La Vuelta 2023 - Week 2

The French & Spanish Pyrenees
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Madrid, Valladolid, Soria, Spanish & French Pyrenees, Tourmalet, Lourdes, Pamplona, Madrid

7 days − Fully Supported & Guided

 

4 STAR HOTELS

From

€ 3145

RIDE a Part of Cycling History! 

 

The 2nd week of La Vuelta 2023 is where this year’s race could be decided, on the big summits of the French & Spanish Pyrenees! The mountains are iconic: Tourmalet, Portalet, Larrau! Get your climbing legs ready as we are going to take you to the famous climbs and ride the stages where new legends will be born, on race day. With VIP access at the finish lines and some beautiful roads to pedal across, this tour encompasses everything La Vuelta stands for: passion, emotion and a great spectacle! A truly amazing itinerary through France and Spain.

You’ll also have the unique opportunity to ride the Time Trial on closed roads as the crowds gather. Ever wanted to feel like a pro? Plus a very special summit finish in a parkland with a magical glacial lake to ascend to. Add in some great hotels, including staying with the teams some nights, and behind the scenes experiences, this adventure tops the list for any cycling fan.

Enjoy the Queen stage on the Tourmalet and then another incredible stage finale in the Spanish Pyrenees, this is the trip of a lifetime for all road cyclists! Allez / Vamos!

La Vuelta Bike Tour cycling the Tourmalet, France

Dates

4 Sep 2023

%

Riding Level

Challenging (Moderate with van support / ebike)

90KM Daily Average

Road Cycling Trip following La Vuelta

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Watch LIVE and Ride 5 race stages of La Vuelta a España 2023
  • 6 ride days
  • Ride the Time Trial circuit on race day!
  • 1 tour, 2 countries
  • VIP Access to stage finishes (drinks, tapas, big screen tvs at finish line), viewing areas and VIP Stage Depart Village
  • Cycle the race route as a VIP, only hours before the Pros arrive
  • Challenge yourself on famous category climbs inc the Tourmalet!
  • Access to ride across the finish line on race day
  • Tour of the media area, doping controls and technical areas
  • Enjoy a drink with an ex-pro and understand what it takes to ride a Grand Tour
  • Cycle mountains and protected parklands, inc a glacial lake finish
  • Enjoy the famous sights of Madrid, Valladolid, Soria, Pyrenees, Lourdes & Pamplona. Options for non cyclists to explore

THE CC ADVANTAGE

Podium photos and behind the scenes access – VIP status

Fully supported riding by experienced guides who cycle with you, inc. Vuelta a Espana masters rider & mix of male / female guides

1 guide for every 4 guests

Fantastic accommodation, food, scenery and fun on the roads of Spain & France

The itinerary has been planned to minimize long van transfers and enjoy more time riding/viewing La Vuelta

Receive your complimentary Cycling Country La Vuelta jersey by SANTINI, the red jersey makers

The best contacts and connections with the race, teams and organisers

 

“I want to thank you for the fantastic experience you gave Alex and I.
It will be something we will always remember.
You and Geoff were excellent hosts and the riding and VIP experience was outstanding.
Thanks for all you did to make it so great.
Thanks again for everything.”

S. & A. Webb

Edmonton, Canada, La Vuelta Bike Tour

Route Map
itinerary

Day 1. Mon 04 September 2023 – Mountains of Madrid (Valladolid)

La Vuelta Cycling Tour, Following the Pros

 

70 km / 45 miles
Meet at our centrally located hotel in Madrid at 10:00am (option to book the same hotel the night before – please ask). Say hola to the crew and other guests before an informal welcome meeting and bike set up.

 

We then take a short van transfer out of the busy capital and head into the mountains behind Madrid. Today is a rest day for La Vuelta and so on our way to meet the race we have decided to ride a famous climb that La Vuelta often features, the classic category 1 Navacerrada (slowly as it’s a warm-up!). At 12km long, the climb averages 6% making the ascent ride-able at your own speed. Enjoy the views as we ride to the ski station at the top, before descending the other side. This mountain top finish was the penultimate stage of La Vuelta last year where Carapaz won the stage, and Remco Evenepoel sealed his overall victory. Although it is probably best remembered when Tom Domoulin cracked and Fabio Aru produced a masterclass in climbing to win La Vuelta in 2015.

