DAY 1 – TUESDAY 16 JULY 2019

ARRIVAL DAY – Toulouse Blagnac Airport. La Ville Rose and Sunflowers loop ride
Welcome to France!

Airport pick up: 10am Toulouse Blagnac Airport
Arrival day ride departs: 1pm
Distance: 50km. Climbing: 250m
TdF Race: Rest Day Albi
Welcome dinner: 7.30pm
Accommodation: Toulouse City Centre – 1 of 2 nights

About our day:

Welcome to Ride International’s Tour de France trip! We start our trip in la Ville Rose (the “Pink City”), Toulouse, named because of the extensive use of pinkish terracotta bricks in the local architecture. Toulouse is well-known for many things, but for cyclists, it is probably best-known for being just a short drive from some of the best cycling in the French Pyrenees.

You have the option of meeting us at our team hotel, or meeting us at the airport before we take a short transfer to our hotel.

We’ll contain our excitement on day one, which a short ride to get to know each other and make sure the bikes and bodies are all in order for the week ahead.


Non-cycling options:

Ask us for some options based on your personal interests, we have some great recommendations in Toulouse, it’s a beautiful city rich in culture, history, markets, a good artisan coffee roaster – coffee shop and fantastic shopping.


Our Ride: La Ville Rose and sunflowers loop

Ride – starts 1pm

After we’ve settled in we’ll head out for an afternoon loop ride. We will head out of Toulouse onto some country roads through rural areas for some sunflower spotting en route. We’ll return via a touristic route past the Canal du Midi and through the small streets of Toulouse’s old town back to our hotel. Today’s ride is a relaxed one to ensure you and your bike are working well.


 TdF Race: TDF Rest Day Albi 

 Après Bike:

7.30pm: Meet in the hotel lobby for a short stroll to our restaurant for our welcome dinner and drinks.


 Accommodation:

Toulouse City Centre – 1 of 2 nights

DAY 2 – WEDNESDAY 17 JULY 2019

Tour de Tarn ride plus Tour de France race start Albi. Ride back to Toulouse – intersect the race at a key point en route

Breakfast: 7am
Depart hotel: 7:45am Ride start: 9:30am
Distance: 40km, 85km, 120km Climbing: 200m – 750m
TdF Race: Albi / Toulouse 167km
Accommodation: Toulouse City Centre – 2 of 2 nights

About our day:

We jump straight into the action on day two and see the Tour de France twice as it snakes its way from Albi to Toulouse – first at the stage depart and then as it nears the finish.

Seeing Le Tour stage depart and watching it pass through smaller French towns is a very different experience, and provides an interesting contrast, to the high-intensity mountain racing that we’ll see later in our tour. We’ll have the luxury of seeing the riders relax before what is expected to be a low-stress stage, and then we’ll get to see an otherwise quiet French town come alive as the race flies through it in the closing stages of the race, rubbing shoulders with locals.

We’ll increase our ride distance today but the route will be relatively flat to allow you to find your legs for the climbing to come in the coming days.


Non-cycling options:

Ask us for some options based on your personal interests, we have some great recommendations.


Our Ride:

Ride – starts 9:30am

We’ll take a transfer from our Toulouse hotel to our ride start point on the lovely Tarn River. From there we will follow the river approximately 40km to the Tour de France race start in Albi. After taking in the race start we’ll mount our bikes again and take a more direct ride route to Toulouse. We’ll intersect the Tour de France race route as it nears the finish, as it passes through one of the smaller French villages where we can relax, watch the race finish on TV and return to our hotel on our bikes via sections of the race route to Toulouse.


 TdF Race: Albi / Toulouse 167km 

 Après Bike:

Free Program, let us know your preferred dining style, food types and we’ll point you in the right direction, Toulouse has a vast array of eateries, bars and restaurants.


