TOUR DE FRANCE 2024 (TDF2)
French Alps and Provence

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09 - 22 July 2024 (14 Days / 13 Nights)

Starting and finishing in Nice, means that we don't have any long transfer days. That allows for more time on the bikes. Riding hotel to hotel where possible.

Given the lack of vehicle time - It also means that you have more time by the pool.

We will have a choice for rides each day. Ride Holidays cycle tours are achievable for anyone who rides a road bike. We would certainly advise that you follow the Silas Cullen training program. (he’s one of the guides so will know if you’ve ignored him). 

We target famous Cols and a few you’ve never heard of.

We are happy to roll out road e-bikes those out to those who aren’t 100% comfortable in the mountains. In 2023 we offered the brand new Pinarello Nytro. 2024 will be similar.  

You will see up to 4 stages of the 2024 TdF. Including the chance to see a mountain stage, race start and the final Time Trial (TT) in Nice.  

Our hotels are the very best on offer. We travel in small 9 seat vans which allows for flexibility. This trip is designed around our local staff. A team that has worked together many times. We know all the nooks and crannies.  

Non-riding partners (Team Macchiato) are welcome however unlike TDF1 and 3, there won’t be a separate guide,  vehicle. Our guides will factor in a good walk for you each day.

Look forward to riding with you in France. Can’t wait!!

What a trip. Join us.








Tour de France | TDF2 Details


Tour Inclusions

Accommodation

  • Excellent hotels in central locations.
  • Starting and finishing in Nice, 2 nights Jausiers, 3 nights Serre Chevalier, 2 nights Alpe d’Huez and 2 nights Provence.


Amazing Cycling & Tour de France Race Viewing

  • Choice of 2 - 3 rides per day at your pace.
  • Ride all the classics - Mont Ventoux, Alpe d'Huez, Col du Galibier, Lautaret, Telegraph as well as many more.
  • View up to 4 stages of the 2024 Tour de France. Race start, 2 mountain stages and the finish (TT).


General Cycling Tour Details

  • Smaller group than TDF1 and 3. Supported with 7 staff. Tour leader - Karl Woolcott.
  • 9 seat support vehicles which allows for greater flexibility.
  • Majority of meals. As indicated in the itinerary.
  • Tour de France souvenir booklet and Ride Holidays cycle jersey.
  • Maps provided as well as GPS assistance.
  • Electrolytes and cycling snacks provided.
  • Non-riders are very welcome.

    The Tour Price Excludes

    • Meals not included in the itinerary. Alcohol (although some wine is included at dinner)
    • International airfares
    • Pre-& post tour accommodation or tours
    • Travel Insurance – compulsory!

    Bike Hire Options
    • $1000.00 NZD (Road bike - Standard, Shimano 105 & Disc) (Scott Addict or Similar).
    • $1600.00 NZD (Road bike - Excellence, Shimano 105 Di2 & Disc) (Pinarello X3 or similar) Please note: Excellence Road bikes on request with limited stock.
    • $1900.00 NZD (Road e-bike, Shimano 105 Di2 & Disc) (Pinarello Nytro E5 or similar).


    The Tour Cost

    • $10350.00 NZD per person twin share
    • $1750.00 NZD for single room (Subject to availability)

      ** Please note re: hire bikes. Insurance for the bike is not included. It’s simply not a thing in Europe. You are liable for any damage to the bike. Ride Holidays will offer an optional insurance kitty for all those who are hiring. It’s $150.00 (we will organise this closer to departure) per bike and you can opt in or out. For all those who opt in then we have a pool of $$ to use for any damage. Any unused $$ will be donated to our kid’s bike charity.

      There is a $2500.00 NZD per person deposit to be paid. ($2400.00 additional for those who have already paid the initial $100.00 deposit) Full payment will be 90 days prior to departure. (Both of these can now be covered via various travel insurance policies which would be our recommendation).