 

After a quick post ride tapas and drink, we take the 1.5 hour transfer onwards to our destination of Valladolid to be ready for the Time Trial tomorrow. Our 4 star hotel for tonight is located near to the town centre to take a stroll. Enjoy a group welcome dinner together.


Day 2. 05 September – Time Trial VIP Experience (Valladolid)

Bike Trip following La Vueltaup to 70 km / 43 miles

After a filling buffet breakfast, we head out from the hotel and ride a loop from Valladolid to see some of the area. However soon we are back in the centre to experience our first taste of La Vuelta.

 

What we have lined up is the chance to ride the stage 10 individual time trail route, a few hours before the professionals. A very special feeling, to ride the roads with the crowds gathering with our very own support car. From the start ramp to the finish line in the city, the 25km is relatively flat bar one climb near the beginning. An amazing Grand Tour experience.

 

Having ridden the route, we will get ready to see the pros next. Enjoy some time at the start area, seeing the technical preparation that goes into the TT set up. And then, we will enjoy seeing the riders cross the line at tremendous speed in the VIP zone.

 

Enjoy an evening out in Valladolid, sampling some of the good tapas bars or restaurants in the historic centre near to the cathedral.

Time Trial La Vuelta

 


See more

Day 3. 06 September – The Black Lagoon Glacial Lake – VIP Summit Finish (Soria)

100km / 62m

After breakfast we take a transfer out to the race route. We aim to ride the last 100km today of a route designed by La Vuelta which takes us through some of the best scenery of the province. This area is sandwiched between the famous La Rioja and Ribero de Duero wine regions of Spain. But the real action of the day will be on the final summit, and this is our focus.

 

This cat 1 climb is in a protected parkland high in the Urbíon mountains. A thing of real beauty, off the beaten track of mainstream tourism, the Laguna Negra (black lagoon) is a glacial lake surrounded by pine trees. The steep 6.8km climb (watch out for a final ramp of 10%!) to a height of 1725m, will test us and the Pros. Enjoy a well earned drink and tapas in the VIP enclosure with our special access and see the finale of the stage. Watch the race on big screen tvs and enjoy seeing the climb you have just ridden. We expect a huge battle for the stage win and should be a great place to see the finish in this park. Dan Martin last won here in 2020.

 

After the race has finished and we’ve seen the podium presentations, we transfer to our luxury parador hotel in Soria high in the hills overlooking the town. We have a group dinner tonight in the parador restaurant with great views and retell today’s Black Lagoon finish.

 

 

To explain, the VIP Hospitality Area – This is an exclusive part of our La Vuelta tour packages, where each of our cyclists have access to the VIP zone, with a personalized accreditation given on a lanyard at the start of our tour. Here, just meters from the Meta Finish line, see the riders finish the race, preview the stats, and watch the ongoing race beforehand via large plasma TVs before it arrives! Also included is an open bar and tapas tasters for a real Spanish experience. We have access to podiums, press areas, and doping controls. 


Day 4. 07 September – VIP Stage Depart & Spanish Pyrenees – (Formigal)

up to 100 km  /  65 milesRiding La Vuelta a España

After breakfast, we ride directly from our hotel through the quiet plains of Castille and Leon. Our destination is the Stage 12 Depart in from the town of Ólvega. We will have VIP depart village access and see the team buses and riders getting ready for the stage. Another Grand Tour experience to savour.

 

Today’s stage is a flat one and will make little difference to the general classification. Instead we have decided to transfer directly to the Spanish Pyrenees to our base in Formigal, a longer transfer of 2.5hrs. However, once there we are perfectly situated for those who want to ride up the famous Portalet climb to the French border. This is the first climb of tomorrow’s epic stage.

