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Top 5 Most Anticipated Moments of the 2023 Tour de France

Lidl-Trek pro racer on a final sprint with the peloton in Tour de France

As an Official Tour Operator of the Tour de France and exclusive partner of Team Lidl-Trek, we are thrilled to share the top five most anticipated moments of this year’s tour. From the remarkable start in Bilbao to exclusive VIP access, breathtaking mountain stages, Parisian finales, and the groundbreaking Tour de France Femmes, we invite you to join us on an unforgettable journey. Let’s delve into the highlights that will make the 2023 Tour de France truly exceptional.

People watching the TDFrace with the Eiffel Tower in the background

1. Finale Viewing in Paris

To celebrate another incredible year of the Tour de France, we’ll indulge in a luxurious finale viewing experience at the Automobile Club de France. Savor the astounding views from the heart of Paris, just a few hundred meters from the finish line on the Champs-Élysées. Sip champagne with lavish hors d’oeuvres and witness the peloton’s final laps of honor as they catapult another Tour de France winner towards the finish line.

Finale viewing Tour de France

2. VIP team access

As an official tour operator and partner, we offer an exclusive opportunity to engage behind the scenes with the esteemed Lidl-Trek team. Our guests will have the privilege of participating in a Q&A cocktail hour, touring the team bus, and witnessing firsthand the meticulous preparation of the pros’ ultimate Trek bikes. This unique experience promises unparalleled insights into the world of professional cycling that you won’t find anywhere else.

3. The Mountain Stages

The mountain stages of the Tour de France have always been a true test of cyclists’ climbing ability and endurance. In 2023, Trek Travel guests will face the same challenging mountain roads as the pros’, including legendary climbs like the Col des Saisies, Col des Aravis and Col du Platzerwasel with VIP passes in hand just a few hours before the peloton. These battles among the contenders for the yellow jersey will unfold against breathtaking backdrops, combining awe-inspiring scenery with the relentless pursuit of victory. The mountain stages are a pinnacle of excitement in the Tour de France.

Lidl-Trek rider signing autographs at race barrier

4. The Grand Depart in Bilbao, Spain

The 2023 Tour de France will kick off in the picturesque city of Bilbao, nestled in the heart of the Basque Country. Guests will be treated to front row seats for the Grand Depart followed by a remarkable viewing experience aboard an official VIP luxury open-top bus at the finish line of the opening stage. With an open bar, large-screen TVs, and an elevated vantage point, our guests won’t miss a minute of the action. Bilbao’s stunning backdrop sets the stage for an exciting start to this iconic race.

Team Lidl-Trek presentation

5. Tour de France Femmes

Trek Travel is thrilled to be a part of the Tour de France Femmes, offering an extraordinary Pro Race Experience. This package grants VIP access to key mountain stages, live race viewings, and an opportunity to witness the intensity and passion of this groundbreaking event up close. Starting in the heart of the Pyrenees, participants will tackle breathtaking climbs, revel in stunning views, and witness the thrilling final mountain stages. From the epic Col du Tourmalet to the time trial finish in Pau, the Tour de France Femmes promises captivating moments as the coveted yellow jersey is contested.

The 2023 Tour de France is poised to be a thrilling and unforgettable journey for cycling enthusiasts. With our expertise as an Official Tour Operator and exclusive partner, you can immerse yourself in the grandeur of the race. From the remarkable start in Bilbao to VIP team access, breathtaking mountain stages, Parisian finales, and the groundbreaking Tour de France Femmes, these anticipated moments guarantee an unparalleled experience. Feeling inspired? Place a fully-refundable deposit for our 2024 Tour de France Pro Race Tours, and you’ll get a chance to secure your spot early for next year’s tour.

Place your Deposit for 2024

Our Guide to the 2020 Tour de France

Sure, you might not be battling for the yellow jersey or a sprint finish, but join us for a Tour de France bike tour and you’ll definitely feel like a winner. As the official partner of Trek-Segafredo, we’ll ride the stages, watch the big attacks, meet the pros, and drink in the drama. TV just can’t capture the electricity of a race. Luckily, that’s what we’re here for.