       




      Click on the map to view at a larger size








      Tour de France | TDF2 Itinerary

      Day 1, Tuesday 9 July 2024

      Welcome to France

      Ahhhh, now I remember - all things good about France. The pace of life, croissants, wine, cheese, great roads, amazing scenery…. We could go on and on. What a fantastic country.

      Welcome to France. Let's have a brilliant two weeks together.

      Feel free to arrive at any time. Our hotel is located at Nice airport. We like to make things easy. You’re on holiday.

      Speaking of – we’ll have our bike mechanics ready to help put your velo together. Late this afternoon we’ll head out for a very quick spin just to make sure everything is working properlyboth bike and person).

      Tonight, we’ll crack open a few bottles of champagne. A lot of you will know each other so it's a case of saying hello to old friends and welcoming those who are travelling with us for the first time. We’ll introduce the team and have a chat about the next couple of days.

      It really is great to have you here. Cheers to you.

      / Accommodation: Sheraton Nice Airport
      / Meals Included: Welcome Dinner

      P.S., if you want to arrive early (this would be our recommendation) then we can easily arrange this for you.


      Day 2, Wednesday 10 July 2024

      Col de la Bonette

      This particular trip is designed around riding hotel to hotel. We really want to limit our time in the vehicles and maximise the time we spend on bikes and swim in the pool.

      It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to pick that today could be lumpy. Hotel to hotel is 140km. That involves over 3000VM. This option is not for everyone. Only a small handful should take on the full ride.   

      For all the normal people - We’ll drive 40km out of Nice. Thus, avoiding the city traffic. 100km on your first day is still a challenging ride. Especially as there’s a major climb involved.

      Cappuccino cyclists will be dropped further 40km up the road. 60km for you on day 1 is quite enough. It is a holiday after all.

      Today’s Col? None other than Col de la Bonette. We rode this beauty earlier in 2023. It’s Hors category which means it’s bad. It’s actually the highest paved road in the Alps. We may as well start at the top… 2860m above sea level. (Hmm, didn’t we start at the sea?).

      And now for the good news. Once we get to the top of Bonette we literally roll down the other side to our hotel. The next 2 nights are spent in the beautiful Villa Morelia.

      So, let’s start to tick them off. Col de la Bonette. Tick.

      / Accommodation: Villa Morelia, Jausiers
      / Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


      Day 3, Thursday 11 July 2024

      Italy for coffee!!  

      5am yoga!! Just kidding.

      Yesterday was reasonably challenging. Tomorrow isn’t easy. The goal for today is to keep things short. We’ll start early but not at 5am. It’s only 25km to the Italian boarder. Let’s go there as the Italian coffee is always better.

      So, 50km return for those who want to spend some time by the pool this afternoon. Our target Col (we always need a target Col) being Col de la Madeleine. Located on a high mountain pass between the Cottian Alps and the Maritime Alps.

      Espresso cyclists are welcome to carry on further into Italy. There’s only one road. If you get to Rome, then you’ve gone too far. In all seriousness – for anyone feeling energetic – the target is the magnificent switchbacks which are about 7km past the French / Italian boarder. Well worth the extra riding.

      This afternoon we’ll set up a big screen in the garden and watch the final stages from today’s TdF stage. 204km from Aurillac to Villenuve. Flat. Is this the day for Cav to make history?

      The hotel restaurant is well known and is rated very highly by Michelin. There are no less than 10 chefs. I’m expecting big things.  

      Tomorrow is amazing. You will see.

      / Accommodation: Villa Morelia, Jausiers
      / Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner (Lunch own arrangements)

      Ps, just reminding you – on a daily basis, we’ll have 3 or 4 vehicles around you at all times.  There’s no pressure to keep up with the Jones. When you’ve had enough – just put your hand on top of your helmet. We’ll be there to pick you up. It is a holiday. Not a race. 

      Day 4, Friday 12 July 2024

      Col d’Izoard and beyond…  

      One of the most beautiful bike rides on the planet. Let’s break it down in to 3 parts. It sounds easier that way.

