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...be motivated, find your own pedal power and book one of these Tour-inspired cycling challenges.
 
Pedalling off from the UK for the first time in seven years, the Tour de France 2014 (5-27 July) will no doubt be an exciting time for cyclists and non-cyclists alike this summer. Join the action by taking part in your own cycling challenge this year, on one of Discover Adventure’s Tour de France-inspired trips.
 
Led by highly-experienced leaders, the cycling trips have been designed to challenge participants but are nevertheless appropriate for beginners who are prepared to train, with Discover Adventure offering thorough support, training plans and training days for all participants.
 
Because the trips are challenging, participants are welcome to raise money for charity at the same time, too, and useful tips on fundraising are readily available from Discover Adventure.
 
Witness the Tour as it happens, or retrace the route, on one of these epic challenges:
 
UK:

Yorkshire Tour Challenge – and see the Grand Départ

This new 120-mile ride celebrates this year’s Yorkshire Grand Départ and participants can cycle Stage 1 the day before the actual Tour begins. So why not join and be part of a 300-strong group of riders raising money for all sorts of charities on this cycle of a lifetime around the Yorkshire Dales? The next day, pick a place on the route, soak up the atmosphere and watch the pros whizz by. There’s still availability: register a place for £99, and raise £600 for one of these worthwhile causes. Departing 3 July, the price includes accommodation, transfers, meals, water-stops, snacks and Discover Adventure support team. 

Retrace the tracks of the Grand Départ

Ride the roads that some of the best cyclists in the world raced during the 2014 Grand Départ (5 & 6 July), by retracing much of the 120-mile route of the first stage, from Leeds to Harrogate on this new challenge. The 116-mile route is tough, taking in the twisting, narrow stone-walled roads of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. With some challenging climbs, riders will need to ensure they are fit enough to manage the distance and the terrain. Departing 19 July, the one-day event costs from just £35 pp and includes transfers, snacks and water, route maps and support from Discover Adventure team.
 
France/Switzerland:

Climb the spectacular giants of the Pyrenees

Cycle the mountains made famous by the Tour on this new Pyrenees coast-to-coast cycling trip, including the legendary climbs of the Col d’Aubisque and the Col du Tourmalet. It’s a tough journey, from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean coast, setting off from France’s most south-westerly town, Hendaye, and finishing at Argeles-sûr-Mer in the south of France. Departing 6 September, the trip costs from £1,299 pp (two sharing) and includes eight nights’ accommodation, most meals, airport transfers and Discover Adventure support team. Flights extra.

Attack the legendary Col du Galibier - Classic Cols of the Tour de France

Considered one of the most iconic climbs in the Tour de France, and one of the most intimidating obstacles, the Col du Galibier (2,645m) tests both endurance and strength. Earn a life-long sense of achievement - and something in common with the pros - by challenging yourself to the historic climb, along with the other classic cols on the Tour. Beginning in Geneva, the Classic Cols of the Tour de France challenge takes participants along twisting climbs before reaching Galibier, and the steep hair-pin bends of Alpe d’Huez. Departing 18 September, the trip costs from £829 pp (two sharing) and includes four nights’ accommodation, transfers, most meals and Discover Adventure support team. Flights extra.

Tackle the tricky Col de Manse - Geneva to Nice

Experience the 9.5 km-long climb of the Col de Manse, made famous by many downhill dramas to the finish line in previous Tour races. This Geneva to Nice cycle challenge takes participants through beautiful scenery - towering mountain peaks, limestone cliffs and gorges, dense forests and lavender fields – a welcome distraction for the long, challenging days in the saddle. On day four, ride many of the roads featured in the Tour: look out for the flying-eagle road markers that commemorate the route along the hilly Route Napoleon and the Col de Manse (1,268m). Departing 20 June or 12 September, the trip costs from £924 pp (two sharing) and includes five nights’ accommodation, transfers, most meals and Discover Adventure support team. Flights extra.

Climb the Tour’s famous pass, the Col de la Faucille - Paris to Geneva

Be challenged to climb this high mountain pass in the French Jura, which has been traversed by the Tour elite over 40 times. The hair-pin bends of the Col de la Faucille (1,232m) are the gateway to Switzerland and one of the toughest parts of the journey. This exciting, short cycling challenge links the two classic cities of Paris and Geneva, crossing rolling chalk hills, quiet woodland and rural plateaux, and travelling past pretty medieval towns and Romanesque churches as you cycle through the famous wine region of Burgundy. Departing 15 June or 7 September, the trip costs from £924 pp (two sharing) and includes five nights’ accommodation, transport on Eurostar (one way), most meals and Discover Adventure support team. Return flight extra.

Swap sofa for saddle - Cycle London to Paris

Get fit and healthy this year by challenging yourself to complete one of Europe's greatest cycle routes. Often billed as a ‘professional event for amateurs’, the rolling countryside in Kent and unforgiving terrain of northern France will certainly test anyone’s endurance. With long days and some demanding hill climbs, nothing evokes a better sense of achievement than seeing the iconic Eiffel Tower at the finish. The trip costs from £799 pp (two sharing) and includes four nights' accommodation, transport (ferry and Eurostar), most meals, and Discover Adventure support team

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