- In: Tour de France
TOUR DE FRANCE - July 18-28, 2014
Grenoble – Paris, The Alps-Pyrenees to Paris experience.
Topbike’s ‘Tour de France 2 PARIS’ includes 7 Days of race viewing, incorporating, 1 stage start, 2 stage finish’s, 2 KOMs and 2 roadside views.
Topbike Tours Tour de France
Tour 2 - PARIS 2014 Itinerary
Tour de France 2: PARIS 18/07/2014 – 28/07/2014
Friday, July 18
Stage 13: Saint-Etienne → Chamrousse, 200 km
10.00am, meet at Grenoble railway station, transfer to our accommodation in Vaujany (drive approx 1.5h).
After everyone arrives and we have assembled bikes, we can roll out for a ride that will take us up the backway to near the stage finish at Chamrousse. We’ll dine inhouse (or inchateau) tonight, with a meal prepared by our hosts. (Bike <100k with climbs)
Saturday, July 19
Stage 14: Grenoble → Risoul, 177 km
We’re located close to the 50k point on today’s stage, but even closer to the most famous climb known to cyclists. So this morning, after breakfast, we’ll saddle up and head out up Alpe d’Huez (we’re just a perfect warm up distance from the base). We’ll ride the final part of last year’s stage 18, over the top, across Col du Sarenne, and out the back to Mizoen, where we can watch the race pass, as the road starts to kick up towards the Cat 1 of Lauteret. Once they’ve passed we can have a go at a 2nd Alpe d’Huez, before watching the stage finish in a bar atop the Alpe. Later we can return to Vaujany on back roads. Tonight we’ll again dine inhouse (Bike <100k, med/hard).
Sunday, July 20
Stage 15, Tallard → Nîmes, 222 km
Sunday in France and we’ll be transporting ourselves to the Pyrenees (600k, 7h). We’ll be crossing today’s flat stage on the way, but more than likely we’ll opt for catching the end of today’s stage on the tele, in a small bar en route. Tonight we’re located in the foothills of the Pyrenees, in a small town, with a large chateau. With a bit o’ luck there just may be duck on the menu tonight too.
Monday, July 21
Rest Day, Carcassonne
As it’s a rest day today we’ve got three choices, no. 1 is to tackle the final half of 2013’s 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 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 over 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 mosey on over to Carcassonne and spend the day in the heritage listed town, taking a coffee while pro-spotting, as the teams have their rest day here. Our third choice is the option to take it easy by the pool. Probably one to call on the day? (<120k, 3000m+ asc)
Tuesday, July 22
Stage 16, Carcassonne → Bagnères-de-Luchon, 237 km
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 today’s stage climbs of Portet d’Aspet (1,069m), Col des Ares (797m) & 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 next day’s climbs of Peyresourde (1569m). From the top of Peyresourde it’s only 17k home to Arreau. At some point the race will overtake us, and we will be forced to watch the main event pass us by, not too much of an inconvenience really. Dining inhouse tonight, with the chance of an aperitif by the pool, beforehand, and a stroll around town after. (<100k, hard)
Wednesday July 23
Stage 17: Saint-Gaurdens → Pla d'Adet, 125 km
The final half of today’s stage passes just south of our lodgings, so we can choose to ride to the stage finish directly, 40k return, or take in the final 3 climbs of the stage. That will be Col de Peyresourde (1569m) again, but from a different approach. After that it’s just Col du Val Louron Azet (1580m) between you and the finish climb of St Lary Soulan – Pla d’Adet (1680m). That will make the ride <80k, with PLENTY of climbing! Back home, aperitif by the pool, dinner inhouse etc. etc.
Thursday, July 24
Stage 18: Pau → Hautacam, 145 km
Just over the closest climb from our base at Arreau, is where today’s stage will pass. So it’s up and over Col d’Aspin (1,489m) and down to Campan for a little stage viewing. For those with a little more taste for adventure, there’s Col d’Tourmalet (2,115m) just up the road. One of the original mountains from when the Tour de France first visited the Pyrenees, in 1910 – it’s well worth the effort, particularly on ‘tour’ day. Back to Arreau tonight, aperitif by the pool, dinner inhouse etc. etc. (Ride 90k with 3 big climbs)
Friday, July 25
Stage 19: Maubourguet → Bergerac, 208 km
The Tour de France is done with the Pyrenees now, and is heading north for Paris. We’ll depart Arreau early and head for Maubourget to get amongst the stage start proceedings. Here we’ll watch the TdF circus assemble, watch the riders as they sign on, leave the safety of the buses, and take to the road. Later we’ll continue further north, arriving in the Dordogne with enough time to get out for a ride, and catch the last part of today’s sprinter’s stage on the tele in a bar. We’ll be staying in the Dordogne tonight, with another dinner inhouse.
Saturday, July 26
Stage 20: Individual Time Trial Bergerac → Périgueux 54 km
Traditional ITT viewing today. We’ll ride to a town on the course, where we can watch the riders pass one by one, enjoy a course side lunch, and catch up on a little of the live action we’re missing on a tele in a local bar. A lovely way to spend our last day in rural France.
Sunday, July 27
Stage 21: Evry → Champs-Elysées (Paris), 136 km
Driving up to Paris today (560k, 6h) so an early start is necessary. After arriving at our hotel, located less than 500m from the Champs Elysees, we can promenade up the road to view the ultimate spectacle, the end of the three 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. Dinner locally tonight, in our regular Parisian restaurant.
Monday, July 28
We’ll have an early start, hitting the road for a brisk morning’s ride around Paris. The best way to see this beautiful city, all before breakfast. We’ll take in the Arc de Triomphe, Place de Concorde, the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Montmarte, Sacre Couer and a coffee at the bar where the movie ‘Amelie’ was filmed.
If we do everything planned, there'll have been:7 Days of race viewing, incorporating, 1 stage start, 2 stage finish’s, 2 KOMs and 2 roadside views. We’ll also have ridden over 500k, climbed many mountains including the famous Alpe d’Huez (twice), Portet d’Aspet, Col des Ares, Port de Bales, Peyresourde (twice), Col du Val Louron Azet , Pla d’Adet, Col d’Aspin (twice) and Tourmalet. 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 Grenoble 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.
Comparing 2014 TDF to previous years...
*(Cat 2, 1, HC)