- In: Tour de France
TOUR DE FRANCE - July 7-13, 2015*
2015 Itinerary Available Below
With this tour, after we pick up in Paris, we’ll follow the TdF for 6 days as it traverses the regions from the Somme in Picardy, across to Brittany. We’ll base ourselves in just two locations, for 3 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 through our town of Dieppe. Cobbles for the first day, team time trial on the last, with plenty of riding and viewing 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 - 2015
Tour de France Tour 1, 7/07/2015 – 13/07/2015 (Paris - Rennes)
Pick-up: Paris Hotel - 8.00am, Tuesday July 7
Drop-off: Rennes Railway Station - 10.00am, Monday July 13
Tuesday, July 7
Stage 5: Seraing → Cambrai, 221 km
8.00am, meet at our Paris Hotel for a transfer in the Topbike air-conditioned mini-bus to the last section of cobbles on today’s stage.
All going well, we should have time to set up our bikes and get out for a ride on nearby local roads. Our viewing point is just 12k from today’s finish, and the stage covers 221k, the longest in this year’s tour. With seven sections of Pavé included, you can expect the peloton to be fully strung out (or blown to bits) before they pass us.
NB Six of the cobbled portions are used in Paris-Roubaix, in a distance of around 30 kilometres.
Excellent viewing on the first day of our tour! Post race we’ll be driving to our accommodation, a further 2 hours away, on the coast. Hopefully we’ll arrive with enough time to enjoy an aperitif before our welcome dinner, at a local restaurant.
Ride <50k medium
Wednesday, July 8
Stage 6: Arras → Amiens Métropole, 189 km
Today’s TdF stage is once again fairly flattish and while the ‘depart’ is quite a way to our north, the finish is in Amiens. 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. It’ll probably be a day for the sprinters, but note well (see below), what happened last time the race came here. We can return to our accommodation in the air conditioned van, and should have time for another aperitif, followed closely by another great meal in a local restaurant.
Ride <100k, med
In 2004, the peloton arrived in Amiens, on the road from Chartres, and a breakaway was successful. It included Thomas Voeckler, and subsequently launched the first day of his prestigious career in yellow. The stage was eventually claimed by another member of that group: the Australian Stuart O'Grady.
Thursday, July 9
Stage 7: Abbeville → Le Havre, 191 km
Today’s stage passes through Dieppe, at roughly the halfway point, allowing us a myriad of options. We can get out early on the course, riding as much or as little as we wish, in either direction. Ride to the start, finish or nearby feed zone, to view the goings on, or just stay put, and let the biggest bike race in the world ride on by, within walking distance of your hotel. The agony of choice! Dinner locally once more tonight.
Ride 100k, med
Friday, July 10
Stage 8: Livarot → Fougères, 190 km
We’re moving house today, and while it’s a big transfer, it’s our only one for the entire tour (357km 4.5h). We’ll start the day with a ride out, before aiming to catch part of today’s stage, en route. Roadside, maybe a feedzone, but definitely not far from a bar, with a tele, to view today’s sprint finish. Dinner inhouse tonight, or should that be ‘inmaison’?
Ride <60k med
Saturday, July 11
Stage 9: Rennes → Mûr de Bretagne, 179 km
Today stage start is to our south, just 25k. Out of the blocks the race heads north-ish, and in our direction, but just how close it comes is yet to be determined. We’ll take to the road to make sure we make the best of today’s stage. This could be a good day to head over and watch the start ‘goings on’.
Bearing in mind that the last time the race finished on the Mûr de Bretagne in 2011, it was Cadel Evans who took the win, in front of Contador who celebrated prematurely. Cadel, of course, continued on to take the overall that year.
Back to Hede for dinner ce soir.
Ride <100k, med-hard
Sunday, July 12
Stage 10: Vannes → Plumelec, 28 km Team Time Trial
It’s our final day of tour watching and it coincides with the only time-trial of this year’s Tour de France. While it’s an important one, being a Team Time Trial (TTT), it’s not long. This means the teams will be trying for maximum effort for half an hour. Expect carnage, in the form of dropped riders, to occur, mainly for the teams who haven’t done their preparation succinctly. Not forgetting we’re one-week into a three week race, which throws injury and fatigue into the mix. In TTTs conducted as part of a multi-stage road race, the highest ranked teams will start later. Later starters have the advantage of knowing what times they need to beat (and this also makes the event more interesting to spectators ie us!). We plan to ride 100k to Plumelec, to view the stage finish, with a transport home. Final dinner inhouse tonight.
Ride <100k, med-hard
Monday, July 13
Rest Day No.1: Rest day in Pau | "Au revoir"
If we do everything planned, there'll have been:
6 Days of excellent race viewing, incorporating 1 stage start, 2 stage finishes inc the TTT, and 3 roadside views, one on the Pavé and one passing close to our hotel. We’ll also have ridden over 300k while we were at it. After enjoying breakfast together, we’re off to Rennes for a final drop off at the 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 Paris to Rennes 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.