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UCI Gran Fondo World Championships Albi 2017
Have you ever dreamt of representing your country at the world championships, maybe win a UCI rainbow jersey? In 2017 the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships are located in Albi, a short distance from Bikestyle Tours overseas HQ. In 2011, the UCI Gran Fondo World Series was created with a series of 15 qualifying events for age group cyclists to qualify and represent their country at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.
Bikestyle Tours has its European base a short distance from Albi and we would love to share with you some local secrets, on and off the bike. This unique 8 day trip is tailored toward the keen cyclist who would like to compete at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, riders must qualify for event. Although, this trip is also perfect for cyclists who are after a unique cycling adventure exploring some of France’s beautiful villages, French cuisine and historical treasures in the south of France. A highlight of this trip will be the experience of lunch in a charming Michelin Star restaurant and a visit to the historic town of Albi.
As with all of our tours you’ll be guided by our expert team of ride leaders, drivers and guides.
Duration: 8 days (7 nights)
Dates: Monday, 21 August to Monday, 28 August, 2017
Start: Toulouse Finish: Toulouse
Accommodation: Quality hotels
Group Size: Maximum 14 people (4 Staff)
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, or you can have a room of your own by paying the single supplement.
Single Supplement: A$700.00
- Ride along quiet country roads of Southern France
- Visit the stunning historical towns of Albi and Carcassonne
- Dine in a Michelin Star restaurant
- An exclusive small group trip with 7 nights in quality 4 star hotels
- Ride the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships (qualified riders)
- An ideal trip to share with your non-cycling partner
Who is this trip for?
This unique 8 day trip is tailored toward the keen cyclist who wants to discover some of the secrets on the roads in the South of France as well as those cyclists who have qualified for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships. Bikestyle Tours has its European base in this area and we would love to share with you some local secrets, on and off the bike. With only 1 transfer between hotels during the week, we will be able to unpack your bags and relax on this leisurely paced trip enjoying the beauty of France. Some highlights of this trip include lunch in a charming Michelin Star restaurant and visiting the historic town of Albi.
This trip is geared to suit anyone with an interest in Cycling, competing or not. Although participating in the Gran Fondo World Championships is our main focus for the trip, we have incorporated many tourist opportunities and scenic rides. We cater for cyclists of all abilities by providing riding options each day. We ride on quiet scenic roads providing options for rides to suit people who feel like a challenge, or an easy day enjoying the scenery.
As with all of our tours you’ll be guided by our expert team of ride leaders, drivers and guides.
Monday, 21 August 2017: Bienvenue
The first day of our trip starts today with our staff meeting you at 11 am at Toulouse Blagnac airport for your transfer to our quality hotel in the region of Tarn. 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 before starting your trip. We can recommend a tour of the Airbus A380 facility and visiting the newly refurbished Airbus museum.
We have a short transfer from Toulouse to Castres, where you can have lunch before checking into our hotel. Our home for 3 nights of our trip is Castres, a historical city with origins as far back as 9th century BC and wealth founded in art and trade. The river Agout flows through Castres and its flow has been vital for local craftsmen and industry. This location give us access to the nearby world heritage sites we will visit and ideally located close to Albi.
Our home for the next 3 nights is situated right on the riverfront in a former industrial building converted recently to a comfortable 4 star hotel. 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 the ride we can enjoy one of the main local cafes. For those not riding, you will be able to explore this lovely town.
Tonight we will enjoy a special welcome dinner at a traditional restaurant in a local village where you will enjoy a glass of wine, meet your fellow travellers and have our staff answer all your questions on your upcoming holiday.
Tuesday 22 August 2017: Pic di Nore
Today we indulge in another pleasure of cycling, satisfying your appetite, with a beautiful ride to start our trip through the idyllic countryside and villages of the Tarn.
We have a lunch booking with a Michelin Star Restaurant which will keep us to a schedule this morning. We will set off after breakfast toward Mazamet and do a ride that we know very well, as this is our backyard. We will ride up to Pic di Nore, the highest point of Montagne Noire, the junction between several regions of Southern France.
It is not a Col of the Pyrenees or Alps, but it’s a challenging climb up to 1,200m on quiet forested roads. As with most climbs this high, it offers wonderful views. On a clear day you will see the chain of the Pyrenees and Mediterranean ocean in a single vista. We will then take the fast descent down to Lastours to meet up with the non-cyclists for a visit to its four castles, Châteaux de Lastours.
Lastours is a charming medieval village on the Southern slopes of Montagne Noire, made up of two hamlets and its 4 castles. The castles themselves were built during the 12th and 13th century, believed to have been built by Cathars. Catharism is an old religion violently repressed by the Catholic Church of Rome between the 10th and the 12th century. There are also numerous archaeological sites situated near the castles which date back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC. For non-riders, you will have plenty of time to walk around this charming village and visit the castles.