Grand Depart Ultimate

Our trip starts in sunny Provence, with a bucket-list climb up Mont Ventoux. Then it’s on to Nice for the exciting early mountain stages. It’s only the second time that the capital of the French Riviera will play host to the Grand Départ, with the last time being in 1981, and we’ll be there for the heat of the action.

Why you’ll love it:

Ride epic climbs in the French Alps with Trek Travel
Experience this year’s TDF featured climbs of Col de Turini and Col d’Eze and climb the iconic Mont Ventoux.

Ride across the finish line at the Tour de France with Trek Travel
Official VIP Race Access passes to the finish of Stage 2 in Nice and behind the scenes tours with the Trek-Segafredo Team.

Enjoy exclusive race viewing with Trek Travel
Official VIP Race Access Passes to the Departure Village and exclusive Relais Etape hospitality zone access during Stage 1 in Nice.

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Alps to Paris Ultimate

We’ve hand-picked the most luxurious hotels that land us right in the middle of the action. The Alps are the heart and soul of the Tour de France. Whether it’s the classically beautiful Col des Aravis or the thrilling mountaintop finish at Col de la Loze in Méribel, we’ll take you to where the yellow jersey will be lost and won again. We kept the rides on this trip short to be able to make the most of your time experiencing Le Tour. This also makes this trip ideal for non-riding companions.

Why you’ll love it:

Exclusive finish line viewing with Trek Travel
Stay at the timeless Parisian landmark, the 5-star Hotel de Crillon, adjacent to the Trek Travel race viewing of the Grand Finale in Paris.

Ride epic climbs in the French Alps with Trek Travel
Experience this year’s TDF featured climbs: Cols de la Loze, des Aravis, and des Saisies.

Cols de la Loze, des Aravis & des Saisies with Trek Travel
Official VIP Race Access Passes to the open top-bus at the final mountaintop finish of Stage 17 in Méribel Col de la Loze.

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Alps to Paris VIP Access

Challenge your legs to the same history-making climbs as the peloton, all with privileged VIP access to the race. With first-class, professional support, a wealth of local knowledge, and the best bikes in the business, there’s no better way to celebrate the passion and drama of this exhilarating event.

Why you’ll love it:

Ride epic climbs in the French Alps with Trek Travel
Experience this year’s TDF featured climbs: Col de la Loze, Col de la Madeleine, and Cols des Aravis, Saisies, and Glières.

Ride across the finish line at the Tour de France with Trek Travel
Exclusive Pro Team Access and Trek Travel race viewing of the Grand Finale in Paris.

Ride a gondola in the French Alps with Trek Travel
Official VIP Race Access Passes to the open-top bus at the final mountaintop finish of Stage 17 in Méribel Col de la Loze.

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Alpe d’Huez to Paris VIP Access

Whether it’s the classically beautiful Col des Glières or the thrilling sprint finish in La Roche Sur Foron, we’ll take you to where the yellow jersey will be lost and won again. Challenge your legs to the same history-making climbs as the peloton, all with privileged VIP access to the race and an unforgettable ascent up the iconic Alpe d’Huez.

Why you’ll love it:

Ride epic climbs in the French Alps with Trek Travel
Rise early to ascend the famous TDF climbs of Alpe d’Huez, Galibier, and Télégraphe.

Ultimate race VIP experience with Trek Travel
Enjoy Official VIP race access passes to the exclusive hospitality zone of Stage 17, race viewing at the finish of Stage 18, and exclusive Pro Team Access for the Grand Finale in Paris.

Rise early to climb Hautacam with Trek Travel
Experience this year’s TDF featured climbs, including Cols des Aravis, Glières, and Fleuries.

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Epic Climbs VIP Access

Join us in the Pyrenees to tackle the thrilling climbs of the Col du Tourmalet, Col du Soulor, and Col d’Aubisque. Follow this with the ride of your life up the Giant of Provence, famous Mont Ventoux. Finally, it’s on to the Alps to witness the tour’s final mountain stages where you and the climbers will test your skills atop the hulking giants of this region: Alpe d’Huez, Col de la Madeleine, Col du Galibier, and Col du Télégraphe.

Why you’ll love it:

Ride epic climbs in the French Alps with Trek Travel
Conquer legendary climbs including Alpe d’Huez, Cols de la Madeleine, Galibier, Télégraphe, Ventoux, Tourmalet, Solour, and Aubisque.

