Tour de France here we come!
Embark on your own mini-Tour de France: our six best cycling itineraries along the route
With Australia now out of the FIFA World Cup and only the diehard footie fans tuning into the coverage, Active Europe Specialist, UTracks is now gearing up for the next big sporting event in Europe – the 2018 Tour de France.
UTracks General Manager, Kate Baker, says there’s always a spike in demand for active cycling itineraries in France both during, and after, the world’s biggest cycling event.
Ms Baker believes a lot of this is due to the quality of the 200 hours of live coverage of the cycling event and the way it showcases the French countryside, towns and cities.
“Every year, for three weeks in June and July, millions of people from all over the world are glued to their screens watching live coverage of the Tour de France,” she said.
“With more than 200 hours of live coverage on offer, that requires some real dedication and a real love of cycling… or so you would think!
“For some of us sleep-deprived Tour de France ‘tragics’ the race is more than a sporting event.
“It’s also a travel show or cultural experience, showcasing the sublime countryside, stunning mountainous regions, fascinating history and tasty cuisine of France. It’s about the castles, the crazy spectators and Gabriel Gate’s cooking segments.”
“We definitely get more demand for active cycling itineraries in France during and after the event – even more so now that we’re offering the option to upgrade to an electric bike on 85 percent of our cycling itineraries, which is perfect for those who aren’t quite race-ready and worried about keeping up with the pack.
“I think regardless of whether you are keeping up to date on the race jargon, the jerseys and the tactics or immersing yourself in the travelogue that is the Tour de France, at some point during the coverage we all inevitably start daydreaming about how we can inject ourselves into the sublime French landscapes rolling across our screens and go cycling in France.
“This year, we’ve decided to break away from the peloton early and provide our six best cycling itineraries based on some of the stages of the 2018 route, before the event begins. And yes, it’s possible to upgrade to an e-bike on all of these popular itineraries.”
Stage 8 – Dreux/Amiens
Cycle the Western Front – Trace the First World War’s Western Front line from Amiens to Ypres on this fascinating self-guided 8 day cycle. From $2250 per person (twin share).
Stage 13 – Bourg d’Oisans/Valence
Rhone Cycle Path: Lyon to Provence – Discover wine, cuisine and rich Roman history on this 8 day cycle on the Via Rhona Cycle path between the Rhone-Alpes and Provence. From $1750 per person (twin share).
Stage 15 & 16 – Carcassonne
Canal du Midi by Bike – Cycle through classic French countryside following the Canal du Midi from Toulouse to the Mediterranean on a 6 day self-guided cycling itinerary. From $1890 per person.
Cathar Castles Cycle – Cycle through history and discover the intrigue of the Cathars in a beautiful region of south west France on this 7 day cycle. From $1490 per person.
Final Stage – Paris, Champs-Élysées
Paris to London – Cycle from the Seine to the Thames following the Avenue Verte cycle route on a guided or self guided 8 day itinerary. From $1750 per person (twin share) for the self guided trip or $2230 per person (twin share) for the guided trip.
Paris to Mont St Michel by Bike – Cycle along the Veloscenic cycleway from the heart of Paris through Normandy to the coast and to the impressive Mont St Michel on this 12 day self-guided cycle. From $3590 per person (twin share).
Bike and Barge to Paris – An inspirational 8 day journey by bike and barge between the royal chateaux of Compiegne and Fontainebleau, including a canal cruise through Paris. From $1720 per person.
More information at www.utracks.com or 1300 303 368.
Live coverage off the 105th Tour de France kicks off on Saturday July 7, 2018 (a week later this year due to the FIFA Football World Cup)