08-Jul-2015 - 17-Jul-2015
Duration: 10 Days/9 Nights
Suitable for: moderate to Proficient
Prices from: $6350 twin share
All the best climbs in the Pyrenees over a relaxed 10 Days.
The 2015 Pyrenean Peaks tour will be a classic serving of some of the best cycling roads in Europe, Tour de France spectating, and quality French and Spanish hospitality.
We'll pick you up from Barcelona Airport and begin our tour in relaxed style as we ride from the Spanish side of the Pyrenees across to the French side over ten days. We'll cover such monuments as the Tourmalet, Port de Pailheres, Col du Portilion, Port de Bales, Peyresourde, and the Aubisque.
While our own battles with these historic Tour climbs will be aplenty, our itinerary is still relaxed and transfers between hotels will be short enough to be taken by bike most of the time.
Finally, having gained a good appreciation of what it's like to ride these climbs ourselves, we'll witness the first major battles of the Pyrenees, with mountain side passes to stages 10, 11 and 12 in addition to the village depart experience in Muret on Stage 13.
To see a selection of photos from previous years' Phil Anderson Cycling Tours de France, click here.
TdF Stage 5
Today's Ride: A rolling welcome ride.
The 2015 Phil Anderson Cycling Tour de France starts with a convenient pick up from Barcelona Airport.
A short transfer will have us into the mountains and checked into our first hotel in Puigcerda, ready for a short welcome ride to warm-up the legs for the week ahead.
We always welcome our guests in style and as our Pyrenean Peaks tour begins in Spain, le Tour 2015 will begin with a little tapas and a glass of Tempranillo.
TdF Stage 6
Today's Ride: Port de Pailheres
Today we'll be opening the account of Hors Category climbs: the Port de Pailheres.
This climb was just a gravel road when I was racing, but since those days it’s been sealed and used in le Tour since 2003 and was the famous site of Nairo Quintana's first major showing in 2013. This is a steep narrow 15km climb and challenging for most. The early slopes of the climb are the hardest and would have the racers attacking aggressively in an effort to get significant breaks and time bonuses.
We wont have our race faces on but today’s ride will undulate gently from our hotel passing Mont Louis fort en-route to the climb of the day. This fortification is worth a stop, strategically placed by the French to protect their frontier from the ever invading Spanish. Fortunately our descent is far longer than the ascent, at the bottom in Ax les Thermes.
For those who are super keen, there will be the possibility of also attempting Ax 3-Domaines at the end of our ride. In 2013 on Stage 8, Richie Porte famously buried himself for Froome, who subsequently attacked Contador to triumph on the stage and take the lead of the tour.
TdF Stage 7
Today's Ride: Puerto de la Bonaigua
Today we'll be transferring hotels to Vielha, but not without adding to our collection of climbs on the way. While the peloton is practising their echelon formations in the strong crosswinds of Normandy and Brittany, we will be honing our climbing skills en-route to the French side of the Pyrenees. The Port de la Bonaigua, at 2085m, stands between us and our next destination, but we'll have all day to do it!
At 2085m, this is a gradual climb that most can achieve. The climb itself is 18km long but starts at an elevation of 1000km, making it a decent achievement. We'll be indulging in the obligatory pre-ride coffee, over which you can decide whether to tackle the whole ride, or to trim it down to just the climb (and descent!).
TdF Stage 8
Today's Ride: Port de Bales & Col du PortillonIn the never ending quest to introduce new challenges to Le Tour de France, the Hors Category Port de Bales was first introduced to Le Tour in 2007. In 2014, Jose Serpa lead the charge over the top in hot pursuit by Thomas Voeckler, seeking a win for France. But as the peloton swept into Bagneres de Luchon, it was Australia's Michael Rogers who broke away and took out his first Tour de France Stage win.
Not as high as the last two days, the Port de Bales is our challenge for the day’s ride: a loop that will take us from Spain to France and back to Spain. Port de Bales a long climb at 19km and with average gradient of 6.7% and it doesn’t sound scary, but is a climb to work up a noble appetite. The descent, like many in the Pyrenees, is technical but lands us in Bagneres du Luchon for lunch.
For most of us, this will be the end of our ride and we can indulge in a heavy lunch and perhaps a congratulatory beer. But for the die-hard, there remains the possibility of tackling the Col du Portillon. Straddling the border of France and Spain, this climb has been used in le Tour eighteen times. I've raced over it a number of times, and my preference is certainly for the more sedate pace of the Strava challengers. The final 8km of the Portillon averages 8.5%, so those who choose this option might want to take it easy at lunch.
TdF Stage 9
Today's Ride: Peyresoude & Pla d'AdatToday we'll depart our Spanish hotel, first over the easier, back side of the Col du Portillon, en-route to France. Our ride today will replicate the last 75km of Stage 17 in the 2014 Tour, as we transition from Spain to France via the Peyresourde. In that stage, Rafal Malka from Poland secured his second stage win and salvaged Saxo-Banks tour after Contador crashed out.
