2019 Belgium to Burgundy 10 Days

TRIP DETAILS:

Duration: 10 Days (9 nights)
Dates: Friday, 5 July to Sunday, 14 July, 2019
Start: Brussels
Finish: Lyon
Accommodation: 3 and 4 Star hotels
Group Size: 24 guests – 4 staff
Suitable For: Cyclists and Non Cyclists
Suitable Cyclists ability: Experienced, Intermediate, Social
Price: AUD$6,290 (US$4,400)
OPTIONAL SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: AUD$850 (US$595)

Optional Extras:

Bike Rental AUD$594 (US$415) (Cannondale Synapse carbon fibre)
Travel Insurance

Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room. If traveling 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.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

Bucket List climbs
Oude Kwaremont, Koppenberg, Kapelmuur, Grand Ballon

and Secret Roads
Champagne wine trail, Alsace villages trail, Routes des Grandes Crus

Touristic opportunities
Tour of Flanders Museum, famous wine regions, Verdun Memorial, Mulhouse Motor museum

Experience the TDF Live
Stage 1: Bruxelles to Bruxelles, Flat, 192 km
Stage 2: Bruxelles Palais Royal to Bruxelles Atomium, Team time-trial, 27 km
Stage 3: Binche to Épernay, Hilly, 214 km
Stage 5: Saint-Dié-des-Vosges to Colmar, Hilly, 169 km
Stage 6: Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles, Mountain, 157 km
Stage 8: Mâcon to Saint-Étienne, Hilly, 199 km

2019 Belgium to Burgundy – In short

Experience the nervous energy of the first week of racing at the largest annual sporting event in the world, the 2019 Tour de France. The race will embrace the achievements of the great Eddy Merckx with the Grand Depart in Brussels. It is 50 years since Eddy won his first (of five) Tour de France races.

Our trip starts in the famous Flanders region and follows the race route into France as it crosses beautiful wine regions. It is only obvious then that we should explore beyond the race and taste the bubbles of the Champagne region, the crisp whites of Alsace and the well rounded Grand Cru in the Bourgogne region.

It is not only about wine though, there are also great rides routes such as the Oude Kwaremont, Koppenberg and Kapelmuur from the one-day Spring Classics races and the beautiful Ballon summits amongst thick forest in the Vosges mountains.

Our tour is designed predominantly for cyclists and also for their non-cycling partners. Our carefully designed itinerary reduces transfer distances between hotels and the race, so that you can relax, enjoy riding and recharge yourself during the trip.

We will get you across the country in comfort, like a professional cyclist in our custom fitted luxury coach – with its own bar, reclining seats and coffee machine. It will also meet you at the end of the rides allowing you to have a hot shower before heading off for a drink or watching the race.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Friday 5th July: Bienvenue, welcome to the Tour de France

Our trip starts with your guides meeting you at the Brussels Zaventem Airport at 10:00am. Belgium is the home of fine chocolate, even the world’s best beer (your Belgian guide may be biased, but apparently its well tested). Arrive a day or two earlier and enjoy Belgium’s capital with its great restaurants, architecture and museums.

After a short transfer to the heartland of Flanders cycling, we’ll assemble our bikes and head out on a short warm up ride. The very quiet roads through the countryside are perfect for adjusting to the time zone, shaking off some travel legs and testing out your bike for your Tour de France cycling holiday.

I’m not sure if Belgium invented cycling or cycling created Belgium. I’m certain though that Belgians know all of the riders past, present and future, just as we’re born to know Beatles music. The infrastructure for riding is exceptional; wide bike paths, dedicated cycle lanes and courteous road users to make you feel appreciated for riding your bike.

Tonight, we’ll have dinner together with an accompanying drink. A great social opportunity to meet your fellow guests and staff. Most importantly, have any of your questions answered by your helpful staff.

Meals
Welcome Dinner

Overnight
Oudenaarde, Belgium

Warm up ride

Day 2 – Saturday 6th July: A Belgium Classic – Kapelmuur and Grand Départ

With a hint of excitement, we eat our breakfast and prepare ourselves for a day on the bike and watching the race. Our main ride will challenge us on the same ascent as the professionals – the Kapelmuur. Our 40 km ride from our hotel finishes in Geraardsbergen. You could finish your ride here where we’ll watch the race pass, or take our longer ride option and ride back an additional 50 km, to our hotel testing out some of the bergs used in the Belgium classics.

We’ll chaperone our non-riders to Geraardsbergen and experience Belgium hospitality in the village before watching the race come through. The atmosphere will be electric and fans will have their quota of fries and mayo. Expect to see Eddy Merckx impersonators wearing woolen Molteni jerseys in bicycles of the era. A crowd pleaser before you’ll see the hungry peloton compete for the lead of the polka-dot competition. A great way to introduce us to the Tour de France.

