From the famous slopes of the Tourmalet to the infamous slopes of the legendary Angliru, passing through La Rioja, Spain’s most famous wine region.
Our Vuelta a España KOM Challenge provides a fantastic mix of LIVE race-viewing and challenging rides on the legendary routes and climbs of northern Spain. Witness 6 key stages including the summit finishes on the Tourmalet and the Angliru. Revel in 3 remarkable days in La Rioja, Spain’s most famous wine region, where we’ll witness 3 spectacular stages of La Vuelta and maybe indulge in a few glasses of the local drink…
Vuelta a España Race-Viewing Details
Stage 6 - Summit Finish on the Col du Tourmalet
Stage 7 - On the Puerto de Orduña
Stage 8 - Summit Finish on the Alto de Moncalvillo
Stage 9 - Castrillo del Val (Meet the pros and celebrities at the Stage Start)
Stage 11 - Summit Finish on Alto La Farrapona
Stage 12 - Summit Finish on Alto El Angliru
Top 6 reasons to choose Thomson Bike Tours
1. The Number 1 ASO Official Premium Tour Operator
2. Witness the 5 key mountain stages from the luxury of our Hospitality Marquee. Only with Thomson!
3. Meet the riders and celebrities at the Start of Stage 12 in Castrillo del Val
4. Challenging Ride Program: no-one rides like Thomson!
5. KOMs galore: Angliru, Tourmalet, Luz-Ardiden, Hautacam, Lagos de Covadonga, La Farrapona…
6. Our support teams are the envy of the mountain. The best support guaranteed!
Bienvenidos a La Vuelta
Our trip to La Vuelta actually starts in France this year, where our staff will meet you at Toulouse Blagnac Airport. From the airport we have a short transfer to our hotel in Lourdes. 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 Lourdes and gives us our first taste of climbing with the 11km Col de la Croix Blanche. Serene roads and spectacular mountain landscapes set the scene for the week to come!
Meeting Time and Place
Our guides will meet you at 9:00am - either at Toulouse Blagnac Airport or at the Pullman Toulouse Airport Hotel
Vuelta a España LIVE Viewing: Stage 6
Private Viewing on the final climb to the Col du Tourmalet
No better way to start a KOM trip than by conquering the legendary Col du Tourmalet. The Vuelta makes a rare detour into France today with a massive stage over the Col d’Aubisque and a Summit Finish on top of the Col du Tourmalet and we’ll be there to witness the finish on the Tourmalet.
We’ll ride from the hotel and head south along the valley to Beaucens where the gradient starts to pick up as we ride through the Gave de Gavarnie river gorge, eventually arriving in Luz St Sauveur after 30km. The summit of the Tourmalet lies 20km up the road at an altiude of 2115m. Our Hospitality Marquee will be set up close to the summit where food, drinks, and satellite TV race coverage will keep you entertained as we wait for the peloton to approach.
For those who want some extra climbing, take the right turn in Luz St Sauveur and conquer the fantastic climb to Luz-Ardiden.
Hautacam & La Rioja Winery Visit
Today we leave France and head towards the Rioja region of Spain for the next stages of the Vuelta. But before doing so, we’ll get out for a short ride in the morning and conquer one of the most famous climbs in the Pyrenees, the climb to Hautacam. Scene of so many dramatic Tour de France stages: 2014 when Vincenzo Nibali won the Hautacam stage and went on to win the Tour, 2000 when Lance Armstrong blew apart the field to take the yellow jersey or 1996 when Bjarne Riis put an end to Miguel Indurain’s domination of the Tour.
After the ride and lunch in Lourdes we’ll transfer to La Rioja region in Spain which sets us up nicely for the next 3 stages of La Vuelta. And since we’re in La Rioja, we couldn’t visit Spain’s most famous wine region without organising a winery visit and wine tasting!
Vuelta a España LIVE Viewing: Stage 7
Private Viewing on the Puerto de Orduña
After the previous day’s Rest Day, the Vuelta returns to Spain with a fantastic stage in La Rioja and a great race-viewing opportunity on the 1st Category Puerto de Orduña. It’s not often that we get to witness the race twice on the same day, but we’ll get that rare opportunity today with the peleton climbing the Puerto de Orduña twice, the second time just 18 km from the Finish.
