Phil Anderson Cycling Tours introduce the Pyrenees to Provence 2016 Tour de France experience. Ride with Phil from the majestic Pyrenees into the heartland of Provence. The scenery is spectacular and the roads are a just too good not to ride.

Forgoing the contemporary solitude of the road less ridden, occasionally we will embrace Le Tour and ride on roads crowded with cycling fans. We will conquer the climbs with like-minded compatriots. Roads ridden by many, because they are the best, climbed by many because they are worth it and roads crowded with fans because they have the passion for le Tour.

The peloton will journey to the Pyrenees after having been fragmented by the inevitable carnage of the first highly pressurized days. The teams will be seeking to establish their leaders clear credentials on the early mountain passes.

We will have our own battles with the historic climbs before and after the peloton as we ride east to Provence to finish our tour with the ultimate climbing challenge.

THURSDAY 7 JULY 2016 – Day 1
Tour de France Stage: 6 Arpajon-sur-Cere to Montauban 187km

The 2016 Phil Anderson Cycling Tour de France, Pyrenees to Provence, will start with a pick up from Toulouse at our pre-arranged airport hotel.

A short transfer will take us to the heart of the Pyrenees, Lourdes, where we will check into our hotel and prepare for the week ahead with our traditional welcome ride.

The bustle of Lourdes is easily escaped and our first roll of the legs will be on a river valley path that is almost as famous as the many climbs that rise up above you as we head out into the foothills of the high mountains.

4 Star Accommodation

FRIDAY 8 JULY 2016 – Day 2
Tour de France Stage: 7 L’Isle-Jourdain to Lac de Payolle(col d’Aspin) 162km

The last of the long transfer stages before the peloton reaches the high mountains of the Pyrenees will be our first opportunity to meet the 2016 Tour de France head on.

We will open our ride account with a First Cat. climb spending some time on the road today, rolling through valleys as a warm up before climbing the Col du Tourmalet.

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 one the highest roads in the Pyrenees and has featured in the race since 1910. Tour de France time pressures will prevail and we must push on to finishing on the flank of the Col d’Aspin at the pretty Lac de Payolle for the spectacle of a stage finish.

4 Star Accommodation

SATURDAY 9 JULY 2016 – Day 3
Tour de France Stage 8: Pau to Bagneres de Luchon 183km

Our own battles with the historic climbs of Le Tour begin in earnest today and we have organised a classic Pyrenean affair. There is a list of famous Haut climbs that are now on the bucket list of every cyclist and are always decisive when included in le Tour.

The peloton will have multiple climbs on their own race card today, with the much anticipated time buffer liked by Team Sky possibly on the agenda.

Less ambitious, we will climb the Col D’Anzican to meet the peloton on their second climb for the day. With our bikes parked and the speculative commentary underway, the order of the day will be another sensational spectating experience mountain-side before we head to Spain and the heart of the Pyrenees.

4 Star Accommodation

SUNDAY 10 JULY 2016 – Day 4
Tour de France Stage 9: Val d’Aran to Andorra Arcalis 184km

Staying in Spain we continue our move but nor before adding more famous climbs to our collection on the way, honing our climbing skills on the the Port de Bonaigua.

Despite being 2085m, this is a gradual climb that most can achieve. The climb itself is 18km long but starts at an elevation of 1000m, making it a decent achievement all the same. We’ll be indulging in the obligatory pre-ride coffee as needing a bit of a head start before we head off early to beat the peloton onto the slopes.

Shoes off and seat on the mountain, we wait for the expected first glimpses of the general classification aggressors seeking to decimate early, any threats to early dominance and inevitable victory.

Once the remnants of the peloton pass we will remount and with our race faces on, chase the pro’s over the other side

4 Star Accommodation

MONDAY 11 JULY 2016 – Day 5
Tour de France Rest Day

While the peloton rests we will open the account with the Hors Category climb: The Port de Pailheres. Just a gravel road when I was racing, the road has been sealed and used in le Tour since 2003.

The Pailheres was the famous site of Nairo Quintana’s first major showing as GC contender and where Froome attacked Contador to gain overall advantage in the same tour. Always critical in Le tour this steep and narrow climb is a challenge for most.

The early slopes of the climb are the hardest and would have the racers attacking aggressively in an effort to get significant time bonuses.

We won’t 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 Axz les Thermes and the option if you still have the legs of a crack at the Ax-3Domaine.

4 Star Accommodation

TUESDAY 12 JULY 2016 – Day 6
Tour de France Stage 10: Andorra to Revel 198km

A decisive stage of Le Tour in the principality of Andorra will see the peloton ride close by our hotel. One big climb and a long, long descent for the peloton

After an early breakfast and likely pre-ride coffee we will be adding to our collection of climbs, the Col Puymoren, en route to le tour on a ride that will replicate that of the pro’s. Our ride will take us into France intersecting the race early in the stage where we will converge with the peloton after our own faster descent.

Our day’s quota of more coffee, spectating and le Tour done we will pursue the peloton down the Valley at a more leisurely pace taking up residence in France for the remainder of our rides.

4 Star Accommodation

WEDNESDAY 13 JULY 2016 – Day 7
Tour de France Stage 11: Carcassonne to Montpellier 164km

Forgoing Le Tour for just a moment we have made an appointment with a climb that is a beacon for cyclists.

Le Mont Ventoux, not the highest or longest, yet this climb is considered one of the most difficult for any rider because of the long straight stretches of the climb without the bends that we look for on other to give a slight reprieve. Just when the climb seems relentless the welcome sign of Chalet Reynard is a godsend and you realise you will achieve your goal.

We don’t have our race faces on and have all day to ride, lunch, take the obligatory photo’s before heading back to watch the final passage of the day’s stage in the comfort of a bar.

4 Star Accommodation

THURSDAY 14 JULY 2016 – Day 8
Tour de France Stage 12: Montpellier to Mont Ventoux 185km

The first significant mountaintop finish of this year’s tour cannot be missed. Reputations may need to be salvaged, times bonus, stage honors, whatever the reason the summit beckons and the whole peloton will be chasing a goal.

We will have a nice ride to the Mont after our own herculean efforts yesterday, the only pressure to get onto the mountain and wait. Notorious for dragging guests cyclocross style to viewing destinations unrivalled Phil will get you to the best position to view the finish of a climb that has always created history in Le Tour.

Celebrations are in order, much has been achieved, the race outcomes paling into insignificance when considering our own achievements, a tour well ridden and a trip nearing its end.

4 Star Accommodation

FRIDAY 15 JULY 2016 – Day 9
Tour de France Stage: 13 Bourg-Saint-Andeol to Vallon-Pont-d’Arc itt 37km

Today is the end of services by Phil Anderson Cycling Tours.

We will drop you in Lyon TGV for your onward’s travel.

Thank you for traveling with Phil Anderson to the 2016 Tour de France.