du Galibier where we will have the opportunity to climb one or both of these great climbs. The Telegraphe is a steady climb of almost 12km long before you descend a short distance down to Valloire and then up the 18.1km of the Galibier. In total the two together make a climb of the climb is 34.8km with a gain of 2120m in height.

Excitement grows as the Tour riders approach

You are free to see the race from any point on the Telegraphe or the lower slopes of the Galibier. After we have seen this great stage we will return to the bus for the trip across the border to Italy, where we will stay for the next 3 nights.

Overnight: Bardonecchia (Italy, Alps)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Thursday 20 July, 2017: Stage start, Col d’Izoard or Col du Galibier

This morning you’ll wake up in Italy, and enjoy an Italian coffee. Our location will give us access to some famous climbs used in both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France as well as for seeing the stage start in Briancon. After the morning coffee and breakfast, we’ll transfer you to Briancon for the race start, where you’ll be able to see the team buses arrive, riders prepare and sign-on for today’s stage in the Alps.

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If the crowds yesterday impeded your efforts up Col du Galibier, you’ll have an opportunity to climb it again today, from the opposite side. Alternatively, if you want to make the most of seeing the stage start we’ll offer a shorter ride up col d’Izoard once the riders head out. There will be closures nearer the top, with the inaugural summit finish on col d’Izoard. We’ll assess it on the day and make sure you have a nice ride. Our rides will return to Briancon in time to see the finish of the race unfold on TV.

The peloton chasing the break away in Risoul, at the bottom of t

After our exciting day watching the Tour in the French Alps we’ll transfer you back to our hotel.

Overnight: Bardonecchia (Italy, Alps)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Friday 21 July, 2017: Colle della Finestre or Sestriere

Today is our last opportunity for a big ride. On this trip, we have conquered the famous climbs of Tourmalet, Aubisque, Ventoux and Galibier. Today we will venture out on either one or two more famous climbs.

Our rides will leave from the hotel, giving you the choice of an epic ride or something more leisurely. Our epic ride for experienced riders heads down the valley to Susa before going up Colle della Finestre (translated to ‘window’). It is a stunning climb and has all of the challenges any European climb offers including something extra – segments of dirt! The Giro d’Italia visited this climb in 2015. Continuing over the climb joins onto the climb to Sestriere.

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Alternatively, you can leave from the hotel and climb directly up to Sestriere, and if you’d like something even less, you can stop in the beautiful village of Cesana Torinese enjoying some coffee, pizza or gelati before meeting up with the other riders.

Tonight you can enjoy some more Italian cuisine at our hotel.

Overnight: Bardonecchia (Italy, Alps)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Saturday 22 July, 2017: TGV to Paris

2016 TDF GC Classic - Tour de France 2016 Dates and TripsMid-morning we will head off to the nearby train station and catch the TGV directly to Paris. You haven’t travelled if you have not experienced this amazing high speed train which will transport you to Paris in comfort, travelling at speeds of up to 320kmh! To make life easy for you we will transport your luggage and bikes separately to save you lugging them about.

On arrival in Paris we will transfer to our hotel and relax before heading out to dinner this evening. Tonight we will have our farewell dinner to leave tomorrow night free for you to enjoy Paris after witnessing the final stage of the Tour de France.

Tonight we will have our farewell dinner at an iconic Paris restaurant, Le Train Bleu, which is a Paris institution. The restaurant has served drinks and meals to travellers and other guests since 1901 in an ornate and beautifully decorated setting inside the vast halls of the Gare de Lyon rail station. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and one of the highlights of their time in France for many of our guests.

2016 TDF GC Classic - Tour de France 2016 Dates and Trips

Overnight:Paris
Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

Sunday 23 July, 2017: Paris Sights and the Champs Elysees

This morning we have a special treat in store as we take a ride through Paris, past all the famous monuments and along the Champs Elysees. A last chance for a group photo underneath the symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower, is our last stop before we head back to the hotel.

2016 TDF GC Classic - Tour de France 2016 Dates and Trips

We’ll be up early to avoid the road closures and return to the hotel for a leisurely breakfast before we head down to the Champs Elysees later in the day to enjoy the racing and festivities of the final day of the 2017 Tour de France.

As it has done for the last few years, the women’s one day race, La Course by Le Tour de France will precede the final stage of this year’s Tour.

The last stage of the Tour De France is traditionally a procession until the entrance onto the Champs-Elysees 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-Elysees for what is basically a big criterium in the centre of the French Capital. For the third year running the Tour will have the spectacle of an evening finish on the Champs Elysees, with the riders expected to cross the finish line for the last time at about 7.00 pm.

pinot (thibaut) - (fra) -

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.

Overnight:Paris
Meals: Breakfast

Monday 24 July, 2017: Au Revoir

It is farewell to your new friends as our GC Classic trip comes to an end this morning. Over the past two weeks 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.

Meals: Breakfast 

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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
  • 14 nights accommodation in quality 3 & 4 star hotels
  • Buffet breakfast daily
  • 3 course evening meals on 9 nights
  • Wine at welcome and farewell dinners
  • Mechanical assistance with your bike
  • Scheduled arrival transfer on day one from Toulouse airport
  • 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 GC Classic 15 Days ($1000pp)
2017 GC Classic Bicycle Hire ($924.00)
2017 GC Classic Single Supplement ($1270.00) 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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