2018 TRIP DETAILS
Join us to see the 4 stages of the 2018 Tour de France in the spectacular Alps, including the incredible Alps d’Huez stage.
Official Premium Tour Operator - Thomson Bike Tours is one of only two Official Premium Tour Operators 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
- 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
- Stage 10 - Le Grand Bornand (VIP Relais-Etape)
- Stage 11 - Departure in Albertville (VIP Departure Village)
- Stage 12 - Arrival in Alpe d’Huez
- Stage 13 - Departure in Bourg d’Oisans (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.
VIP Departure Village Experience
VIP Finish Line Experience
VIP Relais Etape Experience
Bienvenue en France
Our staff will meet you at Lyon St Exupery Airport. From the airport we’ll transfer in our private shuttle to our hotel. After checking into the hotel we’ll have lunch where you’ll get a chance to meet your fellow Tour de France fans. Following lunch we’ll have a short orientation meeting where we’ll run through the plans for the upcoming week. Then we will head into the center of Chambery, where you can spend a couple of hours exploring. One of the most beautiful cities in the exquisite Rhone-Alps region of France, cosmopolitan Chambery is famous for its historic center. The significant amount of historic heritage in Chambery has led to its being officially listed as a Town of Art and History (Ville d’Art et Histoire’) in France. Once the capital of historical Savoy, this stunning destination has a flavor that marries the different cultures of France, Italy and Switzerland.
Meeting Time and Place
Our guides will meet you at 10:00am - either at Lyon St Exupery Airport or at the Hotel NH Lyon Airport
Meet a Pro Team!
In the morning, we will have an exclusive behind the scenes visit to a pro team hotel! A pro Team Executive will give you an amazing insight into how a pro team works. You can see the team bus, see the bikes and equipment and be let in on some team secrets. If you’re lucky we’ll even see the team head off on their training ride! It’s an absolute favorite on our Spectators’ Trip - a real VIP experience giving unparalleled access.
Next, we will travel into Aix Les Bains. Famous for its hot springs, Aix-les-Bains is the number two spa town in France. Dedicated to well-being, the town enjoys a lovely location between lake and mountains and offers numerous attractions. Roman remains, museums, a luxurious casino, pedestrian shopping streets, beautiful Belle-Époque hotels illustrating the town’s prestigious past, as well as a sandy beach and a tree-lined promenade on the edge of Bourget Lake.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 10
VIP Access to the Relais-Etape
Today you will have your first VIP Spectator experience of the Tour de France! In the morning we will drive towards La Clusaz and we will head to our VIP area where we will be greeted by our hostess and ex pro riders. The Relais Etape is situated on the course, generally within a few kms from the end, and allows us to view the race in VIP style. A 3 course meal, free bar, live coverage on TV, until the cyclists pass right on front of us live, is an amazing way to watch a stage! 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! A Tour de France gift is presented as a reminder of a great day and holiday.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 11
VIP Access to the Departure Village at the Stage Start in Albertville
As an Official Premium Tour Operator, we have secured a visit to the ‘Team Paddock’ and Departure Village stage start in Albertville. 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! After lunch we will head South to our next destination, the famous Alpe d’Huez.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 12
Stage Finish at Alpe d’Huez
Today we’ll witness the thrill of a finish and what a better finish to see than the mighty Alpe d’Huez! Our hotel has been chosen in prime position, with it’s own viewing terrace on the route! In the morning we’ll head up to the finish line to see if we can hunt out Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwen. They are good friends of our guide and love to say hello! The last 2km of bends are easy to walk up and down, and soak up the atmosphere of the excited crowds that gather for this legendary finish. Early afternoon we will go back to our hotel to enjoy a buffet lunch, champagne, wine, and beer and watch the race on the TV as it nears us and we get to witness it for real!
The best bit is you will know the town like the back of your hand. You can head off to the team buses or arrival line and a lot of the teams will spend the night close by in their hotels. Your guide has all the info!
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 13
VIP Access to the Departure Village at the Stage Start at Bourg d’Oisans
As this is such a favorite of our guests, you have been given a second opportunity to enjoy this amazing experience. You will be an experienced hand at how the Departure Village works and you can look out for all the cyclists that you missed first time around and get lots more photographs!
Unfortunately, our trip must come to an end. Our shuttle will take you to Lyon St Exupery Airport, arriving at approximately 9:00am.