2016 Vuelta a España

Vuelta a España 2016

Bikestyle Tours has been running trips to the Vuelta a España since 2002 making us one of the most experienced and professional companies to see this great race with! If you are looking for a relaxed cycling holiday discovering why Spain is one of the world’s most “must see” destinations, but would still like to take in one of the world’s great races, you should try the Vuelta!

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TRIP DETAILS: Sold Out

Trip Duration: 12 days, 11 nights
Dates: Thursday 1 September to Monday 12 September, 2016
Start: Bilbao, Spain
Finish: Madrid, Spain
Cost 12 Day Trip: A$6190.00 (US$4335.00)
Group Size: Maximum 30 people (5 Staff)
Suitable For: Cyclists and Non Cyclists
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$800.00 (US$560.00)

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

Optional Extras:

Highlights:

  • Visit famous Spanish cities San Sebastian and Pamplona
  • See 6 stages live, including, starts, finishes, individual time trials and the decisive mountain stages in the final week of the 2016 Vuelta
  • Stay in Superb Accommodation, experience amazing Spanish cuisine
  • Visit and ride the Pyrenees, Aragon and Aitana mountain ranges
  • Take the AVE from Valencia to Madrid
  • Travel and relax in our luxury coach, with custom built bicycle trailer
  • Personal attention of the Bikestyle Team

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.

Eric-de-Clercq-Combo3

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 España 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 12 Day 2016 Vuelta trip will follow the final 12 days of the race from the North of Spain through the Pyrenees, onto the Valencian coast and finally on the fast train to Madrid. We will see 6 fabulous stages live and experience the beauty of the stunning coastal scenery of northern Spain, Aragon and Aitana mountains, the historic cities of San Sebastian, Pamplona, the Javea Cape and Madrid. Stay in beautiful hotels and eat the best of Spanish cuisine.

Our trips are geared to suit anyone with an interest in Cycling who wants to see the most accessible of the Grand Tours, the Vuelta a España. 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. To enjoy our trips you don’t need to be an athlete, but do need to be someone who cycles regularly and in good health. 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 course 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

Thursday, 1 September 2016: Bienvenido!

Bilbao is a major airport and is serviced by major airlines with direct connections from Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, London, Frankfurt and many more. You may even choose to fly in a day or two early to get into the time zone and visit the magnificent Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

We will make one transfer from the airport at midday to our hotel in San Sebastian.

Our first 2 nights are spent in the famous town of San Sebastian. Our hotel is walking distance from the historic centre which comes alive in Cidre season at the local Pintxos (or Tapas) bars that are a favoured hangout.San Sebastian attracts famous actors each year when they host the San Sebastian international film festival. You will see tributes to the many stars throughout this beautiful city.

san sebastian

On arrival at the hotel the first thing to do will be to assemble your bike, or meet your rental bike, before we take our first ride of about 30kms to test our legs and machines. Although a short ride it will have a hill or two, so will be enough for a warm up to our tour of Spain. On the way home we will detour beside the sandy beaches and return via the historic centre so you can get your bearings.

Tonight we’ll have our welcome dinner in the restaurant of our charming country hotel where you can meet your fellow travellers and have our staff answer all your questions about what’s in store for the next two weeks at the Tour de France.

Overnight: San Sebastian, Basque
Meals:
Breakfast, Dinner

Friday, September 2 2016 – San Sebastian and Monte Igueldo

This morning we will head out on our bikes to ride through some of the beautiful Basque country. This region is famous for producing lean hill climbers that always appear in attacks on Pyrenean race stages. Think Iban Mayo, Haimar Zubeldia, Igor Anton or Samual Sanchez. The famous red Basque flag with its green and white crosses will be prominent today and tomorrow.

San Sebastian Spain

Our climbs won’t be anything too difficult today, as we will keep close to the coast visiting some of the stunning villages. Our longer ride of 80km will take in a little more of the coast before meeting up with the 35km shorter ride as we tackle the category 3 climb up to Monte Igueldo to watch the race come through. After cheering the riders through on this undulating stage, we will follow them down into San Sebastian.

