2019 Grandes Alpes 8 Days

TRIP DETAILS:

Duration: 8 Days (7 nights)
Dates: Sunday, 21 July to Sunday, 28 July, 2019
Start: Lyon
Finish: Lyon (Paris extend available)
Group Size: 20 guests – 4 staff
Suitable For: Cyclists Only
Suitable Cyclists ability: Experienced, Intermediate
Price: AUD$5,200 (US$3,640)
OPTIONAL SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: AUD$600 (US$420)

Optional Extras:

Bike Rental AUD$462 (US$325) (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
Col de la Madeleine, Alpe d’Huez, Col du Galibier, Col d’Izoard

Secret Roads
French Alps balcony roads, Lacets du Montvernier, Tarentaise valley

Touristic Opportunities
Ecrins National Park, Casse Déserte, Lac de Serre-Ponçon

Experience the TDF Live
Stage 17: Pont du Gard to Gap, Hilly, 206 km
Stage 18: Embrun to Valloire, Mountain, 207 km
Stage 19: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Tignes, Mountain, 123 km
Stage 20: Albertville to Val Thorens, Mountain, 131 km

2019 Grandes Alpes – In short

Experience our mini-epic cycling challenge following the 2019 Tour de France. Be a part of the final week and witness the biggest stages of the Tour de France. Conquer bucket list climbs along the Route des Grandes Alpes, a route that extends from Geneva to Nice. Our focus will be the climbs that connect the main central valleys of the French Alps.

We’ve mapped out challenging cycling routes, but less demanding than our epic Classic Cols trip. Discover the feeling of ‘le tour legs’ with more vertical metres and miles. This trip is mostly about the bike, but we’ll pause to catch up with the greatest show on two wheels – 2019 Tour de France. Some days we’ll celebrate a great ride and watch the tour at a local bar and other days we’ll intersect the race and watch the peloton suffer on a climb or take in the atmosphere of a stage start. Experience the thrill of witnessing the champions of the sport win a mountain stage.

Tick off the bucket list of the most famous cycling routes in the Alps, register for the challenge of climbing more than 10,000m in a week and share the experience with other like minded cyclists. You’re escorted by a former cycling professional and supported by a professional bike mechanic.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Sunday 21st July: Bienvenue, Welcome to the Tour de France

Our trip starts with your guides meeting you at the Lyon Saint-Exupèry Airport at 10:00am. Lyon is a popular tourist city with a wonderful old town with medieval and Renaissance style. The gastronomy is exceptional, at one stage had the greatest number of michelin hat restaurants in the world. Recently, the city developed the “Confluence” quarter, where the Soâne joins the Rhône river. A vibrant district has formed around the Confluence museum, architecturally comparable to the Guggenheim in Bilbao. For us it provides great access to the French Alpes. Arrive a day or two earlier, adjust to the time zone and enjoy this great city.

After a short transfer to our comfortable chalet at the foot of Grand Rousses, where we will assemble our bikes and head out on a short warm up ride. Our first ride in the Alps allows us to shake off some travel legs and test out your bike for your cycling holiday in France. As you’ll see out your window, there aren’t many flat roads around these parts. We’ll stick to the valley and ride into Bourg d’Oisans. As we return we will climb a small climb to make sure your gears are in working order. Our ride loop of 30 km goes over a short climb and is perfect for testing out our lows gears as well. We’ll arrive back out our chateau in time to watch the finish of today’s time trial on television.

Tonight we’ll have a lovely home cooked dinner together with an accompanying drink. A great social opportunity to meet your fellow guests, our hosts at this beautiful chalet and your staff. Most importantly, have your questions answered by your helpful staff.

TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 15: Limoux to Foix Prat d’Albis, Mountain, 185 km
Aerial pictures will capture the amazing Cathar castles during today’s stage. Riders, however will be captivated by the challenging ascents. None more than the difficult 18% slopes of Mur de Péguère before descending into Foix, which is 12 km from the final summit finish. Nearly 5,000 m of vertical ascent in today’s stage.

