La Marmotte — June 29-July 6, 2014
Southern Corsica — June 9-16, 2014
L'Etape du Tour & Pyrenees — July 16-24, 2014
Pyrénées Traverse — Sep. 10-17, 2014
Around Mont Blanc in 6 days — July 5-12, 2014
Tour 2013 : Ventoux, Alpe, Annecy + Finale — July 14-21, 2013
A Week In Provence — June 22-28, 2013
France’s Sportive Double: La Marmotte and L’Etape du Tour — June 28 - July 8
L'Etape du Tour: Pyrénées Tour de France Trip — July 11-20, 2012
Milan - San Remo Gran Fondo — June 7-12, 2012
French Alps Traverse — June 16-22, 2012
Ventoux + Alpes — May 30 - June 6, 2012
Pyrénées Traverse — September 2-7, 2012
Spring Traverse — April 12-16, 2012

Race l’Etape ● Ride the Pyrenees ● See the Tour de France

Aspin. Tourmalet. Aubisque. Peyresourde. In this trip centered around the L’Etape du Tour, you’ll ride these Tour de France passes in the middle of an international peloton. This fully supported, hassle-fee Tour de France Pyrenees adventure is a balanced mix of venues and activities designed to maximize your ‘Tour experience’, while minimizing time spent waiting, in crowds, or stuck in annoying Tour de France traffic.

We’ll enter you and support your participation in L’Etape du Tour on Saturday July 14. The reset of the trip you’ll ride other Tour cols, and watch three different Tour de France Pyrenees stages close up.

Much of this trip is based in a great hotel in the Tour finish town of Luchon – we’ve been lucky to secure the perfect venue to take in the perfect melange of adreneline, and relaxation.

Spots are limited, and L’Etape registration fills fast.

Trip facts (tableau)

Dates July 11-20, 2012.  (10 days / 9 nights)
Start/End Toulouse, France  Airport
Cities Pau, Luchon, Oloron-Sainte-Marie, Samatan
Riding Nine (9) guided days on the bike.
Difficulty Level Challenging.  For those who enjoy riding up and down mountain passes.
Highlights - Ride  L’Etape du Tour Cyclosportive.
- Attend the start Tour de France Stage 16
- SeeTour de France Stage 17
- Attend the start Tour de France Stage 18 
Cols Climbed
(*2012 TdF climb)
- Col d’Aubisque*         -  Col de Soulor *
- Col de Tourmalet*      - Col d’Aspin*
- Col de Peyresourde* -  Col des Ares*
- Col de Menté*            -  Port de Balés*
- Col de Portillon (France/Spain)
- Col Bouchet                 -  Péyragudes
Lodging 9 nights in *** hotels, double occupancy
(Oloron- Sainte-Marie and Luchon)
Meals Three daily meals included. 
Support - Technical support van.
- Professional mechanical support
- Snacks, energy drinks and food for all rides
- All Ground transportation
- Bicycle storage facilities
- Culture document with trip information
- 2 bi-lingual guides.
Group Size 12 riders
Cost $3,680     Etape du Tour entry, all taxes andservice charges included.  

 

Itinary

Day 1 – Wednesday, July 11, 2012: Arrival & Welcome

Fly into Toulouse, (which has multiple fly-in options) We’ll greet you at the airport and transfer you to our first hotel - a few hours of highway driving that will fly by in our comfortable AC equipped vans. At the hotel, we’ll get settled, build up our bikes and go out for a quick test spin on quiet country roads.

Day 2 – Thursday, July 12: L’Etape Recon Ride

The focus of today is to preview the majority of the L’Etape course by bike or by car. With van support you’ll get to see firsthand what this amazing stage is all about. We’ll look for secret water holes, and you’ll get to ride most of the critical parts, choosing the right gear for the climbs, and the right line for the trickly descents. After returning to the hotel by van we’ll have a delicious and hearty dinner, and maybe even a visit to the Lindt chocolate shop just across the street!

Day 3 – Friday, July 13: Race Prep

After previewing another small section of the L’Etape course we didn’t ride yesterday, we’ll go to the start village to pick up our race bibs well before the crowds and last minute stress settles in. Then it’s back at the hotel for a hearty warm lunch and an afternoon relaxing by the pool or the bed, a perfect final preparation for giving your best effort in L’Etape.

Day 4 – Saturday, July 14: L’Etape du Tour

Today is your race day. Just a 40 minute drive to the outskirts of Pau, and you’re off to experience the most memorable, challenging day of your cycling life! You’ll join in a peloton of thousands, tackling 4 epic cols: Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin and Peyresourde. You’ll finish L’Etape happy with your effort…and even happier to know there’s no van transfer after the finish. Our hotel is right in the arrival town…given the small amount of lodging in Luchon, we’re lucky!

Day 5 – Sunday, July 15: Recover & Explore

The fatigue of L’Etape in our legs, today’s a day to recover and soak in the beauty of the Pyrenees. After one of our private cook Charlotte’s delicious meals, we’ll head off on our bikes for an easy cruise down the valley, and some casual rafting down the Garonne. After this relaxing afternoon we’ll enjoy a typical regional dinner at a mountaintop restaurant, savoring the regional cuisine, while taking in more majestic views.

Day 6 – Monday, July 16: Experience a Tour Start

This morning it’s into the vans to drive to the start of Tour de France stage 16 in Samatan. You’ll wander among the teams, riders and caravan vehicles and take some photos of the stars preparing for the stage. After living Le Depart, it’s a picnic lunch in a local park before cycling back to Luchon over some rolling rural terrain. There’s time today to explore the quaint local shops just outside our Hotel door.

Day 7 – Tuesday, July 17: Ride More Cols!

Today’s is Tour’s rest day, but not for the L’Equipe DuckStore! Over the next two days, you’ll ride the route of stage 17 from Luchon to Peyragudes. Today we’ll tackle the Col de Menté and the Col des Ares. And to spice things up a bit, we’ll even add in the Col de Portillon, taking a quick dip into Spain, before heading back to home base in Luchon.

Day 8 – Wednesday July 18: Watch the Tour on the Peyresourde

After another great breakfast, we’ll head out on the bikes early from the Hotel, ending our ride on the Col de Peyresourde, where we’ll join the fans and watch the Tour peloton race up this climb on Stage 16. You’ll mix with Basques, and ‘bask’ in the electric Tour atmosphere. After the Tour caravan & Tour go by, we’ll follow the race back down to our «home base» in Luchon, and immerse ourselves in the ‘buzz’ of a Stage finish town evening.

Day 9 – Thursday, July 19: Another Tour Stage Up Close

This morning, the Tour Stage 17 start is right out the door of our hotel. We’ll be right in the middle of the action, well situated for taking photos and collecting autographs. After seeing off the Tour pros, we’ll get on our bikes and head towards Saint Gaudens, arriving in time to watch the stage finish live on TV after a dip in the local pool. Tonight we’ll dine and sleep near the Toulouse airport, sharing final memories of a fantastic adventure.

Day 10 – Friday, July 20 Au Revoir

We’ll shuttle you on a 10 minute transfer to Toulouse airport, where we’ll say au-revoir …but not goodbye!