Skip to main content

The Tour de France in July…the Rest of the Story!

We have another great post by superstar guest Bob Joy. He has been on many Trek Travel bike trips and captured many great moments through his camera. Here he discusses the joys of July and the 3 weeks of the Tour de France.

If you are a cyclist, July is the best month of the year. Not just because the long days and warm weather are ideal for riding, but because for three magical weeks the Tour de France comes around. For the committed, the Tour eclipses March Madness, the Stanley Cup, and the World Series in importance. It’s like having a Super Bowl every day for 21 days, but with a caravan of vendors instead of the beer commercials. And the best part is that you get to stand right on the sidelines!

The Tour de France attracts the largest live audience of any sporting event in the world. This year, fans will stretch out over 3,430 kilometers of some of the most scenic roads in France. Seeing the Tour in person, especially with Trek Travel, is an amazing experience! No other travel company has the connections to get you inside the action.

The photo below was taken about one kilometer below the summit of the Col d’Aubisque on the final mountain stage during the 2007 tour. Our group had dined with the Discovery Channel team the night before and learned that they were planning to change out the rear wheels for three of the riders – Alberto Contador, Levi Leipheimer, and Yaroslav Popovych – after the first steep climb up the Port de Lareu. This would enable them to start the day with larger climbing cogs “as the road turned up in anger,” as Phil Liggett might say, and then switch to a tighter cluster for the rest of the stage. This novel strategy required split-second timing; the mechanics in the support vehicles had be in just the right positions to switch the wheels without causing the riders to lose precious seconds to the peloton. The gambit worked! Even the commentators were taken by surprise and exclaimed that Levi, “must have had a mechanical or a flat tire.”

We also knew that Leipheimer was going to press race leader Michael Rasmussen on the final climb to the summit finish on the Col d’Aubisque in an effort to soften him up for Contador. Johan Bruyneel thought that Rasmussen was at his limit, but that was not the case. Just after they passed us, with Levi setting the pace as planned, Rasmussen accelerated to the finish and won handily. You may recall that he was then whisked away by his team management and forced to withdraw from the Tour, not for testing positive for any banned substance, but for lying about his whereabouts several months earlier.

Alberto Contador thus became the race leader overnight and started the next day in Le Maillot Jaune. He went on to win in Paris and we were able to join the celebration at the team bus. Few people in the crowd knew what had happened in the pivotal mountain stage that led to his victory. But as Paul Harvey used to say, now you know the rest of the story!

2 Replies to “The Tour de France in July…the Rest of the Story!”

  1. Thanks for helping my people. Ironically, some time non native people can do way much for the country than powerful people inside. God bless you all and your families for such humanitarian gesture

Your Email address will not be published.


Private

If a date is marked as Private, it is reserved for a private group.

Looking to travel with a small group or looking for a custom date?
Call our trip consultants at 866-464-8735

What is the Difference?

Ultimate Luxury:

Savor some of the most spectacular, 5-star properties in the world. Exuding luxury and elegance, these one-of-a-kind accommodations offer the chance to rejuvenate at award-winning spas, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants, and more.

Luxury:

Enjoy luxurious accommodations handpicked for a refined experience. From signature spa treatments to delicious local cuisine, you’ll be more than provided for; you’ll be pampered.

Explorer:

These handpicked hotels provide relaxation and fun in a casual and comfortable environment. Delicious cuisine and great service mix perfectly for a memorable stay.

Combined:

On select cycling vacations, you’ll stay at a mix of Explorer and Luxury hotels. Rest assured, no matter which hotel level you’re at, our trip designers carefully select every accommodation.

Activity Level

Level 1:

Road: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 25 mi (40 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Gravel: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 20 mi (35 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 1-3 hours of hiking. Up to 5 mi (8 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Level 2:

Road: 2-4 hours of riding. 20-35 mi (35-60 km). Up to 2,500 ft (750 m).

Gravel: 2-4 hours of riding. 15-30 mi (25-45 km). Up to 2,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 2-4 hours of hiking. 4-8 mi (6-12 km). Up to 1,500 ft (450 m).

Level 3:

Road: 3-5 hours of riding. 25-55 mi (40-85 km). Up to 4,500 ft (1,500 m).

Gravel: 3-5 hours of riding. 20-40 mi (35-60 km). Up to 3,000 ft (900 m).

Hiking: 3-5 hours of hiking. 6-10 mi (9-16 km). Up to 2,000 ft (600 m).

Level 4:

Road: 4+ hours of riding. 40-70 mi (60-110 km). Up to 8,000 ft (2,400 m).

Gravel: 4+ hours of riding. 30-50 mi (45-80 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

Hiking: 4+ hours of hiking. 7-15 mi (11-24 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

What are your trip styles?

Classic - Reserve:

Savor the finer things as you relax in luxurious 5-star accommodations and wine, dine, and ride in some of the most unforgettable destinations around the world.

Classic - Signature:

Explore beautiful destinations by bike, enjoy extra inclusions, savor delicious local cuisine, and enjoy the perfect mix of accommodations.

Classic - Discover:

Enjoy a casual cycling vacation with fantastic routes and comfortable accommodations.

Ride Camp:

Train like the pros in some of their favorite riding destinations.

Pro Race:

See the pros in action at the biggest cycling events of the year.

Cross Country:

Tackle an epic adventure that takes you point-to-point across mountains, countryside, and more.

Self-Guided

Enjoy a bike tour on your schedule with just your chosen travel companions.

Single Occupancy

Sometimes it’s more convenient and comfortable to have your own room while on vacation. We understand and that’s why we offer a Single Occupancy option. The additional price guarantees a private room all to yourself