Enjoy a group dinner tonight with the Pyrenees looming over us, and the fresh mountain air.

.Road cycling tours Spain

 

To Explain – The Vuelta Depart Village is an added perk of our VIP hospitality package. Each day the teams sign on to start the day in a presentation , but prior to this, the riders are warming up, giving interviews, signing autographs and prepping their bikes. With our VIP passes, we have access to an area of local businesses and patrons who have stands where we can get nibbles, drinks and gifts and enjoy the friendly atmosphere.

 


Day 5. 08 September –  VIP Stage Summit Finish – Tourmalet (Lourdes, France)

up to 100 km  / 62 miles Cycling La Vuelta 2020

A day you will not forgot awaits as we tackle the Queen Stage of the Vuelta. This was the stage finish that unfortunately was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic. We head down from the Portalet (a 28km descent) and then take a transfer via the Aubisque and famous Soulor. This is the territory made famous by the Tour de France.

 

The main event of the day is the legend that is the Col du Tourmalet. One of the most famous climbs in the world this hors category mountain is just mythical and beautiful. It’s 19km long, with an average gradient of 7.6%. However the last km is 10% avg. The best thing is you get to ride it on race day, with all the passionate fans roadside cheering you on! Take your photo at the top beneath the famous cyclist statue Geánt du Tourmalet.

 

With VIP access at the finish line with snacks, drinks and the best views, this will be an unforgettable experience.

 

After the race finishes, we will descend back down to earth and head to our hotel in the centre of famous Lourdes. Our hotel tonight is near to the pilgrimage sight. Enjoy exploring the town and sample a French bistro. What a day!

 

Tourmalet La Vuelta Bike Tour

 


Day 6. 09 September – VIP Stage Summit Finish – Larrau (Pamplona) 

Cycle La VueltaAnother big day awaits us as we head back into the Pyrenees. Although yesterday was the Queen stage, this stage 14 could almost take the title, it is so hard. We’ll be fatigued, but at least we have van support! The pros will ride over 2 Hors Cats and then a cat 3 and a cat 1, all in 161km!

We will concentrate on riding the Hors Cat (Especial) Larrau climb, 15km snaking path that is steep in parts. After the Larrau (optional start point) we cross back into Spain and descend down and over the cat 3 Lazar, before riding the last 1st cat climb of the Puerto de Belagua. A lot of Pyrennean climbing with a VIP stage Finish access to finish with. At the end of the stage, we will now have a clear idea of the potential overall winner.

 

After the race, we will transfer to our 4 star hotel in Pamplona, to be ready for tomorrow’s depart. Pamplona, famed for it’s Running of the Bulls festival, is a great place to discover. A long but exhilarating day!

 


Day 7. 10 September – Stage Depart – Pamplona (Madrid) 

After breakfast we will take a ride just outside of Pamplona and ascend one of the local’s favourite climbs. This is Navarra, a medieval Basque kingdom and an area of natural beauty with many small villages. After riding, we will head to see the stage depart as the pros set off for their day’s work. We are finished cycling, but the peloton continues on North. You really get to understand how hard a grand tour is over 21 stages!

 

After lunch, we will pack up and take the longer transfer (4 hrs) back to Madrid. It’s time to say adiós, with memories of a fine week of Vuelta cycling and experiences.

 

However, there is no need for a farewell, as choose to stay longer and carry on for the important final week tour from Madrid tomorrow as we head North to Asturias. Buy the Combined Jersey Package (a discount on the two tours – ask for details). A real Spanish Vuelta Fiesta!

 

Trip details
La Vuelta Bike Tour 202Tour Style

Road Bike Tour : Premium Guided Vuelta Bike Tour

Bikes : Road  Carbon TREK Emonda / Domane bikes & Orbea E-Road bikes

Route: Madrid, Valladolid, Soria, Formigal, Lourdes, Pamplona, Madrid

Group Size :  6-16

Guides :  1 guide for every 4 people

Riding Level

cycling la vuelta 2023

Challenging : distances are a daily average of 100km.