      Stage 1 – We ride to Vars. Not Mars. Vars. It’s only 35km away from our hotel. A very famous ski town that we know has a great café at the top. That 35km could take us a couple of hours as it certainly isn’t Singapore flat. (It’s actually a Cat 1 climb. But flat, kind of….).

      Stage 2 – if you read this really quickly it will help. It’s about a 30km climb to the top of Col d’Izoard. We climb via a gorgeous valley road that has lots of tunnels. The likes of what you see on TV and go wow, I’d like to ride that. (Lights please).  

      500m over the top of d'Izoard is a fascinating building called Napoleon's Refuge. It transpires that the man himself left a large amount of money in his will to this particular French Provence - mainly to thank the local people for their support. It was decided that the best way of using this money was to build shelters on isolated high mountain passes. The shelter has now been turned in to a café and this is our coffee stop. I wonder what he would say now if he knew that a few skinny cyclists wandered in every day and ask, "latte please"? It’s also our lunch stop for today.

      Stage 3 – It’s all downhill. It’s about 40km.

      We descend all the way down to Briancon. In an ideal world we’d like to stop in Briancon for a wee walk around. The old town and fort are gorgeous. We’ll look after your bikes, and you can go for a wander. Our hotel is only 25mins up (2%) the valley so feel free to celebrate our arrival in the high Alps with a wine or beer.

      Our home for the next 3 nights is in the beautiful ski valley of Serre Chevalier. We choose this hotel because of its location. Turn left out of the hotel and you have Col du Galibier, Telegraph etc. Turn right and you have Col du Grannon. Hmm. Turn left!!

      / Accommodation: Grand Hotel - Serre Chevalier
      / Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

      P.S., Latte riders – we suggest you start riding from the top of Vars which would make your day 70km and 1700VM. Cappuccino riders will be dropped further along the road.









      Day 5, Saturday 13 July 2024

      Italy for another coffee

      Today is one of those balance days. It's an important part of our job to manage fatigue. We need to get you safely to day 14.

      In past years the need for a good coffee has meant a ride into Italy. The ski town of Bardonecchia isn’t far away and it’s yet again another beautiful ride.

      Or, for those who have more energy……

      Remember stage 11 of the 2022 TdF. When Pogacar cracked and lost over 2 mins to the eventual yellow jersey winner? Well!! Col du Granon is literally across the road from our hotel. It can only be described as a Munta. 10km and 10%. So, only a 20km ride today. In the small print – 1000VM.

      This afternoon we suggest you catch the cable car which is pretty much located at the hotel front door. Have a coffee at the top. Go for a stroll.  

      Compulsory – late this afternoon we drive you up the valley to the magnificent thermal baths. (Speedos for boys are required. I’m not joking).

      / Accommodation: Grand Hotel - Serre Chevalier
      / Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner (Lunch is own arrangements)



      Day 6, Sunday 14 July 2024

      Lautaret, Galibier, Telegraphe and Lacets 

      Bastille Day…. (4 Col Day)

      I know it sounds scary, but it isn’t that bad. We won’t make you ride back. That’s what our vans are for.

      Here’s the plan…

      It's very gentle ride up to Col du Lautaret from our hotel. 20km at 3-4%. That's flat. There are donuts at the top. You can chill out here for a while and re-group.

      ** On that note – for those who need more time on the climb we will simply start you earlier. We don’t want you to feel pressure to keep up with the whippets.

      After donuts - It's a short little wee 8km (up) to Col du Galibier. It's not that difficult until you reach the last 1km which is when the shit starts to get real. Galibier is the 8th highest paved road in the Alps. You’ve already done the 2 in the top 10 so this should be easy peasy.

      From the top of Galibier it’s almost all downhill until you get to Col du Telegraphe. (This is our lunch spot). We then continue descending until we get to Lacets de Montvernier. Probably the most famous little wee climb in the whole wide world. It’s relatively short (3.5km) but incredibly scenic. (Google it).

      Our day ends here, and we drive back.

      I know what you are thinking – that’s a big day…. But no, it’s actually not too bad. Total distance is only 90km. 1813m up and a whopping 2400m down. Which in my world pretty much says that the whole day is downhill.   

      Today is Bastille Day, which usually means an epic TdF stage has been planned. It’s a mountain stage finish on Plateau de Beille in the Pyrenees. It’s encouraged that the French attack early. Winning a stage on Bastille Day is the pinnacle. We’ll make sure we’re all together in a bar watching the final throws of today’s stage.   

      / Accommodation: Grand Hotel - Serre Chevalier
      / Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner









      Day 7, Monday 15 July 2024

      Something a bit different for Ride Holidays!!

      In 15 years, we’ve never stayed the night on L’Alpe d’Huez. We’ve ridden the great mountain over 20 times. But, in all honesty - it has always felt a bit rushed. That changes today.

      In fact – we stay 2 nights at the top of the great mountain.

      From our base in Serre Chevalier to L’Alpe d’Huez it is only 65km (via Col du Lautaret) but that does include 1800VM. You actually don’t ride d’Huez today. Our route takes us via Col de Sarenne. Which pops out at the top of d’Huez.

      The Mont Blanc views from the top of Col de Sarenne are staggering. Serene even!! (Sorry).

      Our hotel is also a health spa so this afternoon would be a good chance to book a massage.

      Tonight, we dine together. It’s my birthday so I’ll shout a few drinks. Birthday on d’Huez. Now we’re talking. Don’t drink too much though. Tomorrow could quite possibly be the best bike ride you’ll ever do. That’s a high bar but yes, but, we’re pretty confident…

      / Accommodation: Grandes Rousses Hotel & Spa, L’Alpe d’Huez
      / Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

      P.S., speaking of lunch. In France it runs from about midday to 1.59 pm. If you turn up to a café or restaurant at 11.59 am or 2.01 pm they will look at you as though you’re weird. Which is why we include quite a few lunches on this trip. We really want you to eat. Eating is important.

      Day 8, Tuesday 16 July 2024

      L'Alpe d'Huez and Col de Sarenne (Boom)

      Yes, you should be excited. Today we ride one of the world's most iconic mountains - L'Alpe d'Huez. The name sends shudders down the spine.

      Having a hotel on top means we can ride early. In previous years we’ve ridden in 40 degrees. That won’t be a problem today. You can leave at 7am if you want to.  

      The Alpe d'Huez was first climbed in the 1952 TdF, it climbs over 1,100m vertically over 14km and has 21 legendary hairpin turns. The climb can be broken up into three stages. The first part is the steepest with gradients above 10% for the first 6 hairpins until the hamlet of La Garde. The gradient then eases a little to 8% after hairpin 6, and the turns become more spread out for the following 6kms. With only 5 hairpins left, the gradient ramps up again for 1km to 11% before easing off to 9% till you reach the Alpe d'Huez village. It's only 2km to go to the top at around 5% gradient, you can now relax a little and enjoy the fruits of all your hard work. Well done, it's a great accomplishment and another milestone achieved!

      But wait – there’s more…. Buy now.. and…

      Because we have all day – we’ll ride the reverse route of Col de Sarenne first. We carry on down the other side (the way you rode up yesterday) to complete another 70km loop.

      Today is a great day to ride at your pace. We’ll have support vehicles around you at all times. Col de Sarenne is very technical on the descent. There will be almost xero traffic, but you do need to be careful.

      Tonight, are own arrangements. There are logistics though so please keep an eye on the RH app.

      / Accommodation: Grandes Rousses Hotel & Spa, L’Alpe d’Huez
      / Meals Included: Breakfast (Lunch & Dinner are own arrangements)



      Day 9, Wednesday 17 July 2024

      TdF and Provence

      It’s our longest transfer day at a shade over 4 hours. Which is perfect timing for a complete rest day. Even guides get sore bottoms.

