Vive Le Tour!
Vive Le Tour!
The Tour is back and promises to be as big a race as ever. This time of the year is an exciting but frantic one for us — the official announcement of the route brings intrigue, delight and headaches in equal measure!
The Tour is back and promises to be as big a race as ever. This time of the year is an exciting but frantic one for us — the official announcement of the route brings intrigue, delight and headaches in equal measure! For me personally, it means fine tuning of routes and a myriad of logistical puzzles to solve. But, all worth it just to go again to this wonderful spectacle.
We've been taking clients to the Tour for 20 years which means I must have ridden over 30,000km and planned a whole lot more. I really enjoy designing these trips, it’s the reason I started Thomson Bike Tours in the first place. From the route announcement until the trips are finalised and on the website I typically have 10 days to 2 weeks of 12 hour days – including weekends. That’s a lot of maps!
ROUTES ARE EVERYTHING
The breadth of knowledge and experience we gained over the years in designing routes is a great source of pride. It’s something we never sit back and declare ‘finished’ — I always think a route can be improved, which is why we spend so much time reconnoitering rides. Often we’ll discover a ‘wee bump’ or two along the way because of a wrong turn and that becomes an integral part of a route.
HOTELS — SPECIAL TREATMENT
We work with the same hotels every year – so they’re all booked a year in advance. We have an excellent relationship with these hotels, they know we’re the biggest tour operator and that we’ll fill 30 to 50 rooms for a minimum of 3 nights each year so they’re happy to work with us. This relationship has been built on trust over the past 10 years – and now we have the best hotels in the best locations reserved for Thomson each year.
NO SUCH THING AS A BAD RACE ROUTE
When a race route is released there is always a rush of articles and opinion, dissecting the quality of the stages. Sometimes there is a little disappointment from cycling fans or journalists, but this never affects us. Some routes make our life really easy and others are logistically tricky. But the logistics are always tricky, so I’ve learned to just accept whatever the route is and make the most of it. I haven't yet had a race route negatively impact a trip, we can weave in and out of the race and knit together a fantastic trip without fail. That is definitely good for us and our guests!
NUMBER ONE OFFICIAL PREMIUM TOUR OPERATOR
With every passing year our love for the Tour doesn't diminish. Each race and route has it's own personality, every year we meet new faces and introduce people to their first taste of the world's greatest race. Our status as Number 1 Premium Tour Operator is something I'm very proud of, but we always look to improve our trips and the service we offer. I can't wait to hit the roads again next July, vive le Tour. Let's Go Again!