Topbike Tours - European Cycling Holiday Specialists

David Olle and Emma Colson

An Australian company, Topbike has a fully equipped European base and its own fleet of high quality hire bikes and E-bikes.

We specialise in quality cycling tours with small groups and are famous for looking after our clients.

+61 415 866 061 (mobile)
PO Box 1717 Collingwood VIC 3066 AUSTRALIA
holiday@topbike.com.au
- SINCE 1997 -

Tour de France 2020
All the Big Climbs

Topbike TDF Tour | July 10-20 2020
Toulouse - Grenoble

With this year’s TDF Tour we are taking a different strategy, and placing the focus on riding the best parts of France.

Topbike’s TDF tour will feature just ONE day of race viewing, in the Alps. We’ll be starting in the Pyrenees, have an alpine finish, and keep tabs on the race each day, via television in real time. We’ll have the opportunity to climb the famed Cols of Tourmalet, Peyresourde, Aspin, Alpe d’Huez, Glandon and Galibier amongst many others. With a mix of luxury accommodation and traditional hotels, haute and provincial cuisine. We’ll be finishing our tour this year in Grenoble.

Enjoy the thrill of climbing the celebrated TDF climbs of the Pyrenees & the French Alps and enjoy the French countryside and culture along the way…

Tour de France 2020 Ride All the Climbs - Pyrenees to The French Alps, Toulouse to Grenoble with Topbike Tours | July 10-20, 2020

2020 Tour Dates

Tour de France 2020
July 10-20 2020
(Toulouse – Grenoble)

The 2020 Tour de France will be the 107th edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling’s three Grand Tours.

From our start in Toulouse we’ll be riding every day and aiming to ride between accommodations, whenever possible. We’ll cover up to 1,000k and 15,000m vertical, in total for the complete tour. In the Pyrenees we’ll start in Arreau before moving to Camon. From here it’s a big jump up to Le Bourg d’Oisans in the French Alps.

With a group limited to 13 places only, this will be a tour for riding and relaxing and following Le Grand Boucle in real-time on the local tele 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.

2020 Tour Price: $7290 (AUD) per person
[Places are limited to 13 clients in total (with 3 staff).]

Rides will average 60-100k, along with >1000m vertical, per day. Extra k’s available on request!

11 Days/10 Nights
July 10-20 2020+ *
  • Destination

  • Tour Start / Finish

    Toulouse to Grenoble
  • Pick Up

    July 10 - Pickup Toulouse Railway Station: 10:00am
  • Drop Off

    July 20 - Drop off Grenoble Railway Station: 10:00am
  • Cycling Fitness/Experience

    Any + E-Bikes Available
1

Friday, July 10: Day 1

11.00am, we’ll meet at Toulouse Railway Station before we transfer to our accommodation in Arreau (drive 2h). After everyone arrives and we have assembled bikes, we’ll head out for a ride over Horquette d’Anzican, and return over Col d’Aspin. We’ll be back at our hotel to watch the finish of todays stage, live on the tele.

Stage 13 | Châtel-Guyon → Puy Mary Cantal - 191 km, Mountain

Christian Prudhomme’s comment: The journey through the Massif Central will, for the first time, finish at the Puy Mary and will feature the biggest elevation gain of the 2020 Tour with a total of 4,400 metres of climbing. Before taking on the final climb, the riders will have to deal with the Col de Ceyssat and the Col de Neronne. The favourites will need to be at their very best.

Accommodation

‘Logis de France’ Hotel, with spa.

Dining

Good In-house Restaurant

Ride: < 55km, < 1800m vertical

Terrain: One and a half big climbs, with steep parts. Excellent views of the Pyrenees all the way.

2

Saturday, July 11: Day 2

We’ll be riding 40k, to the top of the Tourmalet, and home again, if you’re keen. We’ll head out of Arreau, before riding up and over Aspin, which will lead us to the base of the Tourmalet. The top of Tourmalet is over 2100m, so it’ll be a good idea to take some warm clothes, as the weather can change pretty quickly up there, even in mid July. Post race we’ll return to our hotel, over Aspin. Tonight we’ll again dine inhouse.

