What’s rarer than hen’s teeth?
Official Tour de France holiday operator licence holders.
There are only six licences provided globally each year and Australian-owned Bikestyle Tours Tours has one, which means that going on a VIP Tour de France trip with these guys is akin to feeling like you’re genuinely amongst it. You’re right there in the true spirited, Francophile thick of things.
Forget elbowing from the road sidelines for the briefest of glimpses as cyclists fly by – rolling with Bikestyle Tours Tours brings a whole lot more than that.
It’s no surprise Bikestyle Tours is the holder of this coveted pass – they’ve been running cycling trips to Europe for an impressive 19 years, so they definitely know the ropes (and the restaurants).
This article isn’t long enough to list every feature an official licence provides, so here are some of the (mostly) VIP* trip goodies that really got us going:
- Access to ride the final sections of the official race course including crossing the finish line at select stages; (VIP Trip)
- Standing on-top of the podium for your own photo finish (there’s your Facebook profile shot for the next year); (VIP Trip)
- Exclusive access to the VIP areas on the start and the finish at select stages; (VIP Trip)
- A guided visit of the team paddock and Media Zone; (VIP Trip)
- Parking access for tour vehicles (that might not sound incredible but trust us, when you’re trying to get into a village heaving with thousands of spectators, it’s a nifty ace card to play);
- Ride on the road for the first 10km before the pros on select stages. (VIP Trip)
- Take a photo on the Departure podium; (VIP Trip)
- 25% off official Tour de France merchandise. (VIP Trip)
These guys are all about customer service – if you appreciate attention to detail then you’re in good hands! Aside from assuring Guaranteed Departures the Bikestyle Tours team also selects only quality accommodation, restaurants and coaches (for when you’re not in the saddle), and they provide bike hire if you can’t be bothered lugging yours from one side of the world to the other.
But at the end of the day, it’s that official licence that gets us excited. Most of us would put Tour de France on our bucket list – how many of us would put standing atop a TDF podium for a photo session? Now that’s something to write home about…
*Note VIP benefits are exclusive to BikeStyle’s VIP Tour de France packages.