Please note this is hilly countryside with some longer and steeper climbs.

It is classed as Challenging as there are some tough climbs.

We offer van support so it is possible to opt out of some of the harder ascents, making it “Moderate”. Plus option to rent an E-Road bike.

 

Accommodation

Luxury 4 star hotels – All bedrooms en-suite

Ride the Hautacam
Food

4 Dinners (with wine/ beer/ soft drinks included)

All breakfasts – buffet

Complimentary organic MULEBAR gels and protein bars

Bike Tour Following La Vuelta Summits
Extras Included
  • VIP access to stage finishes / depart villages. This includes a private race viewing area at the finish with complimentary drinks and tapas. We will also have access to the podium for your own photos, access to back stage areas. We work with La Vuelta organisers to make your experience unique.
  • Stay in some of the hotels as the pro teams
  • Ride the race route until the finish line (we have access that the public will not have)
  • Enjoy an evening drink and Q&A session with an ex-pro
  • Our vans are accredited to drive the race route – jump in for a rest if required
  • Ride with experienced guides, including the sub champion of Andalucia and a Vuelta a Espana Masters rider. We have been running Vuelta tours for 15 years consecutively
  • Complimentary full zip Cycling Country La Vuelta cycling jersey by SANTINI
  • Complimentary Cycling Country gifts, bags, cycling caps, t-shirts, luggage tags and water bottles etc
  • Route notes, maps, profiles
  • Daily snacks and refreshments (organic MULEBAR protein bars & energy gels, isotonic mixes granola bars, fruit etc and drinks)
Staff

3 to 5 leaders with full van support to pick up souvenirs, provide refreshments, act as guides, offer tips and insights throughout the day, provide directional signs where required, transfer luggage and provide on-road assistance. 1 or 2 guides cycle with the group. 1 guide at least for every 4 clients.

Bikes


We can arrange good quality road bike hire:

  • TREK Emonda carbon frame, Shimano Ultegra, compact – 275 Euros extra
  • TREK Emonda carbon frame, Shimano 105, compact – 200 Euros extra
  • If bringing your own bike, we recommend a compact chainset.
  • *Please note if bringing own bike, there will be a 75€ bike box charge

Not Included

Entrance to museums / monuments en-route

Transfer to arrive at meet hotel. If continuing onto the Final Week Tour you would be dropped at the arrival hotel in Madrid! Please ask about “The Combined Jersey Package” (discount on the last two Vuelta tours).

Getting Here

Madrid is accessed by international airlines. Fast train connections from around the country. Please ask for information.

Lodgings

Luxury Hotels on Vuelta Bike Tour

Just because you are on a bike trip doesn’t mean you have to suffer off the bikes too!  We take this into mind on our Vuelta Bike Tour and have lined up some great hotels for this tour.

Enjoy 4 star hotels all the way, including some nights with the teams. Stay at a luxury parador hotel in Soria, high in the hills overlooking the town. Enjoy the incredibly located Imperial Hotel beside the river and near to the pilgrimage sanctuary in Lourdes, France. Top accommodation for a great event.

Cycling La Vuelta - Hotel
La Vuelta Bike Tour - Ronda
Hotel Lounge on Vuelta bike tour.
Luxury Hotel for Vuelta Cycling Trip
Hotel on Vuelta Tour
Cycling La Vuelta - Breakfast!
 
