2012 White Jersey Grand depart to Champagne

June 28th to July 5th evening, 2012

Itinerary - What's Included - Options

This trip will cover the Grand Depart in Belgium, including the Team Presentation, Prologue in Liege, the climbs of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix and the Champagne region!

Your VIP access will allow you to live the Tour from the inside. By that we mean VIP access, visit of the Press rooms, Technical Zones, visits of teams or partners of the race, visits guided by a representative of the Tour de France organization, visit of the Riders Zone, meeting personalities that have marked the Tour (former Tour winners, personalities, etc...).

You can find a few testimonials of previous year's guests here.

Registrations:
A 25% deposit per person is required to reserve a spot. If places are still available when we receive your application along with deposit, you will receive notification of your registration. If the trip is sold out, you will be given the option to be placed on a waiting list or choice of another trip. Waitlist order is on a first come first serve basis as well.

 

ITINERARY

2012 TOUR DE FRANCE - White Jersey Grand Depart to Champagne 

Rate : $4,495/person

8 nights, 9 days  -  June 28th to July 5th evening

Pick up at Paris CDG airport/train

 Highlights: Team Presentation, Prologue, references to the Spring Classic races, Velodrome in Roubaix, Champagne, VIP access to 3 stages

OPTIONS: Trip insurance /  Bike Rental  / Polka Dot Jura+Burgundy

 

June 28th

Hotel Location: Just outside Liege


We will be picking up at Paris CDG airport at 10:00am this morning. Since we will also be dropping off in France this will simplify your travels!

 

What happens first once we get to Liege will depend upon the timing of the team presentation. If it is later on as it has in the past, we will go by our hotel first. If it is earlier in the afternoon like in 2011, we will likely goes straight to the presentation

 

Once the presentation is done, we will get to our hotel for dinner (or have dinner en-route depending on timing)

 

   
June 29th

Hotel Location: Just outside Liege

 

The day between the team presentation and the Prologue is the perfect opportunity to go ride a portion of the famous Fleche Wallone course and most notably the Muur de Huy!

 

The Mur de Huy is short; a little under 1000 yards. The trick; these yards are climbed at an average of 19% with passes at 25%... where's the elevator?

 

There is also a chance that we might be able to ride the prologue course itself with the help of the Tour organizers. It is still too early to confirm, but if this were a possibility we would give it priority treatment of course!

 

Prologue practice in '04

 

   
June 30th

Hotel Location: Just outside Liege


3... 2... 1... they're off!

Today is the first day of racing on the 2012 Tour de France. Can Fabian Cancellara repeat on the exact same course 8 years after winning the 2004 Prologue?

 

We'll find out first hand as we are privileged to the VIP Izoard hospitality area located about 50-75 yards from the finish line.

 

The Izoard bus is among the more exclusive areas at stage finishes and you should expect to see/meet plenty of Tour celebrities.

 

Here hostesses will serve drinks and snacks while you watch the live broadcast on Big Screen TV.

 

Typically a Prologue will start later in the day, but the atmosphere will be electric and the buildup is well worth experiencing, so we will plan our ride in the morning and get to the heart of the action for a late lunch!

For some riders this can mean on of their few chances at wearing the Yellow Jersey (Tony Martin?)

 

After seeing the stage finish from this exclusive viewing area, champagne will be served to celebrate the stage winner.

   
July 1st

Hotel Location: Just outside Liege


This is the first inline stage of the race and it will be interesting to see if the few seconds of time difference created yesterday can subsist today.

The stage itinerary will feature some of the climbs of Liege-Bastogne-Liege and will finish atop a 2.5km climb. This is perfectly suited for a rider such as local hero; Philippe Gilbert who will be teammate extraordinaire for Cadel Evans on the 2012 Tour de France.

 

So who will be the first across the line today? The answer is... YOU!!!

If you've ever had the dream of riding a Tour de France stage along roads filled with spectators and raise your arms to the sky as you cross the finish-line, today is the day it comes true...

We'll have several ride distances planned and these will be more precisely determined once we have the exact route, but we anticipate the longest will be around 100km and the shortest... probably 5km or so!

 

Custom Getaways vehicles with on-course accreditation will be accompanying you and providing an extra lift if necessary, and an official Tour de France vehicle will escort us over the final few kms of the course and you will cross the finish line on closed roads just a couple of hours or so before the Peloton.

Once this ride of a lifetime is complete, the dream will continue; you will be invited to climb the official podium where we will take souvenir pictures. Those not riding will be driven to the finish and will enjoy the excitement of the climb and podium pictures just the same.

 

It will then be time to see the pros battle it out and we will be directly overlooking the finish line to see how the pros stack up as we will have special access to the "Bulle Mangeas". Daniel Mangeas is the French commentator for the Tour de France ("La voix du Tour").

 

We'll enjoy a celebratory dinner this evening together!





