Climb a Tour de France route at your own pace while comfortably ensconced in a well appointed chateau situated among rolling fields of lavender and sprawling vineyards.
Benefiting Lindblad-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund
All-Inclusive Provence Cycling Retreat
Revel in the beauty of Provence’s rolling fields of lavender and sprawling vineyards while you spend your days climbing famed Mont Ventoux, one of the most well known routes of the Tour de France. In this training camp, IfOnly cyclists will enjoy complete peace and relaxation — like any rejuvenating holiday — and embrace the physical challenge of riding in some of the toughest (and most beautiful) terrain in Europe.
Each day begins with a breakfast made up of local produce, prepared by the chateau’s in-house cook. Then you will be led on rides ranging from two to six hours, taking in café stops and lunch breaks, and always supported by ride guides, a mechanic, and soigneur, on hand for any nutritional, mechanical, or biomechanics requests. Massage and laundry are taken care of upon returning to base, and your typical Provencal evening meal can be enjoyed in the open-air dining-terrace or one of the many dining rooms. You will do it all over again the next day, getting into a rhythm of riding and relaxing in complete style. While getting in as much hard riding as you can handle, you’ll enjoy the hospitality and amenities of Le Grand Banc, a picturesque chateau in the Luberon, with outdoor dining terraces, a swimming pool, and interiors decorated in the rustic style of the region.
When not riding, enjoy hiking and visiting local markets and villages like Simiane-la-Rotonde, a favorite among non-riding guests. You’ll also have special guests stay and ride with you, such as ex-pro and writer Tom Southam and Bart Brackez, Thor Hushovd’s personal soigneur.
As for the cycling, it is unforgettable. Ride the Gorges de la Nesque, Montagne de Lure, the rolling Luberon hills, and climb up to the famous white scree slopes of Mont Ventoux, arguably the most hallowed climb in the history of road racing. Experienced ride guides tailor each day to be different and with varying degrees of difficulty and route options, depending on how you’re feeling. An 87km loop taking in a quiet winding climb on the first day could be followed the next with a 130km journey up to the summit of Ventoux. After these rides, you will leave Provence stronger, well nourished, and an accomplished cyclist.
- This experience is offered:
- September 20th to September 25th 2015
- October 11th to October 16th 2015
- This experience is for two (2) people
- Please note, you will be joining a group of up to 18 riders
- Includes ride guides, mechanic, and soigneur support plus massage and laundry
- Access to a pro-level Pinarello Dogma bike and Campagnolo Record Group set
- Jaguar and Range Rover vehicle support cars
- Full nutrition and breakfasts provided with lunch en route
- Bidons and energy provided each day
- All evening meals provided with regional drinks
- Non-riding companions are welcome
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