The Tour de France – also known as the creme-de-le-creme of racing, is held yearly throughout some of the best mountainous backdrops across Europe. Starting things off strong in Copenhagen – Denmark, cyclists traverse a gruelling 3,200km distance throughout the French countryside into the Pyrenees before finishing the epic 23-day challenge at the Champs-Élysées in the heart of Paris.
Bringing together the best cyclists across the globe, this event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for spectators to witness cycling at its finest while also experiencing some pretty special ancillary benefits such as French wineries, epic mountain backdrops and quaint towns.
There is a variety of ways to watch and experience the race and as the official travel specialist for the competition for several years now, we know planning to follow the peloton is tricky business. That’s why we’ve teamed up with our friends at Thomson Bike Tours to create custom itineraries for you. We aim to take the hard work of planning this challenging itinerary off your hands. So, to help you along the road, we’ve created the ultimate how-to guide to watching the Tour De France in 2022.
Also, just a word of warning, the next few years are gaining some serious momentum with the addition of the very first female peloton and not to mention our local hero – Jai Hindley bringing home the Giro d’Italia pink jersey earlier this year. So our hot tip is to book this almost 10 months in advance for the following year to ensure you can secure a spot. We are already taking advance reservation with a fully refundable deposit for 2023.
Witness The Tour De France: Riding Option French Alps Stages
Perfect for: riding enthusiasts and those with riding experience
Ok, so for all the racing enthusiasts out there, this one is for you. Capturing the major stages of the race, this 2022 itinerary offers access to VIP marquees and the opportunity to follow the Tour De France. How this trip works is you’ll watch and/or ride the following stages in style:
- – Les Bossons & Pre Richard
- – Col de La Croix
- – Col du Corbier
- – Col de La Joux Verte
- – Col du Grand Taillet
- – Chamrousse
- – Col du Coq
- – Col de Porte
- – Grimpée de Venon
- – Alpe d’Huez
- – Lacets de Monvernier
- – Col du Telegraphe
- – Col du Galibier
By riding each stage, including the Alpe d’Huez, Col du Galibier, Col de Joux Plane and the famously gruelling Col du Coq section, you’ll experience the challenge first-hand. The best bit? You’ll time your run perfect with Bastille Day landing on day 5, which results in a pretty serious celebration.
We also know it can be a bit excessive bringing your own wheels across the globe, so our partners at Thomson’s offer bike rental for additional fees. These bikes are also very much equipped for what’s to come with high-quality parts. Those on board with this and have racing experience should expect to be covering approximately 70km per day as a minimum, so we recommend getting your miles in before heading over.
Witness The Tour De France: Riding Option Pyrenees Stages
Perfect for: riding enthusiasts and those with riding experience
Ok, similar to above, if you are a riding enthusiast that wants to strike the perfect balance between VIP experiences with some of the best vantage points along with the Tour De France and hit the pavement riding the Pyrenees stages, this tip is your answer. Riding the Pyrenees section is a seriously phenomenal experience with some of the most unique backdrops. We’re talking steep peaks, cliff faces and winding roads. Riding this stage is not for the faint-hearted and brings to the table challenging rides across Tourmalet, Hautacam, and the Col d’Aubisque climbs. You’ll be able to experience private hospitality across the final climb at Hautacam with the option of securing a spot on the Champs-Elysées to witness the riders cross the final finish line.
Witness the Tour de France: Non-Riding Options
Perfect for: those who want to witness the race in style who don’t fancy riding
Another viable option to witness the Tour de France is to follow the peloton from the sidelines. With the help of private transfers, you’ll replicate the itineraries through the French Alps or Pyrenees stages mentioned above. The only difference is instead of cycling or following the group on bikes, more attention will be given to experiencing quaint villages etc. For those that may be keen to jump on board a bike at some point, a slightly-less gruelling approach is hiring e-bikes. They can be rented so you can spend more time taking in the scenery and less time feeling the burn from the mountain climbs.
Witness the Tour de France: Women’s Peleton
In very exciting news, 2022 marks the first year women will accompany the men. To celebrate this fantastic addition, we’ve worked closely with Thomson Bike Tours to develop a custom itinerary that brings together 4 key stages. This trip includes the opening Paris Eiffel Tour race stage and 3 mountain stages. VIP viewing locations are provided at each mountain stage across Alpe d’Huez and the Col du Galibier. In addition, you’ll be allowed to either ride some of the mountain stages or sit back and take it all in as a spectator. If you are not ready this year, be sure to be there in 2023.
Witness the Tour De France Exclusive Hospitality: Champs Elysées Exclusive Hospitality
Perfect for: those who have limited time and would like to focus on Paris
For those that would like to focus their attention on mainly Paris or if you are on a tighter timeline, witnessing the final stage in the Champs Elysées is a very plausible option. We have itineraries that include top-class hospitality for the final stage. You’ll get to witness the winner cross the line and take the top spot on the podium. After more than three weeks of racing, the racers finally push for home and celebrate the winner of the coveted yellow jersey. It’s an infectious day with a massive celebration with champagne flowing for the whole day. We recommend touching base with our travel experts, who can help factor this day into your next Parisian itinerary.
Watching the Tour De France Online
If a trip to the Tour De France is not possible in 2022, another option is to just sit back in the comfort of your own home and watch the race from your lounge room. The Tour de France broadcasting rights have been offered to SBS this year with a seriously comprehensive list of channels, so you don’t miss a second of the action.
And there we have 5 key ways to watch the Tour De France this year. Whether you are an avid rider, want to take in the sites and scenery or are keen to watch it from the comfort of your own home, you’ve got solid options! If you’re interested in securing your spot for next year, chat to one of our travel specialists, our risk-free advance reservation are open now until mid September for 2023 Pro Cycling trips.