- In: Tour de France
CLIMBS OF LE TOUR - June 23 - July 3, 2015*
Ride the Cols of Madeleine, Glandon, Alpe d’Huez, Ventoux, Port de Pailheres, Portet d’Aspet, Col des Ares, Port de Bales, Peyresourde, Aspin, Anzican and Tourmalet, all regular features of the Tour de France, intertwined with a day riding amongst the vines of Provence. Plenty of good food feasting too!
Topbike Tours Itinerary 2015*
Topbike Tours 2015 Itinerary 'Feast of Ascension'
- Climbs of Le Tour 23/06/2015 – 03/07/2015
Tuesday June 23 2015 | Col de Tamie loop - Albertville
11.00am pick up from Grenoble railway station. Continue onto our accommodation at Albertville (82k, 1h). After everyone arrives and we have assembled bikes, we’ll roll out for ride in our environs. There’s a 45k loop with just over 1000m of ascent just to the west of town, that may suit us today.
Tonight we will enjoy our welcome dinner, prepared inhouse (Michelin-one-star-restaurant).
Ride: 45k with 1075m of climbing
Wednesday June 24 2015 | Albertville to Bourg d’Oisans over Madeleine & Glandon
Stage 11 of the 2012 TdF ran Albertville to La Toussuire - Les Sybelles, 140k over Col de la Madeleine, Croix de Fer and Col du Mollard, before tackling the climb towards the resort of La Toussuire. Today we’ll be happy to ride the first two climbs, before rolling down into Bourg d’Oisans. Take note, there’s beautiful views and spectacular scenery, all the way today.
Dinner inhouse tonight in Bourg d’Oisans.
Ride: (<150k, 3,000m+ asc)
Thursday June 25 2015 | Alpe d’Huez & Col de Sarenne, from Bourg
Alpe d’Huez squared today. We’ll ride out of Bourg d’Oisans and go straight up the most famous climb in cycling, Alpe d’Huez. Once on top, we’ll continue on, just as stage 18 did in the 100th edition of Le Tour. Continuing on over Col de Sarenne, we’ll descend down to the valley floor of Bourg, where we can once more tackle the 21 switchbacks. We can choose to descend back down the switchbacks, or add a little variety and descend on a ‘summer’ road, down the western side of the Alpe.
Dinner again inhouse tonight in Bourg d’Oisans.
Ride: (>80k, 2,200m+ asc)
This will, without doubt, be a long awaited and memorable day in the 100th edition of the Tour. For the first time, there will be a double helping of nerves for the riders who will be dreading the double climb of the Alpe d'Huez, and rightly so. With its notorious twenty-one hairpin bends, it is also one of the most telegenic climbs in France.
Friday June 26 2015 | Bourg to Sommieres, via Ventoux
Mont Ventoux is on the menu today, so we’ll pack up and leave after breakfast and drive to Bedoin (276k, 3.5h). Starting from Bedoin means we are straight into the 20k climb, although the initial kilometres amble gently through the grapevines, before the shady forest envelopes us. However, it’s not long before 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 Sommieres where we’ll relax for two nights.
(NB For the keen ones, there is always the chance to ride Alpe d’Huez one more time BEFORE brekky).
Ride: (40k, 1,500m asc)
Saturday June 27 2015 | 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: (bike 50-70k, as easy or hard,as you choose to make it) .
Sunday June 28 2015 | Sommieres to Camon
We’re on the move again, headed for Revel (240km, 2.5h) where we can ride the first half of Stage 14 from the 2010 Tour de France. We’ll pull off the course at Chalabre, after 76k, and continue on towards Camon for another 7k and tonight’s accommodation, where we will make use of the local Chateau.
Dinner inhouse tonight.
Ride: (85k with undulations)
Monday June 29 2015 | Port de Pailheres loop from Camon
Today we’ll tackle the major climb of 2013 TdF Stage 8, the first Pyrenean hilltop finish from that tour. From Camon, there’s one significant climb, and 140k to return. Heading south, at Axat we’ll turn right into the Gorges de St Georges, before turning right again to confront the Port de Pailheres (14.9 km, 8.1 % avg, 1207m asc, 2001m). Once on top we can enjoy a picnic lunch, with views to Spain. After the descent we’ll turn right and head for home through the Plateau de Sault. All up 140k, with plenty of climbing. Alternately we could choose the option to take it easy by the pool. Probably one to call on the day?
Dinner inhouse again tonight.
Ride: (<140k, 3000m+ asc)
Tuesday June 30 2015 | Camon to Arreau over a bunch of Cols
From Camon to our next accommodation is over 200k. We might cut that in half with a little transport, and start our ride in St Lary, from here we can ride a little more than 100k, and take in a few climbs from 2014 Le Tour's Stage 16. We’ll hit out with Portet d’Aspet (1,069m) followed by Col des Ares (797m) and Port de Bales (1755m). From the far side of Port de Bales, we’ll turn right (not left, into the stage finish town of Luchon) and go up one of the Stage 17’s climbs of Peyresourde (1569m). From the top of Peyresourde it’s only 17k home to Arreau.
Dining inhouse tonight, with the chance of an aperitif by the pool, beforehand, and a stroll around town after.
Ride: (<100k, hard)
Wednesday July 1 2015 | Tourmalet loop from Arreau
Today we’ll drive out of Arreau, going over Aspin the opposite direction (ride out option available-for hardnuts only) and start the 160k loop that takes us through Lourdes and Argeles Gazost, on our way to the western approach to Tourmalet, which is the route the 2012’s Le Tour followed. We’ll continue on over Tourmalet, returning to Arreau, well and truly shagged by the time we arrive, no doubt. This ride covers the middle part of 2012’s Stage 16 which starts in Pau, climbs the Aubisque, before the Tourmalet and Aspin en route to Peyresourde, finishing in the valley floor town of Bagneres du Luchon.
NB the suggested rideable loop is 110k, but you may include riding out and back over Aspin, only if you are a certified hardnut.
Ride: (bike <160k, <3500m asc)
Thursday July 2 2015 | Anzican loop from Arreau
Our hotel in Arreau has had the Tour de France pass it’s front door over 50 times, so it’s easy to find a quality loop around here. For our final day of climbing we’ve selected the Anzican loop. While col d’Aspin is just across the river, we can preface it with the climb of Hourquette d'Ancizan (used as the ultimate Pyrenees climb in 2013’s Stage 9 and in 2011’s Stage 12) it’s a 45k loop with just under 1500m of ascent, which is a perfect wind-down ride. For the afternoon we can take it easy by the pool as we pack our bikes, or take another wander around town.
Final dinner inhouse tonight.
Friday July 3 2015 | "Au revoir"
It’s pack up time for all of those not staying on, we’ll be on the road soon after breakfast, so we can be at Toulouse railway station by midday (145k, 2h) to ensure everyone makes their next connections.
If we do everything planned:
We’ll have ridden over 700k’s, climbed the cols of Madeleine, Glandon, Alpe d’huez (twice), Sarenne, Mont Ventoux, Port de Palheres, Portet-d'Aspet, col des Ares, Port de Balès, Peyresourde, Horquette d’Anzican, Aspin and the Tourmalet.
The following is a chart with the climb ascent details, in the direction we ride them:
This tour includes:
- All transport from Grenoble to Toulouse for you, your bike and one bag (in the Topbike air conditioned mini-bus)
- 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.