Our Tour de France week will capture the beauty of the mountains and the colours and character of the Tour as it passes through the Pyrénées. Combining peaceful yet challenging ride days with the spectacle of the world’s biggest race, whilst enjoying every minute with The Col Collective. Riding and watching the Tour in the same week is a surreal experience that often has us pinching ourselves in disbelief at just how magical the mountains can be.
WHO’S IT FOR?
This week is for those who want to experience the magic of the Tour de France close up while also having a challenging and rewarding week on the bike. We’ll be tackling some of the most legendary climbs in the sport plus we’ll be getting up close and personal with the Tour as the pros go full gas in the Pyrénées.
On average rides are around 100km with 2,000m of elevation gain, and plenty of opportunities to extend the shorter days or cut the longer ones depending on how you’re feeling each day. We want this week to be a celebration of the Tour de France, a chance to conquer the most prestigious peaks and a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience it all with personal support from The Col Collective.
We’re offering 6 nights accommodation and a maximum group size of just 8 guests with 2-3 guides so that we offer the best possible experience and levels of personal support both on and off the bike.
Thur 2nd - Wed 8th July 2020 (6 nights)
€2,595 per person - based on twin share, includes our exclusive Col Collective mountain essentials premium kit bag! See ‘what’s included’ for details.
€495 - single supplement. As we have limited rooms in our guest house please contact us in advance to confirm availability.
10% discount for non-riding partners.
5% loyalty discount for returning guests and for group bookings of 3 or more.
A relaxing environment where we take care of you from start to finish:
Tasty and nutritious food, locally sourced and lovingly prepared to satisfy your palate and hunger:
On the bike fully supported experience:
A thorough recovery to keep you going longer and stronger:
Keeping it simple for you:
The Col Collective mountain essentials premium kit bag!
We are currently working on our 2020 Col Collective kit bag which will include the highest quality mountain essentials gear from our premium partners including limited edition Col Collective jersey, nutrition, lighting, tools and more. In 2019 the value of this kit bag was over €850!
What makes The Col Collective Cycling Tours experience unique?
More than just a cycling tour, an authentic experience
More than just a riding event, the experience of riding like a pro without the stress
More than just a moment, a lifetime experience to remember forever
What’s new in 2020?
THE WEEK IN BRIEF > 9 Cols / 500kmkm / 9,500m elevation
Day 1 - Collection from Toulouse airport at midday, bike build and light spin to loosen the legs
Day 2 - One day ahead of the Pros: Port de Balès and Col de Peyresourde (final two climbs on Stage 8) > 100km / 2,000m elevation
Day 3 - One day ahead of the Pros: Col de la Hourcère, Col de Soudet and Col d’Ichere (first three climbs of Stage 9) > 95km / 2,000m elevation
Day 4 - Col de Marie Blanque (final climb of Stage 9) and big cheers for the Pros! > 70km / 1,200m elevation
Day 5 - Col du Soulor and Col d’Aubisque including Cirque du Litor > 105km / 2,000m elevation
Day 6 - Col du Tourmalet from Luz Saint Sauveur > 100km / 2,000m elevation
Day 7 - Breakfast basking in Tour de France glory, bike packing and (sadly) transfer back to Toulouse airport for 12pm noon drop off
There’ll be options throughout the week to make days longer or shorter (with transfers to or from climbs) depending on how you’re feeling so rest assured we’re here to look after you.
Learn more about some of the climbs you’ll conquer throughout the week here.
Arriving in Toulouse we’ll collect you and your bike at midday. Snacks and light refreshments will be available on arrival at The Col Collective HQ where we’ll have time to get the bikes built and prepped before a gentle spin. Relaxing by the pool or catching up on recovery after travelling is also an option. Today is an easy day to get you ready for the week ahead. Over dinner Mike will chat through the schedule for the coming days and no doubt a few tall tales will be told along the way.
With the buzz of the helicopters and the Tour de France getting ever closer we’ll get right in the thick of the action with a beautiful and challenging 100km loop featuring the final two climbs of Stage 8, the enchanting Port de Balès and classic Col de Peyresourde. I’ll never forget the first time I rode Port de Balès way back in the autumn of 2007 when I was filming a video for l’Etape du Tour. The climb came out of nowhere and as a tiny road unravelled itself I was left in absolute disbelief, beautiful beyond words and with a descent through the Oueil valley that still has me beaming with delight every time! We’ll join the Peyresourde just above Bagnères de Luchon where we’ll have 10 kilometres to climb to the summit at 1,569m. With the road lined with flags and fans it’ll be impossible not to feel the Tour de France vibe in the air. It’s always special to ride such historic climbs and when the Tour’s in town the experience and memories are all the more unique!