Following this first leg, the pretty market town of Arreau awaits with an abundance of coffee, lunch options, and lavender. Most will probably find this enough to call it a day, but those who who just want to tick off climbs will be given the option of adding the Col d'Azet and Pla d'Adet to their list. Both are tough climbs: the final ascent of the Pla d’Adet is where I made Tour de France history by securing the yellow jersey from the legendary Bernard Hinault.
TdF Rest Day
Today's Ride: Col du TourmaletAs we are nestled in the heart of the Pyrenees, we've orgainsed a classic Pyrenean affair for today.
The Col du Tourmalet is a monolith and steeped in so much history that you will no doubt be all too familiar with it. At 2115m, it is the highest road in the Pyrenees to be used in le Tour, and has featured in the race since 1910.
Today is our chance to tackle the beast ourselves.
At an average gradient of 7.4%, this 17km climb has always been a decisive stage when it is included in a Tour. The gradual ascent at the start has fooled many a young aspirant into early attacks, only to find their hopes dashed on the very steep sections just before La Mongie, where we plan to stop and recuperate for lunch.
This famous climb is now a must for the everyday cyclist and likewise a decisive inclusion in the 2015 Tour de France.
TdF Stage 10
Today's Ride: Aubisque
Our legs hardened and our climb cards full, we'll have our race faces on hitting some real hills before some live spectating. We plan to end on the climb of the la Pierre-Saint Martin, the final climb of Stage 10. This is a new stage finish location for le Tour, where we will stop to watch the amateurs (that is, the Tour de France peloton) have a go at the climb with speed.
It will be a decisive stage of le Tour as the peloton hit the Pyrenees for the first time. In a Tour de France that should have presented few real challenges so far, today's stage presents an opportunity for the mountain climbers to dance on their pedals initiating multiple attacks on the steep slopes of the Col de la Pierre Saint-Martin 1766m, in their first efforts to hurt the pure general classification contenders.
This will undoubtedly be an exciting day!
TdF Stage 11
Today's Ride: Col du Tourmalet
Today we'll be heading back to the Tourmalet for an ascent that includes the classic anti-clockwise loop from Lourdes. We will ascend before the peloton and wait in true Tour de France fashion, first for the publicity caravan to collect our swag, then for the big GC names to show their cards on this most decisive climb. The crowds are sure to be out in force and it will be a different experience entirely to ride in this atmosphere than it was two days ago.
Those who are a little weary by this time can stop at one of the many village cafes or bars on the lower slopes, or else push through to higher ground and wait for the race to arrive.
TdF Stage 12
Today's Ride: Plateau de BeilleToday we will witness the last Pyrenean stage of le Tour before the peloton takes a few days off to transfer into the Alpes.
We'll check out of our hotel in the morning and head to Foix for a coffee, before mounting our steads one last time to ascend the Plateau de Beille, the final climb of today's Stage 13.
This is a 16km climb with significant gradients, and with a few days of rest to come, the main contenders will likely be looking to dig deep enough to accrue significant time gaps by the finish line.
TdF Stage 14
Today's Ride: Spectating
The Tour de France peloton will indulge in a transition stage today and head out of the Pyrenees via the Foix gateway. Today will be an opportunity for many riders to rest and a chance for a few to ponder their ambitions for a podium place after the assault of the Pyrenees in the 2015 Tour de France.
We will visit the start village of Stage 16 in Muret and, with many miles in our legs, we may well be able to offer some sage advice to any of the lads too.
Once we've taken in the festivities of a Tour de France Stage start, we'll bid goodbye as our holiday comes to a close.
The Toulouse Airport and TGV station are close by and Phil Anderson Cycling Tours is happy to assist with transfers and booking your outward travels.
- 9 nights accommodation in luxurious 4-star accommodation.
- Daily breakfast and
- 4 dinners covering the best of both Spanish and French style dining.
- Access to Australia’s Tour de France legend Phil Anderson.
- Local Professional staff and mechanic support.
- Luxury transportation.
- Support Vehicles on all rides.
- Rides with Phil and his experienced support staff.
- The opportunity to tackle many of the most famous climbs in world cycling.
- Tour de France spectating opportunities in the mountains and at a stage depart.
- Road book of the tour including ride maps, gradient charts and more
- Phil Anderson Cycling ride pack including 2 Phil Anderson Cycling cycling jerseys
- Meals other than those specified
- Drinks other than those specified
- Bike Hire- available upon request. Contact our friendly staff at Phil Anderson Cycling for details.
- Airfares- available upon request. Contact our friendly staff at Phil Anderson Cycling for details.