 Accommodation:

Toulouse City Centre – 2 of 2 nights

DAY 3 – THURSDAY 18 JULY 2019

Ride the final 80km of todays Tour de France high mountain stage

Breakfast: 7am
Depart hotel: 7:45am Ride start: 10:30am
Distance: 60km, 85km, 105km Climbing: 2000m
TdF Race: Toulouse / Bagnères-de-Bigorre 202km
Accommodation: Pyrenees – Lourdes Spa and Bike Hotel – 1 of 3 nights

About our day:

Today we hit the cols! We’ll take a morning transfer to the French Pyrenees, where you will get your first taste of some serious hills on this year’s tour.

We’ll ride the final part of the Tour de France stage before the riders and will see the race at or near the finish. While coming mid-way through the Tour de France, this is the first Pyrenean stage of this year’s Tour de France and it is sure to be exciting to watch as the riders test each others’ fatigue levels as they head into the second part of the race.

We’ll also need to keep our fatigue levels in mind as we head into a series of decent climbing days, with this one just being something of an entrée.


Non-cycling options:

Ask us for some options based on your personal interests, we have some great recommendations.


Our Ride:

Ride – starts 10:30am 

After our transfer from Toulouse, we’ll ride the final 80km of today’s Tour de France medium mountain stage. This will take us over the Col du Peyresourde (where Chris Froome launched his memorable ‘descent attack’ on stage 8 of the 2016 Tour to win the stage) and then the Hourquette d’Ancizan before we ride to the race finish area in Bagneres de Bigorre.

After the Tour de France race finish you can choose to ride the ‘mostly downhill’ route back to our chic Spa and Bike hotel in Lourdes in the Pyrenees, or you can save the legs and take a short transfer back.


 TdF Race: Toulouse / Bagnères-de-Bigorre 202km 

 Après Bike:

7.45pm:  Meet in the hotel lobby for dinner at our hotel.


 Accommodation:

Pyrenees – Lourdes Spa and Bike Hotel – 1 of 3 nights

DAY 4 – FRIDAY 19 JULY 2019

Col du Solour – Col d’Aubisque High Mountain Loop

Breakfast: 7am
Ride departs hotel: 8am
Distance: 30km, 45km, 90km (optional riding extras: Hautacam ski station +30km / 1200m) Climbing: 1200m – 2400m
TdF Race: Pau / Pau Time Trial 27km
Accommodation: Pyrenees – Lourdes Spa and Bike Hotel – 2 of 3 nights

About our day:

While Lourdes is famous the world over for its holy water and associated religious pilgrimages, we like it because it is at the gateway to one of the most magical cycling valleys in the French Pyrenees. Today we’ll dive right in, departing from our hotel for an incredible day in the mountains.

We’ll take in two legendary cols, the Col du Solour and the Col d’Aubisque for a relatively short loop but one that is big on elevation and spectacular scenery.This is high mountain cycling at its very best, wild horses, sheep and goats are free to roam the pastures up here. For those wanting a few more kilometres, there is an optional extra ride up the Hautacam.

Non-cycling options:

Ask us for some options based on your personal interests, we have some great recommendations.


Our Ride:

Ride – starts 8am

Today we’ll ride from the door of our hotel and ascend two of the most famous cols in the Pyrenees – the Col du Solour, then traverse across to the Col d’Aubisque. We’ll pause for snack, coffee or maybe even lunch at one of the chalets prior to heading back across to the Col du Soluor. We then loop back to Lourdes after a big day out in the Pyrenees. We’ll be back in time to watch the finish of the Tour de France time trial live on TV.

Riding Extras: If you’re still feeling great after the Col d’Aubisque and Solour and need extras on the day – we’ll point you in the direction of the famously tough Hautacam climb. This climb can be found just off our route back to Lourdes. While it will only add approximately 30km (and 1200m altitude) to your day, the gradients of the Hautacam are tough and this little side-trip will likely take well over two hours to complete!


 TdF Race: Pau / Pau Time Trial 27km 

 Après Bike:

Free program: Let us know your preferred dining style, food types and we’ll point you in the right direction, Lourdes has a vast array of eateries, bars (even a great Belgian bar), restaurants and the best gelato outside of Italy.


