GAILLARD, FRANCE – In just a few months, fans and athletes from across the world will gather in the French Alps for the world’s biggest cycling event: the Tour de France. As the only cycling outfitter based in the French Alps, Cyclomundo is well-suited to offer trips that immerse travelers in the unique culture of the Alps and the Tour de France.
“Going for the Yellow” trip
This self-guided four-day trip will allow fans to watch some of the tour and ride some of the most famous climbs in European cycling. The trip follows stages 10-12 of the Tour, and provides access to classic climbs like the very challenging “Grand Colombier,” and relatively new challenges like the climb to La Toussuire, which was introduced in 2006.Each day’s trip is designed to allow participants to watch the pros on the Tour. They will have a spot right at the stage 11 finish line atop the climb to La Toussuire, and will watch stage 12 start in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.
The trip is scheduled for July 10-13, and costs 815 € ($1,065 U.S.) for each rider sharing a room.
L’Étape du Tour
For amateur cyclists looking to experience a day in the life of a Tour de France rider, L’Étape du Tour is easily the most popular option. French for “stage of the Tour,” the event will involve 8,500 cyclists, who will have a rare opportunity to ride the Tour’s 11th stage when the road is completely closed, just like it is for the professionals.
The groups will ride over Col de la Madeleine, Col de la Croix-de-Fer, and Col du Mollard before tackling the challenging climb to La Toussuire, where Cyclomundo travelers will stay during their trip. Travelers will stay three nights in La Toussuire.
The trip is scheduled for July 6-9, and costs 620 € ($810 U.S.)
The Alpes Open Tour
True Tour de France geeks will love this eight-day trip, where small groups of cyclists are given the opportunity to ride with professional Tour de France riders. The trip is designed for serious cyclists, and will cover more than 100 kilometers each day over some of the most famous climbs in European cycling.
Riders on the Alpes Open Tour will make legendary climbs like Alpe d’Huez and Col de Sarenne.
The trip will brush with Tour de France history in places like Pra Loup, the site of one of the Tour’s greatest finishes between Eddy Merckx and Bernard Thévenet. Riders may be able to hear about this piece of history from Thévenet (the victor) himself, as he is a regular on the Alpes Open Tour.
The presence of the pros and the sense of camaraderie forged between participating cyclists are the most important elements of this trip. It is an excellent opportunity for devoted riders to meet some of cycling’s heroes. Which pros will join the trip isn’t determined until a few weeks before the event, but among the “regulars” are David Moncoutié and Bernard Thévenet.
Now retired, Thévenet won the Tour in 1975 and 1977. He is perhaps best known for his nail-biting defeat of Eddy Merckx in ’75, when he ended five-time champion Merckx’s reign as Tour de France champion.
Celebrated for his climbing abilities, David Moncoutié has won two stages the Tour de France in his career with the French team Cofidis, and is the first cyclist to win the Mountains Classification (awarded for best performance on mountain climbs) of the Vuelta a España four consecutive times. Moncoutié has been a professional cyclist since 1997.
Cyclists will be able to mingle with the pros before each day’s ride and, for those who can keep up, at the feed stations along the way.
The trip is scheduled for Aug. 12-18, and costs 1,250 € ($1,633 U.S.) for each rider sharing a room.Tags: cycling, french alps, tour de france