Ride across the finish line at the Tour de France with Trek Travel
Official Race Access VIP passes to the open-top bus at the Stage 17 finish and a ride over the starting line of Stage 18 in Méribel.

Ride a gondola in the French Alps with Trek Travel
Enjoy first-class, fully dedicated VIP support from the Trek Travel team while your ride in style on a full carbon Trek Domane Disc road bike with electronic Di2 shifting.

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Etape du Tour

Tackle sprocket-list climbs like Col de Colmiane, Col de Turini, and Col d’Èze. The best part? You’ll be doing it just a few days after the pros. This year’s route covers Stage 2 of Le Tour, traveling a loop of 110 miles from and back to Nice. A breathtaking stage in the Alpes-Maritimes, the ride features two mountain passes, a climb up to Col d’Èze, and some spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea before crossing the finish line in Nice.

Why you’ll love it:

Unrivaled support with Trek Travel
You’ll take on this milestone with full Trek Travel support, whether you need water, snacks, or just a good, loud cheer up that last climb.

Stay at 5-star luxury hotels in France with Trek Travel
Stay at a perfectly located 4-star hotel in Nice, close to the race start and finish lines.

Sip wine and enjoy French cuisine with Trek Travel
Nice is positively chic and fabulous all in one. This charming city on the banks of the Cote d’Azur is a world-class destination that beckons vacationers from all over the world.

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The Grand Finish-Paris

It’s no surprise that the party of all parties happens in Paris as The City of Lights’ proud historic landmarks become the background for a spectacular Le Tour finish. Discover the height of French gastronomy, explore famous landmarks, and be in the center of race action when you attend our exclusive Finish Viewing at the prestigious Automobile Club de France.

Why you’ll love it:

Watch the race from the Automobile Club of France with Trek Travel
See the race from the rooftop terrace or get down to street level and witness the energy of the peloton as it sweeps past at over 30 miles per hour, catapulting another champion toward the podium.

Visit Paris on a Tour de France bike tour with Trek Travel
Savor a glass (or two) of champagne in a toast to cycling’s elite.

Visit Paris on a Tour de France bike tour with Trek Travel
Spot famous landmarks including the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Élysée.

L’Étape du Tour: One epic day on the bike

Trek Travel President Tania Burke has ridden the Etape 13 times in a row, and some might say she is an expert in all the best climbs and routes France has to offer. Read on for thoughts and epic photos of her day on the bike and get inspired to tackle this hallowed event yourself.

I have done a few posts about the Etape du Tour. It is such an awesome day on the bike that it deserves another. My husband John and I have done the Etape 13 years in a row and every year is different. Different course, different challenge, different group of friends we convince to ride with us, and different guides. This year was another great day in the Alps as we rode from Annecy over the Col du Bluffy, the Col de La Croix Fry, Montée, Du Plateau Des Gliéres, Col De Romme and finally the Col De La Colombiére and finished in Saint Jean-de-Sixt. If that sounds long, it was and it had around 13,000 feet of climbing (1,000 feet for every year?) But despite the challenge, it was yet another awesome day on the bike. Enjoy some of my photos from the day, and join us this summer for the bucket list event that is L’Étape.

Take on L’Étape

Book your spot


Trek Travel Cycling Vacation Etape du Tour Photo Blog

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Trek Travel Cycling Vacation Etape du Tour Photo Blog

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Trek Travel Cycling Vacation Etape du Tour Photo Blog

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Reservations are filling fast. Don’t miss this bucket list trip.

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Tour De France And Cycling Are The Best Spectator Sports – For Active Participants

Trek is the best operator I know of that does a trip for the Etape du Tour, a mass participation ride held annually that recreates an exact replica of a full Tour de France stage in the current year’s race, with thousands of enthusiasts attacking the course.

This year’s route included famous climbs in the heart of the Alps such as the Col de la Croix Fry and Col de la Colombière. Typically held on a rest day in the actual race, this “replica Tour,” is extremely popular, hard to get into, and usually picks a climbing focused stage. The easiest, most luxurious and most turnkey way to participate is on Trek Travel’s 6-day trip that warms up with local rides before tackling the race in day 5. This year’s was 105 miles with four notable climbs. The trip uses the highest level of fancy hotels in Trek’s scale and equips each participant with a pro-worthy Domane SL 7 carbon road bike with Di2 electronic shifting. The 2019 info will be announced here.

