King of the Mountains TdF

Le Domestique Tours’ King of the Mountains TdF Challenge represents the pinnacle of amateur cycling, pitting riders against the biggest and best mountains of France across 700km, 20 cols, 20,000m of elevation gain and seven incredible stages, highlighted by the legendary Tourmalet, Mont-Ventoux (Club des Cingles du Mont-Ventoux) and Alpe d’Huez.

The Tour de France is the most famous race in all of cycling, with over 100 years of daring escapades and heroic riding ensuring that the Grand Boucle is known around the world. The mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees, together with the isolated brute that is Mont-Ventoux are responsible for the Tour de France’s reputation, playing host to some of the most memorable stages and battles that have ever been witnessed in the professional cycling peloton.

The King of the Mountains TdF is a truly epic experience offering an unrivalled opportunity to challenge yourself against the Tour de France’s most famous climbs.

“Every day of the tour threw up new challenges, however the organisation was superb and the vehicular support just made everything possible, I have simply had the best week I could imagine.”

Dr Richard Cook

Le Domestique Tours – Let us be your Domestique

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Dates & Prices

16 - 23 September 2017 7 Nights - Twin Share £1299pp - £300 Deposit BOOK NOW
16 - 23 September 2017 7 Nights - Solo Occ £1549pp - £400 Deposit BOOK NOW
9 - 16 June 2018 7 Nights - Twin Share £1299pp - £300 Deposit BOOK NOW
9 - 16 June 2018 7 Nights - Solo Occ £1549pp - £400 Deposit BOOK NOW
1 - 8 September 2018 7 Nights - Twin Share £1299pp - £100 Deposit Until September 17 BOOK NOW
1 - 8 September 2018 7 Nights - Solo Occ £1549pp - £200 Deposit Until September 17 BOOK NOW
Private Group Bookings Dates Throughout 2017 From £1299pp BOOK NOW
Private Group Bookings Dates Throughout 2018 From £1299pp BOOK NOW

Itinerary

Day 1 - 57km - 1850m - Pyrenees - Finish Luz-Saint-Sauveur

The King of the Mountains TdF journey begins with the ascent of Hautacam (1520m), a climb that played a defining role in Lance Armstrong's chequered career and is well known for the savage ramps that broke many an Etape competitor in 2014.

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Day 2 - 122km - 4800m - Pyrenees - Finish Bagneres-de-Luchon

Opening with the incredible ascent of Luz Ardiden (1720m), Stage 2 is dominated by the timed King of the Mountains ascent of the Col du Tourmalet (2105m), this incredible day also sees riders tackle the Col d'Aspin (1489m) and the Col de Peyresourde (1569m) to pull together a classic day of Tour de France Pyrenean ascents.

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Day 3 - 75km - 2000m - Pyrenees - Finish St Girons Transfer to Bedoin

Bringing the Pyrenees stage of the KoM to a close this final stage tackles the terraced hairpins of the Col de Mente (1349m) and the brutal gradients of the infamous Portet d'Aspet (1069m), before we transfer to Mont Ventoux.

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Day 4 - 138km - 4400m - Mont Ventoux - Finish Bedoin

Joining the Club des Cingles du Mont-Ventoux is one of amateur cycling's most revered challenges, with riders today getting the opportunity to join this most esteemed of clubs and challenge for another King of the Mountains timed ascent. LDT's insider knowledge and unrivalled supported riding is the difference maker today, providing everything you need to succeed.

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Day 5 - 170km - 3200m - Provence/Alps - Finish Corps

With the Geant of Provence conquered, we depart Bedoin, via a stunning route that sweeps through incredible gorges, valleys and plains, into the foothills of the Alps via the Col de la Homme Mort (1213m), Col d'Espreaux (1160m) and the Col du Festre (1442m).

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Day 6 - 115km - 3500m - Alps - Finish Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne

Within touching distance of the high mountains of the Alps, our first challenge is the Col de Parquetout (1382m) which provides a killer sting in the tail and a challenging descent, followed by the beautiful Col d'Ornon (1360m) and a lunch stop in the tour town of Bourg d'Oisans. The afternoon ends with the classic two Col ascent of the Glandon and Croix de Fer (2067m).

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Day 7 - 110km - 4000m - Alps - Finish Alpe d?Huez

Today we complete one of the finest days in cycling, with the Col du Telegraphe (1566m) warming legs up nicely before the KoM TdF's altitude peak on the out of this world Col du Galibier (2645m). Following over an hour's descent, riders attack the 21 hairpins of Alpe d'Huez (1860m), summoning up all their panache in an attempt to earn the final King of the Mountains award.

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Day 8 - Return to Geneva

After a morning on Alpe d'Huez we return to Geneva Airport for flights home.