Meals
Welcome Dinner

Overnight
Oz en Oisans, France

Warm Up Ride

Warm Up Ride

Day 2 – Monday 22nd July: Mystical climb, 21 switchbacks of Alpe d’Huez

After fuelling up at breakfast we’ll head off on our ride to do the most famous cycling climb in the world – Alpe d’Huez. The 13 km climb with 21 switchbacks became legendary in its inaugural year when motorcycle television crews were used for the first time during the Tour.  

We will do this a little differently and give you the chance to ride some incredible balcony roads, and some extra climbing. We’ll warm-up along the valley before starting the climb. We will only go a little way up to La Garde before we turn off and take the spectacular balcony road to Le Freney d’Oisans. This gives you some of the best views of the Alpes, particularly the valley below. Once we reach Le Freney, we descend back to Bourg d’Oisans to start our assault on the 21 switchbacks.

The opening 3 km of the Alpe, where gradients are steepest, force you to question your enthusiasm. Rest assured gradients temper and you’ll settle into a rhythm with the marked reminder of champions past at every switchback.

Once we reach the summit and take our obligatory podium photos, we’ll return to our chalet following an alternative balcony road to the valley and descend back to our hotel. 80 km and over 2000m of vertical ascent on spectacular roads, hard to beat. But we’ll try over the next week.

Tonight you are free to walk to the nearby village and have dinner or you may like to join your friends at a table in our hotel. Grenoble centre has many great restaurants should you may wish to try. Our hotel is about 10 minutes from the centre in a taxi, but just minutes walk from a local village with several dining options.

TODAY IN THE RACE
Rest Day 2: Nîmes, Rest day 2
After a short, yet intense second week, riders will take their rest in Nîmes. Once settled in to their hotel rooms the night before, riders will welcome a three night stay which will help aide their preparation for the final week.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Oz en Oisans, France

Easier Ride Option

Harder Ride Option

Day 3 – Tuesday 23rd July: Monumental Climb – Col du Galibier

Today we’ll challenge ourselves over one of the biggest climbs in the French Alps, it stands at 2,642 m. Col du Galibier is a common inclusion in the Tour for it connects the Southern and Northern Alps. In a couple of days, a stage of the Tour will be decided over this summit, their third summit above 2,000m within that stage.

We have 20 km to warm up before our climb starts, which goes for another 40 km to reach the summit. Select a low gear and chip away at the climb. Besides a couple of 10% grades to Le Freney, the gradients are moderate until we reach the village of La Grave. After here, it starts to climb a little steeper. You’ve been climbing for 25 km, so fatigue starts. With 8 km to go we reach Col du Lautaret, and from here we sore up towards the final summit. Mark this monument off your bucket list.

Hours to get here, much less time to descend off it. When we descend into Lautaret, we’ll head towards Briançon on the opposite side from where we climbed. We’ll be able to stop for a late lunch and nice cold drink, before making our final transfer to our next hotel.

Our hotel for the next three nights has the luxury of being located near tomorrow’s finish and the start of the following stage. Each night we will enjoy a home cooked meal and celebrate our achievements for the day, and contemplate tomorrow’s planned rides.

TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 16: Nîmes to Nîmes, Flat, 177 km
Today’s stage will be for the sprinters and is entirely within the department of Gard. The highlight of the parcours will be the peloton riding over the famous Pont du Gard.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Baratier, France

Easier Ride Option

Harder Ride Option

Day 4 – Wednesday 24th July: Stage finish in Gap

The peloton will arrive late afternoon, which gives us plenty of time for our own ride this morning, stopping for lunch along the way. The Valgaudemar valley is one of the most spectacular and unspoiled valleys in the Alps. Although it is one of the few transport routes between Grenoble and Côte d’Azur, it remains considerably undeveloped. There are many hamlets with stone houses, and farming lands. The backdrop either side are impressive mountains, it’s a lovely place to ride.

We’ve planned a climb above Gap that will maximise our views across this picturesque valley, the climb is rather magical as well. Officially the climb to Col du Noyer is 12 km averaging less than 6%. However, the final 6 km is consistently above 8% and near the top, 11-12% for 2 km. Yep they say, the “views are worth it”.

