TDF Femmes cycling tour

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Tour Description

2022 Tour de France FEMMES: 30 years in the waiting!

OPEN FOR BOOKINGS – Join us in celebrating the most significant moment in women’s cycling over the past 30 years. Tour de France Femmes is a welcome return to the stage race concept which was last presented by the TDF during 1989. While there have been other major races the women’s peloton is excited to finally reunite itself with the official Tour de France!

As the men finish on the Champs-Elysees the women get started and this overlap creates the perfect connection to promote and later highlight women’s cycling. There are a total of eight stages designed for sprinters, puncheurs and climbers and the likes of Lizzie Deignan, Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Elisa Balsamo, Annemiek Van Vleuten and Marianne Vos are all likely to feature heavily.

Sierra Sports is thrilled to present this tour itinerary which will see guests ride across the best of the Champagne, Aube and Alsace regions! There are challenges on tour but the daily rides are not as demanding as our typical Pyrenees or French Alpes itineraries. Beginner and intermediate riders will thrive in these conditions, however, some good legs will still be required as two decisive mountain stages in the Vosges round out the tour.

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Daily Tour Overview

Day 1 – Cycling to the home of sparkling wine

To start this TDF Femmes cycling tour we will be available to collect you from central Paris at 10am. In the vans there will be a 1hr transfer to the border of the Champagne-Ardennes region. The route initially follows the River Marne and the region includes stunning landscapes, such as, limestone plains, canals, vineyards, rural villages and historic cities. Pinch yourself as you follow the green vines which have been growing pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay grapes since the 1600s.

The ride finishes in Reims which will be home for the first 2 nights on tour. When visiting France this is a must-see city as it’s well known for its champagne houses and UNESCO world heritage sites. In fact, the hotel is walking distance from the Notre-Dame Cathedral where every 25 Kings of France were crowned, starting with Louis XII in 1223. Tonight the group will enjoy a Tour Welcome Dinner and it might be early but the champagne will already be flowing!

Distance: 65km (500m elevation gain) / Meals: Dinner Included / Sleep: Reims (France)

Day 2 – Epernay and Stage 3 of TDF Femmes

Following breakfast the group will leave the hotel on bike. Immediately to the south is the Natural Park ‘Montagne de Reims’ and today’s route continues following the champagne hillsides that have put the region onto the UNESCO listing. The cycling will conclude in Epernay which is known as the city of champagne, nothing more, nothing less. Our journey along the Champagne Wine Trail will also include a spin along the Avenue du Champagne where several iconic brands have their headquarters. Extravagance could be used to describe the wealth and can you believe that there are over 200 millions of bottle safely stored under this street. This avenue they say is even richer than the Champs-Elysees!

The centre-ville will be buzzing with excitement as TDF Femmes first passes its streets 25km before the finish line. It is always great to have multiple chances to witness the peloton up close and personal! While we will finish the ride in Epernay the option to ride a further 15km and tackle the Cote de Mutigny exists. On the final loop into Epernay the women’s peloton will need to push over this 900m long ‘wall’ with 12% average gradient. If you know the Mur de Huy in Fleche-Wallone then you will appreciate that this climb will cause the first time-splits in the race for the General Classification!

Distance: 85/100km (600/750m elevation gain) / Meals: Breakfast Included / Sleep: Reims (France)

Day 3 – Gravel cycling to finish Stage 4 of TDF Femmes

This morning we will transfer 1hr south to the medieval city of Troyes which remains a lively, vibrant place. Troyes is the start town for Stage 4 of TDF Femmes. We will get started before the women’s action begins so we can ride plenty of the race route and still make it through to the finish line on-time.

The TDF Femmes organisers have spiced things up with 6 short gravel climbs packed into the final 60km of racing. To keep a check on the kilometres our ride will skip most of these, however, the aim is to ride the final two gravel cotes (1.7 and 1.8km long respectively). What a memorable final 10km is in store!