Read on»

3 Things the L’Etape du Tour Taught Me About Life

This spring, on an otherwise ordinary Wednesday lunch ride from the Trek Travel office, I was offered the opportunity to participate in the 2017 Etape du Tour. What came next was something I never expected.

The invitation came so casually that it took a moment before the onset of nerves, excitement, and admittedly a bit of panic set in. The Etape du Tour is a citizen’s ride that covers one stage of the Tour de France, and it’s often the year’s most difficult queen stage in the mountains. With a simple verbal commitment during a 12-mile lunch ride around the lake, I had just signed myself up for a 110-mile challenge with almost 11,000 feet of climbing and a summit finish on the harrowing Col d’Izoard.

The Alps seemed unreachable for a recreational cyclist like me. My personal life was taking unexpected turns and I was coming off a frigid Wisconsin winter with too-few miles on the trainer. But so began the journey. Over the next four months, training for and ultimately completing the Etape du Tour taught me three valuable lessons that helped me not only conquer the Alps, but also helped me navigate the ride that is life.

Trek Travel L'Etape du Tour

1. Eat Real Food

When training for and participating in endurance sports, nutrition becomes essential to your success. Trust me when I say that you do not want to bonk in the middle of a 100-mile ride. As someone who typically forgets to eat and drink until we crack a post-ride beer, I had to focus on fueling up at every stop and hydrating consistently. Not just gu’s and gel’s, either. The key to my success at the Etape was eating real food all day long. It is vital to recognize what your body needs and nourish yourself with fuel to sustain you.

Trek Travel L'Etape du Tour

2. Don’t Burn Too Many Matches

For any long-distance event, it’s important to go in with a plan. Use the countless hours of training to learn your limits, so when it comes time for the main event you know just how hard you can go. Unfortunately, race-day jitters and excitement often cause us to make the fatal mistake of going out too fast. Don’t. Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” When hundreds of eager athletes fly pass you at the start, stick to your plan. If you ride at your pace, you will get to where you want to go.

Trek Travel L'Etape du Tour

3. Stay in the Envelope

The best part about riding the Etape with Trek Travel is the overwhelming support. I had a team of 15 people to train with, learn from and lean on leading up to and during the event. I knew when accepting the invitation that I had a lot to learn about cycling – about climbing and descending with 15,000 other riders around me. But the most important lesson I learned is to trust your team. If you want to succeed, surround yourself with people far more experienced than you. They have knowledge, wisdom, protection and strength to offer.

So the moral of the story? Life has a way of surprising us. Enjoy the ride.


Sign up for the ride of a lifetime

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Meet Our Team: Penny Gatward

Designing for the Tour de France takes a lot of passion, patience, planning, skill and a little bit of luck. Hear from our expert Trip Designer, Penny, who for the last nine years has created Le Tour itineraries that capture the spirit of this iconic race—winning the hearts of guests and guides alike.

Trek Travel Tour de France Cycling Vacation

Tell us your story. How did you end up at Trek Travel?
That’s a very long story! In a nutshell, I guided with Tania (Trek Travel’s President) in the late 90’s. We ran 10-day Tuscany camping trips together! Guides cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner for guests and slept in the trailer! After that I guided wilderness adventures and then I joined Tania once again at Trek Travel in 2005.

How long have you been designing for the Tour de France?
Since 2009.

How do you put these trips together? Tell us about your design process.
As soon as the TdF finishes at the end of July, I start looking for rumors about next year’s race. I contact hotels in the areas where I think the race will be to get our reservations in early. Having great relationships with hotels is a key advantage as the ASO blanket books all hotels in areas where the race will be. Once the race route is announced, we confirm the hotels that are best situated for our guests to view the race and also ride the climbs that will be featured. The ideal itinerary is one that has one or two excellent hotels and is in close proximity to the race action and featured climbs.

Trek Travel Tour de France Cycling Vacation

What are some of the greatest challenges?
Finding great 4- and 5-star hotels especially in mountain areas, working with the ever changing logistics of the race itself and road closures.

