Thomson Tales

Let’s Go Again — The Greatest Tour de France of a Generation


The yellow jersey descends furiously, desperate to make up for the cracks finally appearing in his swashbuckling armour. Distant hailstones shatter mechanically, turning grey tarmac to white. A snow plough fights a losing battle as the leaders are told to stop in glorious sunshine. The race is over. Won by a landslide. The greatest Tour de France of a generation is won and lost as if scripted in the offices of Hollywood.

The future of stage racing has never looked more exciting, France finally has cycling heroes who can truly challenge for the highest of honours, a new Grand Tour Champion is crowned at the age of 22 and a new generation of sprinteurs, puncheurs and breakaway men are burning bright. The Tour de France celebrated 100 years of the Maillot Jaune and half a century since the great Eddy Merckx’s first win. Fittingly the 2019 edition was filled with panache, flair and romance and our guests on KOM cycling trips and Spectator trips can proudly say “we were there” to witness it.

Egan Bernal, Tour de France Champion 2019

Enjoy the Tour with Thomson

With a perfect mix of live race-viewing and challenging and rewarding rides on the legendary routes and climbs of the Tour de France, our trips have earned us the status of number one Official Premium Tour Operator. From the VIP Departure and Arrival villages, to our private hospitality marquees on the roadside, from the extensive, fully supported ride programme to the best planned routes on famous climbs and unknown cols alike. Thomson Bike Tours is the best place to experience the Tour de France.

The Pyrenees, July 2019

Riding The Tour

Our KOM cycling trips are built around the Tour, giving you the chance to ride the year’s best climbs plus famous Cols from previous editions. This year we took on the best the Pyrenees has to offer from Col de Peyresourde to the Col d’Aspin, Hourquette, Portet and the mighty Tourmalet. Riding over the road graffiti and through the sea of waiting motorhomes adds an extra layer of electricity to the buzz of excitement. Into the Alps and onto the Alpe d’Huez, Galibier, Col de L’Iseran and Croix de Fer – the scenes of so many decisive Tour attacks. Following the wheels of the greatest champions, villains and heroes.

Motorhomes line the route of the Col du Tourmalet
Motorhomes line the route of the Col du Tourmalet

Private Hospitality Marquees

On each trip we set up our private hospitality marquees, usually near the summit of a key climbing stage. After climbing yourself, cheered on by the waiting fans as the tension builds, you’ll be greeted by our incredible roadside vantage point. You will enjoy the wild Tour de France scene from the comfort of our marquees with food, drinks, and satellite TV race coverage keeping you entertained as we wait for the peloton to approach.

Shelter from the beating sun and enjoy cold beers and live TV

VIP Access

When we say VIP access we mean it. On multiple stages you’ll be able to see the teams and riders at the Departure village and watch them cross the line at the Arrival village. This year we enjoyed up close and personal access to the pros at the Time Trial stage in Pau. We witnessed the top riders as they prepared for this all-important test and cheered on Alaphilippe to an unlikely victory. With the opportunity to ride across the finish line and stand on the podium before seeing your heroes do the same, you can honestly say you have been part of the Tour.

Peter Sagan warms up before the Time Trial in Pau.
Peter Sagan warms up before the Time Trial in Pau.

Cycling First

Above all our trips are about the riding. We ride ourselves and we know what real cyclists want. This is how we provide the best experience for those looking for a challenge on famous roads and hidden gems alike. From our expert guides to our charismatic support drivers we take care of every detail. Unforgettable roads, indelible memories and abiding friendships.

No.1 One For a Reason

We know these roads, wherever we go we are the locals. We’re recognised as the number tour operator to the greatest race on earth. Our experience, gained over many years and kilometres of riding, combined with our meticulous desire to create the perfect trip means you have nothing to worry about bu the challenge of the day’s riding.

The Best Routes

The greatest rides don’t happen by chance. We reconnoiter every one in person, refining, developing and fine tuning until we’re satisfied we have the perfect route. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference and we’ll make sure that every metre of the route is as perfect as it can be. Including Peter’s famous ‘wee bumps’.

Support When You Need It

All of our rides are fully supported with three groups to suit any level of cyclist. From 20km to 130km, these routes all take in the famous climbs of the Tour – fully guided with support from our vans. Whether you are a sport, performance or extreme rider you will find the right group for you. Sub-divided into pace groups we give you the perfect environment to achieve your goals, whatever your level.

Don’t Miss out

We love the idea of the perfect climb or the ultimate route laying undiscovered, waiting for us. Whether it’s finding new routes, improving existing ones or refining how we do things, we’re on a never-ending quest for perfect. No matter how good a trip has been, we want to make it even better for the following year. We don’t want you to miss out on this incredible experience, so we have opened out Advanced Reservations for 2020 trips. With a no-risk $100 deposit you can secure your place in the team for next year, so don’t delay!

We look forward to sharing the Tour de France 2020 with you. Bring on Nice!