Our Hospitality Marquee will be set up close to the summit of the Orduña where food, drinks, and satellite TV race coverage will keep you entertained as we wait for the peloton to approach - not once, but twice!
Vuelta a España LIVE Viewing: Stage 8
Private Viewing at the Summit Finish on the Alto de Moncalvillo
Our entire ride today will take place on the actual Race Route of Stage 8 of La Vuelta. From our hotel in Navarette we pick up the Race Route, 110km from the Finish then stay on the race route over the Puerto de la Rasa and all the way to the summit finish on the Alto de Moncalvillo. With an average grade of 9% over 8km, the climb to Moncalvillo will certainly favour the true climbers and we could see huge gaps opening up in the GC today.
Our Hospitality Marquee will be set up close to the Finish in Moncalvillo where food, drinks, and satellite TV race coverage will keep you entertained as we wait for the peloton to approach.
Vuelta a España LIVE Viewing: Stage 9
The Stage Start in Castrillo del Val
Stage starts at La Vuelta offer fantastic opportunities to get up-close to the riders, the race celebrities and get a first-hand view of the inner workings of La Vuelta. This is the place to get these all-important souvenirs, gifts, autographs and photos with the riders.
After waving goodbye to the peloton as they head out on the 164km route to Aguilar de Campoo, we’ll transfer to our next hotel in Cangas de Onis, nicely situated close to the bottom of a certain climb to Lagos de Covadonga. On arriving at the hotel, those who want can join our ride leaders for a short informal ride around Cangas de Onis, or enjoy a Rest Day before the big climb to Los Lagos tomorrow.
Lagos de Covadonga
A flat stage at La Vuelta today so we’ll skip race-viewing for one day and focus on a magnificent ride of our own, including one of our all-time Top 10 favourite climbs - the climb to Lagos de Covadonga.
From the hotel in Cangas, our first challenge is the climb to the Alto del Torno which sits 520m above the Atlantic Ocean and offers stunning views of the coastline. A stunning single-lane road takes us across a high ridge then eventually back down to Soto de Cangas and the approach to Los Lagos. The climb starts in Covadonga with the summit lying 14km up the road. This is one of the most impressive climbs in Europe with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the snow-covered peaks of the Picos de Europa to the south. Enjoy!
Vuelta a España LIVE Viewing: Stage 11
Private Viewing at the Summit Finish on the Alto La Farrapona
The mountains return to the Vuelta today with no less than 5 categorised climbs and a Summit Finish on the final 18km climb to the Alto La Farrapona.
Riding from the hotel, we’ll pick up the race route after 30km, then follow the same route as the peloton over the Puerto de San Lorenzo and the final climb to La Farrapona. A relatively short ride but it packs a punch in terms of elevation gain, with 3169m squeezed into just 75km! Our Hospitality Marquee will be set up close to the Finish on La Farrapona where food, drinks, and satellite TV race coverage will keep you entertained as we wait for the peloton to approach.
Vuelta a España LIVE Viewing: Stage 12
Private Viewing at the Summit Finish on the Angliru
This is the day we’ve all been waiting for. The Angliru is considered the toughest climb in European pro racing and the Summit Finish takes centre stage today.
We’ve included another Vuelta favourite on our ride today, the Alto de la Cobertoria climb. From the Cobertoria we pick up the race route on the descent to La Vega, about 25km from the Finish. In La Vega, the road kicks up signalling the start of the climb to the Angliru, but the fun doesn’t really start until the final 6km and the grades get up into double figures. Les Cabanes is the first really steep section with grades of 22% but the pain really sets in on the Cuena les Cabres section which hits 23.5%! Our Hospitality Marquee will be set up on the Angliru and we’ll have food, drinks, and satellite TV race coverage to keep you entertained as we wait for the peloton to approach.
Adios & hasta pronto!
Unfortunately our trip to the Vuelta has come to an end. Our staff will drop you off at Oviedo (Asturias) Airport at 8:00am.