What is the most rewarding part of designing for the Tour?
Definitely designing a first class trip on paper which the guides then take and create an experience of a lifetime for guests. Guides put the icing on the cake with these trips, no doubt. Talking to guests at the finale in Paris and seeing that twinkle in their eye that means they’ve had an experience of a lifetime makes it all worth while!

If you could ride any stage what would it be?
Stage 19 Lourdes to Laruns: It has been a while since the final mountain finishes have been in the Pyrenees and this stage features some of the most spectacular climbs of this stunning mountain range. The beautiful Col d’aspin, epic Col du Tourmalet, and the stunning Col du Solour and Col d’Aubisque double.

Trek Travel Tour de France Cycling Vacation

What are you most excited about for this year’s Tour?
Watching the mountain stages. With only four days between the Alps and the Pyrenees and both regions packing huge bucket list climbs such as Alpe d’Huez and the Col du Tourmalet, the pro’s will definitely have a fight on their hands.

Piece of advice for guests going on a tour trip for the first time?
The race has a life, personality and magic of its own that can only be felt up close and personal. A great hotel is nice to stay at, gourmet meals are a pleasure to eat, BUT riding and sweating up a famous Tour climb ahead of the peloton—your legs begging you to stop— and feeling the elation of making it to the top is where it’s at. A short while later while in the comfort of the VIP zone at the finish line you’ll watch the pro’s do the exact same thing, sweat and pain in their eyes. Be warned it is addictive!

Experience the 2018 Tour de France for yourself.

Reserve Your Spot

Michael Valenti: Return from Le Tour

This July, Michael Valenti embarked on the journey of a lifetime following and drawing all 21 days of the Tour de France with his two friends and a motorhome by his side. We caught up with him at the start of his journey and were fortunate enough to speak with him again now that it’s over. The verdict? “I’m doing it again, the game is definitely on!”

Trek Travel Cycling Vacations Michael Valenti Return from Le Tour

So welcome back, it’s great to talk to you again. It’s probably a tough question, but if you had to choose, what was the best part of this whole thing?
The people I met. I met people from all over the world and it was easy to talk to them, it was easy to communicate whether we spoke the same language or not. It had a lot to do with everyone had the same passion for the Tour.

What was the most unexpected part?
It was easier than I thought it was going to be because we planned it well. That was unexpected. It went smoothly. As much as there was planning, there was some luck involved as well. You had to have the perfect mix of planning, stamina and luck.

Did all your training pay off?
Without a doubt. I will definitely do that again. I have not had that backpack on since I’ve been back though. Just say no to the 25lb pack.

Trek Travel Cycling Vacations Michael Valenti Return from Le Tour

What expectation did you have going into the trip that did or didn’t pan out how you thought?
The big realization I had after was that I did not see as much cycling and racing as I thought I would or could. It was difficult to follow, because of my phone’s geographical restrictions I couldn’t see parts of the tour in English. I had this vision of we’ll watch it every day like we do back home, I had all the packages and we couldn’t use any of them! And we definitely did not spend enough time in bars. Because at each stop, as soon as I finished working, it was time to leave and move on to the next city. It was time to go. I think I would linger longer next time.

What are your plans for the future?
Do it again, get smarter about sharing with more people, I might do it a little differently. I may not chase the route so closely each day, I might do something where I hit the highlights for longer. Look for three or four places where I invest three days and take a deeper dive into the area and capture a more full experience. And it would do two things for me: I would be able to take an actual bicycle ride, and I’d be able to go to that bar or wherever and watch it on TV. It would afford me more freedom.

There’s another crazy concept on the table as well, but you’ll have to wait until next year to find out if that one works out.

Trek Travel Cycling Vacations Michael Valenti Return from Le Tour

Until next Tour, Michael. Be sure to follow along with his adventures in the meantime here and on Instagram @Veloist

In case you missed it: Michael Valenti’s 21 Days of Cycling Art

Read On

Top 5 Trips: Race Fans

Ride the stages, watch the big attacks, meet the pros and drink in the drama. TV just can’t capture the electricity of a race. Here are our top 5 trips for a VIP experience at cycling’s biggest races.

