Revised Trip Dates: August 28 to September 8
Witness the most exciting Grand Depart in a generation! We’ll be based for 3 days on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice so you’re guaranteed to be in the thick of the early action. From Nice we head over to Provence to climb the giant of them all - MONT VENTOUX, then continue on to the Pyrenees for 2 thrilling Mountain Stages.
A 12-Day total immersion in the Tour de France!
Tour de France Race-Viewing Details
Stage 1: Access to the VIP Tribune at the Finish Line in Nice
Stage 1: VIP ride across the Finish Line & Podium photos in Nice
Stage 2: Access to our Private Race-Viewing Hospitality Marquee on the Col de Turini
Stage 3: Access to the VIP Departure Village at the Stage Start in Nice
Stage 8: Access to our Private Race-Viewing Hospitality Marquee on the Col de Peyresourde
Stage 9: Access to the VIP Tribune at the Finish Line in Laruns
Stage 9: VIP ride across the Finish Line & Podium photos in Laruns
Top 7 reasons to choose Thomson
1. Number 1 Official Tour de France Tour Operator: awarded “PREMIUM” status by ASO
2. VIP access to the 3 Grand Depart stages in Nice and the 2 Mountain Stages in the Pyrenees
3. Only with Thomson: access to our Private Hospitality Marquee on the Turini & Peyresourde
4. Only with Thomson: extensive Ride Program: choose from 3 fully supported rides
5. Premium hotels: the Nice Marriot, a Provencal boutique hotel & the #1 hotel in the Pyrenees
6. More KOMs: Ventoux, Turini, La Madone, Tourmalet, Aubisque…No one rides like Thomson!
7. Our support teams are the envy of the mountain. The best support guaranteed!
THREE fully supported ride levels!
3 fully supported rides each day - from 20km to 150km - ensure you’ll find the ride that matches your personal fitness level. Check out our Sport, Performance and Extreme ride programs.
(during the trip, you may choose a different ride level each day - you don’t have to stick with the same ride level for the entire trip)
Total Distance: 432km / 268miles
Total Elevation: 12,483m / 40,955ft
Longest Ride: 59km / 37miles
Most climbing in 1 day: 1,487m / 4,879ft
Total Distance: 760km / 472miles
Total Elevation: 22,638m / 74,272ft
Longest Ride: 107km / 66miles
Most climbing in 1 day: 3,151m / 10,338ft
Total Distance: 1058km / 657miles
Total Elevation: 31,222m / 102,434ft
Longest Ride: 148km / 92miles
Most climbing in 1 day: 4,711m / 15,456ft
Bienvenue a Nice!
Our staff will meet you at Nice International Airport. From the airport we have a short transfer to our hotel on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. After checking into the hotel we’ll have our Orientation Meeting followed by lunch, then our mechanics will be on hand to help you get the bikes ready for the first ride.
Our warm-up ride takes us high into the Alpes Maritimes mountains above Nice. We’ll follow the TDF Stage 1 Race route up the Col d’Aspremont then back to our hotel in Nice.
Meeting Time and Place
Our guides will meet you at 8:30am - either at Nice International Airport or directly at the AC Hotel Marriot Nice which is just 15 minutes from the airport
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 1
Official Ride across the Finish Line, Photo Shoot on the Podium & VIP access to the Stage Finish in Nice
Today has to be one of the best starts to a Thomson Tour de France trip ever. Our hotel is situated just a few metres from both the Start and Finish Line - so you’ll be in the thick of the action!
In the morning we’re going to escape the Tour for a few hours and ride one of the most scenic and spectacular routes in Europe including the Col d’Eze and the Col de la Madone (made famous by a certain Lance Armstrong).
Arriving back at the hotel, the Tour will be in full swing - and we have the unique opportunity to ride across the Official Finish Line just a few hours before the peloton - followed by a photo shoot on the Official Podium. We’ll round off an amazing Tour de France day by witnessing the Race Finish from the VIP Finish Line Tribune.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 2
Private Viewing on the HC Col de Turini climb
A magnificent mountain stage today with 2 HC climbs on the route - the Col de la Colmiane and the Col de Turini. Our Performance ride will head through the Alpes Maritimes mountains to Lantosque where we join the Race Route on the Col de Turini.
We’ll witness the race action LIVE on the mountainside on the Col de Turini. Enjoy the wild Tour de France scene from the comfort of our Hospitality Marquee. Food, drinks, and satellite TV race coverage will keep you entertained as we wait for the peloton to approach.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 3
VIP Access to the Stage Start in Nice
We’ve secured access to the VIP Departure Village and Team Paddock at the start of Stage 3 in Nice. The VIP Departure Village is a great place to soak up the atmosphere at the Start of a Tour de France stage. You’ll also have privileged access to the Team Paddock which is where you’ll get the chance to get up close to the riders and Tour celebrities and the perfect opportunity to get some photos, autographs etc.
