Etape du Tour 2018

Join us in France 2018 for Etape du Tour. Recognised as the most famous sportive on the International calendar it provides amateur riders with the opportunity of riding the same route as the Tour de France pros on closed supported roads. The 2018 Etape du Tour route is an absolute beauty, taking place in Annecy in the French Alps and tracing the route of stage 10 of the 2018 Tour de France – 169km with 4 major climbs.

Our 10-day trip captures what we consider to be the best of cycling in France – staying in Provence (4 nights) and on Lake Annecy (5 nights).  In Provence we discover tranquil back-roads situated within vivid landscapes of outstanding countryside and breathtaking gorges. Whilst Annecy, with its most beautiful lakeside town and imposing surrounding Alps, provides near enough to cycling and holidaying perfection.   

Day 1: Tuesday July 3rd – Arrive Provence
Solo Bike bus pick-up from Avignon train station. Immediate transfer to hotel and bike-fit and set-up for following days ride. On first evening with are treated to dinner of local flavors in hotel restaurant.
Meal: D

DAY 2: Wednesday 4th July – Gordes and Fountain de Vaucluse: 60km
Our first ride within Provence quickly has us immersed in some of France’s best countryside and highlight tourist attractions. Enroute we discover the beautiful hilltop village of Gordes (also recognised as one of Frances most beautiful villages), stunning Abby de Senanque, and Fontaine de Vaucluse. The latter, a pretty village that sits by a river sourced by France’s most powerful spring that lies 1km from the village.
Meals: B & D

DAY 3: Thursday 5th July – Gorges de la Nesque: 60km
Today’s ride takes us through the remarkable Gorges of Nesque. This particularly quiet road travels along undulating forested slopes beneath limestone overhangs as only nature can artistically create. The wild and remote landscapes are simply stunning. Definitely one of our favourite rides in France – or anywhere for that matter.
Meals: B & D

DAY 4: Friday 6th July – Luberon Villages: 80km
Our route on offer today takes us on a village hop discovering the pretty villages of the Luberon. Much of the Luberon lies within a protected natural parc area, a hilly landscape of extraordinary beauty. Villages discovered enroute are deservingly rated as some of Frances most beautiful, including Roussilon; Bonnieux; Lourmarin; Lacoste; and Menerbes.
Meals: B & D

Day 5: Saturday 7th July – Lake Annecy
Following breakfast we transfer to Lake Annecy. Here we stay for 5 nights in the beautiful lakeside village of Talloires, situated on the east bank of the Lake, only a short (15min) trip to Annecy town. Our hotel of choice more than captures the best of the lake, with its own private beach and surrounding Alps. 

In the afternoon our group will visit the Etape du Tour village in Annecy – thus completing registrations and soaking up some of the atmosphere of this most exciting international sporting event.
Meals: B & D

Day 6: Sunday July 8th – Etape du Tour: 169km
Today we get the opportunity to be a Tour de France professional rider – well almost!! Riding a route that mimics stage 10 of the Tour De France, 15,000 riders from around the globe have the opportunity of riding for Yellow. And a stage for the Yellow Jersey it is, a breathtakingly beautiful 169km in the Alps with 4 major climbs – it is no wonder this event is considered the most famous of Sportive events on the calendar.

Following the ride we are transferred by the Solo Bike team back to the hotel – some well earned drinks and plenty of food high on the agenda.
Meals: B & D

 Highlight Climbs

  • Col de La Croix Fry
  • Montee du Plateau de Glieres (with 1.8km of unpaved road on summit)
  • Col de Romme
  • Col de la Colombiere

Day 7: Monday July 9th – Ride and Beach
Following the previous days epic outing in the Alps today is dedicated to discovering more of Annecy and its wonderful lake. A short ride along the lake will be on offer, so too another excursion in the beautiful Annecy town that offers so much, so too the private beach which provides welcoming rest and recovery to both body and mind. A great tip for today would be to book in for a massage. All in all, a day of holiday bliss!!
Meals: B & D

Day 8: Tuesday July 10th – Le Semnoz: 80km
Today we ride the forested climb of Le Semnoz, a vast protected area of rare beauty on the western side of the lake. A challenging climb of 18.5km, it featured as a summit finish at the 2013 Tour de France. Certainly not surprising the Tour de France organizers opted to stage a finish in the 100th edition of the race on Le Semnoz, its extra-ordinary views of Lake Annecy and Mont Blanc further into the distance could not provide a better promotion of France – as they say “vive la France”.

The ride will also include the Col de Leschaux, a delightful gentle climb that connects back onto the flat roads that surround the Lake and return us to our Lakeside hotel.
Meals: B & D

Day 9: Wednesday July 11th – Col de la Forclaz de Montmin: 80km
Our final ride from Annecy takes us to the summit of Col de la Forclaz de Montin – considered one of the most beautiful climbs in the Alps – which is saying quite a bit!! It is also challenging, with steep sections that quickly have you retreating to your easiest gears. However the rewards for the effort are plentiful on this gem of a climb, its nice hairpin bends offering panoramas of inspiring beauty across from the eastern side of the lake.   As a Tour Climb it has appeared 3 times, its most recent appearance in an epic stage in 2016.
Meals: B & D

Day 10: Thursday July 12th – Departure from Annecy
Following breakfast is a bus departure for Annecy Train station
Meals: B