We will arrive in Gap with time for a cold drink before we wait the arrival of the peloton. Finishes are great fun to see with the caravane coming through a few hours before the race and then the endless parade of journalists and official vehicles before the riders finally arrive in the afternoon around 5pm. You might head down to the team buses that are normally behind the finish line. It’s a great place to see the riders after a hard day at the office. We will travel back to our hotel in the bus for a well earned dinner together.

TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 17: Pont du Gard to Gap, Hilly, 206 km
Riders return to a long 200+ km stage as they head toward the French Alps. The early stages will highlight the historic sites along the Rhone Valley, including the theatre in Orange before the village of Vaison-la-Romaine. Winds are possible to challenge the peloton and favour a breakaway. The final climb under 10km to go will turn a cohesive breakaway against each other.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Baratier, France

Easier Ride Option

Harder Ride Option

Day 5 – Thursday 25th July: Allez, Allez, Allez – classic mountain stage

Over the years, we’ve seen great mountain stages, but one regularly stands out, Col d’Izoard. We’ll set off before the professionals and watch them climb this classic.

The climb starts through the picturesque Gorges du Guil where the road follows a narrow gorge. We turn left leaving the gorge road and it progressively steepens for 8 km to the last hamlet. There is 7 km to go and the landscape changes dramatically, the road narrows and the vegetation disappears and rock scree separates the rugged outcrops, this is the Casse Déserte. Fortunately, the gradient eases at this point, you are nearing the summit.

Col d’Izoard has been the location and source of much Grand Tour folklore, particularly to do with Coppi and Bobet between 1949 and 1954 tours. The proximity to Italy makes this a regular inclusion in both the Giro and the Tour. We’ll watch this afternoon’s theatre play out on the biggest stage of the 106th Tour.

After the race passes, we’ll enjoy the long downhill run back to Guillestre where we can watch the final moments of today’s race. We will return to our hotel for a lovely meal. A long day, but a memorable stage to be a part of.

After the race passes, we’ll enjoy the long downhill run back to Guillestre where we can watch the final moments of today’s race. We’ll return to our hotel for a lovely meal. A long day, but a memorable stage to be a part of.

 

TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 18: Embrun to Valloire, Mountain, 207 km
Touted as the biggest alpine stage of the tour, the route along Grandes Alpes features 2 hors categorie and a categorie 1 climb. The familiar names of Col d’Izoard and Col du Galibier sore above 2,000 m. Climbers will be eyeing off this stage and the competition for polka-dots as well as the yellow jersey will go to a new level. After the descent off Galibier, victory at the finish will require some risk-taking.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Baratier, France

Easier Ride Option

Harder Ride Option

Day 6 – Friday 26th July: Lacets de Montvernier and a stage start

Today’s short stage will start early afternoon, so we’ll travel to the stage start and watch the riders prepare for their second day in the mountains.  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 along with the wearers of the tour jersey’s, who will position themselves along the front row.

Soon after the riders set off on the stage, we will head off on our own ride, starting with the amazing Lacets de Montvernier with its 17 hairpins. The climb is only 2.5 km long, that’s a hairpin every 150 m. It’s not a difficult climb at all, but a magical experience.

Our main climb then begins, Col du Madeleine. Together with Galibier and Izoard they are the most common climbs for the Tour through the Grandes Alpes. The southern approach is the most difficult, 19.2km at 8%. Settle in for the long climb. It’s beauty is equal to its length.

On reaching the summit, you can celebrate summiting another big col and take comfort that our hotel awaits at the bottom of the descent. Our final hotel for the next two nights is strategically near the bottom of the final climb in this year’s mountain stages. We will enjoy a dinner together each night.

TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 19: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Tignes, Mountain, 123 km
Riders reach the highest point of the tour on Col d’Iseran (2,770m) in today’s short, but dynamic stage. It will only be the second time that the Tour has climbed up this tougher southern side. We would expect the attacks to launch to the highest point of the tour. Time gaps will eventuate at the summit finish to the ski village in Tignes.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Brides-les-Bains, France

Easier Ride Option

Harder Ride Option

Day 7 – Saturday 27th July: Blockbuster – the final climb

The final climb in today’s stage is longer than our climb over Madeleine yesterday. We’ll set off in the cool of the morning and make our way up to Val Thorens ski station, it’s just a 34 km climb. There are many villages along the climb and there’ll be lots of spectators cheering you along.