Stage 14 | Clermont-Ferrand → Lyon - 197 km - Flat

Christian Prudhomme’s comment: As required in the tradition of the “bouchons lyonnais” (typical Lyon restaurants), the menu will be dense and promises a battle between the breakaway specialists, the climbers and the sprinters. First on the Monts du Forez where the riders will have to go up to the Col du Béal, and then mainly on the urban course of close to 15 kilometres in Lyon including three climbs: the Côte de la Duchère, followed by the Montée de l’Observance and finally the Côte de la Croix-Rousse just five kilometres before reaching the finish line.

Accommodation

‘Logis de France’ Hotel, with spa.

Dining

Good Inhouse Restaurant

Ride: < 90km, < 3500m vertical

Terrain: Three significant climbs, if you don’t ‘action’ the lift home over Aspin.

3

Sunday, July 12: Day 3

Col de Peyresourde is to the south of us, and it’s a gentle climb, all the way. Once on top of Peyresourde we’ll turn around, and partly descend back the way we came. Passing the corner that Jan Ullrich famously failed to take back on Stage 13 of the 2001 TdF – you can watch it here. A little further on we’ll turn left to Loudenvielle and face our second climb for the day, Col d’Azet. At a max height of 1600m it is very similar in profile to the Peyresourde. Once over the other side we’ll turn northwards at St Lary, and head for home (Arreau). Unless you want to climb the Pla d’Adet where Phil Anderson won the yellow jersey for the first time back in 1982? It’s all up to you!

Stage 15 | Lyon → Grand Colombier 07/12/2020 - Stage 15 - 175 km – Mountain

Christian Prudhomme’s comment: “At last” might say the relieved enthusiasts of what is also known as the “Bugey pyramid” who had been requiring a summit finish there for quite some time. And it’ll almost be an entire climb of the Grand Colombier that will be organised for this 15th stage with indeed three of the four access roads covered. The final climb of the mountain, the one where it won’t be possible to hide will start in Culoz. The battle promises to be intense on the eve of the second rest day!

Accommodation

‘Logis de France’ Hotel, with pool.

Dining

Restaurant in-house

Ride: < 60km, < 2000m ascent

Terrain:Two significant climbs, plus an option for a third, if you’re keen.

4

Monday, July 13: Day 4 ('Rest Day' - Le Tour)

We’re moving house today, in an easterly direction, but still in the Pyrenees. We’ll be aiming for the small and unknown town of Camon. We’ll transport out of Arreau, commencing our ride one valley over, at the base of the road leading to Col du Portet d’Aspet (where the memorial is, for Fabio Casartelli). We can decide on the day if we want to ride through to St Girons (about 60k) or beyond to Massat (about 90k). All of the roads in today’s ride have hosted many editions of the Tour de France.
We’re booked in to a chateau tonight, where we can dine in, after a quick dip in the pool and maybe an aperitif.

Accommodation

Unique chateau in the Pyrenees, beside an Abbey, in a very small town

Dining

Michelin Guide Restaurant, inhouse

Ride: < 100k, < 2000m vertical ascent

5

Tuesday, July 14: Day 5

Today we’ve got two choices:
No. 1 is to tackle the penultimate climb of 2013’s stage 8. From Camon, it’s a beautiful loop, and we ride out of our accommodation. We head through Quillan, and on through the Gorge of St George, to the base of Port de Pailhères, which at 2001 metres is rated ‘Hors Categorie’, ie an unclassified climb. Once on top we can enjoy a little picnic, before descending and turning right to finish off with a smaller climb. Here we can take the easy route home, back to the chateau again, via the Topbike van, or continue riding and complete the loop.
Our second choice is the option to take it easy by the pool. Probably one to call on the day?
In 2010 Christophe Riblon won stage 14, this from letour.com: The first stage in the Pyrenees did provide a showdown with the overall favourites as expected but there was only a little reshuffle of the top 10 of the general classification after the stage from Revel to Ax-3 Domaines. The story of the day was that an opportunist transformed himself into a winner. In 2008, Christophe Riblon’s best result was a silver medal in the points race of the track world championships, two years later he’s claimed a stage win in the world’s biggest road race. He escaped in the first 20km and held off the charge of the GC Brigade on the two huge mountains of stage 14.