After all this activity you’ll have developed an appetite and we’ve got a special treat in store as we enjoy a gastronomic delight with lunch at a Michelin star restaurant in Lastours. Situated on the river bank in an historic building under the shadows of the ancient Cathar towers, this will be a meal to remember.
After lunch we will return to Castres by van and you will have the rest of the afternoon to relax , even time for an afternoon nap and explore this authentic small French town.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Wednesday, 23 August 2017: Lautrec
After breakfast this morning we will make our way along the quiet 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.
You will also find an artisan boulanger, one of the best in France, making fresh baquettes and other treats for you to sample. We will meet up with the non-cyclists in Lautrec and have a look around this stunning village and have a break for coffee. We will give non-cyclists a little more time to wander the streets of Lautrec before heading off to make the return trip back to Castres.
After our tourist day out in the Tarn and once back in Castres you are free to relax a while before making your way out to dine at one of the fine local restaurants.
Thursday, 24 August 2017: Carcassonne
Today after breakfast we will visit the famous walled cité of Carcassonne, one of the most popular and unforgettable sites in France. Carcassonne is among the major attractions in France and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The huge walled 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.
We will leave the hotel by bike and enjoy one of our favourite local rides up to Font Bruno. It is a steady climb averaging 5% over 11km of quiet forestry roads where you will be able to see monuments to French resistance from WW II. French resistance engaged in deadly guerrilla in the dense forests in the Tarn region. Once we reach the summit of Font Bruno we have a a long down hill run of 30km into Carcassonne where we will stop for lunch at the medieval fortress.
After lunch we will transfer to Albi, our base for the next 4 nights in preparation for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships. Tonight you are free to enjoy one of the many local restaurants.
Friday, 25 August 2017: UCI Course
Today we wake up in Albi, this historic town is 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!
After breakfast we will take the opportunity to ride key sections of Sundays road race for those competing. We will keep today’s ride to a gentle pace while we tackle several short climbs through the amazing French country side. Whether you are competing on Sunday or not you will love your time on the bike today. After our ride we will return to Albi for lunch, before spending the afternoon visiting the cathedral and exploring this UNESCO World Heritage or may be you’d prefer to put your feet up and relax in a local cafe.
You might like to check out the Team Relay race this evening, a 2km circuit around the historical Center of the City. It starts and finishes Sainte Cecile Cathedral Esplanade from 5.00pm to 7.00pm.
Saturday, 26 August 2017: Albi
Tomorrow many of your fellow guests will be riding the CI Gran Fondo World Championships so we plan to take things a little easier today and rest the legs before the big day. We will head out on our bikes early and visit some of the local villages and ride the last 20km of the road race course to the finish area just outside of Albi. For those not competing we will take the opportunity to extend the ride and take in more of the French countryside. We will return to Albi before lunch time to spend the afternoon taking care of any last minute preparations to equipment (and bodies) and enjoy an early dinner before the big day.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Sunday, 27 August 2017: Gran Fondo Day
Here we are, the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, today we pin on our numbers and represent our respective countries. We are in France so we don’t have an early start! The first wave of competitors starts at 9.00am just a short distance from our hotel so we will have time for a relaxing breakfast before rolling down to the start line. We will have support staff on hand to ensure you are on time at your wave star and will transport you day bags to the finish area ready for you when you arrive at the finish.
Once you have finished your event you can either take the short ride back to town or you many want to linger at the finish area to support your fellow guests as they finish throughout the day. Once all riders have finished we will return to our hotel to prepare for our farewell dinner tonight. Hopefully we will have a World Champion among us!
Today we will share some great food and stories as we enjoy our farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Monday, 28 August, 2017: Au Revoir
It is farewell to your new friends as our French trip comes to an end this morning! Over the past week you’ve experienced the serenity of Southern France and the excitement of the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, enjoyed riding along quiet roads and hopefully had an unforgettable holiday with Bikestyle Tours.
This morning we will transfer you to where we began, Toulouse Blagnac airport, arriving at around 11am. If flying out today we suggest booking a flight no earlier than 12.30 pm. If you plan on staying on in Toulouse there is plenty to see and do in the “Ville Rose” and we can arrange a hotel close to the airport where you can be dropped off this morning.
Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:
- Support vans
- Services of our experienced tour guides, mechanics and drivers.
- 7 nights accommodation in quality 3 and 4 star hotels
- Buffet breakfast daily
- Lunch in a Michelin star restaurant
- 3 course evening meals on 3 nights
- Wine with welcome and farewell dinners
- Arrival transfer from Toulouse airport on day one of our trip
- Departure transfer to Toulouse on the final day of our trip
- Mechanical assistance with your bike
- Ride Maps and GPS files
- Quality Bikestyle Tours kit including cycling jersey, knicks, cap and musette bag
Reserve your Place NowNOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below
- 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.