 Accommodation:

Pyrenees – Lourdes Spa and Bike Hotel – 2 of 3 nights

DAY 5 – SATURDAY 20 JULY 2019

Col du Tourmalet Loop, see the race on the lower slopes

Breakfast: 7am
Depart hotel: 8am Ride start: 9am
Distance: 55km, 65km, 80km, 105km Climbing: 750m – 2300m
TdF Race: Tarbes / Tourmalet 117km
Accommodation: Pyrenees – Lourdes Spa and Bike Hotel – 3 of 3 nights

About our day:

Today we ride the Col du Tourmalet! One of the most famous climbs in the French Pyrenees, the Tourmalet is a big and beautiful climb – one that every serious cyclist should tick off in their lifetime. We’ll tackle it from the eastern side, hit the summit and descend down the other side to watch the Tour de France tear onto the lower slopes as it tackles the Tourmalet in the opposite direction.


Non-cycling options:

Ask us for some options based on your personal interests, we have some great recommendations.


Our Ride:

Ride starts 9am 

Depending on how your legs are feeling, you can choose where to start your day along our route: Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Campan, Sainte Marie De Campan or La Mongie. Regardless of the start point, our route will take in the Col du Tourmalet loop in a clockwise direction and we’ll tackle the great Tourmalet from the eastern side.

Having summited the highest paved road in the Pyrenees, we’ll then take the winding descent to the picturesque valley town of Luz-Saint-Sauveur. There we’ll watch the race live on TV as it approaches, before stepping out to the roadside to see it charge onto the lower slopes of the Col du Tourmalet. Then, we’ll ride the mostly-downhill route back to Lourdes to complete our loop, finishing on a quiet and gentle local bike path that will feel a million miles away from the hallowed slopes of the Tourmalet.


 TdF Race: Tarbes / Tourmalet 117km 

 Après Bike:

Suggested Sports Recovery Drink: Anything dark from the Belgian beer bar near the bridge over the river in town.

Free program: Let us know your preferred dining style, food types and we’ll point you in the right direction again. Lourdes is great for bars and restaurants. (Have you tried the gelato yet?)


 Accommodation:

Pyrenees – Lourdes Spa and Bike Hotel – 3 of 3 nights

tourmalet
Col du Tourmalet

DAY 6 – SUNDAY 21 JULY 2019

Medieval Citadel – Gorge Ride and Dinner at our Chateau

Breakfast: 7am
Depart hotel: 8am Ride start: 3:30pm
Distance: 30km, 60km Climbing: 600m – 950m
TdF Race: Limoux / Foix 185km
Accommodation: Provence – Mazan Chateau Hotel – 1 of 2 Nights

About our day:

We are transferring from the Pyrenees to the Alps today, and will break the transfer up with a stop-in at the medieval citadel of Carcassonne. There we’ll stretch the legs and explore this historic village. We’ll then complete our transfer across to the base of the Giant of Provence – Mont Ventoux – in Mazan. After we’ve settled in to our chateau, we’ll head out for an afternoon ride to ease ourselves into the Alps.


Non-cycling options:

Ask us for some options based on your personal interests, we have some great recommendations.


Our Ride:

Ride – starts 3:30pm

With a few days of solid climbing under our belt, and with plenty more to come, we’ll give the bodies and legs a well-earned rest and take in a leisurely ride along the beautiful and breathtaking roads of the Gorge de la Nesque, near our hotel in Mazan. What this ride lacks in distance and elevation, it more than makes up for in spectacular scenery.


 TdF Race: Limoux / Foix 185km 

 Après Bike:

Suggested Sports Recovery Drink: Ice cold Cote du Rhone Rose.

7:30pm: Three course dinner including regional Ventoux and Cote du Rhone wine at our chateau.


 Accommodation:

Provence – Mazan Chateau Hotel – 1 of 2 Nights

Carcassonne wall

DAY 7 – SUNDAY 22 JULY 2019

Mont Ventoux – Celebration dinner and drinks at our Chateau

Breakfast: 7am
Depart hotel: 7:45am Ride start: 8:30am
Distance: 30km, 45km, 60km (Optional riding extras: Fancy a double ascent of Mont Ventoux?  Add 42km and 1550m) Climbing: 2100m
TdF Race: Rest Day
Accommodation: Provence – Mazan Chateau Hotel – 2 of 2 nights

About our day:

While the Tour de France has a rest day scheduled, there will be little rest for us as we will be tackling the most famous climb in cycling – Mont Ventoux!

