- In: Tour de France
TOUR DE FRANCE - July 8-15, 2016*
2016 Itinerary Available Below
With this tour, after we pick up in Toulouse, we’ll follow the TdF for 7 days as it traverses the regions from the Tourmalet in the Pyrenees, across to Ventoux in Provence. We’ll base ourselves in just two locations, for 3 nights/4 nights each. We’ll enjoy daily rides with a couple of big rides thrown in, and have two viewings close to our bases, one passing our town of Arreau. Aspin on the first day, Ventoux on the last, with plenty of riding, viewing, eating and drinking in between, should be a ripper!
With a group limited to 13 places only, this will be a tour for riding and relaxing and following Le Grand Boucle without spending hours every day waiting for, and chasing the race. With a small group you’ll receive personal and attentive care for the length of the tour.
Tour de France Tour 1 - 2016
Tour de France Tour 1, 8/07/2016 – 15/07/2016 (Toulouse - Montpellier)
Pick-up: Toulouse Raliway Station - 8.00am, Tuesday July 8
Drop-off: Montpellier Airport/Railway Station - 10.00am, Monday July 15
Friday, July 8
Stage 7: L'Isle-Jourdain → Lac de Payolle, 162km
8.00am, meet at Toulouse Station for a transfer in the Topbike air-conditioned mini-bus to Arreau, at the base of today’s stage final climb – Col d’Aspin. All going well, we should have time to check into our hotel, set up our bikes, and ride up the aforementioned Col d’Aspin.
Christian Prudhomme's comment: As the Tour enters the Pyrenees, the pace should increase and the race enter a new dimension. The climb to the Col d'Aspin will be the only theater of battle on the day… in terms of climbing! But the descent, as splendid as it is technical, heading to the Lac de Payolle will also be a decisive exercise.
Excellent viewing on the first day of our tour! Post race we’ll return to our hotel, with enough time to enjoy an aperitif before our welcome dinner, inhouse.
Ride <50k medium
Saturday, July 9
Stage 8: Pau → Bagnères-de-Luchon, 183 km
Today’s TdF stage passes almost as close as yesterday’s. Over Col d’Aspin and turn left is the Horquette d’Anzican, where the stage will pass. It’s not a big climb, but is perfect for spectating and watching the riders coming up from a long way out. Alternately there is Col de Peyresourde just 17k from our base, which is the last of today’s climbs before the finale in Luchon. In fact, all 4 KOMs (inc Tourmalet) and the stage finish are under 40k from our base. So today, everything is possible. And, we should have time to return for another aperitif, followed by another great meal inhouse.
Ride <80k, hard
Christian Prudhomme's comment: "The great classic of the Pyrenees has been reconsidered for this 2016 edition of the Tour. After the Col du Tourmalet, the race will, for the first time, head up the Hourquette d'Ancizan from a different side, before taking on the Col de Val-Louron-Azet and Peyresourde! A battle with several levels where anything and everything can happen.
Sunday, July 10
Stage 9: Val d'Aran (ES) → Andorra Arcalis, 184 km
Today’s stage starts in Spain, and while as the crow flies, it’s not far – but we’re not crows. Instead, we’ll be climbing Tourmalet. It’s up and over Aspin, turn left at Campan and here the climb begins. We’ll picnic on top before returning back the way we came. If you climb Aspin twice and Tourmalet, you’ll clock up close to 4,000m of ascent in your day. But there’s always the Topbike van to get you home, too. Home to watch the end of the stage, in Andorra, live on the tele. Dinner locally inhouse once more tonight.
Ride <80k, hard
Rest Day, Monday July 11
Rest Day in Andorra
We’re moving house today, and while it’s a big transfer, it’s our only one for the entire tour (409km 4.5h). We’ll start the day with a ride out, over Peyresourde, where we’ll choose to tackle Port de Bales or take an easier option. There is no end to the choice here, plenty of hills, big and small prevail. Post ride and picnic, we’ll head off to Sommieres where we’ll spend our next four nights. Dinner inhouse tonight, or should that be ‘inmaison’?
Ride <80k med
Tuesday, July 12
Stage 10: - Escaldes-Engordany → Revel, 198 km
Today we will head out for a ride in our environs, on roads that many tours de France, in years gone by, have used. We’ll make sure we’re back in town to watch the finish of today’s stage live on the tele, in a bar, amongst the locals. Today’s stage takes the peloton out of the Pyrenees and as the long as the big boys of the bunch cope with the mountainous start, it should be a day where the sprinters previal. Not forgetting there’s also a little climb placed 6k before the finish. Last time the TdF was here, in 2010, it was Vinokourov who took the chocolates, breaking away on the final climb. Meanwhile in our accommodation, we can enjoy a swim in the rooftop pool, overlooking the town. Always in Sommieres there’s an aperitif before our welcome dinner, prepared by our hosts.
Ride <65k, med
Wednesday, July 13
Stage 11: Carcassonne → Montpellier, 164 km
Today’s TdF stage is once again fairly flattish and while the ‘depart’ is off to our west, the finish is very close by in Montpellier. We’ll aim to ride over to see the spectacle that makes up the finish of one of the days of the biggest annual sporting event in the world. This one is sure to be a day for the sprinters. We can return to our accommodation by bike or in the air conditioned van, and should have time for another aperitif by the pool followed by another home cooked meal in our accommodation tonight.
Ride <65k, med
Thursday, July 14
Stage 12: Montpellier → Mont Ventoux, 185 km
It’s Bastille day, and with Mont Ventoux on the menu, we’ll be making an early start. We’ll drive over to Bedoin, or nearby, and spend the day on the Ventoux. It’ll be hot and hard, and the race won’t get to the bottom of the climb before 4pm, but it’ll be fantastic. Ventoux always delivers. Transport home in the Topbike Van, aperitifs, and our final dinner inhouse. Fireworks over the town bridge after dinner, just wonderful.
Ride 40k plus, hard
Friday, July 15
If we do everything planned, there'll have been:
4 Days of excellent race viewing, incorporating 1 stage finish and 3 roadside views, all KOMs. We’ll also have ridden over 300k while we were at it, and climbed the Cols of Aspin, Peyresourde, Tourmalet, Port de Bales and Ventoux. After enjoying breakfast together, we’re off to Montpellier for a final drop off at the airport/railway station, 10.00am. For all of those not staying on, it’s pack-up time, and off to further destinations, au revoir.
This tour includes:
- All transport from Toulouse to Montpellier 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.