Etape du Tour Trek Travel Trip for 2. Ride one of the hardest stages of the 2010 Tour de France. As part of the Tour De France the organizers choose the one of hardest stages and have a race for citizens a week before the Pro’s come through. This years course is 112 miles and goes over three major mountain passes. Join a private group of 25 fun people including Trek’s President John Burke. This trip is for four nights, includes entry in the top 300 numbers, private rest stops, use of a 5.2 Trek Madone and the support of Trek Travel. There are 8500 riders and for many cyclists is the equivalent to the Boston Marathon for road cycling.
L'ETAPE DU TOUR
Experience the thrill of bicycling an entire stage of the 'tour de france' just days before the pros in the famous Etape du Tour cyclosportive, the mass partication bicycle ride. Trek is a major sponsor of the event and Trek Travel has the top 300 guaranteed entries for guests seeking the much sought after, but difficult to attain entry spots. This year's exhilarating route covers Stage 17 of the tour, with a spectacular route that stretches over 108 demanding, glorious miles from the host town of Pau to the stunning heights of Col du Tourmalet at more than 6900 feet. Enjoy private Trek Travel rest stops along the route, special on route support and our famous finale picnic feast in the village. This extremely popular event draws thousands of cyclists from around the globe to participate in an annual feat of cycling stamina and the crowds along the roadside are reminiscent of those of the 'tour de france' itself. It is sure to be an experience that you'll remember forever.
LOCATION: The 2010 Etape du Tour starts in the town of Pau in South West France, just North of the Pyrenees. It ends at the top of Tourmalet, after crossing 181km of mountain scenery, with 3 major climbs.
THE COURSE: The 2010 Etape du Tour course is a tough one!
Starting in Pau, the route heads southwards for 20 miles across the undulating rural landscape to the town of Oloron Sainte Marie.
Ten miles later, at the village of Escot the route turns eastwards for the first climb of the day – Marie Blanque.
A picturesque, wooded climb, its pleasant slopes become steeper as we progress, reaching 11% and maybe 13% in the last couple of km.
It is not a long climb by local standards, being 5 or 6 miles long, but the last section is quite a struggle! We will be climbing a total of 700m up to the summit at just over 1000m.
The pleasant wooded descent takes us to a large open plateau, a pleasant contrast from the wooded scenery.
The plateau is followed by a series of downward zigzag ramps – a bit steep for comfort with some very sharp bends!
After the excitement we are treated to a flatter 20 miles, taking us to Asson at the foot of the climb to Col du Soulour. For the next 10 miles, the road surface is good, and the scenery pleasant, but the land rises slowly, making it harder work than it looks. After Ferriers, it becomes a real mountain climb, with typical Pyrenean bends – a real Etape du Tour climb! After 8 miles of hairpin bends, we (hopefully) reach the top, having climbed over 1000 metres! I’m also hoping the café is still there!
The 1000 metre descent will be exciting, with its long succession of hairpin bends down to Arrens Marsous, followed by a fast, straight enjoyable section down to Argeles-Gazost.
The road then climbs steadily for about 10 miles up the beautiful Gorge de Luz, to Luz-St-Sauveur The route then turns east for the final climb up the west side of Tourmalet up to the Col de Tourmalet.
After that, you will deserve a rest at La Mongie!