After a short morning transfer to the town of Bédoin, we will have a number of options available for you to reach the summit of the Giant of Provence. We’ll have all day, so we can take our time and really soak up this magical mountain.


Non-cycling options:

Ask us for some options based on your personal interests, we have some great recommendations.


Our Ride:

Ride starts 8:30am

It’s not called the ‘Giant of Provence’ for nothing, and we’ll have a number of ride options available so that everyone can tackle a route they are comfortable with and make it to the summit.

You can choose to climb the full 22km, or tackle shorter options of 18km, 10km or 6km (from Chalet Reynard) to the the top. Each of these options will pass by the Tom Simpson memorial en route to the top.

From the top of Mount Ventoux, it’s a lovely run down to Malaucene where a coffee, snack or lunch will revitalise you. If you are keen for more, you’ll have the option of tackling Mont Ventoux for a second time, from Malaucene. Alternatively, if one summit of the most famous climb in cycling is enough for you, you can leave Malaucene bound for Bédoin to finish our loop. From here you have the choice to cycle back to our chateau or travel in the vehicle.


 TdF Race: Rest Day 

 Après Bike:

Suggested Sports Recovery Drink: After a fantastic day on the Giant of Provence, it’s a tough choice between a cold local craft beer or a G&T, either one will have you rehydrated quickly and ready to go again tomorrow.

7:30pm: We’ll have dinner, including local wines, at our chateau.


 Accommodation:

Provence – Mazan Chateau Hotel – 2 of 2 Nights

Mont Ventoux

DAY 8 – TUESDAY 23 JULY 2019

Alps, Col d’Iozard to the Frontier

Breakfast: 7am
Depart hotel: 8am Ride start: 12:30pm
Distance: 35km, 50km, 65km Climbing: 1800m
TdF Race: Nîmes / Nîmes 177km
Accommodation: Alps – Mont Genevre Hotel

About our day:

We’ll take a morning transfer from our hotel to Guillestre, approximately four hours north, nestled at the heart of the Alps. We will still have time for a spectacular ride up a gorgeous valley and over one of the gems of the Alps, the Col d’Izoard. The view from the top of the Izoard is truly remarkable (although some say it is eclipsed by the twisting valley road that leads to the southern side.

We’ll finish our ride on the border with Italy at our next hotel, where we’ll watch the finish of today’s flat stage of the Tour de France live on TV and see which of the sprinters is in good form after the Pyrenees.


Non-cycling options:

Ask us for some options based on your personal interests, we have some great recommendations.


Our Ride:

Ride starts 12:30pm 

Our longer ride starts in Guillestre and heads up through a spectacular valley to the Col d’Izoard. From the top of the Izoard it’s a lovely run down to Briançon, here you can choose to either ride or take the vehicle the short distance up hill to Montgenèvre to our hotel, which is perched up on the Italian border.

Our hotel is on the French side of the border, but we are so close to the border we might as well roll across into Italy, to practice our Italian in preparation for our “Giro d’Italia” day tomorrow. We’ll watch the finish of today’s flat stage of the Tour de France live on TV and see which of the sprinters is in good form after the Pyrenees.


 TdF Race: Nîmes / Nîmes 177km 

 Après Bike:

Suggested Sports Recovery Drink: Icy cold beer from the bar.

7:30pm: Meet in the hotel lobby for a three course dinner at our alpine hotel.


 Accommodation:

Alps: Mont Genevre Hotel

DAY 9 – WEDNESDAY 24 JULY 2019

Giro d’Italia at the Tour de France. Colle Delle Finestre, Sestriere and Montgenevre

Breakfast: 7am
Depart hotel: 8am Ride start: 9:30am
Distance: 40km, 50km, 70km Climbing: 1000m -3000+m
TdF Race: Pont du Gard / Gap 206km
Accommodation: Alps – Mont Genevre Hotel

About our day:

Buongiorno ragazzi! Today we’ll take a short (approx. 1 hour) morning transfer across the Italian border to Susa. While there are plenty of great climbs in the French Alps, we are so close to brilliant Colle delle Finestre that it would be rude not to sneak across the border for a ride which takes in some totally different climbs to the ones we have ridden.


