2 days cycling, 200km

Just bring legs & a smile (we’ll bring your bike and organise everything else)!

Stage 8

Stage 9

The Tour de France is a perfect excuse to explore the Pyrenees and these two Pyrenean stages are stunners. It’s unusual to be in this mountain range just for two stages but it means that in 2020 we can offer a Pyrenean long weekend – two days cycling and back at your desk with aching legs and tan lines by Monday afternoon/Tuesday morning.

We’ve shortened each stage to 100km by arranging transfers to the first feedstops so that our Lite version still gets you all of the big name mountains and most important parts of each stage, and you’ll still be cycling with all the other Le Loop cyclists (and don’t forget that if you’re feeling good and game, you’re welcome to cycle full stages – you just need to let us know the night before).

The Pyrenees is a place of exceptional beauty and so whether you’re ‘enjoying’ a ride up one of the big three climbs on stage 8, or exploring the back road climbs deep into the mountain range, you’ll be in awe – both of the scenery and also how the pros manage to cycle the same thing with such ease at such speed!

Note on the Lite option: Some people love knowing they’ve completed full stages; others love knowing they’ll finish before dinner. For us, there’s no better or worse and everyone will be welcomed as equals… because if you’re happy cycling, we’re happy for you.

Arrival day. Fri 26th June.

Arrival to the Tour hotel in south Toulouse under own arrangements.

Stage 8: Cazeres-Loudenvielle. 140km. Sat 27th June.

One of those special here-come-the-mountains stages, today’s ride will take us from gently rolling lowlands into the high Pyrenees, with ascents of Col de Menté, Port de Balès, and our old favourite, the Col de Peyresourde. Each has its own character – Menté is leafy, with satin-smooth hairpins on the ascent; Balès is wild and windswept; Peyresourde offers picture-perfect mountain views and heroic photos at the top. With a downhill finish into Loudenvielle, this stage is a Pyrenean classic to remember. To make it even more memorable, we’ve booked dinner in the Loudenvielle thermal baths and spa complex and you’ll have time to spend an hour or two in the pools (small charge) or having a beer in the spectacular surroundings before dinner and the transfer back to Pau.

Lite option*: A lift will be available to the first feedstop at 40km, shortening this stage to 100km but losing none of the famous climbs or views.

Tour practicalities:
Start: Transfer from Toulouse South hotel
Finish: Dinner in Loudenvielle and then a transfer to Pau

Stage 9: Pau-Laruns. 154km. Sun 28th June.

Pau is one of the Tour’s most frequently visited towns, but the rest of this stage will be a voyage of discovery, as our route takes us over a number of lesser known Pyrenean cols, including the magnificent Col de la Hourcere (making its Tour debut) and offers us eye-watering gradients to go with the breath-taking views. We’ll finish our day with a descent into the Ossau valley, but not before we’ve taken on the Côl de Marie Blanque from its (much steeper) western side. These are the back roads with their wild landscapes that the Pyrenees are loved for – and this is a very fine opportunity to ride them.

Tour practicalities:
Start: Pau hotel
Finish: Transfer back to Pau hotel (2 nights)

Departure day. Mon 29th June. Pau

We’ll transfer back to Pau at the end of stage 9 so you’ll be in a town with airport and train station and free to leave the hotel under your own arrangements on Monday 29th. (See travel advice below for more info)

Total

Cost

DepositSecond Payment

Due end Jan

Final Payment

Due end Mar

Fundraising Target80% Fundraising

due end April

 

£495

 

£250£50£195£1200£960

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emily, Lead Cyclist:

“You’d be amazed how many people turn up on Le Loop thinking they’ll be the slowest but the reality is that if you strip away the worry and the doubt, cycling in the mountains is pure pleasure. That’s why we’ve made this Lite Loop – to encourage you to take the plunge and experience it for yourself!”

Sarah, Event Organiser:

“On this occasion, ‘Lite’ clearly doesn’t mean easy. It’s still a massive undertaking and a massive achievement to cycle multiple mountains in a day. Just remember that there’s a gear for everything and take it slowly. We’re here to help you!”

Gav, Alumni Cyclist:

“The Tour de France is the Tour de France and it’ll be the best experience however you choose to do it. I did a 3 day Loop to join a friend who was doing 10 stages and whilst I wanted a challenge, I didn’t want that much of a challenge! I can’t really give much advice but I would say that the moment you start cycling, you’ll stop worrying. It’s the friendliest event I’ve ever been on and I’d recommend it to anyone.”

Le Loop is known for its camaraderie and inclusiveness and we strongly believe that there’s a Loop for everyone. We have no cut off times and cyclists will always be supported as far as safety and daylight hours allow. However, there is a speed and a level of training required for some of the longer Loops and the Grand Loop because we have limited space in our support vehicles and this event is not designed for cyclists who cannot complete full stages.

We need to be clear about how tough the Tour can be in order to help you pick the right challenge…

Pyrenees & Pyrenees Lite…

The Tour de France Pyrenees stages are tough and completing back to back mountain stages is something that requires commitment and training. However, we are not all equal: in time available, experience, natural ability or desire for the toughest challenge. Which is why we have our Lite options…

We’d love you to take on the Pyrenees and love every kilometre – they’ll be amazing. However, if you sign up for the Pyrenees, you will be given the option to cycle the full stage or the shortened, ‘lite’ version. We usually take numbers the night before, giving you plenty of flexibility should you wish to go long or short.

Please, please avoid the temptation to view the Lite options as a weaker challenge: they are not! The extra transfers or short-cuts serve simply to open up the Tour de France to more people, encourage more diverse groups to join us, or offer an alternative to people who would like a really great day of Tour riding, rather than an overly-epic day which leaves them broken.

As a rough guide, a cyclist who can complete an undulating 100 km sportive in 5hrs or less in March and a hilly 100 km sportive in 5hrs or less in late April/early May will be well placed to join us in France. (This is a rough guide only: once you’re in France you’ll be cycling within your comfort zone rather than racing so the pace will be slower than this and you’ll stop more frequently).

Included in all Loops

  • Accommodation (Mostly twin share. Single supplements are available to buy in January)
  • Food (3 meals and the best feedstops you’ve ever seen)
  • Fully signed route, the stuff of legend
  • Mechanical, medical and moral support
  • Luggage Transfers
  • Coach transfers to the next stage start where applicable

Not included in all Loops

  • Travel to and from France (but we’ll give you advice on the best travel routes)
  • Bike Transport (£30 each way if you want us to drive your bike there and back)
  • Evening massage (£10 per massage)
  • Beer/wine/dinner drinks!