With the pros following in our footsteps (how cool does that sound?) as they tackle the first big mountain stage in the Pyrénées from Cazères-sur-Garonne to Loudenvielle we’ll stay one step ahead of the race as we explore the hidden roads of the Pays Basque, and in particular the final three climbs of Stage 9. Starting with the Col de la Hourcère we’ll ascend for 12km up to 1,440m on roads of Pyrenean purity. A short 5km descent will allow just enough time to catch our breath as we pick up the final 4km of the Col de Soudet (1,540m) just a heartbeat away from the Spanish border, and a 20km ribbon of tarmac awaits that’ll take us back down to the valley for the little 5km Col d’Ichère. To say that we’re excited about this day is an understatement! Although many of these roads may be relatively unknown in comparison to the more famous climbs, every time we explore this area we leave eager for more, more, more! The fact that the Tour is in town and we have the opportunity to showcase the Pays Basque to you is simply genius. Roll on July 4th!
Seeing the race in the mountains is absolutely unforgettable and today we’re in for a real treat as we tackle the Col de Marie Blanque just moments before the pros fly up the slopes in hot pursuit of The Col Collective! Just shy of 10 kilometres in length the real kick on this climb comes with four kilometres to go when the gradient rises up to double figures and keeps you pushing all the way to the summit. We’ll find a top spot on the climb to hang out and soak up all the Tour de France atmosphere. Get your catching mitts on and try to hoover up as much Tour de France swag from the caravan before giving it big cheers as the pros race towards the sky! Allez, allez, allez!
As the Tour heads into its first rest day, we’ll turn our gaze towards the Col du Soulor. From the north the Soulor is a hidden gem that was featured in the 2019 race and is a climb that always leaves us in awe at its serenity as you start to ascend deep into the mountains, feeling the magnitude and beauty of your surrounds as you do. After a summit break, be welcomed in the Cirque du Litor, one of the most picturesque roads in the world that joins the famous Col d’Aubisque and beautiful Col du Soulor along what appears to be no more than a craggy cliff edge. This stunning road is also steeped in Tour de France history as it first featured in the 1910 Tour during an unfathomable 326km stage from Bagnères de Luchon to the Atlantic coast. Ride in awe at the Cirque du Litor before taking a breather for coffee and Gâteau Basque at the summit of the Aubisque.
The final big one and to be honest there’s no other way to finish the week than with the most historic climb in Tour de France history, the legendary Col du Tourmalet from Luz Saint Sauveur. At 19km in length the early slopes can often be a harder battle mentally than physically until mid distance when we’ll hook a right and join the Voie Laurent Fignon (old Tourmalet road) that’s now reserved for cyclists with its faded road markings from past Tour de France battles and an array of wildlife both great and small to keep us company. Keep an eye on the stop watch, Frenchman Thibaut Pinot is the king of the Tourmalet with an eye watering 50 minutes to the summit!! The energy of the Tour may be getting more distant now but the legend of the Tourmalet creates a whole presence of its own. Savour the moment, be proud of yourself, these are the greatest climbs in cycling history and we’re honoured to support and share them with you.
A Tour de France breakfast fit for royalty awaits and with mountains and memories to last a lifetime all that’s to do now is pack and prepare for a transfer back to Toulouse airport for a midday drop off.
This is a general itinerary to give you a good idea of what to expect. We may make some adjustments if we think we can further improve the week or if we need to dodge Mother Nature at any time.
Located in the heart of the Hautes Pyrénées with views towards the 2,877m Pic du Midi de Bigorre, The Col Collective HQ is a perfect base for cyclists looking to tackle the most prestigious Hors Catégorie climbs, gentle rolling roads or even flatter farmlands that give this area so much charm and character.
We have 5 beautifully appointed en-suite guest bedrooms which can hold a total of 12 people. All of our rooms are named after local peaks or cols and each bring their own unique feel of the Hautes Pyrénées to life.
4 rooms are located in the Grange and 1 room is located in the Maison de Maître. All are warmly appointed and allow for peaceful relaxation and recovery after a great day of cycling. Each room is private and spacious and offers flexible accommodation with the choice of either two single beds or one super king size bed. Complimentary services available in each room include:
Après velo we welcome you to enjoy our pool, also known as ’the recovery zone’, cultivate your tan lines in our generously sized courtyard or take a spin into town for a coffee and culture.
Please complete the below booking request form so that we can start working with you to confirm your Col Collective cycling adventure. We’ll give you a call or send you an email with more details, also prior to booking we can answer any questions that you may have. Once you’re happy and have confirmed the booking we ask for 30% of the full price of the tour at this time, with the remaining balance paid in full 12 weeks before the tour. Changes and cancellations are detailed in our terms and conditions.
Thank you for your interest. We look forward to welcoming you to our mountains!
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