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TDF vacation bike tours?(7 posts)

TDF vacation bike tours?ScottH
Aug 6, 2002 11:59 AM
A couple friends of mine just got back from doing one of the follow the TDF bike tours. They got to ride Ventoux, etc and be at many of the stage finishes.

I'm planning to do the same next year and could really use some input on what companies are better, thing to watch out for, etc, etc.

Scott
breaking away toursrob45
Aug 6, 2002 12:27 PM
I went to the 1991 tour with Breaking away tours (www.breakingaway.com). Greg Hogan, the owner, pioneered these race tours, as far as I can tell (I also went on one with him to coors classic, which was a blast). The tour de france trip was awesome--great hotels, foods, and all arrangements handled very well. He's been doing this for a long time now and knows the areas inside out, so it is really well planned out. Ron Keifel's dad was on the trip that year, so lots of fun behind the scenes stories too (it was Ron's last tour). It's a luxury sort of trip, but nothing crazy price wise like the carmichael tour training camp. I'd suggest arriving a bit early if possible in Paris to get used to the time change--hard on the body when you add the alps first day out. The route was great--all through the alp stages--we did the course a few hours before the tour came--the spectators were so corked half the time they thought we were the racers, so you get your picture taken a lot. All in all, a great experience...
Funny about the spectators being corked and taking YOUR pics! nmjtferraro
Aug 6, 2002 7:04 PM
breaking away toursScottH
Aug 7, 2002 5:20 AM
What's the support like while on the bike? Do they just drop you off and say good luck?
breaking away toursrob45
Aug 7, 2002 6:23 AM
they had excellent support and were careful to make a number of alternative routes since many people on it weren't hard core riders. They had a number of vans that acted like sag wagons, so no problems in terms of support. Frankly, though, everyone I rode with was so jacked up about being there that we just went out on the course and rode our butts off--easy to get a group into a sprint when there's a green jersey banner across the road for intermediate sprints in the tour. Generally, we'd ride for about 5 hours or so, have some lunch (often this was a regrouping and provided), then ride to a good spot to watch the tour go by. The good thing about being on a bike is that you can get high up on the climbs to where things break up so the tour going by lasts more that 10 seconds.
Did the $3300 include plane fare?jose_Tex_mex
Aug 7, 2002 7:09 AM
On their site they said the TDF package was about $3300. I am assuming this did not incliude airfare, correct?
Did the $3300 include plane fare?rob45
Aug 7, 2002 7:16 AM
that's right--you're responsible for getting yourself to Paris. The price does include a lot of meals though (most) and the hotels really have a seller's market, since there's a huge demand for hotels on the tour route. One of the benefits of breaking away is that they have done this for a long time now, so they have good relationships with the hotels and get you in nice ones close to the action. in 91, Greg Lemond and his team/family stayed at a couple of the same hotels as we were in, so got to chat with him a bit and hang out around his team (you can learn some nice bike mechanic tips from talking and watching these team guys working on the bikes). A pretty cool setting to be in.