13 Guest Reviews
Guest Reviews for this trip
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.
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!
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.
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!!!
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.
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 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.
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
Exceptional service from all staff and trip co ordination was next level.
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
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!
2018 TRIP DETAILS
Our Pyrenees & Paris 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, and continues to Paris to witness the grand finale on the Champs-Elysees.
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
Stage 21: Access to the Elysée Tribune at the Finish Line in Paris
Top 7 reasons to choose Thomson
1. TDF Official Premium Tour Operator - one of only 2 operators awarded “Premium” status
2. VIP access to 3 key stages in the Pyrenees & the grand finale in Paris
3. Access to our Private Hospitality Marquee on the unique climb to 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.
Val Louron-Azet & Peyresourde
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.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 21
The Grand Finale in Paris
After an inspiring week of riding classic Tour terrain, it’s time to celebrate. We’ll take the high speed train to Paris for the grand finale of the 2018 Tour de France. Your package comes with Elysée grand-stand seating right opposite the Finish Line on the Champs-Elysées. Enjoy the thrilling sprint finish, champion’s podium and electric atmosphere of the final stage of the race.
Upgrade to the VIP Espace Triomphe (please contact us for details).
Unfortunately, our Tour de France experience must come to an end.