You can turn around at anytime or stop at a convenient place to watch the race live on TV before seeing the riders come through. You will be able to watch every moment through to the finish before we return to our hotel for our final farewell dinner.

TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 20: Albertville to Val Thorens, Mountain, 131 km
A third summit finish above 2,000m creates the theatre for the final alpine stage, and the final opportunity for the yellow jersey. The total ascent for the day approaches 4,500m, but negotiating some of the windy descents may prove the difference.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Brides-les-Bains, France

Easier Ride Option

Harder Ride Option

Day 8 – Sunday 28th July: Au Revoir, and bon voyage

This morning our trip finishes back where our trip started, in Lyon with our final transfer to Saint-Exupéry Airport, arriving by approximately 10 am. If you are planning your departure from Lyon today, your earliest departure for a domestic connection is 12 pm and for international flights is 1 pm. There are also TGV trains that depart from the airport station, be sure you nominate Saint-Exupéry when booking your train.

We have no doubt that you will have enjoyed your trip with us, you will probably be sad it has come to an end. However, you have the option to extend your trip through to Paris and watch today’s final stage on the Champs-Élysées. We’ll transport you to Paris on a TGV train and make your life a little easier by taking your bike and heavy luggage for you.

For those leaving us though, we bid farewell to our new friends. We trust that you have had an enjoyable time making new friends, riding the roads along the Grandes Alpes and experiencing the mountain stages of the 106th Tour de France. We welcome you to our Bikestyle family and we look forward to seeing you again one day.

Meals: Breakfast

Optional Extra

Lyon to Paris Trip Extension 28th to 29th July -TGV to Paris and Champs Élysées finales

You’re trip has finished, your riding is done, but there is still one more day for watching the race. No less, it’s the finale on Champs-Élysées. For our trips finishing in the Alps on Sunday 28th July we’re offering a hassle free transfer through to Paris arriving in time to see the cycling action on the famous boulevard.

Fully escorted by our professional guides, our luxury transport will collect you from your hotel in time to meet your TGV service to Paris. A high speed transfer to Paris at 320km/h. To make life easier for you, we will courier your luggage and bike to the 4-star hotel you will be staying at tonight.

This is only valid for Bikestyle Tours guests travelling on the following 2019 Tour de France trips: Grandes Alpes, Spectacular France and Classic Cols.

Inclusions: Land transfers, luggage transport, one night accommodation (twin-share) in 4-star Paris hotel with easy access to Champs-Élysées and full buffet breakfast. Single supplement available. Extra nights accommodation available on request.

TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 21: Rambouillet to Paris Champs-Élysées, Flat, 127 km
A day of celebration for the yellow jersey and his team. Tradition is that they will lead the peloton onto the Champs-Élysées before the pace intensifies. It is a dream for many riders to lead the peloton out of the final corner and with the Arc du Triomphe in sight, win the final stage in Paris.

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 7 nights
  • Wine at welcome and farewell dinners
  • Scheduled arrival transfer on day one from Lyon 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?

Cyclists Only

Our Grandes Alpes trip has a strong rider focus, a better non-cyclist option is our 2019 Tour de France Final Week trip.

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

Ride further and climb more

Absolutely! Our Grandes Alpes trip has a strong rider focus and includes the iconic Col de la Madeleine, Alpe d’Huez, Col du Galibier, Col d’Izoard

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

Ride regularly

Our Grandes Alpes trip has a strong rider focus, the trip is suitable for intermediate level rider and above to get the most from the trip.

Our easiest rides involve riding in a group at average speeds of more than 25km/hr (17miles/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 Grandes Alpes 8 Days ($1000pp)
2019 Grandes Alpes Bicycle Hire ($594.00)
2019 Grandes Alpes Single Supplement ($600.00)
Lyon to Paris Trip Extension Twin Share ($450.00)
Lyon to Paris Trip Extension Single Room ($590.00)
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

Register Your Interest

  Tick the box to ask your own question about the trip.
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