25 Guest Reviews
Guest Reviews for this trip
I thoroughly enjoyed my week with Thompson. Having watched the tour since c1981 (when ITV world of sport used to show weekly highlights) through the C4 days onto ITV 4 and Eurosport, to get to experience the riders coming towards you on on the Col de Val Louron having just climbed it a few hours previously will live long in the memory. As will the visits to the depart village and the VIP stage end in Laruns. The organisation and hospitality from all the Thompson staff is amazing
It doesn’t matter how many times you have imagined yourself riding in the legendary roads of the TdF, being there with Thomson will exceed anything. It is worth every penny, and it will leave you with ever lasting memories. So many, you feel your head and your heart will explode.
The entire trip was fabulous. From the time we were picked up until the time we were dropped off. Staff were great. They made sure all our needs were met. Was an experience of a lifetime. Thank you for a great trip
Exceptional service from all staff and trip co ordination was next level.
From top to bottom, Thompson Tours sets the standard for bike tours. The participants, the support team, the ride leaders, the food and lodging and the knowledge of the rides is second to none. I would highly recommend any Thompson bike tour and can’t wait to ride again in the near future. - Art Folker
The trip really was amazing and overall surpassed my expectations I had based on information I had from the website. The food, the rides, the VIP treatments and the support were excellent and the vibe was one of thorough enjoyment. Much to my delight, Peter was out riding with us every day and it was obvious his love of cycling which he most definitely passed along into the business. I loved the fact that I really had minimal thinking to do, only to enjoy the journey and ride these amazing epic mountains.
Just an amazing tour group. In 2015 I joined Thomson’s for the Alps VIP experience and considered it the trip of a lifetime. This year I decided I wanted to experience the Pyrenees so I guess that makes two trips of a lifetime and am planning the third trip of a lifetime for 2018!!!
WAY beyond expectations !
My expectations of the beauty of the French Pyrenees and Mont Ventoux were exceeded beyond words. The chosen routes each day provided a personal challenge and at the same time a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day. To experience the same stages and epic climbs mastered by the Tour of France riders on a personal level has provided a renewed respect for the Tour riders and an equal respect for my daily riding partners on Thomson Bike Tours.
Thomson Tours owns the ride for the cycling enthusiast. Each and every day was like a Four Seasons Resort on the road. The Pyrenees set the stage for the experience of a lifetime and Mt Ventoux was the pinnacle of the tour. Loved every minute of it!
Highly recommended for a guided tour. I understand this is necessary for this tour. Others might like a unguided tour to allow more time to explore. I’ll go to Erickson tours for that.
A bycling Tour operator for who loves cycling before anything else.
We were so pleased that we would be afraid to even try another company for fear it would not be as good as your tour. I think you do a spectacular job!
This trip truly exceeded my expectations. The selection of ride routes not only included the major climbs of the TdF, but also some of the most exquisite climbs that nobody knows about. The access to the TdF pros and the behind the scenes of the race that were provided were more than I could have ever hoped for. I actually had press reporters asking me to make room for them because I was so close to the GC leaders and crowd favorites at the team buses. The food was plentiful, fresh, varied and activity appropriate. Everyone went to great care to make sure that my food allergies and the sensitivities of various other riders were all attended to. The ride leaders helped to inspire everyone beyond what we thought we capable of without ever being pushy. In fact, they always had great humor and fantastic stories and insights about the region, the TdF and the life of pro cyclists.I thought this was going to be a “once in a lifetime trip,” but I had so much fun that I will DEFINITELY do it again and again. Thank you all for making my cycling dreams a reality!
This was probably the most challenging yet rewarding cycling trip we have ever done and we would do it again in a heartbeat! Thank you to the staff for the support and encouragement you gave to inspire me onward. This was one of those “once in a lifetime experiences” and the staff at Thomson Bike Tours made it possible.
The trip was booked by my wife to celebrate my fiftieth birthday. She wanted it to be perfect, an experience of a life time. She and Thomson absolutely nailed it. Wow !
Peter and the team were absolutely amazing! Their personalities mixed with the accommodations, rides and routes, scenery, and Tour de France experience made for a trip of a lifetime… recommended to be done yearly!
I had high expectations, and not a little worry about whether I could “do it”. The trip exceeded my expectations by far-the best trip ever. And, with the great briefings and support, I learned early on that I was able to do even the toughest climbs. Worth every penny. Also, I think the group grew close over the week. It would be great to share emails so we can see each others’ pictures and share them.