The locals mostly converse in the local Basque language which differs significantly from Spanish. While the origins for the language are not conclusively known, it is believed to be one of the oldest surviving languages in Western Europe. Tourism is a major industry in San Sebastian, so you will not have any trouble exploring this beautiful village.

You will have plenty of time this afternoon to see San Sebastian and wander through the historic centre. There are many dining options for you to choose from tonight, like grabbing a Cidre and Pixtos from one or two bars or choosing from one of the many fine dining restaurants.

San Sebastian Pinxos

For many years this area had independence from Spain, and sentiment amongst many locals wishes for independence to return. San Sebastian is an exciting place to visit. If you’re lucky, you might discover some locals break into song through the passageways.

Overnight: San Sebastian, Basque
Meals:
Breakfast

Saturday, September 3 2016 – A Visit to Pamplona

Today’s stage in the Vuelta will spend much of its time across the border in France. We will take the opportunity to visit another famous city in this region, famous for the running of bulls. The week long fiesta at the beginning of July each year is a rite of passage for many locals. A visit outside of this time, allows us to see and understand the festival in a much safer environment.

Pamplona has a wonderful central area with many eating options available for you to choose. We will offer two ride options today; our most challenging is about 100km and links our hotel in San Sebastian to Pamplona. It involves a number of smaller climbs and covers the popular terrain raced during the Tour of Basque, a popular tour raced early in the year and a good test for riders in the lead up to the Giro d’Italia, the first Grand Tour of each year. For those wanting a shorter ride, we will shuttle you down the road from San Sebastian to meet up with the riders along route to enjoy the last 45km of the ride.

Vuelta riding beachside

Once in Pamplona, you will be able to explore the city, even take a tour of the Running of the Bulls museum and the passage the bulls take. You should have time then to catch the final stages of the Vuelta as they battle it out on the French Pyrenees. It is the first time the Vuelta visits the Col d’Aubisque, made famous by the Tour de France. From the vantage of a local bar in Pamplona you will be able to watch every attack, showing who the strongest rider is going into the final week.

Once we have caught the race finish on TV, we will travel to Jaca where we will base ourselves for the next two nights.

Overnight: Jaca, Huesca
Meals:
Breakfast, Dinner

Sunday, September 4 2016 – The Pyrenees

Today the Vuelta will return to Spain starting just down the road from our hotel. We will have the opportunity to see the race multiple times. Shortly after breakfast at our hotel we will offer a ride to the start in Sabinanigo. We will get you there with plenty of time to see the team buses arrive and the watch the riders prepare and sign-on for this short 120km stage.

Vuelta race flag

While the stage may be short, it will be a difficult stage for the riders on the category 1 finish and because this is the final mountain stage before the rest day in two days. Once we see the riders head off on the stage, we will quickly get on our bikes and ride toward the finish climb to catch the riders on the final climb to Aramon Formigal. After watching the riders pass, we will meet further back down the climb to travel back to the hotel. Today’s ride is made up of a number of connecting sections; you can choose which parts you’d like to ride. You may decide to ride back to the hotel, with lots of downhill.

Once we return to our hotel, you’ll be able to freshen up and choose from one of the many dining options in Jaca. You may want to make a visit to citadel of Jaca that is grand in scale and beautiful under nightfall.

citadel-jaca

Overnight: Jaca, Huesca
Meals: 
Breakfast

Monday, September 5 2016 – Zaragoza and El Pilar

basilica053

 

Today the race will transfer across the semi-desert area of Spain known as the Monegros Desert before making the race start from the Aragon Mountains and finishing on the Castellon coast. We will take this opportunity to jump ahead of the race today and head south to our hotel spa for the next three nights.

Our day will start will a 50km ride from the hotel through the country roads above Jaca, before returning to the hotel to freshen up before checking out. We start our journey south stopping in Zaragoza for lunch and some sightseeing. Zaragoza is home to the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar (better known simply as El Pilar) the second most visited pilgrimage destinatination in Spain thanks to an ancient pillar said to have been given by the Virgin Mary to Saint James on this very spot in 40AD.

