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Tour de France fever: The top six French cycling tours

With Australia now out of the FIFA World Cup and only the diehard footie fans tuning into the coverage, The travel world is now gearing up for the next big sporting event in Europe – the 2018 Tour de France.

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According to UTracks General Manager, Kate Baker, there’s always a spike in demand for active cycling itineraries in France both during, and after, the world’s biggest cycling event.

Baker believes a lot of this is due to the quality of the 200 hours of live coverage of the cycling event and the way it showcases the French countryside, towns and cities.

“Every year, for three weeks in June and July, millions of people from all over the world are glued to their screens watching live coverage of the Tour de France,” she said.

“For some of us sleep-deprived Tour de France ‘tragics’ the race is more than a sporting event.

“It’s also a travel show or cultural experience, showcasing the sublime countryside, stunning mountainous regions, fascinating history and tasty cuisine of France. It’s about the castles, the crazy spectators and Gabriel Gate’s cooking segments.”

“We definitely get more demand for active cycling itineraries in France during and after the event – even more so now that we’re offering the option to upgrade to an electric bike on 85 per cent of our cycling itineraries, which is perfect for those who aren’t quite race-ready and worried about keeping up with the pack.

“This year, we’ve decided to break away from the peloton early and provide our six best cycling itineraries based on some of the stages of the 2018 route, before the event begins. And yes, it’s possible to upgrade to an e-bike on all of these popular itineraries.”

Here’s are UTrack’s six best cycling itineraries along last year’s route to give you a taste.

Stage 8 – Dreux/Amiens

Cycle the Western Front – Trace the First World War’s Western Front line from Amiens to Ypres on this fascinating self-guided 8-day cycle. From $2250 per person (twin share).

Rhone Cycle Path_UTracks

Stage 13 – Bourg d’Oisans/Valence

Rhone Cycle Path: Lyon to Provence – Discover wine, cuisine and rich Roman history on this 8-day cycle on the Via Rhona Cycle path between the Rhone-Alpes and Provence. From $1750 per person (twin share).

Stage 15 & 16 – Carcassonne

Loire_Valley_sunflowers-original (1)

Canal du Midi by Bike – Cycle through classic French countryside following the Canal du Midi from Toulouse to the Mediterranean on a 6-day self-guided cycling itinerary. From $1890 per person.

Cathar Castles Cycle – Cycle through history and discover the intrigue of the Cathars in a beautiful region of south-west France on this 7-day cycle. From $1490 per person.

Final Stage – Paris, Champs-Élysées

Paris to London Cycle

Paris to London – Cycle from the Seine to the Thames following the Avenue Verte cycle route on a guided or self-guided 8-day itinerary. From $1750 per person (twin share) for the self-guided trip or $2230 per person (twin share) for the guided trip.

Cyclists_and_pedestrians_en_route_to_Mont_St_Michel-original (1)

Paris to Mont St Michel by Bike – Cycle along the Veloscenic cycleway from the heart of Paris through Normandy to the coast and to the impressive Mont St Michel on this 12-day self-guided cycle. From $3590 per person (twin share).

bikers_-_Chambord_35_LVT-original

Bike and Barge to Paris – An inspirational 8-day journey by bike and barge between the royal chateaux of Compiegne and Fontainebleau, including a canal cruise through Paris. From $1720 per person.

Live coverage of the 105th Tour de France kicks off on Saturday, July 7, 2018 (a week later this year due to the FIFA Football World Cup)

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