This was an amazing experience. Challenging, exciting, beautiful with exceptional access to a major sporting event. Our week in the Pyrenees was a lifetime event! I recommend it to any serious cycler who wants a challenge, but also the benefits of a tour with great food. Great Job Peter, Tony, Juan and everyone on the team!
Overall it was a wonderful trip. The Thomson team prepared us for each ride and built up our confidence by get the riders accustomed to the challenges of our climbs. We were ready for Col du Tourmalet. Stage viewing was a highlight with close contact to riders and well staged venues to enjoy the Tour.
Thomson Bike Tours exceeded my expectations in every way. Everything they did was top-notch. I hope to return someday—and I’ll gladly recommend them to friends.
What an AMAZING week. Thomson continues to demonstrate why you are simply unmatched in the business. The riding was out of this world, the staff were fantastic to ride with AND just genuinely great people and the planning/logistics were typical Thomson perfection. And the up close and personal access we had to the race itself was SPECTACULAR and will be with me forever. I couldn’t have designed a better experience in my dreams. It was an absolute PLEASURE to suffer with you and your incredible staff through the amazing terrain in the Pyrenees and I can’t wait to suffer with you again soon on another trip of a lifetime.
Fantastic trip - enjoyed every moment. Thanks to all the Thomson team.
My expectations were exceeded in every aspect. Each member of the team was highly professional whilst being completely approachable and friendly at the same time. We were supported not pandered too. I felt like I was part of something special, not just a spectator on tour. I was pushed when I needed it but not when I didn’t. The cycling, the food, the support, the views, the access behind the Tour - incredible. Awesome balance, the best cycling I’ve ever done. I now understand why you have so many repeat clients!
Riding in the Pyrenees should be on every cyclist’s bucket list. It is spectacular and challenging. Doing it with Thomson Bike Tours will ensure you enjoy every second, have all the support and comfort you need and allow you to focus on the cycling. I highly recommend Thomson Bike Tours and will cycle with them many times in the years ahead.
Our Pyrenees Stages KOM Challenge provides the perfect mix of LIVE race-viewing plus challenging and rewarding rides on the legendary routes and climbs of the Pyrenees.
Conquer the famous Col du Tourmalet and be there to witness the race LIVE on the mountainside from the comfort of our Private Hospitality Marquee. Our exciting program features a full week of famous climbs, challenging rides and thrilling race-viewing.
Tour de France Race-Viewing Details
Stage 12: Access to the VIP Tribune at the Finish Line in Bagneres de Bigorre
Stage 12: VIP ride across the Finish Line & Podium photos in Bagneres de Bigorre
Stage 13: Access to the VIP Departure Village at the Stage Start in Pau (Individual Time Trial)
Stage 14: Access to our Private Race-Viewing Hospitality Marquee on the Col du Tourmalet Summit Finish
Top 7 reasons to choose Thomson
1. TDF Official Premium Tour Operator - one of only 2 operators awarded “Premium” status
2. VIP access to the 3 key stages in the Pyrenees
3. Access to our Private Hospitality Marquee on the Col du Tourmalet
4. Extensive Ride Program: choose from 3 fully supported rides. Only with Thomson!
5. Stay in just 1 hotel: the 4-star Hotel Mercure, the most sought-after hotel in the Pyrenees
6. KOMs galore: Tourmalet, Peyresourde, Aspin, Portet, Port de Bales and more…
7. Our support teams are the envy of the mountain. The best support guaranteed!
THREE fully supported ride levels!
3 fully supported rides each day - from 20km to 130km - ensure you’ll find the ride that matches your personal fitness level. Check out our Sport, Performance and Extreme ride programs.
(during the trip, you may choose a different ride level each day - you don’t have to stick with the same ride level for the entire trip)
Total Distance: 232km / 144miles
Total Elevation: 6,490m / 21,293ft
Longest Ride: 51km / 32miles
Most climbing in 1 day: 1,775m / 5,823ft
Total Distance: 386km / 240miles
Total Elevation: 11,360m / 37,270ft
Longest Ride: 82km / 51miles
Most climbing in 1 day: 2,584m / 8,478ft
Total Distance: 587km / 365miles
Total Elevation: 16,435m / 53,931ft
Longest Ride: 130km / 81miles
Most climbing in 1 day: 3,503m / 11,493ft
Bienvenue en France!
