- In: Tour de France
CLIMBS OF THE TdF - JUNE 19 - 29, 2013
Ride the climbs from 2013's Tour de France, all Alps and Pyrenean stages with a day in between riding amongst the vines of Provence.
Topbike Tours Itinerary 2013
Climbs of the Tour de France 19/06/2013 – 29/06/2013
Thursday, June 19
11.00am pick up from Toulouse railway station. We'll use the Topbike vans to continue onto 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 ultimate Pyrenees climb this year in Stage 9 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 2012's stage 16 route. In fact Le Tour has passed our hotel approx 50 times.
Friday, June 20
After breakfast we'll transport an hour by car to the start town of St Girons, where stage 9 starts. Le Tour's website says 'This is where those attacking riders who are at home at high altitude will get the chance to combine showmanship with efficiency'. Today, for most of us, we'll be happy to combine showmanship with finishing the ride, completing as much of the 5 murderous climbs as we can. It will have an affect, guaranteed. Aside from that, there's beautiful views and spectacular scenery, also guaranteed. NB we will also pass the monument to Fabio Casartelli today (<165k, 4,500m+ asc). Back to Arreau tonight, which is on the route.
Stage 9 runs Saint-Girons to Bagnères-de-Bigorre, 165km over Col de Portet-d'Aspet (5,4 km à 7%) Col de Menté (7 km à 8,1%) Col de Peyresourde (13,1 km à 7,1%) Col de Val Louron-Azet (7,4 km km à 8,3%) La Hourquette d'Ancizan (9,9 km à 7,5%).
Saturday, June 21
We'll drive out of Arreau, to stage 8's mid-route town of Limoux. Here we'll have skipped the entrée of flat riding, and saddle up for the main courses, starting with the gorgeous gorge ride, down to the base of Port de Pailheres. In total it's only 95k to the finish at the top of AX 3 Domaine, but we'll know all about it. In the last two years we've ridden this route twice, in fog and 40'+. Let's see what 2013 brings. Bedding down tonight in a little chateau, not too far from where we finish today. Dinner inhouse. (95k, >2,300m asc)
Stage 8: Castres to Ax-3 domaines, 194km.
Sunday, June 22
We'll be transitioning today, to a midpoint, halfway between the Pyrenees and the Alps. Sommieres, Provence. Not too far from Ventoux, is where we relax tonight, after a short afternoon ride. Le Tour has passed through here many times, and we will ride some of these roads as we wind our way through the vineyards. We will surely even traverse the road used in this sketch. Hopefully we will return home in time for a short siesta before venturing out for walk around the historic centre of town. We'll dine inhouse on a meal supplied by our hosts. (bike 50-70k, as easy or hard, as you choose to make it)
Monday, June 23
Stage 15's 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 Gap, where we'll relax for two nights. (64k, >1,700m asc)
Stage 15: Givors to Mont Ventoux, 242km.
Tuesday, June 24
Stage 17: Embrun to Chorges, ITT, 32km. It's not a big stage, and it's not ALL uphill, but it is 'overall' uphill. And we'll want to give it a good shake. So we will give it our best, over the complete 32k and see how we come up at the end. Back in Gap tonight. (<35k 2,000m asc)
Wednesday, June 25
Stage 18: Gap to l'Alpe d'Huez, 168km. Today we have two choices, no. 1 is to ride the complete stage and cover Alpe d'Huez twice. While the 2nd option starts in the same manner, ie riding out of town, we'll go over two Cols (Manse & Ornon) and complete 105k into Bourg. Leaving the final half of the stage for tomorrow. Probably one to call on the day. We'll be staying in Bourg d'Oisans tonight, in the shade of Alpe d'Huez, and right in the heart of the French alps, there's no other place like it. (105/168k, hilly or extra hilly)
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. .
Thursday, June 26
We've two nights in Bourg d'Oisans, so the options for today are, we'll either finish yesterday's stage (Alpe d'Huez, twice), or 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! (<75k, 2500m asc depending on your choice).
Friday, June 27
Stage 19: Bourg d'Oisans to Le Grand Bornand, 204km Riding out of Bourg, we'll immediately start with Col du Glandon (21.6k, at 5.1%) followed by Col de la Madeleine (19.2k at 7.9%). That will be a good warm up, so with the big cols out of the way, we'll finish with the small fish of Col de Tamié (8.6k at 6.2%) Col de l'Épine (6.1k at 7.6%) and Col de la Croix Fry (11.3k at 7%) and be well and truly shagged by the time we arrive, no doubt. (204k, >4,500m asc) Tonight we're further north in the alps, and we'll be in the scenic surrounds of Lake Annecy. Very peacful.
Saturday, June 28
Stage 20: Annecy to Annecy-Semnoz, 125kmOur final day and the final stage of Le Tour 2013. We'll wind down with a little jaunt, of approx 3,000m ascent. There's a little roly-poly before we get to Mont Revard (15.9 k at 5.6%) and Annecy-Semnoz (10.7k at 8.5%) the two big ones of the day. It's a fairly reasonable 125k, and the perfect way to finish our tour. We'll ensure we're home in time to watch the finish of today's opening stage of the 2013 Tour de France, live on the tele. Dinner for our final night will once more be on the banks of Lake Annecy.
Christian Prudhomme (TdF race director) writes on letour.fr
Anything could still happen during this penultimate stage, where only the first part of the race, around Lake Annecy, will be on the flat. After this, a group of climbs, to include Mont Revard, should see a number of attacks. The unprecedented finish in Semnoz involves climbs which are sharp enough to cause a last minute upset....
Sunday, June 29
It's pack up time for all, we'll be on the road soon after breakfast, so we can be at Geneva railway station/airport by 11.00am (60k, 1h) to ensure everyone makes their next connections.
If we do everything planned:We'll have ridden over 1,000k's (and climbed over 20,000 metres) including Hourquette d'Ancizan, Col d'Aspin, Portet-d'Aspet, Col de Menté, Peyresourde, Col de Val Louron-Azet, Port de Pailheres, Ax-3-Domaine, Mont Ventoux, Chorges, Col de Manse, Col d'Ornon, Alpe d'Huez (twice), Col de Sarenne, Col du Glandon, Col de la Madeleine, Col de Tamie, Col de l'Épine, Col de la Croix Fry, Mont Revard and Annecy-Semnoz.
The following is a chart with the climb ascent details, in the direction we ride them:
This tour includes:
- All transport from Toulouse to Geneva for you, your bike and one bag (in the Topbike air conditioned mini-bus)
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- 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.