Join us for the Grand Depart to see the Team Presentation Ceremony and the first 3 stages of the 2019 Tour de France in spectacular Brussels, Belgium – home to many Spring Classics!
Discover the area and stages with minimal travel time. The first week of the Tour de France is amazing – it’s quieter, everyone is full of positive energy with plenty of time for the fans, plus we have secured a hotel in the heart of the action! You’ll be amongst all the cyclists and celebs for days!
Official Premium Tour Operator - Thomson Bike Tours is one of only two Official Tour Operators awarded “Premium” status to the Tour de France. Our partnership with the race organizers allows us to provide the ultimate insider Tour de France experience, complete with exclusive VIP hospitality and unprecedented race viewing opportunities.
Exclusive VIP Race Access
- Access to the Izoard VIP Tribune - Situated opposite the Finish Line, the Izoard VIP Tribune offers VIP hospitality and unparalleled viewing of the stage finish.
- Departure Village VIP access - meet the riders and Tour celebrities before the race start
- Team Paddock access - mix and mingle in the team area - a Spectator favorite!
- Relais-Etape VIP access - mid-race hospitality. Includes lunch, drinks and road-side viewing
- Team presentation - Brussels
- Stage 1 - Brussels - Charleroi - Brussels (VIP Finish Line)
- Stage 2 - Brussels Royal Palace - Brussels Atomium TTT (VIP Relais Etape)
- Stage 3 - TBA (VIP Departure Village)
Your Trip Leader: Jacinta
We can´t talk about our Spectator Trips without discussing the passion, knowledge and enthusiasm of your guide, Jacinta. A true pro, Jacinta’s wild personality and boundless energy make for a truly exceptional experience. Her connections will get you the ultimate insider access and her antics will have you howling with laughter. Simply the most fun you can have at a bike race.
Bienvenue en Belgique
Our staff will meet you at Brussels airport or the train station downtown. From here we’ll transfer you in our private shuttle to our hotel in the center! After checking in we’ll have a late lunch where you’ll get a chance to meet your fellow Tour de France fans. Then it’s a short orientation meeting where we’ll run through the plans for the upcoming week before heading out into the city. It will be buzzing with life as the Tour de France circus has rolled into town so we will see if we can catch up with any of the commentators and tour celebs!
Explore the majesty of the Belgian Royal Palace or catch a glimpse of the dominating Hotel de Ville, the city’s grand town hall. You’ll find iconic buildings and medieval churches around every corner, while some of Brussels’ greatest art galleries and museums can be found in the city center, with its small town feel. Aside from the promise of Belgian chocolate and beer and vast open squares to explore, this unique city is perfect for sitting and watching the world go by.
Flanders Museum & The Team Presentation
In the morning, we’ll take a trip out of town to Oudenaarde, where the famous Tour of Flanders race finishes and visit the Flanders museum! The entrance hall has each winner’s name displayed on individual cobblestones, a great gift shop and the chance of glimpsing Freddy Maertens, former World Champion and rival to Eddy Merckx, who now works at the museum. With memorabilia from Eddy Merckx’s bike and Johan Museeuw’s jersey to a bust of Tommy Simpson, it’s a must see for cycling fans!
Late afternoon we’ll head for the Team Presentation Ceremony. This superb experience will allow you to see all the teams before their grueling tour, get lots of photos and see every rider take the stage! It’s an amazing pre-race event with a really exciting atmosphere. Today – you will see the winner of the 2019 Tour de France!
Meet a Pro Team & visit Waterloo Memorial
Today we travel to a team hotel and will have an exclusive behind the scenes visit of a pro Team! A pro Team Executive will give you an amazing insight into how a pro team works. You will see the team bus, see the bikes and equipment and be let in on some team secrets. It’s an absolute favorite of our Spectators’ Trip - a real VIP experience giving unparalleled access to the team.
In the afternoon we will head over to the Waterloo Memorial 1815 visitors center, along some of the stage 1 route and see the Lion’s mound, where stage 1 will pass the following day. This man-made mound topped with a huge cast iron sculpture of a lion is the most famous monument in Belgium. Built between 1823 and 1826, it is said to mark the place where the Prince of Orange was injured on 18 June 1815.
226 steps take you up the hill, nicknamed the Monument to the Dutch, offers an exceptional view of the battlefield. An orientation table there presents the topography of the area and the movements of the troops.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 1
VIP Finishline - Brussels
Today we’ll witness the thrill of a finish as VIPs and get to see the stage start! We’ll head towards the start area in plenty of time to see the teams congregate and be ready for the off – we’ll get there early to get a space near the signature podium! The atmosphere amongst the crowds will be amazing! After we see the riders head off we will head to the finish and enter our VIP area by the finish line, a 3-tiered viewing area with complimentary appetizers, drinks & official TDF photos. A tour of the technical village will allow us to get up close to the finish line, see the inside of the media and TV crew area (maybe Phil & Jens will say hi), view the podium and get a real insight into the arrival area. Back to our viewing area, we will await the riders to cross the finish line and see who will be the first rider to be in yellow! What an amazing double adventure day this is!
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 2
VIP Viewing of the Team Time Trial
It’s the team time trial and there’s no better place to view then the Relais Etape! The Relais Etape is situated on the course and allows us to view the Time Trial in comfort. A 3-course meal, free bar, live coverage on TV until the cyclists pass right in front of us live, it is an amazing way to watch stage 2! You can feel the excitement build as you watch official vehicles zoom by, hear the helicopters above as they track the cyclists getting nearer and nearer and get a roadside view as they pass by, team by team, all day! A VIP gift rounds up the amazing day.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 3
VIP access to Team Paddock and Start Village
As an Official Tour Operator, we have secured a visit of the ‘Team Paddock’ and Departure Village stage start. You will have been with the public on stage 1 start and now it’s time to experience the VIP side! The Departure Village allows you to see sponsors and gain VIP entry, perhaps even meeting past winners of the race. Then, it’s onto our favorite - the paddock is where all the cyclists and teams congregate pre-race. The area offers fantastic opportunities to get up-close to the riders and Tour celebrities, as well as getting a first-hand view of the inner workings of the Tour de France. This is the place to get those all-important autographs and pictures with the Tour celebrities and riders. It’s one of the most popular moments on our Spectator Trips!
Unfortunately our Tour de France Experience must come to an end. We will drop you off at Brussels Zaventem Airport or at Brussels Train Station. We hope to see you back in the future. Join us on a Thomson Spectator Trip to La Vuelta, World Cycling Champs, Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, or AMGEN Tour of California.