- In: Tour de France
TOUR DE FRANCE - JULY 12-22 2013
Lyon – Paris, The Beaujolais-Provence-Alps-Paris experience. Starting in Lyon and finishing in the Champs-Élysées of Paris via the Alps. Topbike’s ‘Tour de France 2’ includes 6 Days of race viewing, incorporating, 1 stage start, 1 stage finish, 4 KOMs and 2 roadside views.
Tour de France 2: PARIS 12/07/2013 – 22/07/2013
Topbike Tours Tour de France
Tour 2 - PARIS Itinerary 2013
Friday, July 12
Stage 13, Tours to Saint-Amand-Montrond, 173 km
11.00am, meet at Lyon railway station, transfer to our accommodation in Noailly (drive approx 1.5h). After everyone arrives and we have assembled bikes, we can roll out for a ride in our local environs, on roads used in many Tours de France in days gone by. We’ll catch the end of today’s stage on tele in a local bar, before we dine inhouse (or inchateau) tonight, with a meal prepared by our hosts (Bike 50k easy).
Saturday, July 13
Stage 14, Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule to Lyon, 191 km
We’re located close to the midway point on today’s stage, so this morning, after breakfast, we’ll saddle up and head out to the roads today’s stage will use, not far from our hotel. We’ll ride part of the stage, basing ourselves at either a sprint point or feedzone, and await the complete tour caravan, plus the main event, 180 skinny guys in lycra riding through the sunflowers. Tonight we’ll again dine inhouse (Bike 70-80k, med).
Sunday, July 14
Stage 15, Givors to Mont Ventoux, 242 km
Sunday in France and Mont Ventoux is on the menu. We’ll be taking to the road early, and heading for Bedoin, at the base of Ventoux. Here we’ll be able to take to the bikes and venture up Ventoux as far as the crowds and Gendarmes will permit, to make the most of the tour’s longest stage. It will be a massive moonscape day, guaranteed. As a back up there is a well positioned bar in Bedoin, on the race route, that will allow you to see the riders pass by, and then watch the final battle up the hill on the flat screen inside. Alternately you can make your way up to Le Chalet Reynard, just short of Tom Simpson’s memorial, and spectate from there. I don’t know which will be crazier though! Once the race has passed we’ll head off to our next accommodation, in nearby Avignon. With a bit o’ luck there may be duck on the menu tonight too (Bike 50-60k hard). Ventoux is never easy!
Monday, July 15
Rest Day, Vaucluse province (Avignon, Orange)
Today is the tour rest day, and we have the option to take it easy too. The pro’s could be on the roads in our area, so we can ride a circuitous loop on roads that have hosted the passing of many tours de France, and maybe even venture over to Ventoux again, for a crack at the big one, without Le Tour on site. We’ll ensure we enjoy a roadside stop for lunch in a sidewalk café, before returning to our hotel to spend the afternoon by the pool, or maybe even explore, on foot, the bridges of Avignon. Dinner inhouse again tonight (bike <100k, med).
Tuesday, July 16
Stage 16, Vaison-la-Romaine to Gap, 168 km
Stage start today, just up the road at Vaison la Romaine. Well, just up the road at 55k, so it’ll be a good warm up ride. Here we’ll watch the circus that manages somehow, to get each stage underway. Team cars, buses, crowds, officials, podium girls, VIP’s and believe it of not, some bike riders. It’s a sparkling affair and worth catching before it all disappears before your eyes. After a bite of lunch we’ll transport (260k, 3.5h) up to the valley of the Oisans, and our next accommodation, inbetweenst Glandon and Alpe d’Huez.
Wednesday July 17
Stage 17, Embrun to Chorges, ITT, 32 km
The valley of the Oisans is privy to many of the famous climbs of cycling, but I think we will all be pre-occupied with just one today. Alpe d’Huez, and while we here, let’s ride it twice in the one day, just to be sure we don’t miss anything. It’s a great opportunity for a little reconnaissance too, given that the pro’s ride will be up it twice tomorrow. We’ll do with enough spare time to catch the end of today’s stage live on tele at the bottom of Alpe d’Huez, Bourg d’Oisans. Perfect!
Thursday, July 18
Stage 18, Gap to l’Alpe d’Huez, 168 km
Alpe d’Huez, squared. The most famous climb in cycling is a double feature today. First time ever. If dutch corner ever had the possibility to be wilder than it’s normal self, today will be the day. Just imagine if a Dutchman was in the lead on one of the passes. Yes, not much chance presently, so you will have to imagine. Still, it’s a wonderful place to watch the tour from. You can get a little taste for it with this clip we made for our tv show a few years back. Ride the climb, watch twice on the climb, it will be massive.
Friday, July 19
Stage 19, Bourg d’Oisans to Le Grand Bornand, 204 km
A stage start in town is extremely convenient, so we can ride into town and get a look at what it takes to get the complete Tour de France show on the road. Alternately we can head out of town, aiming for the top of the first climb, col de Glandon. Today’s race route passes not far from our accomm, so it gives us a good opportunity to watch the riders crest one of the biggest climbs in the french alps. If you’re really keen, the Madeleine also beckons, although it would be 165k there and back. Glandon return would give us 70k, with over 1,500 metres of ascent, and a good look at the peloton too.
Saturday, July 20
Stage 20, Time Trial, Annecy to Annecy-Semnoz, 125km
Now that the race has left us we’ll get to have a crack at Col de Galibier, just like the skinny lycra brigade did a couple of years ago. There’ll be a few options, we could transport to the base of the Telegraphe and ride the complete stage 19 from 2011 (Modane Valfréjus to Alpe-d’Huez, 109.5 km) where Cadel experienced a mechanical, but managed to stay calm and maintain his hold on the race. Or ride out from Oz en Oisans, for an easier day. Probably one to call on the day (<110k and three KOM’s, roughly 3500m of ascent). Enough for a final day.
Sunday, July 21
Stage 21, Versailles to Paris/Champs-Elysées, 118km
Driving up to Paris today, but as there is an twilight finish, there is no need to rush. After arriving at our hotel, located less than 500m from the Champs Elysees, and even closer to the Arc de Triomphe which is used for the first time this year, we can promenade up the road to view the ultimate spectacle, the 3 week race that laps a nation (and the only sporting event that you need to get a haircut during the course of). It culminates with its final laps on one of the world’s most famous boulevards, as the sprinters have their ultimate battle, and hopefully it will be another win for the Aussies.
Monday, July 22
We’ll have an early start, hitting the road for an early morning’s ride around Paris. The best way to see this beautiful city, all before breakfast.
If we do everything planned, there'll have been:6 Days of race viewing, incorporating, 1 stage start, 1 stage finish, 4 KOMs and 2 roadside views. We’ll also have ridden over 500k, climbed many mountains including the famous Ventoux, Alpe d’Huez twice, or even thrice, Col de Glandon, Cols de Telegraphe and Galibier. I think that’s enough for anyone! After enjoying breakfast together, 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 Lyon to Paris 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.