Accommodation

Unique chateau in the Pyrenees, beside an Abbey, in a very small town.

Dinner

Michelin Guide Restaurant, inhouse

Ride: 145k, < 3000m vertical ascent

Terrain: A scenic valley ride, before one huge climb, followed by one smaller climb.

6

Wednesday, July 15 Day 6

Early start for a big day. We will pack up and get on the road to La Chambre, at the base of the Madeleine climb (drive 600k, 7h). Once here we’ll be riding up the infamous Madeleine, as far as we can get before the race arrives. Post ride we’ll be in the Topbike vans, and heading for Bourg d’Oisans, in the heart of the alps, and at the base of the most famous climb in cycling, Alpe d’Huez. Here we’ll bed down for five nights.

Stage 17 | Grenoble → Méribel Col de la Loze - 168 km – Mountain

Christian Prudhomme’s comment: Only a great champion will be able to win at the Col de la Loze! The stage profile invites the favourites of the Tour to be audacious. They don’t yet know the road that will take them on that day to the Col de la Madeleine and have no idea of what to expect once in the resort of Méribel. They’ll still have an extra 7 irregular kilometres to climb with several passages at over 20%.

Accommodation

Auberge in the Alps

Dinner

Traditional local French cuisine, home-cooked.

Ride: Unknown today, it will all be up to the Gendarmes, and how far we get up the Madeleine

7

Thursday, July 16 Day 7

Today we could enjoy a slow start and take it very easy over breakfast. We’ll tackle Alpe d’Huez later, and once up the top we’ll continue on, over the Col of Sarenne, used as a descent in 2013 when Alpe d’Huez was climbed twice.
We’ll follow the race route and complete the loop, and if anyone is keen they can have a second go at the most famous climb in cycling – all in the one day.

Stage 18 | Méribel → La Roche-sur-Foron - 168 km – Mountain

Christian Prudhomme’s comment: The course of the day is made for the most enduring climbers. Indeed over 4,000m of climbing will be on the menu. In the following order, the peloton will head up to the Cormet de Roselend, then the Col des Saisies followed by Les Aravis and finally the Plateau des Glières, a key location of the French Resistance, before continuing towards La Roche-sur-Foron.

Accommodation

Auberge in the Alps

Dinner

Traditional local French cuisine, home-cooked

Ride: < 60k, < 1700m vertical ascent

Terrain: One big climb out, followed by a big descent home.

8

Friday, July 17: Day 8

Glandon and Croix de Fer. Out and back ride. It’s two climbs in one, as when you turn off for the top of Glandon it’s only 100m and three k’s over to the top of Croix de Fer. The thing is, that once you’ve done Glandon, the thought of those extra three k’s can be too much for some. I kid you not. And it’s not downhill all the way home. At least twice you have to climb a k, which is not a lot of fun.

Stage 19 | Bourg-en-Bresse → Champagnole, 160 km – Flat

Christian Prudhomme’s comment: Two days before the end of the race, the title and podium contenders might have the freedom to start focusing on the challenge that awaits the following day. It’ll therefore be up to the sprinters having survived the Alps to seize this opportunity to shine. The finish is really made for strong men.

Accommodation

Auberge in the Alps

Dinner

Traditional local French cuisine, home-cooked

Ride: < 85k, > 2200m vertical ascent

Terrain: 1 BIG climb, but one not to be under-rated.