      It’s a 3-hour drive to the start of stage 17 in Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux. Your first TdF experience. Starts are a hive of activity as you can watch riders warm up and sign on.

      You’ll quickly understand why this bike race is so important to the French - they live for it. Viva le Tour! Seeing the race is amazing, however it’s often the pre-race caravan that has everyone buzzing. You’ll see grown men diving on the road trying to acquire one the sponsor’s products. Sometimes you win and come away with a cycling top, sometimes you lose and find yourself with five bags of washing powder. Mind you - they may come in handy at this stage of the trip.

       What’s for lunch?

      Undoubtedly the best restaurant I've eaten at in France. Located under a castle wall in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and we return here year after year. We start with a wine tasting in their Roman wine cave, followed by a late lunch. The castle - named Castle of the Popes can first be accounted for as far back as 1094. Many a Pope lived here from 1316 through to 1387 at which stage it was already a well-established wine region.

      Our accommodation for the next two nights is set in the heart of the charming Luberon area, the Hostellerie Notre-Dame de Lumières, so relax and enjoy an unforgettable experience in this ancient convent from the 17th century. Converted into hotel and entirely renovated (with an amazing swimming pool) and only about 30km away from the mythical - Mont Ventoux.

      See you in the pool.

      / Accommodation: Notre - Dame de Lumières
      / Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner  



      Day 10, Thursday 18 July 2024

      Mont Ventoux - enough said!!

      We understand that a few of you have ridden the Giant in the past. So, today we'll offer two different routes. Totally up to you - choose to ride the traditional way as described below or reverse it.

      Starting at our hotel we ride through country lanes to the large town of Bédoin at the foot of Mont Ventoux. A certain rider who once claimed to have won seven yellow jerseys - before admitting to the world that he was indeed as high as a kite used to vouch that Mont Ventoux is the most difficult of all the Tour de France climbs. Drugs or no drugs - Lance is right.

      The terrain in the Cote du Rhone region is brilliant, we'll cycle in some of the famous vineyard regions and see the premier varieties of Grenache, Syrah (Shiraz) and Viognier being grown. The landscape around Ventoux is interesting yet varied. You'll cycle up through mixed agricultural farmland, past fields of beautiful Lavender and through the forests of Ventoux.

      There are over 1200 species of plants on Ventoux, however chances are that you won't see any of them as you sweat you way up the 1,912m. Pause at Chalet Reynard for a refreshment stop, collect your thoughts prior to the final 6km assault to the summit. Enjoy a fast descent to Malaucène where you can either hop in the vans or ride back to your hotel for a well-deserved swim.

      Tonight, we dine outside in the hotel courtyard. The Beast has been tamed. Let’s celebrate.

      / Accommodation: Notre-Dame de Lumières
      / Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner








      Day 11, Friday 19 July 2024

      Tour de France Mountain Stage

      We leave Provence and head back towards the Mediterranean and our last 3 nights together.

      Stage 19 starts in Embrun, climbs Vars and Bonette before finishing on Isola 2000. We’ve already ridden Vars and Bonette so let’s have a crack at Isola 2000.

      Stages 19, 20 and 21 will decide the 2024 Tour de France. Personally, I can’t recall 3 final stages as difficult as these. Usually, the last stage in Paris is a procession. That changes in 2024. The GC could change hands right up to the last minute.

      Logistics will be challenging. We'll need to be smarter than Fantastic Mr Fox. The plan is to leave our hotel early. We have about a 3-hour drive before we can get within race route. We’ll then hop on our bikes.

      In summary – We ride, see the race, ride some more and eventually drive back to Nice.  

      It’s hard to describe how epic today will be. In my humble opinion – it’s the greatest sporting event on the planet…. However, it does come with a couple of buts!! You need to be mentally prepared for a very big, long day. There’s a good chance we won’t get to our hotel until after 10pm. Somewhere along the way we’ll have dinner.

