2019 Tour de France Maillot Jaune Trip
What an incredible 2019 Tour de France given it was one of the most exciting races in recent years and I was fortunate to be there.
Over the two week trip, our group saw the Tour de France riders live on numerous occasions and also at the finish along the Champs Élysées. We also got to ride around Paris in the early morning seeing the famous landmarks and along with the finish, which was incredible!
Bucket List of Climbs and Seeing Tour de France Live
Whilst we ticked off a number of my bucket list climbs in the Pyrenees and Alps – Tourmalet, Aubisque, Soulor, Hautacam, Mont Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez. The day that I was blown away was the day we climbed Lautaret and Galibier. It was also the day the Tour de France riders would be climbing Galibier.
It was going to be a 100km+ day and over 2000m of climbing. Whilst I’m not a fast climber, I just get into a rhythm and keep peddling. There were heaps of other cyclists riding so the roads were busy. As we neared the summit of Lautaret, there were more and more cars parking on the side of the road and people walking to the summit so they could watch the tour and they would cheer us riders on as we went past. At the top of Lautaret, I was pretty wrecked and overwhelmed and I just didn’t know if I had another 8km to the summit of Galibier in me.
Supportive Tour Guides with Experience
It was so crowded with people and I couldn’t imagine trying to get through the crowd on the bike to even start the climb! Pete Gumbley (Bikestyle guide) gave me a pep talk and said it was a climb not to be missed and he would ride with me so of course, I wanted to push through. I am so grateful he gave me the encouragement I needed as it was the most incredible climb and experience. The mountain scenery was spectacular. The atmosphere with spectators set up on the side of the road waiting for the tour was amazing. They cheered us on and I almost felt like a pro cyclist!!
After a quick photo at the summit, we started the descent and it was like dodgem cars – getting around other cyclists, spectators and then the pro team buses started coming towards us. These roads are pretty narrow so we would have to pull in and let them through. It was one of my toughest and most rewarding days of the trip.
It was a fantastic two weeks, led by an incredible group of guides (Eric, Pat, Pete, Paul and Kerri).
We had a great group of people from Australia, New Zealand, America, South America and Canada – many who have become good friends and we are already thinking about which Bikestyle trip to do next!