Our staff will meet you at Toulouse Blagnac Airport. From the airport we have a short transfer to our hotel in St Lary Soulan. After checking into the hotel we’ll have our Orientation Meeting followed by lunch, then our mechanics will be on hand to help you get the bikes ready for the first ride.
Our warm-up ride takes us high into the hills above the Aure Valley and gives us our first taste of riding in the Pyrenees. Serene roads and spectacular mountain landscapes set the scene for the week to come!
Meeting Time and Place
Our guides will meet you at 8:30am - either at Toulouse Blagnac Airport or at the Pullman Toulouse Airport Hotel
Port de Bales
Our objective today is the famous Port de Bales. We’ll have a short transfer to St Bertrand de Comminges where we’ll start the ride. From St Bertrand we head south towards Mauleon-Barousse which signals the start of the HC Port de Bales climb.
You may remember the Port de Bales as the 2010 “chaingate” scene, where Alberto Contador attacked Andy Schleck after Andy dropped his chain. A long descent from Bales takes us to the bottom of Cat 1 Col de Peyresourde which has featured in the Tour de France on more than 50 occasions. Stop at the summit and enjoy some crepes at the famous creperie before the descent down to our hotel in St Lary.
Col d'Aspin & the Hourquette
Our ride today, over the Col d’Aspin and the Hourquette d’Ancizan is one of the best rides in the Pyrenees.
We’ll ride from the hotel and enjoy a 15km warm-up before reaching the town of Arreau where we start the climb to the Aspin with the summit lying 12km up the road. Enjoy the ride and don’t forget to stop along the way to marvel at the scenery off to your left as you’re climbing! Next on our agenda is the beautiful ride through the green prairies, home to herds of wild horses and donkeys, that lead to the Hourquette d’Ancizan climb. The Hourquette will feature as the final climb in Stage 12 of this years Tour de France.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 12
Official Ride across the Finish Line, Photo Shoot on the Podium & VIP access to the Stage Finish in Bagneres de Bigorre
A unique opportunity today to ride your bike across the Official Finish Line just a few hours before the peloton - followed by a photo shoot on the Official Podium. We’ll round off an amazing Tour de France day by witnessing the Race Finish from the VIP Finish Line Tribune.
The Tour de France enters the Pyrenees today and the first mountain stage will take the riders over the Col de Peyresourde and the Hourquette d’Ancizan before the finish in Bagneres de Bigorre.
We’ve secured access to the VIP Tribune located at the Finish - and to get there we’ll enjoy a spectacular ride over the Col de Val Louron-Azet before joining the Tour de France race route for the final 45km of our ride. The routes will be lined with thousands of passionate Tour de France fans and expect to be cheered all the way to the Finish Line.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 13
VIP access to the Stage Start in Pau
The city of Pau hosts the Individual Time Trial today and we’ll be present at the VIP Tribune Departure Village to witness the top riders as they prepare for this all-important test. The Tour might not be won today but a poor showing in the time trial can spell the end of a riders chances in the GC.
Before heading over to Pau for the Time Trial, we’ll get out for a morning ride over the most challenging climb in the Pyrenees: the Col de Portet! With a average grade of 8.5% over 16km, the Portet was paved in 2018 and was the highlight of the 2018 Tour de France and has now become the toughest climb in the Pyrenees. The descent from the Portet finishes outside our hotel where we’ll have lunch before heading off to Pau to watch the Time Trial.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 14
Private Viewing at the Summit Finish on the Col du Tourmalet
With a Summit Finish on the Tourmalet, today’s stage will be the Queen Stage in the Pyrenees - and we’ll be there to witness the action LIVE on the mountainside. Our Logistics Team will have set up our Race-Viewing Hospitality Marquee on the side of the mountain, a few km from the summit.
We’ll start the morning with a short van transfer to Bagneres de Bigorre where we’ll jump on the bikes for this fantastic ride. From Bagneres we’ll enjoy a typical Thomson single-lane ride through beautiful French farmlands - and with a few wee surprises along the way. We’ll join the Tour de France race route 30km from the Finish - but those 30km are all uphill. We’ll climb to the top of the Tourmalet before descending to our race-viewing point where you can enjoy the wild Tour de France scene from the comfort of our Hospitality Marquee. Food, drinks, and satellite TV race coverage will keep you entertained as we wait for the peloton to approach.
Unfortunately, our trip must come to an end. Our shuttle will take you to Toulouse Blagnac Airport, arriving at 10:00am.