Tour de France 2013 :: In the saddle and on the sidelines
Last Updated on Monday, 25 March 2013 10:02
At Marmot Tours we have a lifelong love affair with the Tour in the Pyrenees, a mountain range that we love for its hidden charms, unexploited terrain and traditional mountain culture. We believe it to offer the best road cycling in the world. Add to that, the Marmot expertise in supporting cyclists, the close relationship we have with our local hotels ensuring you excellent locations on the trip, the madness of the visiting Spanish Tour fans from across the border, and the excitement that in 2013 we get a chance to see the first action in the mountains, then you will know where you should be watching the Tour this year.
Plus, thanks to Bradley and Team Sky, never has the UK had more of a vested interest in the Tour as in this coming year. So for those of you coming from the UK, if you make the choice to see the Tour just once in your life, make it now!
Over the course of our Pyrenean annual extraveganza our 2013 package takes on Stages 8 (Castres to Ax les Thermes - just down the road from MT headquarters) and 9 (St Girons to Bagneres de Bigorre - with a LOT of cols on the way!), giving you a chance to relax and absorb the unique experience of being in the mountains with the Tour, or the time to take on some of the other incredible local climbs (well, it would be a shame not to, while you're here!)
For full details of the 2013 Tour de France holiday, please see the Itinerary tab, but just to whet your appetite, here are some highlights!
In the Saddle 2013:
- Cycle the complete 2013 Pyrenean Stages (8 & 9) over 6 days with support from the Marmot Tours Team
- Enjoy the additional flexibility of our itinerary allowing you to take on more or less than the official route so you can relax or beast yourself depending on your aspirations!
- Climb the Col de Pailheres (in both directions!) - a mighty mountain at 2001m with tremendous and huge views from the top of where you have come from and where you are going to (Stage 8).
- Stay in the historic spa town of Ax les Thermes at the base of Ax-Bonascre where Stage 8 ends. Squeeze in a visit to the Bains de Couloubret if you fancy it!
- Climb the Stage ending of Ax- Bonascre 3 Domaines the day ahead of the pro's and absorb the ambiance from the fans (Stage 8)
- Take on the the Portet d'Aspet - an old Tour favourite with that infamous 13% section on the descent and its memorial to Fabio Casartelli (Stage 9)
- Enjoy the Col de Mente; a shaded and picturesque climb with hairpins galore (Stage 9)
- Col de Peyresourde, another Tour classic, and just on our doorstep from our accomodation in Luchon (Stage 9)
- Experience the lesser known but significant climb of the Col de Val Louron-Azet and the steep inclines of La Hourquette d'Ancizan (Stage 9)
- Optional extra TDF climbs: Col de la Core, Port de Bales, Pla D'Adet and the magnificent and daunting Tourmalet
On the Sidelines 2013:
- Bask in the Tour ambiance in the town of Ax les Thermes as the TDF approaches.
- Join us in our Marmot Tours Hospitality Suite on the Col de Pailheres - we will have the best spot on the mountain having chosen and guarded our spot before anyone else even thinks about it! (Sat 6th, Stage 8)
- See the Stage 9 start in the Pyrenean market town of St Girons (Sun 7th, Stage 9)
- Keep on the pulse of the Tour de France 2013 action with Marmot Tours, regrouping to watch the finish of each day from a conveniently located cafe en route. Essential for any Tour de France 2013 package holiday!
Staying up close in 2013
Over the years we have built up very close relationships with hotels in the Pyrenees. This has enabled up to book hotels in prime (and much coverted) locations. In 2013 our triumph has been securing 2 nights accomodation in our local town of Ax les Thermes where the hotel Terminus turned down Tour team support staff in favour of keeping rooms aside for Marmot Tours. Our excellent location allows us to cycle the mammoth 2 cols of Stage 8 a day ahead of the Tour, relaxing in Ax for the night before the TDF peloton arrives. We can see the town rev up as the pro's approach and can wallow in the ambiance both that night and the next, when the teams will all be travelling through Ax after the stage finish at Bonascre. After our incredible Tour experience at the Marmot Tours hospitality suite on the Col du Pailheres, we simply roll down the hill to return to our base to enjoy the ambiance of the town with its population exploding through the roof by the Tour support teams and fans.
For our 2013 Tour de France Holiday we use 2/3* family run hotels that we have worked with for many years and who provide our clients with a friendly welcome and professional service, including great French cuisine!
Is this 2013 Tour de France holiday for me?
This holiday is aimed at Tour de France enthusiasts who want to have a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable week cycling and spectating in a stunning part of France. It is not intended to be a competition and the daily rides can be done at your own pace. In addition there are optional extras for those wanting a greater challenge and an easier route for those wanting to take it more lightly. You will however need to be relatively fit. The daily distances are manageable with our longest classic route being 115km. There is always the option of the support vehicle if you desire a lift up (or down) any of the hills (except up the Col de Pailheres on Saturday 6th July). It is important to us that people book the correct holiday. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have have any doubts / questions.
2013 Tour de France Holiday package Dates and Prices
Wed 3 - Weds 10th July 2013
Costs: £1200 (twin share basis) starting at Toulouse Airport. Single rooms (limited availability) an option apart from for the 2 nights in Ax les Thermes. Supplement £180
Flights are not included but can be picked up fairly cheaply if booked in advance. Allow about £100 for drinks and the meals not included (outlined below). On our holidays there are no other local payments or hidden costs. Please note that we offer a 5% discount if you book more than 3 months before the holiday departure date. We also offer group and loyalty discounts.
If your currency isn't GBP £, then you may find the Caxton FX currency calculator useful.
2013 Tour de France Holiday package includes:
6 days road cyling. Airport Transfers (at specified times). Detailed route notes with altitude profiles of climbs and colour maps. GPS route notes (classic and harder route). 2 Support vehicles offering medical and mechanical support. Services of 2 English (French speaking) tour leaders during the trip offering the best possible support. 7 nights 2 or 3* Hotel and 7 evening meals with wine included plus 7 substantial breakfasts. Col de Pailheres 'hospitality suite' includes big screen satellite TV with live TDF cover in English and barbeque lunch. Complimentary Marmot Tours jersey for all clients that are NEW to Marmot Tours.