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Phil Anderson Cycling Tours present the 2016 Tour de France Alpes Assault experience. Ride with Phil deep into the heart of the majestic French Alpes as we continue our pursuit of Le Tour. The scenery is spectacular and the roads are a just too good not to ride, the peloton, hardened, having raced through the Pyrenees.

Forgoing the contemporary solitude of the road less ridden, occasionally we will embrace Le Tour and ride on roads crowded with cycling fans because le tour will take us there. Phil will explore the Alpes with renewed excitement, riding the new roads and climbs introduced to le Tour.

As the peloton nears the end of its journey from Le Manche to Paris on a course designed to create destiny only in the last days, join Phil Anderson on roads not ridden by the peloton in the history of Le Tour.

SATURDAY 16 JULY 2016 – Day 1
Tour de France Stage 14: Montpellier to Villars-les-Dombes 208km

Our tour begins from the Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport, which is most conveniently located within riding distance from the finish line of today’s stage of le Tour. We won’t be letting the opportunity slip by, making our usual welcome ride a treat as we cruise over 45km to Villars-les-Domb to witness the entire peloton rumble into town for what will almost certainly be a sprint finish in warm conditions.

After an exciting start to Alpes Assault 2016, we’ll catch up on our introductions on the journey to our first hotel, near Chambery. For our first three nights, accommodation will be at an excellent chateau, steeped in cultural and culinary history.

Welcome to France!

Overnight
4 Star Accommodation

SUNDAY 17 JULY 2016 – Day 2
Tour de France Stage 15: Bourg-en-Bresse to Culoz 159km

While the Alps and Pyrenees are the most well known mountain ranges in France, the lesser known Jura Range in the foothills of the Alps also features some excellent roads for cycling.

In 2016 the photogenic Lacets de Montvernier made its tour debut and while we are planning to ride this climb on this tour, today the Lacets du Grand Colombier will make its tour debut as the final climb of stage 15.

We’ll mount our bikes at the hotel before skirting Chambery and Lac du Bourget on our way to climb the Col du Chat and the Lacets du Grand Colombier. The final climb averages 7.6% over 8.4km, making it a tough little prospect but only a warm up compared to the rest of our week to come.

With the first challenge of our own tour out of the way, we’ll take up seating roadside and watch the peloton make their way up the mountain, not once but twice on their way to the finishing town of Culoz.

Overnight
4 Star Accommodation

MONDAY 18 JULY 2016 – Day 3
Tour de France Stage 16: Moirans-en-Montagne to Bern 206km

Today will be a classic Tour de France experience!

An early start will have us mounting our steeds at the base of l’Alpe d’Huez, our challenge today before the pros take over the road.

The 21 bends on the way to the summit are known to every cyclist in the world, and we’ll be giving everyone the opportunity to take them on before taking up position in Huez to witness the peloton thunder past on the very same pavement we just sweated over.

Everyone will remember Quintanas inspired attack on Froome up this climb in 2015, and as l’Alpe never fails to deliver a spectacle, we’ll all be waiting in hope of a match to remember!

Once the excitement has passed, we’ll descend the magnificent Villard Reculas road, winding in and out of spectacular views along the cliff tops and eventually off the mountain and back to our awaiting vans for the journey home.

Overnight
4 Star Accommodation

TUESDAY 19 JULY 2016 – Day 4
Tour de France Rest Day

With the Tour de France in rest mode today, the opportunity has arisen for our own little epic stage in the mountains of France.

Our nominal goal today is to begin our ride at the base of Lacets de Montvernier (the Shoestring of Montvernier), whose incredibly tight switchback corners were made famous by their inclusion in last year’s Tour de France.

After making the summit of this first challenge comes the much larger challenge of Col de la Madeleine, an H.C climb with 1500m of altitude gain on offer over 19km of beautiful road. While the views at this point of the ride might have you resting on your laurels, there remains the gut-busting challenges of the Cat. 2 Col de Taime and Cat. 1 Col de la Croix Fry to make it over before we can truly say we’re done for today.

At 150km and including 4 very challenging mountains, today’s ride will be incredibly memorable for those who complete it. However, we understand that such a titanic effort won’t be everyone’s idea of a holiday, and will offer the group an more reasonable alternative that takes in the views without quite so much hard work.

Overnight
4 Star Accommodation

WEDNESDAY 20 JULY 2016 – Day 5
Tour de France Stage 17: Bern to Finhaut-Emosson(near Martigny) 184km

The Tour de France took its rest day yesterday, and we’ll take ours today. Rather than chasing Stage 17, we’ll be offering a short recovery ride on some quiet mountain roads, cafe stops guaranteed.

There are always those among us who want more punishment, though, and for them we have a longer, 80km ride lined up that includes the 1444m Col des Glieres and the 1469m Col de la Croix Fry. Although longer and hillier, this group will also be encouraged to take a few moments at the many cafes along the way and enjoy a rare moment of calm on their Tour de France journey.

Overnight
4 Star Accommodation

THURSDAY 21 JULY 2016 – Day 6
Tour de France Stage Stage 18: Sallanches to Megeve ITT 17km

Today we plan to ride through La Cluses via the Cat. 1 Col du Colombier, to watch the Sallanche to Megeve ITT.

Time trials offer a great opportunity to get up close to the pros as they warm up and to see the all the latest gear roll out of the team trailers. After spending some time around the start area, we’ll roll along to different locations on the course to watch the riders pass at full-gas, before beginning our own ride home.

Our chosen route home will take include another challenge in the 1487m Col des Aravis, making our day a great mixture of alpine climbing and spectating the fastest cyclists on earth race against the clock.

Overnight
4 Star Accommodation

FRIDAY 22 JULY 2016 – Day 7
Tour de France Stage 19: Albertville to Saint-Gervais/Mont Blanc 146km

Once again riding from our hotel, today we are planning to see the passage of LeTour on the Cat.1 Montee de Bisanne.

This is a climb that has never been visited by the Tour previously, but at 12.4km and 8.2% average incline, will offer a reasonable challenge to the peloton 50km from the finish line. To get there, we’ll first traverse the Aravis Plateau and cross the deep Chaise Valley, finding our own back roads and the best possible route to the best seats in the house. Spectating for a while, a likely welcome reprieve.

To finish the day will be a mostly flat roll toward Annecy, where our vans will be waiting to transport us to our last hotel for the remainder of our time together.

Overnight
4 Star Accommodation

SATURDAY 23 JULY 2016 – Day 8
Tour de France Stage Stage 20: Megeve to Morzine 146km

Today will be our final ride, and our aim will be to climb the final mountain of this year’s Tour de France: Col de Joux Plane.

At 1691m, climbed over 11.6km at 8.5%, the summit of Col de Joux Plane is 12km from the finish line in Morzine. It would require a herculean effort for a GC contender to turn the tables on this penultimate stage, but this is what le Tour is all about.

We will leave with plenty of time to ride the beautiful approach and make the climb ourselves, before choosing a premium roadside position from which to make the most of the spectating experience.

To celebrate the conclusion of le Tour and our Alpes Assault, a special farewell dinner awaits us on return to our hotel this evening.

Overnight
4 Star Accommodation

SUNDAY 24 JULY 2016 – Day 9
Tour de France Stage 21; Chantilly to Paris 113km with 8 laps

Today is the end of services from Phil Anderson Cycling Tours. Phil Anderson staff can assist with your onward transfer to Geneva, our nearest TGV for transfer to Paris or for your onward travels.