Cyclo Sportives -- When Thousands of Cyclists Race Against the Clock

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The France-based bike touring company, Cyclomundo, offers packages for cyclists who'd like to challenge themselves in a 'cyclo sportive' -- a huge cycling event where numerous participants challenge themselves in a timed one-day ride that combines competitive road racing with bike touring.

The France-based bike touring company, Cyclomundo, offers packages for cyclists who'd like to challenge themselves in a 'cyclo sportive' -- a huge cycling event where numerous participants challenge themselves in a timed one-day ride that combines competitive road racing with bike touring. Cyclomundo's status as an Official Tour Operator for the Tour de France extends to the well-known cyclo sportives "La Marmotte" and "l'Etape du Tour", as well as the increasingly popular "TIME-Megève-Mont Blanc" and the exciting newcomer on the scene "l'Etape de Légende".

Among all the cyclo sportives, "La Marmotte" is the one with the longest tradition. The "mother of all cyclo sportives" has been taking place for more than 30 years on roads that the pros cycle during the Tour de France, including the mythic climbs of Col de la Croix de Fer, Col du Galibier, and Alpe d'Huez. This year Cyclomundo has two 5-day packages from July 5 through July 9, 'Alpe d'Huez' and 'Oz-en-Oisans'. The Alpe d'Huez based package is a semi-guided trip created for independent-minded riders and includes accommodation just steps away from the finish line, at a hotel with sauna, pool and Jacuzzi. The Oz-en-Oisans based package is a fully-guided trip, including all dinners, with accommodation in a peaceful setting on the mountainside connected to Alpe d'Huez by a beautiful gondola ride, affording sweeping views.

The most prestigious cyclo sportive in France, the "Etape du Tour", will take place in the Pyrenees on July 16th. This year's challenging route goes from Foix to Loudenvielle, which will be Stage 15 for the 2007 Tour de France, and it's going to be a good one! Participants will tackle five major climbs, including the Col du Port de Bales (5,625 ft.) and the Col de Peyresourde (4,710 ft.) on this 122 mile ride. Cyclomundo has several Etape packages for riders and non-riders alike, which make the most of this renowned event and provide an unforgettable trip, set amidst spectacular Pyrenean scenery.

If you prefer the Alps to the Pyrenees, you might like to participate in the "TIME Megève Mont-Blanc" cyclo sportive that takes place close to the Italian and Swiss border on Sunday, June 10. This event is gaining in popularity and has seen record numbers of participants in recent years and it's easy to understand why, set amidst the backdrop of Mont Blanc. Starting from and ending in Megève, the route takes in many scenic mountain passes and offers cyclists the choice of three distances between 55 and 92 miles, and up to five climbs. Cyclomundo offers a standard 5-night package from June 6 through 10, as well as a 2-night package.

Cyclomundo is happy to include a new cycling event in our repertoire: "l'Etape de Légende". This new cyclo sportive allows cyclists to ride and rediscover routes of select historic stages from past Tour de France itineraries. The very first edition takes place this year on September 23 and the route will retrace the legendary Stage 8 of the 1967 Tour de France. Starting from Strasbourg, cyclists will cope with four climbs and 130 miles through the Vosges Massif and the Vosges mountains, before ending up with a climb to the summit of the Ballon d'Alsace, which offers striking views of the Rhine Valley and Black Forest across the border in Germany. Cyclomundo's Etape de Légende package from July 21 - 24 will make you feel like a pro. You will be picked up from the airport in Strasbourg at whatever time you arrive, enjoy the unique Alsatian heritage and gastronomy, met at the finish line and directed to the hotel, where you have free use of the sauna, swimming pool and Jacuzzi.

As an Official Tour Operator of the Tour de France, the Etape du Tour, and the Etape de Légende, Cyclomundo is thrilled to be able to provide so many ways to challenge yourself and your cycling prowess and we are sure we have a trip to suit your fancy. For more information, please visit http://www.cyclomundo.com, or e-mail.

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BRUNO TOUTAIN
Cyclomundo
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