Non-cycling options:

Ask us for some options based on your personal interests, we have some great recommendations.


Our Ride:

Ride starts 9:30am 

After taking a short transfer across the border to Susa, we will start our ride at the foot of one of the most iconic climbs in Italy, the Colle delle Finestre. The Finestre is best known for its 7km unpaved section up the top which really is like no other.

Our route takes in the final part of the stage that saw Chris Froome ride himself into the record books to win the 2018 Giro d’Italia. The route takes in the Colle delle Finestre and then Sestriere. We will continue over the Sestriere and descend back to our hotel in Montgenèvre to watch today’s Tour de France stage finish live on TV.


 TdF Race: Pont du Gard / Gap 206km 

 Après Bike:

Suggested Sports Recovery Drink: Champagne or Prosecco, the bubbles will help to re-oxygenate your blood for tomorrow’s ride.

7:30pm: Meet in the hotel lobby for a three course dinner at our alpine hotel.


 Accommodation:

Alps: Mont Genevre Hotel

DAY 10 – THURSDAY 25 JULY 2019

Tour de France on the Col du Galibier

Breakfast: 7am
Ride departs hotel: 8am
Distance: 60km, 75km, 85km, 100km Climbing: 800m – 2200m
TdF Race: Embrun / Valloire 207km
Accommodation: Alps – Mont Genevre Hotel

About our day:

Today we’ll ride from our hotel and take in the spectacular climbs of the Col du Lautaret and Col du Galibier where we will see the Tour de France in the closing stages of race, as the riders hit the first of three final mountain stages that will likely decide the race for the coveted Maillot Jaune.

After we have some more solid climbing under the belt and have seen the riders fight for the stage honours, we’ll ride back to our hotel on the Italian border.


Non-cycling options:

Ask us for some options based on your personal interests, we have some great recommendations.


Our Ride:

Ride starts 8am

We’ll have a fast start to the morning with a 12km downhill stroll to Briançon. From here we ride on today’s Tour de France race route up the Col du Lautaret, then on to the Col du Galibier which sits above the Lautaret (similar to the Solour and Aubisque which we summitted on day 4).  We’ll then return to the lower slopes of the climb and watch the race on TV as it flies toward us. We’ll then see the race pass by before we watch the final showdown live on TV as the race finishes just down the other side of the mountain in Valloire. After the race finishes, we’ll ride back to Briançon where you can choose to hop in the vehicle or ride back up the hill to our hotel in Montgenevre.


 TdF Race: Embrun / Valloire 207km 

 Après Bike:

Suggested Sports Recovery Drink: Champagne or Prosecco, the bubbles will help to re-oxygenate your blood for tomorrow’s ride.

7:30pm: Meet in the hotel lobby for a three course dinner at our alpine hotel.


 Accommodation:

Alps: Mont Genevre Hotel

DAY 11 – FRIDAY 26 JULY 2019

Alpe d’ Huez, Glandon, Croix de Fer loop

Breakfast: 7am
Depart hotel: 8am Ride start: 10am
Distance: 40km, 55km, 65km, 105km Climbing: 1200- 2800m
TdF Race: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Tignes 123km
Accommodation: Grenoble old city centre – 1 night

More About Our Day:

We’ll take a morning transfer to the base of the Alpe d’Huez. From our start point it’s a mere 14km to the top of the famous Alpe. While it’s a short distance, you’ll still need to pace yourself as it’s a tough climb, especially the first 3-4km that average 10%. After we’ve reached the top of Alpe D’huez and stood on the podium for our mandatory photos, we’ll head down hill and join the incredible Alpe d’Huez secret balcony road. We’ll descend all the way across to the bottom of the Col du Glandon. From the Glandon you can choose to continue up to the Col de la Croix de Fer or start our descent to the Osians Valley. We’ll watch the finish of today’s Tour de France stage live on TV in a local bar. Once down in the Osians Valley we’ll take a short (approx. 1 hour) transfer to Grenoble.


