Over the past few days Tour de France fever has bombarded the Pyrenees! Luchon our AQR Holidays cycling base has been buzzing with excited cyclists from all over the world, as well as the general public who are intrigued by what has become the most iconic cycling event in the world...
Since AQR Holidays was set up 15 years ago in the Pyrenees, Luchon has grown in popularity as a resort for cyclists as it's situated very close to so many well known cols. There are famous cols on our door step such as the Col du Portillon and the Col de Peyresourde that both featured in the Tour de France this year. There's also popular cols in close riding distance from Luchon such as Port de Bales, Col de Mente, Col des Ares Portet-d'Aspet, Col du Tourmalet, Col d'Aspin...to name just a few of the celebrated cols that attract thousands of cyclists every year due to the Tour de France coverage.
'Watching the Tour de France motivates me! I actually find myself becoming frustrated watching the Tour de France because I want to be out there riding too and seeing what I can achieve on the bike. How far can I push myself and what amazing places will I see along the way? I'm inspired by what these professional cyclists endure and achieve day after day...but I want to be challenged too!'
3 years ago Mr P started piecing together a plan to design an AQR cycling route that would include fantastic road cycling throughout the Pyrenees. A cycling challenge that would cross all three countries that make up this beautiful area - France, Spain and Andorra. The 3 Countries Tour is an exciting new cycling trip to entice cyclists from all over the world to come and experience the real Pyrenees. The 3 Countries Tour will be taking place on the following dates in 2018 and 2019 -
1-8 September, 2018
June 1-8, 2019
31 August-7 September, 2019
There are well known Tour de France cols included in the ITINERARY. However we have also added sections of road you may not have heard about, areas just as spectacular, but may not be as well publicised by the mainstream media. We have found several quiet routes that will take you off the beaten track to give you a different perspective of the Pyrenees.
Last week we took 3 days to drive the route and make sure we were happy with the logistics, hotels, restaurants and picnic areas for lunches. We have also included easy options or challenging extra long sections to suit riders of all levels who may want to be challenged or for those who want to take a more relaxed approach to their cycling holiday. We have thought about what cyclists want and incorporated that into our package too so that all the hassle is taken out of your every ride.
As we crossed all three countries here in the Pyrenees I was taking photos from the confines of the AQR Van in order to have a selection of photos to add to the AQR Holidays website. All I kept thinking or rather planning was which sections of the route I would be riding and Ian would be driving. At this rate Mr P may not be riding any of it :)
I have attached photos in the gallery above to give you a small insight into where we will be riding and what challenging climbs we will face along the way. I found it difficult to take photos because technology cannot truly capture the wild beauty of this area, nor reveal what it will truly be like to cross the three countries: France, Spain and Andorra on our road bikes.
If you fancy a NEW cycling experience and would like more information about
The 3 Countries Tour then contact firstname.lastname@example.org