After lunch we will continue our transfer which will take a few hours, but you can relax by either watching the dramatic changes in landscape or catching up on some rest.

We will dine at the hotel’s fine restaurant tonight offering a local tasting menu.

Overnight: Mora de Rubielos, Aragon
Meals:
Breakfast, Dinner

Tuesday, September 6 2016 – Vuelta takes a rest

Today is the second and final rest day for the riders in the Vuelta. Although riders will be resting their bodies and getting a massage, most will get out and ride today to keep their engines going before the final assault over the last week.

vuelta-climb

We will also take it a little easier today, but offer some challenging ride options for those that are keen to challenge themselves on some of Vuelta’s past climbs. Our major climb today will be to the summit of Aramon Valdinares, where the Vuelta has visited twice before. The ski station was host to two great finishes in 2005 and more recently Stage 9 in 2014. We don’t have any time pressures today, so we can climb at our own pace and have time to relax back at the hotel this afternoon, or even enjoy some of the spa services available at the hotel. Our main ride option is 65km, or you may like to extend this ride further and return through a number of historic villages, making it 85km. For a shorter option, you can choose the 45km ride over the less demanding Alto de San Rafael which is on the way to Aramon Valdinares.

VUELTA mora_de_rubielos

Our historic village of Mora de Rubielos is situated in the mountain range of Sierra de Gúdar and has a historic 14th century castle. The area is the world’s largest producer of the Black Truffle. This afternoon you can relax, explore the village and dine at one of the local restaurants.

Overnight: Mora de Rubielos, Aragon
Meals:
Breakfast

Wednesday, September 7 2016 – Alto Mas de la Costa

Vuelta a Espagna is famous for putting very steep climb sections in their tour stages, today we will get to taste some of the madness behind these roads. Today’s stage finish is no Alto Angliru at only 4km in length but it’s steep ramp sections will test riders, some may even have to walk. This is the first year the Vuelta has finished up Alto Mas de la Costa.

vuelta angliru

Accustom to our trips by now, we will offer two ride options, our 80km challenging option is hilly as it winds its way through the Aragon Mountains before reaching Llucena. Our 35km short option starts closer near Castellon de la Plana and gently climbs to Llucena, leaving you with plenty in the tank to ride the finish climb of today’s stage. Both rides will give you lots of time to try yourself on Alto Mas de la Costa before the professional riders come through.

Once the stage is decided, we will travel back to our hotel in Mora de Rubielos where our hosts will provide us with dinner offering some local Spanish cuisine.

Overnight: Mora de Rubielos, Aragon
Meals:
Breakfast, Dinner

Thursday, September 8 2016 – Alicante

The Vuelta is nearing its end, and several riders will still be in contention for the red jersey. Will we see a first time winner of a Grand Tour? There are two more complicated stages which will make several riders nervous about today’s stage. With potentially windy conditions for the final part and a category 2 climb, a breakaway might have the opportunity to make up some time.

vuelta-race2

We have a small transfer in our luxury coach this morning after breakfast. We will time our ride to catch the race on its way to the coast. After the professionals have passed through we will ride through to our hotel. We will offer two ride options today, 45km and 80km along quiet roads in the northern province of Alicante.

Our hotel for the next three nights is an ultramodern hotel in the heart of Alcoy. Our hotel is close to the old town for you to visit some of the 12th and 13th century structures. Tonight, you can explore the old town and choose from the many local restaurants.

Overnight: Alcoy (Alcoi), Alicante
Meals:
Breakfast

Friday, September 9 2016 – Individual Time Trial

After nearly three weeks of racing, today’s stage is the true test of how well riders have managed their recovery. The 39km individual time trial from Xabia to Calp will award the strongest cyclist with a stage win. For the climbers contending the red jersey, they will be trying to limit their losses and conserve energy for the following stage’s final climb. The small climb in today’s course and possible cross winds will make things a little more complicated.

Vuelta-ITT

Individual time trials are exciting stages to see live at a Grand Tour. Riders will set off in a race against the clock and roll off the starting ramp across the afternoon. The best place riders on General Classification will have the advantage of following the rest of the riders a getting comparative time gaps along the way.

