- In: Tour de France
CLIMBS OF THE TOUR DE FRANCE
2017 Topbike Itinerary: July 1-11 2017*
Ride the famous climbs of the Tour de France, from the Pyrenees to the Alps, with a day in between riding amongst the vines of Provence. Plenty of good foodfeasting too!
Topbike Tours Itinerary 2017*
'Feast of Ascension'
- Climbs of Le Tour: July 1 - 11, 2017
Saturday July 1 2017
11.00am pick up from Toulouse railway station.
We’ll use the Topbike vans to travel to our accommodation at Arreau (144k, 2h).
After everyone arrives and we have assembled bikes, we’ll roll out for ride in our environs. There’s col d’Aspin just across the river, which we can preface with the climb of Hourquette d'Ancizan (used as the first Pyrenean climb in 2016, in stage 9 2013 and in 2011’s stage 12) it’s a 45k loop with just under 1500m of ascent, that may suit us today.
Tonight we will enjoy our welcome dinner, prepared inhouse.
Our accommodation tonight is in Arreau, in a hotel we have used many times, conveniently located on a regular tour road. In fact Le Tour has passed out front of our hotel. >30 times. And let’s not forget the real Tour de France starts today too, so we’ll be able to catch that live, on the tele...
Ride: 45k with 1075m of climbing
Sunday July 2 2017
Today we’ll ride out of Arreau, going over Aspin the opposite direction to yesterday, and have a crack at the eastern approach to Tourmalet. We’ll stop on top of the mountain, maybe enjoy a picnic, before turning around to return to Arreau. If you want to climb Aspin again on the way home, you’ll be well and truly shagged by the time you arrive, no doubt.
Ride: <80k, <2800m asc
Monday July 3 2017
We’ll ride south out of Arreau and once over the Cat 1 of Peyresourde we’ll turn left, well before Bagnerres du Luchon. Here we’ll select climbing gears (again), going up-up-up the Hors Categorie climb of Port de Bales, followed by a long descent. At the base is Mauleon-Barousse, and here we will stop for a picnic, ending the day’s ride. After lunch and in the car, we’ll stop on Portet d’Aspet, where we can visit the memorial to Fabio Casartelli.
We’ll continue onto our little chateau in Camon tonight. After arrival we can freshen up for dinner inhouse.
Ride: 100k, <2500m asc
Tuesday July 4 2017
Today we’ve got two choices, no. 1 is to tackle the penultimate climb of 2013’s stage 8. From Camon, it’s a beautiful loop starting through the Gorge of St George, to the base of Port de Pailhères, which at 2001 metres is rated ‘Hors Categorie’ ie an unclassified climb. Once on top we can enjoy a little picnic, before descending and turning right to finish off with a smaller climb up towards the town of La Fajolle. Here we can take the easy route home, back to the chateau again, via the Topbike van, or continue riding and complete the loop. Our second choice is the option to take it easy by the pool. Probably one to call on the day?
Ride: 140k, <3000m asc
In 2010 Christophe Riblon won stage 14, this from letour.com: The first stage in the Pyrenees did provide a showdown with the overall favourites as expected but there was only a little reshuffle of the top 10 of the general classification after the stage from Revel to Ax-3 Domaines. The story of the day was that an opportunist transformed himself into a winner. In 2008, Christophe Riblon’s best result was a silver medal in the points race of the track world championships, two years later he’s claimed a stage win in the world’s biggest road race. He escaped in the first 20km and held off the charge of the GC Brigade on the two huge mountains of stage 14.
Wednesday July 5 2017
After breakfast we’ll drive to the town of Assignan, where 2017’s stage 11 passed, midway through. Getting on our bikes, from here we’ll follow the stage route, heading east towards Montpellier. It’s approximately 80k to Montpellier, so at some stage we’ll sweep everyone up and finish the drive to Sommieres, 30k the other side of Montpellier.