9

Saturday, July 18: Day 9

If you head out of our valley in an easterly direction it’s not that far to Italy, albeit over two climbs. However, we’re just going to the top of the first range, which is just 50k from our starting point. At Col du Lauteret, after 41k, we turn left and enjoy the final nine k’s to the top of the Galibier on a much quieter road, not the one through to Italy. (NB there are a couple of famous tunnels available, so this road does not carry all the traffic to Italy). On top of Galibier, after a breather and a few photos, we turn around and trace our tyre tracks back towards Bourg d’Oisans.

Stage 20 | Lure → La Planche des Belles Filles, 36 km - Individual time-trial

Christian Prudhomme’s comment: The end of Tour time-trials are the less predictable of the discipline. They’re even less when the course on the menu is an uphill climb like the one to La Planche-des-Belles-Filles, 5.9kms long at an average of 8.5%. If the gaps are small, the positions on the podium could dramatically change.

Accommodation

Auberge in the Alps

Dinner

Traditional local French cuisine, home-cooked.

Ride: < 70k, < 500m vertical ascent

Terrain: Beautiful scenic ride, over the plains of central France.

10

Sunday, July 19: Day 10

A beautiful loop today, starting with a roll out down the same road as yesterday, only in the opposite direction. We have a 26k warm up of flattish/descent before we turn off and start our first climb of the day. It’s 1000m in one bite, which peaks at 1400m, with a 7% average, known as Col de la Mort, which translates as ‘hill of the dead’. We’ll enjoy quiet rural roads with impressive views, as we descend into the neighboring valley and choose a picnic spot. The home route is over Col d’Ornon, which takes us back up to 1400m, albeit a little gentler. From the top of Col d’Ornon it’s a gentle descent back into the valley of Oisans, where our base is.

Stage 21 | Mantes-la-Jolie → Paris Champs-Élysées, 122 km – Flat

Christian Prudhomme’s comment: Emotions run high on the final stage of the Tour. Light hearted in the first part of the race when time has come to celebrate and congratulate one another with sometimes a sip of champagne. Then comes the pleasure of re-discovering every year the Île-de-France area and Paris of course. Finally there are the shivers, the flower bouquet on the Champs-Ẻlysées indeed remains one of the most coveted on the sprinting planet. Unless…

Accommodation

Auberge in the Alps.

Dinner

Traditional local French cuisine, home-cooked.

Ride: < 105k, < 2200m vertical ascent

Terrain: Beautiful scenic ride, over the plains of central France.

11

Monday, July 20: Day 11 | "Au Revoir!"

If we do everything planned, there’ll have been:

Just one day of race viewing. More importantly we’ll have ridden up to 1000k, climbed many mountains, including the famous Tourmalet, Peyresourde, Aspin, Ventoux, Alpe d’Huez, Glandon and Galibier amongst many others. 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.

Included in your tour is:

  • 11 days, 10 nights: all breakfast, dinners and accommodation.
  • All transport from Toulouse to Grenoble for you, your bike and one bag.
  • Bars and drink supplements
  • Full 5 Piece Topbike Cycling kit
  • Topbike’s experienced guides and mechanical support.
  • Topbike poetry and great dinner conversation
  • (See Topbike Tours Inclusions)
Please pack your bike in a collapsible bag or disposable cardboard box. 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. Please note all distances are approximate and subject to change.

2020 Topbike Tour de France Tour - July 10-20 2020

Toulouse - Grenoble

With this year’s TdF we are taking a different strategy, and placing the focus on riding the best parts of France. Our tour will feature just ONE day of race viewing, in the Alps. We’ll be starting in the Pyrenees, have an alpine finish, and keep tabs on the race each day, via television in real time. We’ll have the opportunity to climb the famed Cols of Tourmalet, Peyresourde, Aspin, Alpe d’Huez, Glandon and Galibier amongst many others.
(*NB: Locations shown above are approximate only.)