You’ve seen the videos, and now you can join Mike Cotty and The Col Collective in the Pyrenees to tackle some of the Tour de France’s most fabled climbs as it branches out into the cycling holiday business.
The Col Collective – Cycling Tours, based in France’s Hautes-Pyrénées department, will offer from this summer a variety of fully supported itineraries aimed at everyone from novice climbers to hardened mountain munchers.
Besides tours taking in the likes of the Col du Tourmalet and Col d’Aubisque – both included in the first ever mountain stage of the Tour de France in 1910 – there is also an Undiscovered Pyrénées package that offers week exploring less heralded parts of the range.
Other tours include, for the less experienced, the Introduction to the Mountains which includes one-to-one guidance from Col Collective founder Cotty, as well as the Tour de France Experience, where participants ride the itinerary of a stage then watch the pros tackle it the following day.
The Explorer and Explorer Mini tours take a less structured approach, allowing participants to devise their own itineraries with input from The Col Collective.
Cotty said: “It’s been a hugely satisfying journey over the last couple of years, we’ve had such a heartfelt response to our videos from all over the world that we wanted to try and create an experience that helps bring riders even closer to the mountains, giving them one-to-one guidance, support and sharing our knowledge wherever we can to help you become more accomplished in the mountains while creating a really personal and unique experience with The Col Collective that will live with you forever.”
For accommodation, there are five en-suite guest rooms in the business’s own guest house and, for those times when you’re off the bike, there is also a heated swimming pool.
All participants in the tours, which have a starting price of €1,100, receive a Col Collective mountain essentials kit bag and equipment worth more than €875.
Prices exclude flights; head here for more information.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.