Reviews

La Vuelta Spain Bike Tour

“Cycling Country’s 2019 Last Week to Madrid tour was the trip of a lifetime for my wife and me.
We are not cyclists ourselves but fell in love with the sport from watching the Tour de France on TV starting 20 years ago. For years we talked about attending a grand tour in person, and last year we finally did. We chose Cycling Country’s Vuelta because their promotional material sounded good, the price was reasonable, and my email correspondence with CC’s Maggi was always helpful and thoroughly delightful. CC promised VIP access and, if anything, they understated the case. Two examples: At the start of one day’s race, we stood at the back of the stage while the riders signed in. At the finish of another, we stood directly next to the TV camera at the finish line. Every day, we rode in one of the support vans while the other members of the group were riding the race route, so we got to know the fabulous staff- Geoff, Javier and Dean. They were consummate group leaders, always making sure we and the riders (and their bikes) were well taken care of. Our accommodations were incredible- centuries-old castles that had been converted to luxury hotels- and the food was fantastic. If you love cycling, or even if you just love to watch, you will love going on a Cycling Country tour. 💙❤️🖤💛💚.”
J. & L. Hickman, Minnesota, USA – La Vuelta Sept 2019 – Week 3 to Madrid

“Hi Geoff and Maggi
We just wanted to say a huge thank you for the fabulous three weeks we had with you both, Javi and Dean.
Looking back on the photos we packed so much into those three weeks. We love Spain and love seeing it on a bike with you. You run your business extremely professionally yet we all get very personal attention.
Thanks once again.”
J & T. De Vries & C. Lazenby, Vic, Australia – La Vuelta 2019 – All Three Tours!

“Thanks so much for an excellent trip. It was all (and more) that I had hoped for. Geoff you are an excellent guide – very helpful and great at managing expectations. I would be pleased to help you spread the word about your company and the excellent experience you provide. Thanks again – it was fabulous!”
J & R. Anderson & D. Grant – Ottawa, Ontario – La Vuelta 2019 – Tour 2 Northern Summits

“We returned to Andalucia for the 2018 La Vuelta having enjoyed the la Vuelta 2017 tour so much with Cycling Country.
We expected to repeat that enjoyment and we were not disappointed.
Great riding, great viewing, the best of hotels and food and an interesting and challenging group of cyclists.
Geoff and Maggi, our hosts, dedicated themselves 100% to our pleasure and comfort and were ably assisted by the two bike guides, Dean and Javi.
All participants have their own priorities. For some their own cycling, for others watching the professionals really close up and intimate.
For us it was a combination of those two, plus staying in such lovely hotels, you couldn’t find better, where we rubbed shoulders with the teams from Trek, Sky and Bahrain.
From the modern sophistication of our 4 star hotel in Malaga and the 5 star hotel in Granada to the stunning beauty of the Parador hotels in Ronda and Nerja.
The riding was hard and hot and, for the most part, great fun.
Anyone who says the last km of the 2540m Sierra Nevada climb is ‘fun’ doesn’t inhabit the same planet.
Nice climbs and even more spectacular descents, particularly the Puerto de Leon.
We look forward to next year’s tour with anticipation knowing that whatever the route, whatever the composition and size of the group, we will have fun.”
J & P. Sharman, London, UK – La Vuelta 2018

“La Vuelta’s epic climbs – a truly spectacular and special cycling week with Cycling Country. Even in a country blessed with great places to ride, Andalusia stands out as a truly spectacular region. La Vuelta offers climbs that legends are made of. It offers beauty, brutality, drama and this year a piece of cycling history with Contador’s Angliru ending I would like to thank Cycling Country (CC) for the enthusiasm and vision in creating an outstanding week, and for their impeccable support with logistics. I love the accessibility and closeness CC provides to La Vuelta. You are never too far away from the pros. Meeting a former road racing cyclist provided enormous insight in the running of La Vuelta. Having the group stay in the same hotels as the professional teams provided the opportunity to meet mechanics, support people and also the professionals. As an Italian supporting Vincenzo Nibali I was excited to know I was staying in the same hotel as the Bahrain-Merida team. Although following La Vuelta so closely I still managed to go out and enjoy the local custom. In Almeria I went really local by having a couple of drinks at Cafe Bar Nevada and dined at Cafe Puga. I think I was the only non-Spanish so you could not have found a more local place. I found similar places in Granada. Additionally the delightful place we stayed at in Zuheros was special – probably one of prettiest villages and scenery in Andalusia.The cycling was superb. Given that the whole area can become swamped by cyclists during the Vuelta I thought CC did a fantastic job to keep everyone on target. It is clear that this is a family run business with great knowledge of the area. The guides are all local and provide enormous support and valuable insight. A true pleasure to be able to spend time with them. Geoff and Maggie, the owners, should be immensely proud for how they contribute to La Vuelta and how they run CC. Their tours contribute towards establishing the Vuelta as one of the most dramatic tours. Hasta Luego!!!”
C. Salinardi, London, UK – La Vuelta 2017