FAQ

  • What's Included?
    • Airport transfers from Toulouse airport to the start line and from the finish to Geneva, along with the mid-tour transfer from St Girons to Bedoin, in modern air-conditioned vehicles based on the below flight timings:
    • Easyjet
      Arrival – Gatwick – Toulouse 08.25-11.10
      Departure – Geneva – Gatwick 16.00-16.30 or later
      BA
      Arrival – Heathrow – Toulouse 07.50-10.35
      Departure – Geneva – Heathrow 15.25-16.05 or later
    • Seven night’s accommodation in 3 and 4* Alpine hotels on a twin share basis.
    • Six three course dinners and six breakfasts supplemented with LDT’s special blend of muesli.
    • Fully guided and pro level supported riding on all days from two vehicles (for groups of nine plus) driven by senior LDT guides with total familiarity and local knowledge of the KoM TdF routes and wider area, mechanical support and assistance, supplies of on the bike snacks, water top ups and coca cola.
    • A digital album of stunning photography to document your KoM journey.
    • Full Package Travel Regulations compliant financial failure insurance coverage which protects the funds paid by you to Le Domestique Tours, ensuring peace of mind when booking with us.
    What's Not Included?
    • Lunches.
    • Travel Insurance.
    • Alcohol.
    • Breakfast on the final morning.
    • Dinner on the final night.
    • Flights.
    • Incidental expenses/purchases.
    Kit
    • The mountains can be extremely fickle and it is therefore difficult to predict the weather on any tour. Please therefore ensure you have a mix of kit to cover hot through to cold, along with wet weather. A definite must for packing is obviously a wind/waterproof gilet or jacket and full finger gloves, which are a good idea for the descents and mornings. Arm and knee warmers are also great as they are easy to adjust on the fly and help us keep things moving on the road. We also recommend that you bring your full wet weather kit in case we encounter any particularly poor weather.
    • We recommend that riders bring enough kit to cover the duration of their tour. Due to the nature of the KoM routes and the daily schedule, it is not possible to provide a nightly laundry service, so while riders can hand wash kit in their rooms at night, we recommend packing at least three sets of kit to ensure you can cope with any wet weather days.
    • We have a tool kit with us which contains the usual allen keys, pedal spanners, chain whips, cassette tools, chain splitter, track pump etc etc which guests are welcome to use throughout the tour. If you have any unusual bits on your bike such as proprietary bottom brackets or older/Campag group sets then you may want to bring your own specific tools as we can’t guarantee that we will have the correct tool in case of disaster. Due to their fragility we are unable to provide a torque wrench and therefore recommend that you bring your own if you require one for assembling your bike.
    • We recommend that you carry at least one spare inner tube along with a mini pump/co2 and a multitool with you at all times as a minimum so that if you do suffer a mechanical we can quickly take care of it. We have supplies of threaded Co2 canisters which you are welcome to borrow for the duration of the tour and either return unused, or if you do have to use them we charge £2 per canister.
    • The KoM route takes us through several poorly lit tunnels, which require all bikes to be fitted with front and rear lights and we also regularly encounter low visibility due to low cloud or fog, so please ensure that you have both front and rear lights with you for use in these circumstances (simple LED commuting lights are sufficient). Failure to carry lights can result in a fine from the police and also risks drivers not seeing you, so please do not forget to bring/use them.
  • Supported Riding
    • One of the main benefits of choosing Le Domestique Tours, is our pro-level supported riding service, which is an integral part of all of our packages. However, unless you have ridden with us before, it can be difficult to understand the benefits of this service, so for more information please follow this link – What is Supported Riding?
    • We do not enforce an average speed requirement during our tours and will always strive to allow riders to cycle at their own speed (our two van support policy gives us the ability to provide our incredible supported riding service for 99% of the riders on our tours), however if there is a large speed differential between you and the rest of the group, we may require you to depart earlier, miss extended stops or in very extreme circumstances, complete sections of the route in the LDT support van. Equally, if you are an extremely fast rider in comparison to the others in your group, or someone who does not like to stop during the course of your riding, we may have to adapt the level of support that we can provide for you. If you are at all concerned about your ability level (whether quicker or steadier than average) prior to signing up to this tour, please contact us in advance of booking and we will provide further guidance.
    Fitness and Gearing
    • The King of the Mountains challenges are our top end offering, catering to riders that are comfortable with long days in the saddle tackling some of the most beautiful, yet challenging mountains from cycling history. As a result we always recommend that riders ensure they are comfortable riding the distance required on each day on a back to back basis and have experience of riding in the high mountains, prior to the start of the tour.
    • Further guidance on training for your King of the Mountains can be found on our Training blog pages, while we also offer a full range of bespoke coaching options through Le Domestique Training.
    • While some riders do tackle the King of the Mountains on a standard double chainset (53/39), we generally recommend that riders opt for a compact chainset (50/34), accompanied by a 27T or 28T rear cassette. This gives a good spread of gears to cover most eventualities and ensures that you have a low enough gear to keep the pedals turning. Some riders do utilise triple chainsets, however in many circumstances this does not provide a lower gear than the ratios suggested above.
    King of the Mountains Ascents
    • The Tourmalet, Mont-Venoux and Alpe d’Huez are the backbone climbs of the King of the Mountains TdF so we have honoured their illustrious Tour de France history, by using each for our competitive King of the Mountains Ascents as follows.
    • Col du Tourmalet – this ability weighted timed ascent of the Pyrenees most famous Col is able to be won by all riders, with the rider who has the fastest ascent once we have applied a weighting formula based on their Day 1 performance receiving a coveted Col du Tourmalet Borne.
    • Mont-Ventoux – awarded to the fastest overall completion of the Cingles du Mont-Ventoux, this award adds an extra level of challenge for those who are confident that they can conquer Ventoux with ease.
    • Alpe d’Huez – panache is a much used word in cycling and our final King of the Mountains Borne is awarded to the rider that the LDT team feels has demonstrated the most panache during their ascent, whether that be a gutsy but ultimately doomed attack, a superb on the mountain performance, playing Domestique to their struggling companion or something else entirely  go big or go home!
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KOM TDF - LET US BE YOUR DOMESTIQUE

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