- Food is very important on this trip as it is vital to keep your energy levels topped up to aid recovery from the days ride. Our hotels in Le Fayet are close to a large selection of good quality cafes and restaurants. Lunch will be eaten in local cafes/restaurants or we will eat a picnic whilst watching the tour.
- Accom: hotel/lodge
- Cycling: drop bars
- Cycling: road
- New trip
- Guided Group
You will be welcomed by our local guide at the hotel in Seyne. Seyne is a commune in the Provence Alps department in south eastern France, situated in the picturesque Vallée de la Blanche between Digne and Gap. We will have a welcome meeting, time to prepare the bikes and an overview of the week’s itinerary before going into town for dinner.
Watch the tour coming to Gap.
Today is the first day of cycling and your first chance to see the Tour de France live! In the morning we will cycle up the Col des Garcinets (1185m); this is a great climb gaining 512 meters of altitude over 15km and is a perfect warm up for the week ahead. Once at the summit we cycle through the beautiful village of Jarjayes as we make our way to Gap to watch the finish of the TDF stage 16. We will arrive in Gap, park up the bikes and watch the parade of sponsors come through giving out freebees and snacks. Once the Parade has gone through and you can hear the sound of the TV helicopters in the distance then you know the riders are getting closer. The wave of sound gets louder and louder form the crowds lining the road until you can see the first rider in the distance, who will it be, Dan Martin, Rui Coster, Nairo Quintaina? After the riders have gone through we will have time to soak up the atmosphere in Gap before we ride back to Seyne through the Luye valley and the Gorges de la blanche.
Col du Pontis – Loop ride around Serre Ponçon Lake.
Today is a rest day for the tour, but not for us! We will go on a stunning ride around Serre Ponçon lake. The largest artificial lake in Europe is a great playground for cyclists with fantastic undulating roads and some challenging climbs. It was here in 2013 that Chris Froom won his third stage in the 100th edition of the TDF, beating his rivals in the individual time trial after announcing he was going to have a gentle day. This loop ride offers spectacular views as well as an ascent of the Col de Pontis (1301m) with an average gradient of 10,1% over 5 km.
Watch the tour in Pra Loup.
Today's ride takes us over the Col St. Jean (1158m) and through the lovely town of Barcelonnette before watching the tour on the climb up to the ski resort of Pra Loup (1630m). The Col St. Jean is a challenging climb gaining 1000m of altitude; it then levels out for a flatter section through the Ubaye Valley before the climb to Pra Loup starts in the town of Les Thuiles. The Climb to Pra Loup was the stage for one of the turning points in cycling history as it marked the end of Eddy Merckx's reign over the Tour de France. In 1975 after having won five editions of the Tour de France, “the Cannibal” suffered a major blow and some interference from the spectators on the final climb of the day, he lost the stage to Bernard Thevenet, the overall lead and his chance to win six consecutive TDF titles. We will stop near the top of the climb to find a good viewing point to see the riders, this mountain top finish is guaranteed to be a decisive stage in the 2015 tour and there should be a good battle between the favourites, Froom, Quintana and Contador. Once all the riders and team cars have crossed the line we will descend and have a picturesque ride back to the hotel in Seyne via the Gorges de la Blanche.
Transfer to Modane: cycle to Col du Mont Cenis -Aussois.
In the morning we transfer by bus to Modane. We will ride around the west side of the Maurienne Valley to Lanslebourg, from here we will climb the French side of the Col du Mont Cenis (2083m) which connects the Savoy region (France) with Piemonte (Italy). This road was built in the early 1800’s by Napoleon and has been climbed 5 times by the Tour de France. This is magical route on a perfect road with stunning views of the Southern Alps, as well as a brilliant possible detour up to the Col du Petit Mont Cenis. We then ride back to Modane along a very nice road with plenty of bar / cafe stop opportunities in Sardières and Aussois.
Watch the tour around la Toussuire.
In the morning we will cycle to the ski station at la Toussuire which was the finish point for stage 11 in the 2012 TDF, this was a famous stage in 2012 as it was when Chris Froom attacked his team mate and GC leader Bradley Wiggins on the final ascent. After an undulating start to the ride, the main climb starts in St Jean de Maurienne, it is 17.5km long at 6.7% average gradient all the way up to la Toussuire. We will stop near the top of the climb and watch the parade come through giving us another opportunity to stock up on free TDF souvenirs and snacks. The climb is very open near the top which allows us to see the riders coming up from a long way off. This is the second to last mountain top finish which will guarantee attacks from anyone wanting to contest the yellow jersey in Paris, and should make for great viewing from the road side. Once all the riders have gone through we will descend and ride back to the hotel in Modane.
Watch the tour at Modane / Col du Galibier.
Option 1: We will watch the tour depart from Modane; this is a great opportunity to get close to the riders as we can see all the teams sign on and warm up before the stage, we can also walk around the team cars getting a close look at the bikes and equipment they use. Then when the roads open in the afternoon we will climb the Col du Galibier (2642m) via the Col du Telegraphe (1566m). This is an amazing ascent made up of two summits and a must do for any cycling enthusiast. Option 2: We will leave very early in the morning to climb the Col du Telegraphe (1566m), at the summit we will stop at the café in Valloire to watch the tour go through. This will be a great point to watch the stage as the attacks will be constant up the climb, the col du Telegraphe is normally used as a launching point for the strong climbers in the peloton, allowing them to put some time into their rivals over the longer climb up the Col du Galibier. We will then follow the professional riders (but at a slower pace) over the Col du Galibier before a fantastic descent returning to the hotel in Modane.
Free morning before the trip ends.
Spend the morning in Modane before the trip ends here.