We will head off early to get a good spot near the start, where we can park the bus and head off on a short ride ourselves. This will get you back in good time to see riders’ warm-up at the buses before making their way to the start ramp. Don’t forget your camera today, it is a great opportunity to get close to the professionals and see their amazing time trial machines.

We will catch the times of the last riders on TV near the starting area before traveling back to Alcoy where you are free to dine in one of the local restaurants.

Overnight: Alcoy (Alcoi), Alicante
Meals:
Breakfast

Saturday, September 10 2016 – Alto de Aitana

alto_de_aitana

Today’s stage could be the most critical of all stages in this year Vuelta. The red jersey could come down to the final climb of today’s stage, the uncategorised climb up to Alto de Aitana measures 22 kilometres and has an elevation gain of 1280 metres at an average gradient of 5.7%. The rider that wears the red jersey at the Alto de Aitana will claim the Tour victory of the 2016 Vuelta a España.

vuelta angrilu-climb

After breakfast at the hotel, we will head off on our bikes to ride up the final climb. We will offer two different distances, where the longer option will take in more of today’s race route. For those wanting an easier day, the race will pass through Alcoy later this afternoon so you can relax this morning before watching the race come through.

After seeing the riders come through on the final climb, we will travel back to our hotel where we will have our farewell dinner together as tomorrow we will set of for the tour finale in Madrid.

Overnight: Alcoy (Alcoi), Alicante
Meals:
Breakfast, Dinner

Sunday, September 11 2016 – Final Stage in Madrid

The 71st edition of the Tour of Spain will return to Madrid. La Vuelta’s traditional finish takes place on the elegant Paseo de la Castellana, a grand avenue which can be compared to the Champs Elysées in Paris.

vuelta-madrid

Yesterday’s stage will have decided who will be crowned winner in Madrid today. It is a fair distance from where we are to Madrid, so we will make more comfortable and transfer you to Albacete this morning and catch the fast train (AVE) to Madrid. What would normally take us 4 hours in a car, will take us less than 2 hours by train. Once in Madrid, our hotel is not far from the train station.

On arrival at our hotel in Madrid we head over to the Paseo de la Castellana. The race should finish in its traditional place near the Plaza de Cibeles and it will be your choice as to how you spend your day. The riders traditionally enter the Paseo de la Castellana around 4pm and the race finishes around 5.15pm.

After the race there will be plenty of time to see the Jerseys presented to the winners and browse amongst the team vehicles and riders before returning to the hotel or continuing onto the Plaza Major.

Overnight: Madrid
Meals:
Breakfast

Monday, September 12 2016 – Adios

Its farewell to your new friends as our tour comes to an end this morning. Over the past 12 days you’ve experienced the excitement of the Vuelta up close, challenged yourself on some famous climbs and hopefully had an unforgettable Spanish experience with Bikestyle Tours.

Meals: Breakfast

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Inclusions

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
  • 11 nights accommodation in quality 4 star hotels
  • Buffet breakfast daily
  • 3 course evening meals on 5 nights
  • Wine with welcome and farewell dinners
  • Arrival transfer from Bilbao Airport to our hotel
  • AVE from Albacete to Madrid
  • Maps, GPS files and Bikestyle guide to the 2016 Vuelta a España
  • Quality Bikestyle Tours kit including cycling jersey, knicks, cap and musette bag


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Reserve your Place Now

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below
Deposit 2016 Vuelta a Espana 12 Days ($1000pp)
2016 Vuelta a Espana Bicycle Hire ($660.00)
2016 Vuelta a Espana Single Supplement 12 Days ($800.00) 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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Additional Information for Direct Debit 

Prior to paying a deposit it is advisable to confirm a place is available by sending an email to Adam Gill, adam@bikestyletours.com or telephone our office on 1300 882494.

Our bank details for direct debit are:
Account: Bikestyle Tours
BSB: 014279
Account No: 190686962
When making payment use your name as a reference for the deposit.

Our mailing address for payment by cheque is:
Bikestyle Tours,
PO Box 253,
Rochedale South,
4123 Australia

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