Climb Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Travel: Climbing is one of the most polarizing aspects of cycling. You either love it or loathe it. Equally mentally and physically challenging, it’s one of the hardest parts of riding your bike. Peter Thomson, owner of Thomson Bike Tours, knows that you don’t become a better cyclist by staying within your comfort zone. You build strength and character by testing your boundaries, pushing a little harder, and ultimately, redefining what you thought were your limits.
– Special Travel Feature By Peter Thomson of Thomson Bike Tours –
We design some of the most ambitious, mountainous routes in the world because we know the benefits of going uphill far outweigh any temporary pain and suffering. We take pride in introducing cyclists from around the world to the glorious rewards of climbing. The moment you crest a mountain, the pain becomes a distant memory, instantly replaced by a jaw-dropping view and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.
At Thomson Bike Tours, we like to climb so much that we’ve taken 3 of our most popular trips and UPgraded them to include even more sensational climbs. Want to feel on “Top of the World,” literally? Join us in the Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites for the most challenging, rewarding week you’ll ever spend on a bike.
Our route across the French Alps goes from North to South. This is a bucket-list trip that tackles some of the most notorious peaks from the Tour de France. We’ll ride the 21 switchbacks of Alpe d’Huez, the glorious Galibier, and the magnificent Madeleine among many others.
Alps UPgrade: We’ve enhanced this year’s route to include the legendary Mont Ventoux in beautiful Provence! In true Thomson style, we’ll go up the mammoth mountain not once, but twice in the same day. We’ve also added an ascent up the backside of Alpe d’Huez, a gem of a climb called Col de Sarenne, as well as the famous switchbacks of the Lacets de Montvernier. The week now totals 639km and 19,821m (397 miles and 65,030ft).
The Dolomites have become an increasingly popular cycling destination in the past 5 years. This Giro d’Italia terrain is famed for its dramatic peaks, breathtaking scenery and renowned Italian food and wine. Our route conquers classics climbs like the 48 switchbacks of the Stelvio, the monster Mortirolo, and Giro-favorite Gavia. The most spectacular day may be the Sella Ronde route, one of the world’s most beautiful bike rides that includes 4 stunning climbs: the Passo Pordoi, Passo Sella, Passo Gardena and Passo Campolongo.
Dolomites UPgrade: As if climbing the Mortirolo wasn’t enough, we’ve added 1 of the 2 toughest climbs in Europe to the itinerary: the notorious Monte Zoncolan. (The Angliru in Spain, is the our other favorite). Zoncolan is 11km long at a devious average of 11%. The sign at the start reads, “Welcome to the Gates of Hell.” After conquering Zoncolan, you have the option of tackling another HC climb, the Monte Crostis! We’ve also added two climbs that are new to Thomson, the Passo Duron and Sella Valcalda. The trip now tallies 691km and 19,431m (429 miles and 63,750ft.)
How often do you get the opportunity to ride coast to coast? Our route across the Pyrenees takes the high road from the shores of the Mediterranean all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. We’ll tick off Tour de France climbs the whole way, including the legendary Tourmalet, Aubisque, Pailheres, Peyresourde, Aspin and more. The route from the Col de Soulor to the Col d’Aubisque through the stunning Cirque du Litor is considered one of the most extraordinary routes in all of Europe.
Pyrenees UPgrade: We’ve added an extra day on the trip! The 9 day adventure also now starts in the renowned cycling hub of Girona, where we’ll climb one the pros’ favorite training climbs, Els Angels. The extra ride day is in the Ariege region of the Pyrenees, where we’ll ride Tour de France favorites such as the Port de Lers, the Col d’Agnes and the Col de la Core. This route will truly take your breath away. The enhanced trip now covers a whopping 946km and 22,315m of elevation (587 miles and 73,212 ft).
Set Your Expectations High
When you climb big mountains, the immediate reward is the view, but the lasting effect is the knowledge that you can overcome any obstacle, no matter how big. At Thomson Bike Tours, we know the fun happens just outside your comfort zone. Join us this year and discover what you are truly made of. We’ll provide all the support and encouragement, you provide the desire to ride like you’ve never ridden before.
Join the trip: Thomson Bike Tours offers week-long trips cycling trips across the world’s most spectacular mountain chains. $3895 per person