“With Cycling Country we made our first cycling trip to Europe. Geoff, Dean, Javi and the rest of the crew made our rides and say really happy. Balbino took care of my mom and showed her Spain while me and my brothers went riding, then we met at the finish line of La Vuelta stages. It was a terrific Trip and we will for sure do it again!!!”
D. Botero, Medalin, Columbia – La Vuelta 2017

“Awesome Vuelta a España tour, amazing VIP access, up close & personal with the riders! We recently did a Vuelta a Espana tour with Cycling Country, and had an amazing time. The tour was well-organized and thought out, with rider enjoyment in mind, both from the perspective of riding and spectating. The Spanish-based company clearly has a very close relationship with the race organizers, which is to the benefit of Cycling Country’s clients. The VIP access to starts and finishes, as well as the podium, were unbelievable. Because the race is smaller, it is also much more intimate, enabling access to the riders. The behind-the-scenes access and perspective was very interesting, as was the talk from a retired rider. This was our third time doing a trip with Cycling Country, and the reason we chose them for our Vuelta shadow tour. Previously we have done self-guided tours or fixed-stay trips, and have been very impressed and pleased with the company and the service it provides. Geoff and Maggi are wonderful people and it shows in their dealings with clients. We would definitely recommend Cycling Country for any of its tours, but especially the Vuelta a Espana tour!”
A. Sauve & Tim, Coburg, Ontario – La Vuelta 2017

“The Vuelta tour was probably the best bike tour I have ever done. Ok the days were long, but your team gave us the best access I have ever had to a Grand Tour. The routes you designed to ride the best climbs and see the stage finishes were exceptional. Chapeau!” “
John, Ontario, Canada – La Vuelta 2016

“Let me write a few lines of thank you. I just can’t believe what a trip you gave us all! It was truly a cycling tour that I will never forget. Well done to all of the Cycling Country crew and thank you again for the good times. The Vuelta was the ride of my life.”
Steve, Sydney, Australia – La Vuelta 2015

“That was an amazing trip to the Vuelta! So much behind-the-scenes access and some fab riding too. Thanks for everything!”
L. Rice, London, UK – La Vuelta 2015 -Depart & Southern Climbs

“The Vuelta Tour 1 (Andalucia 2014) was memorable! The VIP access was exceptional, beyond my expectations. Cycling Country beautifully handled different levels of cycling abilities in the group in the smoothest way, the coordination among them was very professional and efficient, providing to the group an ongoing feeling of safety, support and fun. I will highly recommend them to all my friends and they honestly deserve to run such a successful business. Muchas Gracias for the extraordinary experience! “
L. Sullivan, Colorado, USA – La Vuelta 2014

“Rob and I would like to take the opportunity to send you a big thank you for everything you organized for the tour. We had an amazing time. The ride routes where spectacular and the VIP access was fantastic. Dean and Javi were both lovely, very helpful and encouraging. We had the best time and keep reminiscing about the week wishing we were still in Andalusia. It definitely exceeded all our expectations and hopefully will see you at next years tour. Thank you again”

K. and R. Garland, Australia – La Vuelta 2014

Testimonials from previous cyclists are always available and we enjoy receiving the feedback after tours. It helps us improve our services and offer you an even better experience. Please feel free to contact us if you would like a reference to talk to. Others have also posted reviews on the independent travel website .

DATES & RATES

LA VUELTA 2023 – WEEK 2

7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS

€ 3145

SINGLE SUPP. € 450

CHECK AVAILABILITY HERE

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