Ride: <80k, flattish
Thursday July 6 2017 | Rest day - Sommieres
We’ll have a bit of rest day here in Provence, no early start, no rushing, we have all day to find a loop around our little town of Sommieres. Le Tour has passed through here many times, and we will ride some of these roads as we traverse through the vineyards, maybe even enjoying a picnic lunch en route. Hopefully we will return home in time for a short siesta before venturing out for dinner in the historic centre of town. We will surely even traverse the road used in this sketch.
Ride: 50-70k, as easy or hard,as you choose to make it
Friday July 7 2017
Mont Ventoux is on the menu today, so we’ll pack up and leave after breakfast and drive to Malaucene (135k, 1.5h). Starting from here means we’ll have a little warm up into Bedoin, before we commence the infamous 20k climb. Although the initial kilometres amble gently through the grapevines, before the shady forest envelopes us, it’s not long until we are on the bare and exposed upper moonscape parts of the climb, that we all know so well from the TV coverage we have watched over the years. Nothing compares to riding it though, under a hot Provencal sun. Later we’ll continue onto our accommodation in Bourg d’Oisans, where we’ll relax for three nights.
Ride: 64k, >1,700m asc
Saturday July 8 2017
Bourg d’Oisans is a small old town on the valley floor, close to the start of cycling’s most famous climb. So the options for today are, we’ll do Alpe d’Huez, once, or even twice, if you desire? A 70k loop with Col du Sarenne in between will be enough for most people. Alternately we can visit one of the many other climbs in the area. Riding out to La Berarde has always been a Topbike favorite, as they serve good frites at the turn around point. Not forgetting Galibier and Les Deux Alpes are also reasonable drawcards. Alternately there is always the capacity to enjoy a restday, taking in the wonderful surrounds, from a coffee table on the quiet main street. The agony of choice!
Ride: <75k, 2500m asc depending on your choice
Sunday July 9 2017
Ride: Whatever didn’t get done yesterday can be completed today. Galibier, Les Deux Alpes (where Pantani secured victory in the ’98 TdF), Col d’Ornon, the ride to La Berarde or even Alpe d’Huez, again! The choice is yours, this valley is a magnificent place to ride your bike and waste time preciously.
Monday July 10 2017
Riding out of Bourg, we’ll immediately start with Col du Glandon (21.6k, at 5.1%). That should be a pretty good warm up, so with one big col out of the way, we’ll finish with the small fish of Col de la Madeleine (19.2k at 7.9%) and we should be well and truly shagged by the time we’ve climbed these two monsters, no doubt.
Ride: 130k, >2,500m asc
For our final night together we’re further north in the alps, in the scenic surrounds of Albertville. Very peaceful.
Tuesday July 11 2017
It’s pack up time for all, we’ll be on the road soon after breakfast, so we can be at Grenoble railway station by 11.00am (85k, 1h) to ensure everyone makes their next connections.
If we complete every ride:
We’ll have ridden close to 1,000k’s (and climbed over 15,000 metres) including Hourquette d’Ancizan, Col d’Aspin, Col du Tourmalet, the Peyresourde, Port de Bales, Port de Pailheres, Mont Ventoux, Col d’Ornon, Alpe d’Huez, Col de Sarenne, Col du Glandon and Col de la Madeleine.
Included in your tour is:
- All transport from Grenoble to Toulouse for you, your bike and one bag, accommodation, all breakfasts and all dinners. You will also receive a full 2017 Topbike kit. Also included is your experienced and knowledgeable guides, maps, training tips, coaching (if required) and mechanical back-up for your bike. Please also see our recommended list of things to bring.
- See the full list of inclusions on all Topbike Tours
- Please pack your bike in a collapsible bag or disposable cardboard box.
[See our FAQ's and recommendations section on packing your bike]
- Please also see our recommended list of things to bring, it is most important to bring front and rear flashing lights.
- NB: The itinerary above is to be used as a guide only, as Topbike Tours are well known for making use of all (and creating some extra) opportunities, expect that variations from the above can happen at any time.