      / Accommodation: Nice Sheraton Airport
      / Meals Included: Breakfast. (Lunch & Dinner are own arrangements)


      Day 12, Saturday 20 July 2024

      TdF stage 20 - Col de Turini or the race start…

      The 20th stage of the 2024 Tour de France features 4 climbs. We’re going to approach today in a ‘less is more’ type of scenario. The idea being that we’ll have you on either Col de Braus or Col de Turini. Which are the 2 closer climbs to Nice.

      Yesterday you will have witnessed how long TdF days can be so we doubt there will be any appetite to have 2 really late nights in a row.

      After seeing the riders come through, we’ll roll back into town (along with half of France) where we could watch the final climb (Col de La Couillole) on the big screen. Nice will no doubt have a large fan zone. This is their year to shine. The city will be pumping.

      The other option is that you see the race start which is only a few km’s away from our hotel. It’s a good opportunity to see the riders warming up and signing on ahead of the penultimate stage.

      Today is also your best chance for official souvenir merchandise.

      Tonight, we dine in Antibes. A resort town between Cannes and Nice on the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur). It’s known for its old town enclosed by 16th-century ramparts with the star-shaped Fort Carré. This overlooks luxury yachts moored at the Port Vauban marina. There are many restaurants to choose from.     

      / Accommodation: Nice Sheraton Airport
      / Meals Included: Breakfast (Lunch & Dinner own arrangements)


      Day 13, Sunday 21 July 2024

      Final stage of the 2024 Tour de France

      For the first time in 110 editions, the Tour de France will not finish in Paris. Adding to that – the last time a time trial decided the yellow jersey was 35 years ago (Greg LeMond).

      Over 2 years ago we decided that seeing the final stage in Nice was a must-do. In fact, in 2023 we visited Nice to get the lie of the land. It’s a fantastic cycling city and worthy of hosting today’s famous stage.   

      Today’s TT is a hilly 35.2km test. Starting in Monaco and finishing in Nice. The climbs of La Turbie and Col d’Eze lie on the route. The final 15km are a long sweeping descent with the finish line being at the Place Masséna.

      There will be a few options.

      A, it’s our intention to offer V.I.P seating (at a cost). We won’t have these details until early 2024. Watch this space.

      B, we’ll offer a ride out to the first climb at La Turbie (8.1km at 5.6%) The atmosphere will be electric.

      C, roll out of our hotel, turn left when you hit the bike path. This will take you all the way to the stage finish. You can spend all day there and bike home when you’ve had enough. We’ll look after your bikes while you have fun.

      Whatever you choose – it will be epic.   

      This evening we enjoy our last meal together. A few stories will be told. Champagne will be consumed. It's been a fabulous 2 weeks. Thank you.

      / Accommodation: Nice Sheraton Airport
      / Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner (Lunch own arrangements)


      Day 14, Monday 22 July 2024

      Safe travels home

      Our tour finishes after breakfast. For some it's time to head home, while others will take some time in Nice or head off to explore other parts of Europe.

      Thank you for joining us on the adventure of a lifetime and the greatest sporting event in the world. Let’s have a look at what we achieved.

      • Col de la Bonette – HC
      • Colle della Maddelena - 2
      • Col de Vars - 1
      • Col d’Izoard – HC
      • Col du Lautaret - 2
      • Col du Galibier – HC
      • Col du Telegraph – 1
      • Col du Granon – HC
      • Lacets de Montvernier – 3
      • Alpe d’Huez – HC
      • Col de Sarenne - HC
      • Mont Ventoux – HC
      • *Isola 2000 - HC

      Again, I want to reassure you that there will be shorter options each day. The list above is pretty impressive, but we are on holiday. It’s not a training camp.  

      Thank you for joining Ride Holidays.

      Safe travels home.





       

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