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TOUR DE FRANCE 2014
Ride L'Etape, watch Le Tour (Coach)
Pau to Hautacam 145km
17th to 26th July
This 10 day Etape du Tour and Tour de France travel package is for those who would like to benefit from the unique opportunity where you can ride the very stage of the 2014 Tour de France that you can see the Pros tackle only a few days later.
This trip is a coach trip from the UK with various pick up points at locations throughout the country.
You can choose to join us in Paris if you prefer and meet us at the Mercure Porte Versailles to join us for the rest of the trip.
After riding the 2014 Etape du Tour we will stay on in the Pyrenees and watch 3 fantastic stages of the 2014 Tour de France including the stage you rode from Pau to Hautacam.
We spend 2 nights in Paris at the hotel Mercure Porte Versailles on arrival and departure and 7 nights at the Hotel Rosiers which is great for accessing the start in Pau the Pyrenean stages of the 2014 Tour de France.
L'Etape du Tour 2014 - Pau to Hautacam
The Etape du Tour will start from the Pyrenean gateway city of Pau and it is a classic Pyrenean mountain stage, taking in several climbs before the final climb up to the ski village of Hautacam. At 145km it is an attractive proposition for both the experienced cyclo sportive rider and the Etape du Tour novice.
2014 Tour de France
You´ll see the longest stage (237km) to Bagneres de Luchon that takes in the difficult Port de Bales, plus two short and explosive mountain stages that finish at the ski stations of Pla d’Adet and Hautacam.
For those with bikes you will have the opportunity to ride the famous climbs that feature on the 2014 Route du Tour, Port de Bales, Val Louron Azet, Pla d’Adet, Col du Tourmalet, Hautacam, along with other Pyrenean climbs like the Aspin & Aubisque.
Thursday 17th July:
Additionally, Please contact us if you require to be picked up at a service station on the motorways used.
We will take the 15.40hrs sailing from Dover to Calais, and travel direct to Paris, where we spend 1 night at the 4* Hotel Mercure Porte Versailles.
Friday 18th July:
This evening we will assist you with building your bikes and we will brief you on tomorrow's programme during the evening meal.
Saturday 19th July:
PLEASE NOTE, AT ETAPE REGISTRATION, YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO PRESENT A DOCTOR'S NOTE STATING THERE ARE NO KNOWN MEDICAL REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT COMPETE. PLEASE VISIT OUR MEDICAL CERTIFICATION PAGE (HERE) FOR MORE INFORMATION. THIS IS LEGAL REQUIREMENT AND FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL MEAN YOU NOT PARTICIPATING IN THE ETAPE.
This is the night before you ride the Etape so we will ahve a carbohydrate rich evening meal and an early night.
Sunday 20th July - L'Etape du Tour 2014 - Pau to Hautacam
We anticipate a 07:00/08:00 start for the Etape, so we have organised an early breakfast so you can get to the start early to ensure everyone is lined up in the right pens for the start. The organisers allocate pens according to likely finish time and historic Etape performance, therefore faster riders start nearer the front and the slower riders at the back. Please note, we have no influence over your starting pen.
The Etape du Tour is a closed road sportive, but you must be wary of other cyclists, especially if they are going faster than you or if you have stopped. There will be water stops en-route and mechanical assistance provided by MAVIC. Along the route, there are certain times that you must have passed certain spots, otherwise you may be swept up by the broom wagon.
Please note that we have been notified by the race organisers that all riders have to descend back down to Lourdes once they have finished. Back in Lourdes there will be a hot meal and finisher's medals available (exact location to be confirmed).
At the finish we will be on hand to see you in and hand you your day bags. We suggest that you put some warm clothing in this for the descent back to Lourdes which is about 15km.
Please note that we will not be able to get transport up to the finish in Hautacam as we have been notified by the race organiser's that there is not enough space for minibuses, buses or any other vehicles.
Once you have descended we will take you to the Hotel Rosiers in Lourdes.
Tonight we will have the evening meal at the hotel in Lourdes.
Monday 21st July:
Tuesday 22nd July:
After an early breakfast we leave Lourdes and travel to the village of Mauleon-Barousse, which is at the base of the Port de Bales. On our arrival in Mauleon-Barousse those with bikes will have the opportunity to ride the climb of the Port de Bales in advance of the riders and see the stage here, whilst those without bikes will be able to walk onto the lower slopes of the climb.
After seeing the stage, we regroup at the bus and travel back to Lourdes.
Wednesday 23rd July:
It's an absolute classic Pyrenean mountain stage, that is not to be missed.
The stage will celebrate and honour the 40th anniversary of French cycling hero Raymond Poulidor's stage victory at Pla d’Adet. It will also honour the 40th anniversary of the finish line speaker Daniel Mangeas, who will retire in 2014 as official Tour de France speaker, and whose first finish line commentaries were at Pla d’Adet in 1974.
After breakfast we leave Lourdes and travel to the town of Saint Lary Soulon, at the base of the climb to Pla d’Adet, where those with bikes will have the opportunity to ride the final two climbs of the day, Col du Val Louron-Azet and Pla d’Adet, or just Pla d’Adet. The stronger cyclists and more adventurous can ride from the hotel in Lourdes to Pla d’Adet via the Col d’Aspin (80km) and return to Lourdes on the bus after the stage.
Those without bikes will be taken to Saint Lary Soulon (base of the climb to Pla d’Adet) from where they can visit this charming Pyrenean town in the morning and then watch the stage in the afternoon. Alternatively they may want to spend the day in Lourdes and visit the town.
Thursday 24th July:
The final Pyrenean stage of the Tour de France finishes at the ski station of Hautacam, very close to our base in Lourdes. It starts from Pau and once again is a short and explosive stage that takes in the iconic Col du Tourmalet prior to the difficult final climb to Hautacam. The stage is pretty much a copy of the 2008 stage from Pau to Hautacam.
Our location in Lourdes could not be better for accessing the stage, as we are located only 15km from the base of the Hautacam climb. Those with bikes can ride from the hotel to either Hautacam or the Col du Tourmalet to see the stage and back to the hotel afterwards. There may also be the opportunity to ride the Col du Soulor / Col d’Aubisque prior, or for the stronger and more adventurous there is the opportunity to ride the last 110km of the stage taking in the iconic Col du Tourmalet & Hautacam, but you’ll have to leave early.
Those without bikes will be taken the short distance from Lourdes to the base of the Hautacam climb, from where they will be able to walk onto the lower slopes to see the stage. After seeing the stage we re-group at the bus and return to our base in Lourdes.
Friday 25th July:
After breakfast we leave Lourdes and resume the return journey to Paris.
Saturday 26th July:
Travel to the 2014 Tour de France with Sports Tours International
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