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On this tour you will follow the final week of the 2013 Vuelta a España from Andorra, through the Pyrenees and and onto the northern Spanish coast before finishing in Madrid.
Packed into this final week are no less than 7 mountain top finishes, one of them being a massive 232km stage from Andorra to the French ski station of Peyragudes (site of a stage finish in last year's Tour de France). The penultimate stage of La Vuelta will be the decisive stage as it finishes atop one of the most feared climb in cycling, El Angliru, with gradients of 23.5%, this is surely going to provide one of the most spectacular finishes to a Grand Tour in 2013…
For those bringing bikes you will be able to ride the famous climbs that feature on the 2013 Vuelta Route, including Col de Envalria, Col d’Ordino, Collada de la Gallina, Col du Peyresourde & Peyragudes, Formigal, Peña de Cabarga, Alto Naranco and the feared Angliru………….
Apart from riding the climbs that feature on the 2013 Vuelta route, you will also have the opportunity to ride the famous Col d’Aspin & Col du Tourmalet in the French Pyrenees.
Following the Vuelta for 10 days can be tiring, therefore this tour has been designed with the minimum amount of hotel changes. We spend 2 nights in the Principality of Andorra, followed by 3 nights in the French Pyrenees at the beautiful town of Saint Lary Soulon, 2 nights in Santander and 2 nights in Oviedo before the final night in Madrid.
Our location in Andorra is ideal for accessing tomorrow’s mountain top finish to the Collada de la Gallina. Before the finish the riders will pass through Andorra town, and also climb the Col de Envalira, which at 2,408mts is the highest point of La Vuelta.
Saturday 7th September:
Before the finish the riders will pass through Andorra town, and also climb the Col de Envalira, which at 2,408mts is the highest point of La Vuelta.
Our location in Andorra enables us with many options of seeing todays stage, either the Col de Envalira, Col d’Ordino, Port de la Comella or the finish at Collada de la Gallina. We should also be able to see the stage twice, as they pass through Andorra centre early on in the stage.
After seeing the stage we shall spend our final night in Andorra, with many of the teams at hotels close by, you will be able to see the mechanics working on the bikes.
Sunday 8th September:
After an early breakfast we shall leave Andorra and travel on the stage route to the French town of Bagneres de Luchon, from where those with bikes can ride the final climb of the day (Col du Peyresourde) and to the finish in Peyragudes ahead of the race. Those without bikes will be taken to either the Col du Peyresourde or the final 3km climb to Peyragudes to see the stage.
After the stage finish we shall travel the very short distance to the beautiful French Pyrenean town of St Lary Soulon, where we shall spend the next 3 nights on Dinner B&B at the excellent 3* Hotel Mercure. Those with bikes will be able to ride to the hotel from the stage finish in Peyragudes, whilst those without bikes will be taken in the tour vehicle.
Monday 9th September:
After breakfast we head over the border to Spain from our French base and see the stage. We have a number of options available to us today for seeing the stage, and we will discuss these with the tour group. We can either go to the stage start in Graus or see the stage on one of the earlier climbs of the stage (3rd Cat Puerto de la Foradada or 2nd Cat Puerto de Cotefablo), or travel to the stage finish at the ski station of Formigal where those with bikes will be able to ride the last 60km of the stage.
After seeing the stage, we return to our Pyrenean base in Saint Lary Soulon.
Tuesday 10th September:
We have decided to stay in France for the rest day, and give those with bikes the opportunity to ride some of the famous Pyrenean cols that feature in the Tour de France. From our base in Saint Lary Soulon we can ride the Col d’Aspin & Col du Tourmalet, which is a ride of 55km. You will be supported all the way by our back up vehicle and those without bikes can also come along to visit these iconic climbs. After reaching the top of the Col du Tourmalet those with bikes can choose to ride back to Saint Lary Soulon on the bike, making 110km and climbing the Col d’Aspin for a 2nd time or return in the support vehicle.
Wednesday 11th September:
Because of the travelling involved and today not being an important stage, we have decided to have a day off from La Vuelta and travel from our Pyrenean base in Saint Lary Soulon back into Spain and along the northern coast to the city of Santander which will give us an excellent location for accessing tomorrows mountain top finish to Peña Cabarga.
Thursday 12th September:
After breakfast we travel the short distance from Santander to the climb of Peña Cabarga to see the stage. Those with bikes will be able to ride there whilst those without bikes will have the morning at leisure in Santander before being taken to the finishing climb in the tour vehicle.
After seeing the stage, we return to our hotel in Santander.
Friday 13th September:
After breakfast we leave Santander and travel to the city of Oviedo and the Alto Naranco climb to see the stage finish. Those with bikes can be dropped at the 100km point of the stage near to the town of Villaviciosa from where they will be able to ride the final 77km ahead of the race, including the three 3rd cat climbs and the final 1st Cat climb to Alto Naranco. Those without bikes will have some time to visit the city of Oviedo before being taken to the Alto Naranco for the stage finish.
After seeing the stage we spend the night in the city of Oviedo, and a must do here is visit a cider house and try some of the Asturian cider.
Saturday 14th September:
It is on this climb that the Vuelta will be won or lost, and is going to create one of the most exciting finishes to a Grand Tour in 2013..
After breakfast we travel the short distance from Oviedo to the Angliru climb to see the stage. Those with bikes will be able to ride there and the climb as well, whilst those without bikes will be taken to a mid point up the climb in the tour vehicle.
After seeing the stage we return to Oviedo.
Sunday 15th September:
After an early breakfast we commence the long transfer to Madrid for the final stage. After seeing the stage finish we spend the night in Madrid at the 4* NH Hotel, close to the finish.
Monday 16th September: