8 Guest Reviews
Guest Reviews for this trip
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
2018 TRIP DETAILS
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 unique Col de Portet and witness the stage finish on this monster climb - its first ever appearance in a major race. Our exciting program features a full week of famous rides and thrilling race-viewing.
Tour de France Race-Viewing Details
Stage 17: Access to our Private Race-Viewing Hospitality Marquee (Col de Portet)
Stage 18: Access to the VIP Departure Village in Trie sur Baïse
Stage 19: Access to the VIP Tribune at the Finish Line in Laruns
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 de Portet
4. Extensive Ride Program: choose from 3 fully supported rides. Only with Thomson!
5. Stay at the Luxury 4-star St Lary Mercure, the most sought-after hotel in the Pyrenees
6. KOMs galore: Tourmalet, Peyresourde, Aspin, Portet, Port de Bales, Aubisque 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 170km - 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: 203km / 126miles
Total Elevation: 6,698m / 21,975ft
Longest Ride: 44km / 27miles
Most climbing in 1 day: 1,396m / 4,580ft
Total Distance: 416km / 258miles
Total Elevation: 12,975m / 42,568ft
Longest Ride: 104km / 64miles
Most climbing in 1 day: 3245m / 10,646ft
Total Distance: 654km / 406miles
Total Elevation: 19,985m / 65,567ft
Longest Ride: 169km / 105miles
Most climbing in 1 day: 4355m / 14,288ft
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
Aspin & Val Louron-Azet
A big day ahead of us as we conquer 3 Tour de France favorites. Setting out from the hotel we have a nice warm-up along the banks of the Neste river to Guchen. The fun starts in Guchen with the Cat 1 climb to the Hourquette d’Ancizan. From Hourquette we descend through vast prairies, home to herds of wild horses, before eventially reaching Payolle, a stage finish at the 2016 Tour.
In Payolle we join the 6km climb to the Col d’Aspin. Looking south from the Aspin there are great views of the highest peaks that form the border with Spain. Enjoy the long sweeping descent of the Aspin before heading back up the valley to Genos where we start our final climb, the Col de Val Louron-Azet. The descent from Val Louron drops us nicely back at our hotel in St Lary.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 17
Private Viewing at the Summit Finish on the Col de Portet
Our main challenge today is the climb up to our Private Race Viewing Hospitality Marquee on the mountainside of the summit finish on the Col de Portet. This is the first time that the Portet has featured in a major race and with an average grade of over 8% for 16km, this climb will blow the race apart!
This is set to be one of the most spectacular and explosive stages of the race as the pros have just 65km to ride, although 37km of those will be climbing.
Enjoy the wild Tour de France scene from the comfort of our Hospitality Tents. Food, drinks, and satellite TV race coverage will keep you entertained as we wait for the peloton to approach.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 18
VIP access to the Stage Start in Trie sur Base
As Official Tour Operator we have exclusive VIP passes into the Departure Village at the stage start in Trie sur Base. The “village” offers fantastic opportunities to get up-close to the riders, the Tour celebrities and get a first-hand view of the inner workings of the Tour de France. This is the place to get these all-important souvenirs, gifts, autographs and pictures with the riders.
After the race start, we’ll have a short transfer to St Bertrand de Comminges where we’ll get the bikes out for our afternoon 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, when 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.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 19
VIP access to the Stage Finish in Laruns
It’s the last mountain stage in the Pyrenees and the last chance for the climbers to shine. We’ll watch the finish from the luxury of the Official VIP tribune, directly on the Finish Line in Laruns.
We’ll set out early morning and join the race route in Ste Marie de Campan. The legendary Tourmalet is our first challenge followed by the Col de Soulor.
From the Soulor the stretch of road that follows the Cirque de Litor to the Col d’Aubisque is one of the most spectacular in the Pyrenees. Enjoy the descent to Laruns where our TDF hostess will welcome us at the VIP tribune directly on the Finish Line.
Our final ride in the Pyrenees and we’ve saved a fantastic ride for the last day. From the hotel we immediately start climbing the Col de Val Louron-Azet, one of the most beautiful climbs in the Pyrenees, with spectacular views of the high peaks that form the border with Spain off to our right.
The summit of Val Louron also offers a great view of the Col de Peyresourde in the distance - our next climb.
We drop down to Avajan where we start our final climb to the Col de Peyresourde and up to Peyragudes where the steep slopes put Chris Froome in difficulty in last years Tour de France.
The long descent back to Arreau is followed by the short ride along the banks of the Neste river which leads us back to our hotel and the end of a fantastic week in the Pyrenees.
Unfortunately, our trip must come to an end. Our shuttle will take you to Toulouse Blagnac Airport, arriving at approximately 8:00am.