Whether you’re a pro-level cyclist or a chic urban rider, it’s hard not to get caught up in the thrills of the Tour de France. The race finishes in Paris this Sunday, July 26, but that doesn’t mean your cycling fun is over.
Let the legendary race inspire you to start training for your own cycling adventure. Hardcore riders can retrace the actual tour route through the Alps, while more casual enthusiasts might prefer to train alongside a former pro in South Carolina, ending each day with a farm-to-table meal and some good wine.
Here are five trips that will let you feel like you’ve earned the yellow jersey:
1. Ride the Tour de France Route
Live out your Greg LeMond fantasies and experience the final days of the race as it unfolds in the Alps. DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co. offers advanced cyclists a seven-day Tour de France Alps to Paris trip that follows the peloton as it tackles the 21 switchbacks of the Alpe d’Huez. You get to ride the region’s famed climbs, including Col de la Bonette, with a former pro, and end your trip on the Champs-Élysées in Paris celebrating with the final winner of the prized yellow jersey. Next year’s final stages will cover the Pyrenees to Paris around July 17–23 (the final route is announced in October). DuVine’s trip always sells out fast so book soon for 2016.
2. Tackle the Epic Climbs of the Tour de France
Trek Travel gives serious cyclists the opportunity to take on the notorious climbs of the Tour de France just after the pros have finished the famous race. Trek Travel’s nine-day Classic Climbs of the Tour itinerary departs July 29 and August 8 and spans the French Pyrenees, Mont Ventoux, and the Alps, covering 40,800 feet of climbing and 307 miles of cycling. Tackling the hairpin turns and grueling ascent of Alpe d’Huez will give you a whole new respect for the professional racers.
3. Eat, Drink & Ride in Italy with a Former Pro
As a pro cyclist, João Correia lived and trained just outside of Siena, in the Chianti region of Tuscany. When he retired, he returned to discover the best off-the-beaten path food and wine spots. Now, through InGamba, he shares his insider knowledge with experienced cyclists (and sometimes guest pros like Ted King) who can handle world-class climbs and downhill switchbacks but who also enjoy the good life. Guests are equipped with Pinarello Dogma bikes and daily maintenance is provided by a full-time mechanic and a masseuse. InGamba’s signature Chianti itinerary lets riders feel like locals as they visit family-run restaurants and dine at the tables of Correia’s friends.
4. Train with a Tour de France Legend in South Carolina
After competing in the Tour de France a remarkable 17 times, American rider George Hincapie finally retired from the pro circuit—but he hasn’t retired his bike. In 2013 he opened Hotel Domestique, a dream getaway for cycling enthusiasts set in South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Scheduled “Climb with Hincapie” retreats offer a chance to train with the legend. The hotel can supply Trek road bikes and each day ends with a decadent wine-paired meal.
5. Coffee & Climbs in Colombia
Colombian climber Nairo Quintana has been a fan favorite this Tour de France. Ride the hills he trains on back home with Skedaddle’s Colombian road cycling retreat in the Emerald Mountains. Road cycling is Colombia’s national sport but this trip isn’t just about pedaling Andean mountain passes. The 12-day trip passes through Zona Cafetera, one of Latin America’s primary coffee growing regions, as well as the cities of Medellin and Cartagena, where there is ample time for taking in the local culture.
Photo courtesy Hotel Domestique
Want more cycling inspiration? Check out our favorite bike tours around the world.
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