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If you want to be in Corsica for 'Le Grand Depart' of the 2013 Tour de France before joining us on this trip, you can book this tour as well.
The first high mountain stages of the 2013 Tour de France will take place in the Pyrenees and on this tour you will see 2 of the most important mountain stages of the race. It is on these stages that riders with any ambitions of a high placing in Paris must show their faces. We have seen in previous Tours de France that the first mountain stages are more exciting than some of the final stages. It is on these stages that you’ll get to see which riders are hot, and which are not.
Apart from watching the Tour de France, there will be the option for those with bikes to ride the famous Mont Ventoux climb. For those bringing bikes you will be able to ride the famous climbs the feature on the 2013 Route du Tour such as the climbs of Port de Pailheres, Ax les 3 Domaines and the famous Col du Tourmalet (not on 2013 route).
This tour will start in Nice, and you fly into Nice on Monday 1st July. After following the Tour de France for a week across southern France and into the Pyrenees, the tour will end in Toulouse, and you can book your return flight out of Toulouse.
Tuesday the 2nd of July:
Prior to the stage, we offer a guided bike ride to the nearby famous Col d’Eze that features so prominently in the Paris Nice race. After riding the Col d’Eze we will return to Nice via the principality of Monte Carlo.
In the afternoon we will watch the exciting Team Time Trial.
Wednesday the 3rd of July:
After breakfast we travel to see the stage. Depending upon the final stage routings, we will either see the stage at the feed station or at the intermediate sprint. For those with bikes we will offer a guided bike ride on the stage route from Cagnes sur Mer to the feed station or intermediate sprint, whilst those without bikes will be taken there by bus.
After seeing the stage we travel to Avignon, where we spend the next 2 nights at the excellent 3* Hotel Lavarin on a Half Board board basis with evening meal and breakfast included.
Thursday the 4th of July:
Our location in Avignon is very close to the day's stage route and those with bikes will be able to ride to the stage from the hotel.
Alternatively, you may want a day off from the Tour de France. Today we offer a guided bike ride to the mythical mountain of Mont Ventoux, the Giant of Provence, that will feature as a stage finish later in the 2013 Tour de France. If the non-cyclists don’t want to see the stage today, there will also be the opportunity for them to visit the Tom Simpson memorial and Mont Ventoux summit.
After seeing the stage, or riding / visiting Mont Ventoux, we return to the hotel in Avignon.
Friday the 5th of July:
After breakfast, we leave the hotel in Avignon and travel to the city of Montpellier where you will see the stage start. Here you will get the chance to see and meet the riders as they sign on and get ready for the stage.
After seeing the stage start we shall travel to the Pyrenees and the town of St Girons, where we will spend the next 3 nights on a half board absis with evening meal and breakfast included at the excellent 3* Hotel Echyenne. Our location in Saint Girons could not be better for accessing the next two important mountain stages of the Tour de France.
On arrival in St Girons, there will be the opportunity for a guided bike ride, and the Col du Portet de Aspet and Casatelli memorial site is not too far away.
Saturday the 6th of July:
Our location in Saint Girons is ideal for accessing the stage. After breakfast we leave the hotel on the bus and travel to the town of Ax les Thermes, which is located at the foot of both the Port de Pailheres and the final climb to the ski station of Ax les 3 Domaines. Prior to arriving in Ax les Thermes, those with bikes will be dropped off in the town of Foix from where we offer a guided ride of approx. 45km along the Ariege valley to Ax les Thermes and up the final climb to the ski station of Ax les 3 Domaines. The stronger riders may be able to ride to Ax les Thermes from the hotel in St Girons (85km).
Alternatively those with bikes can travel on the bus to Ax les Thermes and ride either the climbs of the Port de Pailheres or the final climb to Ax les 3 Domaines. Those without bikes will be able to walk from Ax les Thermes onto the final climb of the stage. After seeing the stage, we rejoin the bus in Ax les Thermes and return to St Girons.
Sunday the 7th of July:
Our location in the stage start town of St Girons could not be better for accessing the stage, we are located in the stage start town!!!
After breakfast we leave St Girons and travel to the stage finish town of Bagneres de Bigorre, from where we offer a guided bike ride to the summit of the Col du Tourmalet prior to seeing the stage on the final climb of the day, the Col Hourquette d’Ancizan or returning to Bagneres de Bigorre for the finish. Those without bikes will spend the day in the town of Bagneres de Bigorre where they will see the stage finish.
After seeing the stage, we rejoin the bus in Bagneres de Bigorre and return to St Girons. Alternatively, you may want to spend the day in St Girons and see the stage start.
Monday the 8th of July:
Travel to the 2012 Tour de France with Sports Tours International
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