The Col Collective

Tour de France

Tour Overview

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. Watch the peloton arrive into Pau and the favourites battle it out on the slopes up to Peyragudes ski station while also bagging many of the greatest Tour cols yourself. 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 rewarding week on the bike. We’ll be tackling some off the most legendary climbs in the sport including the Col d’Aubisque, Hautacam, Peyresourde, Luz Ardiden and of course The Col du Tourmalet. Plus two opportunities to watch the Tour, in historic Pau (Stage 11) and on the slopes up to Peyragudes ski station as the big guns show us how it’s done in the closing moments of Stage 12.

Typically ride days include 1-2 climbs and are from 53km to 110km and approximately 1,700m elevation gain, with 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.


Dates & Prices

As the Tour visits the Pyrénées early in the race we’re fortunate that the stages work out perfectly for a weekend to weekend trip that allows us to combine great riding and the race itself, with short transfers to see all the action. We’re offering 7 nights accommodation and a maximum group size of just 10 guests so that we offer the best possible experience and levels of personal support.

DATES:

8th - 15th July 2017 (7 nights) - limited availability

PRICE:

€2,350 per person* - includes our exclusive Col Collective mountain essentials kit bag worth €875! See ‘what’s included’ for details. See ‘what’s included’ for details.

*5% discount for group bookings of 3 or more or triple share.


What’s Included

  • 7 nights boutique style accommodation at The Col Collective HQ based on a twin share basis. We are a small but beautifully formed guest house therefore single supplement rooms are limited. Please enquire and we will do our best to accommodate, but in most cases rooms will be on a twin share basis. See more about the house in “accommodation”.
  • Personal airport collection and transfers from Toulouse. Arrangements can be made for Pau and Lourdes airport or Lourdes train station.
  • Hearty “cyclist” breakfast to get the day started (our local bakery is the stuff of legend).
  • 6 home cooked and healthy 3 course evening meals including beer, house wine and soft drinks.
  • Fully guided rides with Mike each day including on the road support vehicle.
  • TORQ nutrition energy and recovery products with guidance on fuelling on and off the bike.
  • Post ride snacks and hydration.
  • Daily use of NormaTec recovery “moon” boots.
  • Words of wisdom, help, advice and education throughout the week from Mike.
  • Professional photos capturing the essence of the week.
  • Daily kit wash.
  • Bike wash facilities, tools, workshop and secure storage.
  • Use of a Lezyne GPS loaded with routes if required.
  • Mavic and Cannondale test product (limited supply).

The Col Collective premium mountain essentials kit bag worth €875!
We are very proud to be able to offer a truly exceptional package from our partners to help you in every area of your cycling. This kit includes:

  • Mavic Ksyrium Pro jersey and shorts (€250)
  • Lezyne Pressure Drive mini pump and Metal Patch kit* (€50)
  • Scicon Custom Rain Bag* (€120)
  • Exposure Lights Trace and TraceR light kit* (€135)
  • Muc-Off Ultra Endurance, Recovery, Chamois Cream and Hydrodynamic lube (€100)
  • TORQ nutrition pack to allow you to fuel properly and scientifically throughout the week (€160)
  • 6 months free access on all new subscriptions to The Sufferfest training app to help you get ready for the mountains (€60)

* The Col Collective Limited Edition

PLUS! Access to preferential Col Collective partner pricing**

  • 25% off Mavic wheel systems and rider equipment up to €2,000 (€500 saving).
  • 25% off selected Scicon products. Available in advance if needing to buy a bike box or bag to travel.
  • 20% off InfoCrank and access to their MyPower training suite (€320 saving). Available in advance if wishing to fit the InfoCrank prior to cycling tour.
  • 20% off Muc-Off.

** Limitations may apply and can be confirmed prior to booking.


What’s not included

  • Your flights and travel arrangements
  • Bike hire (can be arranged)
  • Travel and personal insurance
  • Evening meal and any food / drinks when visiting Pau
  • Additional sustenance outside of what’s listed above

Itinerary

THE WEEK IN BRIEF > 11 Cols / 500km / 9,500m elevation

Day 1 - Collection from Toulouse airport at midday, bike build and light spin to loosen
Day 2 - Soulor, Cirque du Litor, Aubisque > 110km / 1,700m elevation
Day 3 - Hautacam > 53km / 1,100m elevation
Day 4 - Col des Ares, Col de Mente, Port de Balès, Peyresourde / Peyragudes > 125km / 2,750m
Day 5 - Col de la Croix Blanche loop (30km / 500m elevation) followed by a visit to historic Pau for the Tour de France stage 11 finish and dinner
Day 6 - Côte de Capvern, Peyresourde, Peyragudes > 85km / 1,650m elevation
Day 7 - Col du Tourmalet from Luz St Sauveur > 100km / 1,800m elevation
Day 8 - Breakfast story time, bike packing and (sadly) transfer back to Toulouse airport for 12pm noon drop off

Learn more about some of the climbs you’ll conquer throughout the week here.