The TDF peloton will head out around lunchtime and afterwards we’ll transfer over to Provence, close to the foot of Mont Ventoux. In the late afternoon we’ll head out on a ride through the Gorges de la Nesque - one of the most beautiful rides in Provence - then rest up for tomorrow’s assault on Mont Ventoux!
The Giant of Provence is our objective today. A truly remarkable mountain that is steeped in cycling history. Our hotel is located directly at the foot of the mountain, in the village of Sault, so we’ll be able to focus entirely on conquering this awesome mountain.
While the Extreme group are tackling all 3 sides of Ventoux, the Performance group will climb the Giant twice. The first climb is the easiest and starts pretty much outside our hotel in Sault. From the summit we descend to Malaucene then ride around the base of Ventoux to Bedoin where we start the classic approach. The summit lies 20km up the road, then it’s all downhill to our hotel in Sault.
We leave Provence today and head over to the Pyrenees Mountains. We should arrive mid-afternoon at our hotel in St Lary for the next 6 nights. We’ll check in and then get ready for our first ride in the Pyrenees.
In typical Thomson style we won’t mess around, and we’ll start with the toughest climb in the Pyrenees, the Col de Portet. With an average grade of 8.5% over 16km, the Portet was the highlight of the 2018 Tour de France - and it starts right outside our hotel in St Lary - so we just have to do it! Half-way up the climb, if you’re feeling like the Portet is going to be too much, there’s a junction where you can ride to the top of Pla d’Adet instead of going all the way to the Portet. This is where George Hincapie won his Tour de France stage in 2005, and although still an HC climb, it is significantly easier than the Portet!
Col de Peyresourde
Today’s ride follows the route of many a Tour de France Stage over the Col de Peyrsourde to Bagneres de Luchon. We’ll stop for a coffee in Luchon before heading back over the Peyresourde to Peyragudes, following the race route of Stage 8 of this year’s Tour de France, to the finish in Loudenvielle.
In Loudenvielle we’ll continue on to Genos and our final climb of the day, the Cat 1 climb to the Col de Val Louron-Azet. Enjoy the remarkable views from the Azet - the Spanish border lies off to the south, Pla d’Adet can be seen off to the west and there are great views of the Peyresourde to the east. From the Azet it’s all downhill to our hotel in St Lary.
Our main challenge today is the legendary Col du Tourmalet. The Tourmalet has been included on the Tour de France route 75 times, making it the most used climb in the Tour.
Today is our turn to conquer this remarkable climb which stands at 2115m. We’ll ride from the hotel and our first challenge lies in the form of the Category 1 Col d’Aspin. The descent of the Aspin takes us to Ste Marie and the start of the Tourmalet. Enjoy a snack at the famous cafe on the summit before heading back to the hotel over the stunning Hourquette d’Ancizan climb, one of our favorite climbs in the Pyrenees.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 8
Private Viewing on the final climb to the Col de Peyresourde
The first stage in the Pyrenees - and we’ll be there to witness the action LIVE on the mountainside. Our Logistics Team will have set up our Race-Viewing Hospitality Marquee on the side of the mountain, a few km from the summit of the Col de Peyresourde which lies just 9km from the Stage Finish in Loudenvielle.
We’ll join the Tour de France race route 50km from the Finish, at the bottom of the Port de Bales (scene of “chaingate” in 2010 when Andy Schleck dropped his chain and Alberto Contador attacked and went on to win the stage). From the Bales we’ll climb the Peyresourde where you can enjoy the wild Tour de France scene from the comfort of our Hospitality Marquee. Food, drinks, and satellite TV race coverage will keep you entertained as we wait for the peloton to approach.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 9
Official Ride across the Finish Line, Photo Shoot on the Podium & VIP access to the Stage Finish in Laruns
A unique opportunity today to ride your bike across the Official Finish Line just a few hours before the peloton - followed by a photo shoot on the Official Podium. We’ll round off an amazing Tour de France day by witnessing the Race Finish from the VIP Finish Line Tribune.
We’ve secured access to the VIP Tribune located at the Finish - and to get there we’ll enjoy a spectacular ride over the Col d’Aubisque, perhaps the most spectacular route in the Pyrenees! The descent from the Aubisque takes us into Laruns where the routes will be lined with thousands of passionate Tour de France fans ready to cheer our group over the Finish Line.
Cap de Long
Ask anyone who really knows the Pyrenees to name their favorite Pyrenean climb and most people will reply “Cap de Long”. We’ve saved this spectacular climb for the last day. The climb itself is as challenging as the Tourmalet but the scenery as you climb towards the Spanish border and the Cap de Long reservoir is simply breathtaking. Enjoy!
Unfortunately, our trip must come to an end. Our shuttle will take you to Toulouse Blagnac Airport, arriving at 10:00am.