Non-cycling options:

Ask us for some options based on your personal interests, we have some great recommendations.


Our Ride:

Ride starts 10am


 TdF Race: Embrun / Valloire 207km 

 Après Bike:

Suggested Sports Recovery Drink: Chartreuse comes from the region around Grenoble. Give it a go, you’ll see why all the locals are so strong on the bike.

Free program: We are right in the centre of Grenoble, which has a lovely city centre.  We’ll point you in the right direction for which ever dining style takes your fancy.


 Accommodation:

Grenoble old city centre – 1 night

DAY 12 – SATURDAY 27 JULY 2019

Fast Train to Paris

Breakfast: 7:30am
Depart hotel: 7:45am
TdF Race: Albertville / Val Thorens 131km
Accommodation: Paris 1 of 2 nights

About our day:

This morning you can choose to sleep in or head out to explore Grenoble’s lovely centre. Today we jump ahead of the race and head to Paris in preparation for the race’s arrival the following day. After checking out of our hotel we’ll walk a short distance to the Grenoble Train Station for a fast (approx. four hours at up to 300kph) train trip to Paris.

Our hotel in Paris for the next two nights is conveniently located in the 10th arrondissement. We chose this hotel as it’s in a typically Parisian street situated half way between the Gare du Nord railway station and the prestigious Opéra Garnier. It’s a perfect spot for shopping, dining and evening entertainment with an array of theatres and cinemas (we also know all of Paris’ coffee hot spots, and you’ll enjoy great coffee while your in Paris with us). We’ll watch the final mountain stage of this year’s Tour de France live on TV in a local bar close to our hotel.


Non-cycling options:

Ask us for some options based on your personal interests, we have some great recommendations.


Day off bike

 TdF Race: Albertville / Val Thorens 131km 

 Après Bike:

7:15pm: Meet in the hotel lobby for a short walk to dinner. Tonight we’ll take our final dinner as a group together (this will leave Sunday night free after the race finish for everyone to explore Paris at their leisure).


 Accommodation:

Paris – 1 of 2 nights

Eiffel Tower Paris

DAY 13 – SUNDAY 28 JULY 2019

Early Morning Paris sightseeing ride + Tour de France Finale in Paris

Ride departs hotel: 6am 
Breakfast:
 9:30am
Distance: 30km Climbing: 150m
TdF Race:
Rambouillet / Paris Champs-Élysées 127km
Accommodation: Paris – 2 of 2 nights

About our day:

Today we’ll take in an early morning ride around the quiet cobbled streets of Paris then relax over breakfast at our hotel. The middle of the day is yours to explore Paris. In the early afternoon we’ll meet up again and head to the race course to take in the excitement of the race as it enters Paris. We’ll walk to various points on the race route to watch all the action live and on TV. Let us know if you are keen for us to arrange VIP Tickets at the finish on the Champs-Élysées; it’s a fantastic way to see the Tour de France finish in style.


Non-cycling options:

Ask us for some options based on your personal interests, we have some great recommendations.


Our Ride:

Ride starts 6am

There’s no better way to finish off a Tour de France trip than a final ride through Paris’ cobbled streets before they fill with the craziness and excitement of the race’s final stage.

Much like Claude Lelouch in his legendary 1976 short film ‘C’était un rendez-vous‘ we’ll head out early from our hotel to see a very different side of Paris (although probably not at the same speeds as Claude,who hits up to 200kph on his early-morning run!)


 TdF Race: Rambouillet / Paris Champs-Élysées 127km 

 Après Bike:

Free program: Let us know your preferred dining style, food types and we’ll point you in the right direction nearby our hotel.


 Accommodation:

Paris – 2 of 2 nights

Paris Champs Elysees

DAY 14 – MONDAY 29 JULY 2019

À bientôt!

Breakfast: 7am
Depart hotel: 10.30am. Our transfer for Charles de Gaulle Airport departs

Trip Finishes in Paris, à Bientôt!

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