Trek Travel Spring Classics Cycling Vacation

Spring Classics

Join us in Belgium and Northern France to ride the famed cobbles, sip coveted Trappist beer, and enjoy a VIP race experience. Tackle Flanders’ fearful sections of pavé like Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg in the Ronde van Vlaanderen Cyclo, then watch the pros battle on the same steep climbs and teeth-chattering roads. If you’re up for the test, more cobbles and treachery await at the Paris-Roubaix Challenge. This incredible 11-day experience culminates at Paris-Roubaix, with VIP seats inside the velodrome to watch as another “Hell of the North” competitor crosses the line victorious.

Trek Travel Giro d'Italia Cycling Vacation

Giro d’Italia

There’s a reason why Italy is cycling’s birthplace. There’s something different here, from a culture practically born and raised on two wheels, to a terrain purpose-built for cyclists who love steep climbs, sweeping views and unbeatable roads. Maybe that’s why the Giro is so special – it’s a race crossing all of Italy’s classic climbs with a soundtrack of cheers at every turn. You’ll feel the passion of fans screaming as you climb iconic stretches of road just hours before pros battle it out in pursuit of the pink jersey. You’ll also enjoy special behind-the-scenes access to talk strategy with the Trek-Segafredo team, tour the team bus, and check-out Trek’s cutting-edge bikes and equipment.

Trek Travel Tour de France Cycling Vacations

Tour de France

You can’t get any closer to the action of the Tour de France than this. As Official Tour Operator for both the Tour de France and the Trek-Segafredo team, Trek Travel’s ultimate VIP trip offers unparalleled behind-the-scenes access to the heart of this year’s exhilarating race. We’ll take you to the center of the action to experience the thrilling, final mountain stages, then to an exclusive race viewing at the Grand Finale in Paris.

Trek Travel Tour of California Cycling Vacation

Tour of California

Epic riding, stunning views and exciting live race action set amidst some of California’s most spectacular landscapes. We’ll ride along the Pacific coast and into the mountains above Santa Barbara and enjoy amazing behind-the-scenes access to the Trek Segafredo racing team. This trip is the ultimate celebration of American pro racing, fantastic riding and the natural beauty of the American Riviera.

Trek Travel Vuelta Cycling Vacation

Vuelta a España

You will ride the same routes as the racers, soak up the excitement of the enthusiastic Spanish fans, enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings, admire the ferocity of the pro peloton and get ready to topple some of the hardest climbs in Spain. But fear not: Get the pro’s insight from UCI ProTour veteran and former US Postal domestique Chechu Rubiera.

See our other Top 5 trip collections.


Top 25 Photos: Trek-Segafredo Tour de France 2017

There’s no other sport that allows you this close to the pros, and no other tour company that gets you this close to the races. From disqualifications to GC surprises, we’ve barely had time to breathe. But that’s the allure of the Tour de France; it’s full of passion, glory, drama and showmanship. So kick back, realx and watch the drama of this year’s tour play out right in front of you.


Get a front row seat to next year’s Tour

Reserve Your Spot

Michael Valenti: 21 Days of Cycling Art

Michael Valenti, a former ad man and now artist has decided to leave the modern comforts of his studio and set out to be the first cycling artist to follow and draw all 21 days of the Tour de France. Read on to hear about his idea and the journey that has led up to this awesome adventure.

Become a part of history and purchase a print of your own. Scroll down for special discount code.

Michael Valenti 21 Days of Cycling Art

So first up, who is Michael Valenti?
Well…I’m a husband and dad and all that. As a professional I was brought up in the world of ad agencies. I was a designer, illustrator and marketing guy you know. Now I’m an artist. After 35 years of being in the industry I never considered myself an artist, now I answer “artist” and it’s still weird for me. But I’ve always loved what I do.

When did you become fascinated with cycling?
My friends and I are still convinced we invented mountain biking, haha. We used to terrorize the neighborhood as a pack of riders in the late 60s. Just a bunch of 10-12 year olds in Stoughton, Massachusetts. I didn’t really start riding as a cyclist until my 30s when I moved to Chicago and started riding with a friend of mine who taught me the basics. I joined a few clubs, and I’ve been hooked ever since. These days I do most of my riding in the Southeastern part of Wisconsin—Kenosha, Burlington, Lake Geneva areas.

What inspired you to put cycling at the center of your art?
I found myself in any spare moment drawing what I love to do, so it was just a natural progression. I wanted to do something I could build and sustain until I decided to walk away from it.

