The Pro Cycling Experience with Sports Tours International
At Sports Tours International we are about quality and value for money and we are known for the best selection of event access and the quality of overseas customer service. Virtually all hotels that we offer on our events are 4 star now, our customer feedback scores are consistently over 90% and we have a very high customer return rate. We find that once someone has been on one of our tours, they will book again and again. A big part of our success is that we keep a very close eye on everything that is going on in our market so we keep on offering what our customers want.
Responding to the current trend in cycling where amateur cyclists want to live, train and ride like a pro, find below our overview of what Pro Cycling Experiences we offer in 2018.
Live and train like a pro
Mainly in cycling the trend has been to live, train and race like a pro cyclist. These days anybody has access to the bikes, the technology and the training methods of pro cyclists or runners. Keen amateur cyclists will have bikes that are lighter than what is allowed on the pro tour and power metres have come down considerably in price allowing us all to review our performance and get better. In cycling holidays we have seen the same trend and below are some attainable ways that you also can get a taste of what it’s like to live and ride like a Pro Cyclist.
Train where the pros train
The Costa Blanca is very well-known as a destination for tourists looking for a ‘bucket and spade’ package holiday. Built-up holiday resorts like Benidorm and Alicante are the major tourist centres but you don’t have to look hard to find some peace and quiet. The Costa Blanca North and Costa Blanca South are totally different and offer some unexpected areas of beauty and great roads for cycling with little traffic and good climbing. The airport to use is Alicante. There is a very wide range of low cost options to fly to Alicante from airports throughout the UK from Edinburgh, Cardiff, London to Belfast and even Doncaster and Bournemouth.
In France and Belgium it is not allowed to have several competitive events in the same weekend. To get round this the amateur event which usually takes place either the day before or the day after is classed as a non-competitive event or ‘Cyclo-Touristique’. The main difference between Cyclo- Sportives, Gran Fondo events and Cyclo Touristiques is the competitive element. Touristiques tend to be non-timed, on open roads to the traffic without a winner and without the need to have a medical certificate. The challenge remains however as some of these are very tough and you are riding the same distance on the same route as the professionals.
Ride the Etape du Tour – This is your chance to ride a stage of the Tour de France, the greatest cycle race in the world. Every year you have the opportunity to test yourself against the riders of the pro Peloton on the exact same course on closed roads. The stage which is chosen usually alternates between a Pyrenean and an Alpine stage but in 2016, 2017 and now 2018, we break with this tradition as we are in the Alps again. I guess it’s not a tradition anymore if you break with it too often?! With many Pros now present on Strava, you can even have a look to see how you did against their speed, power output and heart rate.
When: Sunday 8 July, 2018 Where: From Annecy to Le Grand Bornand, French Alps Field: 15000 riders Distance: 169km Ascent: 4200m Climbs: Plateau des Glieres, Col de la Colombiere, Col de Romme
Accessibility: Fly into Geneva or drive
Entry availability: Entries are already sold out on the Etape du Tour website. Guaranteed entries with Sports Tours International
Live the Dream and cross a finish-line of a Grand Tour stage
As part of selected tours on the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana we have accreditation to do a ‘cross the finish line’ VIP experience. We will take our tour vehicle to a designated area where the cyclists will start their ride and the the non-cyclists will be taken directly to the finish. The riders will ride the final 50km section of the stage to cross the official finish line of the day’s stage. Both cyclists and spectators will then all get together for photos on the official podium followed by a back stage tour and watching the arrival of the riders.
You will ride on the stage route 2.5/3 hours ahead of the peloton, before crossing the finish line in front of cheering cycling fans. Then stand on the Winner’s podium to have your picture taken and take home your very own slice of Grand Tour history. The amount of the route you will ride, varies from stage to stage according to logistics. Spectators will have podium pictures, and a guided visit of the technical area (TV and Media, anti-doping, podium etc.)
The Haute Route – the highest and toughest Cyclosportives
Branded the world’s most prestigious multi-day cycling events for amateur riders, the Haute Route cycling series take place over seven or three-day formats. The timed and ranked events take place on the world’s most iconic cycling terrain. The aim of the Haute Route is to deliver an unparalleled professional experience both on and off the bike for amateur riders. In partnership with a number of companies who are experts in their field the event organisers ensure that you enjoy an unparalleled level of safety, security, comfort and premium services over seven or three timed and ranked stages.
Hundreds of riders from all over the world take part every year in Haute Route events and ride the mythical cols in the world’s most iconic cycling terrain. Not only do they share an unforgettable sporting journey, they also live an incredible human adventure. The Haute Route events give all riders a life-changing experience that gives you an unrivaled sense of achievement. Whether you’re a Rookie or seasoned cyclist, with the right level of training, these events are perfectly achievable by ordinary athletes.