Once back at our hotel, we can see the closing moments of the race on television and visit the Ronde van Vlaanderen cycling museum if you would like to before heading out to a local restaurant for dinner. The village has a fine historic square surrounded by beautiful buildings. Our hotel is just a short walk.

TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 1: Bruxelles to Bruxelles, Flat, 192 km
A key moment on today’s stage is Muur van Geraardsbergen, also known as the Kapelmuur. A cobbled climb to a picturesque church through a narrow forest path made famous by the Ronde van Vlaanderen (RVV, Tour of Flanders) race. It was momentarily excluded from RVV before organisers and fans lobbied to include the steep grades of the muur again. By the finish of today’s stage, the climb will select a polka-dot leader and once over the climb, it will come down to a final sprint in Brussels for the yellow.

Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Oudenaarde, Belgium

Easier Ride Option

Harder Ride Option

Day 3 – Sunday 7th July: Vlaanderen Classics – Koppenberg, Oude Kwaremont and team time-trial

We have a short ride for our cyclists this morning before we freshen up and head into Brussels for the team time-trial. There are very few days of the year that teams roll off the starters ramp together looking for every little advantage they can get. The fast course has a couple of technical corners, so skill and strength are both pre-requisites. We’ll also take the opportunity to inspect some of the sights of Brussels. After seeing the awarding of the yellow jersey, we will make our way back to our hotel and enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants.

Our ride this morning will source out some of the classic sectors used for the Ronde van Vlaanderen one day classic. It will be a short 40 km ride with a few kickers. This ride gives us plenty of time to get to the race this afternoon.

TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 2: Bruxelles Palais Royal to Bruxelles Atomium, Team time-trial, 27 km
Day two should see a new leader, unless yesterday’s sprinter is able to stay with the winning team on the entire team time trial course. Expect the teams of Sky, BMC (CCC from 1 Jan 2019), Mitchelton Scott and Team Sunweb to perform well. Although Quick-Step Floors won the 2018 team time trial championships, many members of its winning team have moved to new teams in 2019. Brussels will fill the pictures of today’s idyllic stage with its historic sites.

 

Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Oudenaarde, Belgium

Easier Ride Option

Harder Ride Option

Day 4 – Monday 8th July: Champagne Capital – Épernay and sprint finish

After breakfast we’ll set off in our luxury transport and cross the border into France. Soon we’ll arrive beside the grapevines declared suitable for champagne. The proprietary technique for capturing those tight bubbles in the bottle has been replicated around the world, but Champagne can only be labelled if it comes from Champagne, it’s the only true source of the golden bubbles.

Our ride will explore the beautiful villages and vineyards of this region as we stop for lunch. We have two distances to cover, a 70 km loop or a shortcutting loop making it 40 km. On return to Épernay, the energy will have risen as spectators await the arrival of the sprinters.

With the possibility of a third rider taking the yellow jersey we’ll watch the presentation and set tracks for our beautiful 4-star hotel in a decadently restored castle. We will enjoy dinner together tonight celebrating another wonderful day at the Tour.

TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 3: Binche to Épernay, Hilly, 214 km
A long stage today taking the riders into France and there destination is the Champagne Capital, Épernay. Producers Moët Chandon, Mercier and De Castellane will celebrate the arrival of the riders for the final sprint. We might expect a calm start leading to an aggressive stage finish, thereby raising the concern of team leaders. Time bonuses will be important today.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Verdun, France

Easier Ride Option

Harder Ride Option

Day 5 – Tuesday 9th July: Capital of Peace, Verdun

We’ll take things a little easier today and escape by bike with a small cultural excursion. Near to our hotel in the Meuse department there have been many events shaping France’s modern history, particularly relating to the First World War.

Now known as the world capital of Peace, there are several memorials throughout the area. Within a 10 month period in 1916, the French lost some 300,000 soldiers in the Battle of Verdun. One of whom became the “unknown soldier” buried beneath the Arc du Triomphe in Paris. A respectful reminder honoured every evening at 6:30pm to help recall the sacrifices made.

Our 95 km ride will visit some of the French and Allied monuments of the area and explore the Meuse river. We also have a shorter ride of 40 km. Both rides will return to the hotel in time for you to enjoy the village or take a treatment in the hotel’s wellness centre, and of course watch today’s sprint finish on television. This evening you are free to dine in one of the many restaurants. A relaxing day before we set off toward the mountains.

TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 4: Reims to Nancy, Flat, 215 km
Another long stage today will likely start with a calm pace until the sprinters have their chance to avenge the winner of the opening stage. The 1.5km final straight in Nancy will attract the formation of the perfect lead-out train. A modern sprinter who is less reliant on his team’s positioning may spoil his opposing team’s effort. A windy day however, may make this a challenging stage for all.

Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Verdun, France

Easier Ride Option

Harder Ride Option

Day 6 – Wednesday 10th July: Most beautiful villages – Alsace Villages and catching the breakaway

This morning we will head east catching the finish of today’s race. We’ll drive directly to the stage finish town and start our ride from one of France’s classified ‘most beautiful’ (plus beaux) villages. An old town with cobblestone streets and lined with half-timbered medieval and early Renaissance buildings. There are several smaller villages built in similar style, within riding distance. We’ll snap up the opportunity and ride through these stunning villages. Separating each village are vineyards that produce the crisp white wine that Alsace is renowned for.

After our ride, we will return to Colmar in time to freshen up, explore the village and prepare for the arrival of the peloton at the finish line. After the presentations, we’ll travel the short distance to our family run 3-star hotel for the next 2 nights. Each night, our hosts will provide delicious food from the region, and you may as well accompany your meal with a local wine.

TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 5: Saint-Dié-des-Vosges to Colmar, Hilly, 169 km
Riders enter one of the most admired wine regions of France. The scenery and magnificent villages will have helicopters and viewers across the globe in awe. Riders won’t be stopping for pictures as they’ll negotiate the first real climbs of the Tour. Expect a strong breakaway to establish early on before they try to hold off an eager peloton with the favourites.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Ensisheim, France

Easier Ride Option

Harder Ride Option

Day 7 – Thursday 11th July: Vosges mountains and the first mountain stage

The Vosges mountains are much softer than any other mountain ranges in France. Naming peaks for the tour has to do with the terrain, a “côte” climb sits on the side of a mountain and are common in the Central Massif. A “col” climb is typical of the Pyrenees or Alps and is a pass between two peaks, thereby connecting two valleys. Multiple junctions at the summit may be called a “croix” or cross.

Unique to the Vosges, peaks have a rounded shape raising the term “Ballons” or rounded summits. Most of the terrain is densely covered in conifer and beech forests. Germany’s black forest is not far from here. It is a beautiful area to ride, shaded roads and climbs are more manageable than the Alps or Pyrenees. We will ride the Grand Ballon today and watch the race over the summit. Our easier option is a flat ride to watch the stage start and the possibility of visiting the motor museum in Mulhouse.

We’ll return back to our hotel in time to see the summit finish of today’s stage, before dinner. The road to La Planche des Belles Filles is known for producing exciting finishes in the Tour. Organisers have insured its inclusion with the additional gravel and steep ramps. For the record a “Planche” is a “board” or table-top, like a plateau.

TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 6: Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles, Mountain, 157 km
Today will be the first showdown for race favourites. Until now, the first mountain stage, they’ll have been minimising their efforts to limit any time loss. La Planche des Belles Filles has appeared regularly over the last 10 years, having setup the Tour lead for Froome and Nibali before reaching Paris. Today’s finish has an extra 1 km sting with 2 steep pinches and some gravel, a stage for the highlights reel.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Ensisheim, France

Easier Ride Option

Harder Ride Option

Day 8 – Friday 12th July: Routes des Grands Crus – Welcome to Cote d’Or, Burgundy

Today we will leave the mountains and travel across the valley to a more gentle slope, famous for producing great French wine. Côte d’Or is a small escarpment that exposes vineyards to the ideal amount of sun for great wine.

Our ride will take us through the wineries to our hotel which is set among a working vineyard. Overlooking a French chateau, it is the perfect location for us to finish our trip following the Tour de France. This afternoon we’ll watch the finish of the stage on television. This evening you are free to dine in one of the many restaurants. A relaxing day before we set off toward the mountains.

TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 7: Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saône, Flat, 230 km
The longest stage of the tour and set for another showdown between sprinters. We’d expect a breakaway group to form a significant time gap to a peloton with sprinters in pursuit. They’ll time their pursuit, or will the breakaway succeed?

Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Vougeot, France

Easier Ride Option

Harder Ride Option

Day 9 – Saturday 13th July: Beaujolais, and a stage start

This morning we’ll head a short distance and experience a stage start, a must at the Tour de France. We’ll arrive before the team buses and watch riders sign-on. Position yourself between the team buses and the sign-on area for a great opportunity to get your favourite riders autograph or a selfie with them. Moments before the riders set off, they will gather beneath the depart banner and the announcer will introduce favourite riders and the wearers of the tour jersey’s, who will position themselves along the front row.

Soon after the riders set off on the course, we will head off on our own ride through Beaujolais. We are experiencing the best of France. Gamay is the predominant grape in the region and their wine label is expanding throughout the world market. One of our guides, when not riding or long-distance running prepares his own vintage of this lovely wine.

After rolling through the quiet country roads and through the wineries, we’ll head back to our hotel and relax for the afternoon. Tonight we’ll have a special farewell dinner celebrating our trip to the Tour de France.

TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 8: Mâcon to Saint-Étienne, Hilly, 199 km
Riders depart from the sun drenched escarpment of two great wine regions, Bourgogne and Beaujolais. Their destination is in the central massif which has many winding and undulating roads that navigate gorges and wooded forests. A total vertical ascent of 3,800m is not a walk in the park, it’s a stage for the opportunist.

Meals
Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

Overnight
Vougeot, France

Easier Ride Option

Harder Ride Option

Day 10 – Sunday 14th July: Au Revoir, and bon voyage

This morning our trip finishes in Lyon with our final transfer to Saint-Exupéry Airport, arriving by approximately 11 am. If you are planning your departure from Lyon today, your earliest departure for a domestic connection is 1 pm and for international flights is 2 pm. There are also TGV trains that depart from the airport station, be sure you nominate Saint-Exupéry when booking your train. We can recommend staying on and exploring Lyon if you have the time. This will be something our Grand Tour guests will do.

Lyon is a popular tourist city with a wonderful old town, and at one stage had the greatest number of michelin hat restaurants in the world. It has since been surpassed by larger cities in Asia. You have a wide selection of great restaurants to dine this evening. Join us for the ultimate Tour de France, Le Grand Tour.

For those leaving us though, we bid farewell to our new friends. We trust that you’ve had an enjoyable time making new friends, riding stunning roads, visiting beautiful regions and experiencing the 106th Tour de France. We welcome you to our Bikestyle family and we look forward to seeing you again one day.

Meals: Breakfast

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
  • 9 nights accommodation 3 & 4 Star hotels
  • Buffet breakfast daily
  • 3 course evening meals on 5 nights
  • Wine at welcome and farewell dinners
  • Scheduled arrival transfer on day one from Brussels Airport
  • Scheduled departure transfer on final day to Lyon Airport
  • Mechanical assistance with your bike
  • Ride files and Bikestyle guide to the 2019 Tour de France
  • Full Bikestyle Tours kit including knicks, cycling jersey, cap and musette bag

Why Bikestyle Tours?

The enthusiasm of our staff for the Tour and the knowledge and insight provided by our guides means that a Bikestyle Tours trip gives you an unequalled experience. Our staff ratio of 1 staff to every 7-8 clients is one of the best in the business and assures a high level of personal service. You will be looked after by our professional team of on the road cycling guides (male and female), mechanics and support van drivers.

The combination of years of experience, good service, attention to detail and value for money has proven to be a winning formula. Our tour preparation is more than 12 months each year as we sleuth for the tour route before the official release. On our trips we stay in quality 3 star and 4 star hotels chosen for their comfort and location staying as close as possible to the race route, with a mix of traditional and modern hotel styles.

Importantly all Bikestyle trips are Guaranteed Departures, so we won’t cancel a trip due to insufficient numbers leaving you stranded. Our customers come from all over the world so no matter where you live we can help you with your Tour de France vacation.

Specific trips for a range of cycling ability and non cyclists, we have a suite of trips to cater for a range of cycling abilities from our Classic Trips which cater for all levels of cyclists and non-cyclists to Experience Cyclists only trips.

Travel like a “PRO”.

Our comfortable fleet of buses are the best in the business, featuring custom designed enclosed trailers to carry your bike safely. On board are reclining seats and a bar stocked with cold drinks. This year most will have an outside shower with hot water to freshen up after you ride.

Check out your bus HERE

Is this trip for me?

I'M A NON RIDER, IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

Spectactors welcome

Absolutely! This trip caters for cyclists and non cyclists with the the primary focus is seeing the race. We have the chance to explore beyond the race and taste the bubbles of the Champagne region, the crisp whites of Alsace and the well rounded Grand Cru in the Bourgogne region.

 

 

I'M AN EXPERIENCED CYCLIST, IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

Ride further and climb more

Absolutely! Spring Classics feel to the TDF. Experience great rides routes such as the Oude Kwaremont, Koppenberg and Kapelmuur from the one-day Spring Classics races and the beautiful ballon summits amongst thick forest in the Vosges mountains.

 

Riders who complete a good training program enjoy these trips the most.

I'M NO ELITE CYCLIST, IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

Ride regularly

Absolutely. There are also great rides routes such as the Oude Kwaremont, Koppenberg and Kapelmuur from the one-day Spring Classics races and the beautiful ballon summits amongst thick forest in the Vosges mountains.

Our easiest rides involve riding in a group at average speeds of more than 20km/hr (15miles/hr) on the flat.

Climb at your own pace.

Reserve Your Place Now

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below
Deposit 2019 Belgium to Burgundy 9 Days ($1000pp)
2019 Belgium to Burgundy Bicycle Hire ($594.00)
2019 Belgium to Burgundy Single Supplement ($850.00)
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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