Distance: 90km (700m elevation gain) / Meals: Breakfast & Dinner Included / Sleep: Troyes (France)

Day 4 – Cycling through nature to medieval Troyes

Today we take a rest from TDF Femmes to enjoy the natural environment of the Foret d’Orient regional park. The accommodation is located in the heart of the natural park and a hotel loop ride on the lake’s cycle path awaits. We will ride through to the home village of Charles de Gaulle where a 43m high granite cross of Lorraine has been erected in his memory. The Sierra crew will prepare a picnic lunch while you have time to enter the visitor centre and discover some surprising details about his time as military leader and President of France.

In the afternoon feel free to meet the Sierra guides in the hotel to watch the closing stages of TDF Femmes Stage 5 as the women’s peloton moves closer to the Vosges mountains. After four days on the bikes you might also decide to treat yourself to a spa treatment back at the hotel.

Dinner tonight will be in nearby Troyes. An excursion through this ancient city, which was once a Roman town, allows one to step back in time. The streets are filled with half-timbered houses and the tiny cobbled laneways create a maze through the old quarter. Everywhere is full of charm and history and one street in fact is so narrow that the houses even lean in and touch at the top.

Distance: 60/110km (450/675m elevation gain) / Meals: Breakfast & Dinner Included / Sleep: Troyes (France)

Day 5 – Arrival to the Vosges mountains

This morning there is a 3hr transfer to set us up for the final two TDF Femmes mountain stages. After lunch the afternoon ride follows the southern boundary of the Ballons and Vosges natural park. This is an easy ride through to our final hotel, however, the local road signs marking La Planche des Belles Filles and Ballon d’Alsace climbs will highlight the fireworks that are still to come!

Our base for the next three nights is located in the Alsace department. This is a historical region with a distinct mix of French and German culture due to power struggles that have played out over the centuries.

Distance: 75km (400m elevation gain) / Meals: Breakfast Included / Sleep: Mulhouse (France)

Day 6 – Stage 7 of TDF Femmes on the Grand Ballon

The race today heads into the decisive mountain stages in the Vosges. The Pyrenees and Alpes might be more feared but the Vosges mountains need to be treated with the greatest of respect. The main objective today for our group is to conquer the Grand Ballon which is a household TDF col! The 13.5km climb at 6.7% average will be a good test all-right!

The race passes Le Markstein township mid-race and also for the stage finish so it will be the perfect viewing location. The peloton will be under pressure from the time of the first passing as the Col du Platzerwasel will be a major test. The overall GC contenders will be whittled down to a mere handful today! Post-race there will be a short 45min transfer back to the hotel.

Distance: 85km (1500m elevation gain) / Meals: Breakfast Included / Sleep: Mulhouse (France)

Day 7 – TDF Femmes to make history on La Planche des Belles Filles

The final stage of the 2022 TDF Femmes hits La Planche des Belles Filles which most recently saw Tadej Pogacar time trial his way to the 2020 TDF men’s title. This climb is a real favourite with the TDF organisers. In recent years it has been a summit finish where champions such as Froome and Nibali have taken stage honours. The Vosges mountains will play host to an exciting finale worthy of crowning the first female TDF champion in over 30 years!

Today is our final ride on tour. The route has been designed to give you every chance to test yourself on these two classic TDF cols; Le Ballon d’Alsace (8.7km at 6.9%) and La Super Planche des Belles Filles (7km at 8.7%). Challenge yourself with the final climbs reserved for the best climbers in the women’s peloton!

As the podium presentations come to a close there will be a 1hr transfer. Back at the hotel we will enjoy a farewell tour dinner and celebrate what has been an amazing week of cycling following the 2022 TDF Femmes!

Distance: 85km (1650m elevation gain) / Meals: Breakfast & Dinner Included / Sleep: Mulhouse (France)

Day 8 – Au Revoir

This morning our team will be available to organise a 30 minute transfer to the Basel-Mulhouse Airport with arrival by 10:00am. The opportunities to continue your travels through Switzerland and Germany are endless. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Meals: Breakfast included

Dates & Prices

Dates25 July – 1 August 2022
Duration7 nights / 8 days
Price (per person)3350€ (twin share)
Bike Hire
(Carbon, Shimano 105, Compact, 11/32)
Single Room Supplement550€

5% Discount for Groups of 4 or more!

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