Day 1

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. If you prefer to relax by the pool or catch up on recovery after travelling then no problem. Today is an easy day to get you ready for the week ahead. Over dinner Mike will chat you through the schedule for the coming days and no doubt a few tall tales will be told along the way.

Day 2

The Cirque du Litor is one of the most picturesque roads in the world, joining the famous Col d’Aubisque and beautiful Col du Soulor along what appears to be no more than a craggy cliff edge. Steeped in Tour de France history, it first featured in the 1910 Tour during an unfathomable 300km stage from Bagnères de Luchon to the Atlantic coast. A gentle start will allow the legs to come around after travelling the day prior before tackling the Aubisque. Ride in awe at the Cirque du Litor before taking a breather for coffee and cake at the summit of the Soulor. Now awaits the first big descent of the week and what an absolute stunner it is.

Day 3

Now it may seem rather early in the week for a “rest” day but dig a little deeper and the road may tell a different story as another Tour de France classic awaits us. Known as one of the toughest ascents for its changing gradient and steep double digit gradient, Hautacam is the climb you love to hate and hate to love all at the same time. A gentle roll out to Argelès Gazost will help warm the legs before we start the 13km ascent to the summit at 1,520m. Enjoy the view, grab a coffee, there’s time to add more climbing today if you’re feeling good or head back to base for recovery, Tour time on the TV or poolside pleasure. The race is nearly here and tomorrow is going to be MEGA!

Day 4

A lighter day yesterday all starts to make sense as we head out for our own Etape du Tour, Col Collective style! A short transfer to Saint Bertrand de Comminges, a member of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (the most beautiful villages in France) is where we’ll start the stage. From here we trace our way along the Tour de France route that riders will be on just 48 hours later, taking in the Col des Ares (797m), Col de Menté (1,349m), Port de Balès (1,755m) and Peyresourde / Peyragudes double (1,580m). This will be the toughest day of the week at 125km with approximately 2,750m of elevation. Paving the way for the pros and knowing what they face will add yet another level of excitement when we watch the race live in a couple of days time.

Day 5

With the race nearly finishing in our back garden, today we’ll take a shorter morning loop into the Pyrénéan foothills to recover and show you the stunning Col de la Croix Blanche, one of Mike’s favourite rides to clear the mind. We’ll then head into Pau to soak up the Tour atmosphere as the race thunders into town followed by dinner in the historic city. We never fail to get excited at seeing the Tour live, sweet dreams, tomorrow is going to be a mega day!

Day 6

As a stroke of genius (or perhaps luck) as the Tour riders depart Pau they head east before climbing the Côte de Capvern. We’ll head out early on the bikes to watch them as they pass on this climb, and while they take on the Col de Menté and Port de Balès (which by now we are all best friends with), we’ll wind our way up the opposite side of the Col de Peyresourde from the west before camping out on the Peyragudes to watch the race as it explodes into action.

Day 7

There’s only one way to finish the week off and in celebration of the Tour de France it’s time to conquer the legendary Col du Tourmalet! There’s plenty of time to let breakfast go down and get the legs turning in circles again as we follow the valley to Luz Saint Sauveur. It’s here where the main course of the day awaits as we start the Tourmalet’s 19km ascent at an average 7.4%. As we approach the summit at 2,115m the scenery takes hold of all senses in a world of mountain magic and all becomes clear as to why the Tourmalet is such a prestigious climb in cycling history. From the summit it’s time to let gravity show us the way, all the way back through the Campan valley and onwards towards home.

Day 8

A late breakfast awaits as you reflect on the week, get the bike and kit bag ready for travel, and transfer back to Toulouse airport for drop off at midday.


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. There will be plenty of options throughout the week to either add or subtract climbs depending on how you’re feeling so rest assured we’re here to look after you.

About the house

Located in the heart of the Hautes Pyrenees with views towards the Pic du Midi and Montaigu, The Col Collective HQ is a perfect base for cyclists looking to tackle the most prestigious Hors Catégorie climbs, gentler 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 10 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 guests flexible accommodation with the choice of either two single beds or one super king size bed. Complimentary services available in each room include:

  • Tea and Coffee making facilities
  • Hairdryer…..gotta look good off the bike
  • Safe for valuables
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Towels
  • Soap and Shampoo
  • WIFI
  • TV with French and English channels

Apres velo we welcome you to enjoy our heated 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.

*For groups larger than 10, please enquire as we may be able to accommodate this.


Booking Terms

Please complete the below booking request form so that we can start working with you to confirm your Col Collective cycling tour. 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 8 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!

Ride safe,

Mike Cotty


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