   
July 2nd

Hotel Location: Lille

 

After yesterday's long ride, we figured we'd give the opportunity (timing allowing) for those who wish to have an easier, early ride, before we do any Tour viewing.

 

Once back at the hotel, there will be time for a quick shower and we will then get to nearby Vise which is hosting today's stage start.

Once in Vise, we will have VIP access to the activities surrounding the stage start. The "start village" should open around 10:00am or so.

 

There, we will be greeted by a person from ASO who will show us around the area and explain how things work.

 

There will be some time in the partner's gated "village" which features various exhibits and entertainment. A Tour de France shop is also on site.

 

Thanks to our passes, we will also have access to the rider's area, meet some of the racers, meet Directeurs Sportif, personalities, possible visit of team bus, etc.

 

Tour starts are often a favorite part of our trips as the interaction with the riders/teams is unparalleled.

 

Once the peloton is off; we will be on our way as well and be heading into France. We will make a small detour on the way, as we want to go by some of the climbs in the Flanders region and give the opportunity for those who wish to ride such climbs as Kwaremont, Paterberg or Koppenberg!

 

We will overnight in Lille to be ready for another exciting day tomorrow!



    

   
July 3rd

Hotel Location: Champagne region

 

The stage is heading to go north coast of France and Boulogne sur mer today.

We'll have a bit of time this morning before riding to a location along the course and experience all the pageantry of the publicity caravan followed by the race itself.

Depending on the stage itinerary we may see a feedzone or intermediate sprint before we head to the Champagne region.

 

We can't leave the area before one last stop though, so we will leave the hotel ready to ride and get to the Velodrome in Roubaix. This monument of cycling is best known to host the finish of Paris-Roubaix every year!

 

We'll make the drive to the Champagne region and enjoy a bit of bubbly this evening of course!

 

 

 

 

   

July 4th
Hotel Location: Champagne region

 

After a number of days of interaction with the race, we wanted to have a day free to schedule as we wish. Those riding can do so over the beautiful "route des Vins" - the wine road.

 

it is tempting to stop often and in each village to sample some of the local product, but we'll keep that for later, once we are done riding.

 

Our post ride libations will include a visit of one of the Champagne houses. Consider this; the underground network of wine cellars in Epernay are.... 110km long harboring 200 million bottles!!!

The word "festive" comes to mind....

 

This is our final evening together and we'll enjoy a nice group dinner, celebrating new found friends and a great few days of Tour viewing!

 

 

   
July 5th
Hotel Location: N/A
 

We will be experiencing one final stage of the Tour de France today.

The arrival in Saint Quentin, is one Mark Cavendish will have checked on his calendar, no doubt!

 

We'll leave in the morning and have one last long ride over 100km planned for those who wish to ride the most. As always a shorter distance will be available as well.

 

We will leave the hotel relatively early so as to have time for a late lunch in Saint Quentin.

 

Once the stage is over, we will transfer you to TGV train Station Haute Picardie, which is near Saint Quentin and offers direct train service into Paris airport if you must leave tomorrow or into Paris if you are extending your stay. It is a 30mn drive to get to the train station, so we should be dropping off around 6:30pm-6:45pm.

 

Of course... we're moving on to the mountains and would love to have you join us if you wish!

 

 

 

 

   

 WHAT'S INCLUDED

- Transfer from Paris CDG airport/train station and to TGV Haute Picardie

- Hotel rooms based on double occupancy
- All breakfasts at the hotels
- All but two dinners

- Picnic lunch on July 2nd
- Grand Touring, Air Conditioned bus with Video and Restrooms

- Deluxe Minibus(es )with "On-Course" accreditation for support, water, snacks.

- Use Of Garmin Edge units during the trip

- VIP access to Izoard during Prologue on June 30th

- Exclusive VIP ride of stage #1 with official Tour Vehicle escort just hours before the peloton
- Crossing of finish line on Stage #1
- Tour de France Podium photo finish

- Visit of restricted technical/media areas

- VIP access to start village for Stage #2 on July 2nd

- VIP access to rider's enclosure for Stage #2 on July 2nd

- Bi-lingual and bi-cultural group Leader

- Bike Mechanic

- Guides

- Support Staff

- Excellent staff to guest ratio

- Tour de France Road Book (not available to the general public) showing full details of stages, profiles etc etc

- Tour de France welcome package

- Discount card for Official Tour de France stores

- Cycling Jersey

- 2 or more ride distances daily

- Detailed cue-cards, directions, maps, profile of stages, etc.

- Special Tour de France gift

- Memories to last a lifetime!

 OPTIONS

Rental Bikes. Full carbon Frame w/ Ultegra group with compact cranks (34x 25/27 low gear)
- Trip Insurance

- experience mountain stages of the Tour de France: Polka Dot Jura+Burgundy or Signature Series Jura+Burgundy