Velo la Source
is a unique Tour de France cycling holiday based in the tiny alpine village of Villard-Reculas, just four kilometres from Alpe d’Huez. VLS holidays are different than any other Tour de France vacation, because we do not chase the Tour around France; we are based in a single, beautiful, comfortable location that is the epicenter of alpine cycling action.
VLS puts equal emphasis on cycling and holiday, assuring that our guests not only get the best cycling and Tour de France viewing available, but that they also get to relax, eat, and drink to the highest standards. Also unique to VLS are our non-cycling activities for guests who do not wish to ride, and for cyclists taking a day off from the bike. These activities include hiking, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and via ferrata mountaineering.
Velo la Source is limited to 20 guests, all based at la Source Chalet and the neighboring property, Chalet Hudault. Everything is included at Velo la Source, except some lunches, which are taken at the guests’ discretion in cafes and restaurants, and one dinner (Chef’s night off), which we arrange at the stunning la Bergerie restaurant in Villard-Reculas. Some picnic lunches are also included.
La Source and Chalet Hudault are chalets, not hotels. Each has double occupancy rooms. If you do not come as a couple, or with a friend, we will assign you a suitable roommate. There are no single rooms at Velo la Source.
Gourmet Meals & Wine.
Velo la Source employs a full-time French chef, Jean-Marc DuFraisse, who prepares gourmet meals using fresh, local ingredients. Although the flavor is French, Chef’s meals are geared toward American athletes who want to fuel up for cycling, as well as dine elegantly. All dinners are four-course featuring cheeses made at the farm next door to la Source, unlimited wine from the la Source cellar, and homemade desserts. In short, the food at Velo la Source is better than you would find in a restaurant.
Tour de France Viewing.
Velo la Source holidays are built around the alpine stages of the Tour de France. In most years, we see two stages live, and we have the best seat in the house in years that include a stage on Alpe d’Huez, as was the case in 2003 and 2004. Every year, Velo la Source features a gourmet cook-out on the mountain during one stage. This year we will ride parts of the stages and view the Tour at Courchevel and on the Col du Galibier, with a picnic on Alpe d'Huez for la Grimpee de l'Alpe.
This year, La Marmotte, Europe's biggest one-day race/ride for amateur cyclists, coincides with the arrival of the Tour de France peloton in the French Alps. This provides VLS with the unique opportunity to offer all of our guest the chance to ride in the three race/rides of the Trophee de l'Oisans: le Prix des Grandes Rousses (40 km), la Marmotte (174 km), and la Grimpee de l'Alpe (14 km). There is absolutely no pressure to compete in these events, but we think all of our guests will want to take on at least the time trial up Alpe d'Huez, which is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. VLS provides support in all the feed zones and at the finish line for all three races, and we will be barbecuing on Alpe d'Huez on the day of the time trial so that all guests can join us after their ride to eat, drink, and celebrate.
Velo la Source offers challenging cycling everyday on the greatest alpine routes of the Tour de France: Col du Glandon, Col de la Croix de Fer, Col du Galibier, Col du Lauteret, Les Deux Alpes, Cold d’Ornon, Col du Telegraphe, Sestrieres, Col d’Izoard, la Berarde, and of course Alpe d’Huez. We ride some or all of these routes every year, regardless of whether or not the Tour de France is using them. All rides are led by our resident pro, Jimmy Riccitello, who is also available to provide informal pointers and more formal coaching. Click HERE to see our tentative 2005 itinerary, with profiles of all the climbs.
Sag Wagons and Mechanic.
Velo la Source divides the peloton into faster and slower groups, each of which is supported by its own sag wagon. The sag wagons provide guests with power food, sports drink, and water bottles throughout the cycling day, and are there to bail you out if necessary. VLS has a mechanic to help you build your bike on the first day and break it down on the last.
Velo la Source offers non-cyling activities on most days, including hiking, whitewater rafting, and mountaineering. These activities are available to non-cycling guests, or to anybody simply taking a day off of the bike.
VLS Jersey and Swag.
Velo la Source guests receive a free VLS jersey, tee shirt, cap, socks, and unlimited waterbottles. Also available at a modest price are VLS wind vests and bib shorts.
Off the Bike.
Afternoons at Velo la Source are a time to explore the trails around Villard-Reculas, watch the Tour de France on television (we have British Eurosport in English), relax on the deck of la Source Chalet with a glass of wine or beer from our honor bar, take photographs of the stunning alpine scenery, practice your French with our bilingual staff and French neighbors, or get a massage from VLS’ resident masseuse, Nancy Vallance.