You seem pretty involved with Avant Bicycle and Cafe, can you talk a little about that?
Yeah Tony Valenti, a friend of my son’s opened a bike shop in Delavan and I was like hey, open a shop in Lake Geneva and I’ll use it as my gallery north and bring all the art for your walls. So he did, and so became Avant and I hang original pieces there. The difference between a starving artist and a successful artist is marketing, you know?

So you did a similar project with the Giro, drawing a piece everyday. Which was your favorite?
Day 16. The Frankie drawing. I like drawing emotional pictures or pictures that have meaning more than I like drawing a picture of a guy with his arms up in the air.

Michael Valenti 21 Days of Cycling Art

How did you decide to go to the Tour?
Well work being good or bad is so subjective. The question is, “Is the person known or not known and what are they known for?” That’s how the Tour de France trip came around. I want to be the most well known cycling artist on the planet and my friend asked me, “Well, have you ever been to the Tour?” and I was like, “No, let’s go!” And that was that.

Can you give us a quick run down of this project?”
I will follow each stage of the 2017 Tour de France and draw what I see, feel and experience. I couldn’t be more excited; I couldn’t be more frightened! How can such a simple thing be so overwhelming and awesome at the same time? For a first time Tour follower I’m really jumping in with both feet here. Three of us are spending 21 days on the road in a little motor home together. The first of us, me and Keith, conceived this trip on a whim. Keith is my friend that lives here in Wisconsin, he’s just a regular guy, a cycling enthusiast, an experienced camper, he’s great with logistics, he loves wine and he takes good photographs. But the third guy, Harm Job has the most interesting story. Harm Job lives in the Netherlands outside of Amsterdam. I’ve known him since 2007, but we’ve never met in person! We first met on social media, he was an early adopter of the Veloist. We would email back and forth, send pictures, jerseys, we were pen pals. He is by trade a court reporter but by passion reports for cycling races. He speaks 5 languages, has traveled extensively in France, is an over achiever in social media and a completely passionate cycling nut. His chief job will be translating, navigation and social media.

How are you preparing for your trip?
I’ve been riding around with a 20lb backpack on. Hills are hard. I’m also walking with the same pack for three miles every other day. It’s my art pack, so I’ll take it somewhere, unpack it, draw something, pack it back up and ride home. I go through this process a few times to make sure I have everything I need, it makes me feel like a traveling art fair. And I can’t even tell you how many pens I’ve been trying! When I work in the studio I use a quill and ink but in the field that won’t really work so I’ve had to rethink my process a bit. I also like to draw big, but for this trip I’m using 12×18 paper, it feels like a post-it note!

What are you looking forward to most about following the Tour through France?
I have never done a project this big. Like a really focused effort where at the end of three weeks I will have a body of work that I’ve never had before. And I’m really looking forward to seeing what it looks like. There will be good days and bad days I’m sure, and I’m excited to see what days will be magic moments. One good idea in a day is a gift.

Which pro would you most love to have a drink with?
Well I’d love to have a pint with Sean Kelly. He has a connection to the history and would be a ton of fun in a pub. I would have a whiskey with Peter Sagan. You know who I’d like to just sit down and talk to because I think he’s normal? Christian Vande Velde. He’s grounded, he’s had a great career, heir apparent as an announcer and so smart and interesting. I bet he has some great stories.

Tell us about your favorite ride…
In 2000 I did the AIDS ride in Alaska from Fairbanks to Anchorage and that was the hardest ride and the most amazing ride. It’s funny how there’s a sliver of space between the most euphoric thing you’ve ever done and an excruciating amount of pain.

Dream bike?
I know you want me to say Trek but I’m a steel guy. I now ride a custom Waterford. Any bike would be an older Colnago steel bike.

Dream Trek Travel Trip?
This is the easiest question to answer, Tuscany. I would go to Italy in a heartbeat.

In honor of his one-of-a-kind trip, Michael has created a special Tour de France print and is offering it as well as other Open Edition prints to Trek Travel fans and guests at 30% off. It’s your chance to own a piece of art history, simply use the code TT30TDF at check out before August 31st.

And be sure to follow along with 21 Days of Cycling Art project here and on Instagram @Veloist

Michael Valenti 21 Days of Cycling Art


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.


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.


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


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.


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