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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Le Tour de France with Butterfield & Robinson

Photo: Butterfield & Robinson
Ready for a quick French lesson?  Répétez s'il vous plait: peloton, étape, vélo, maillot jaune.* If you recognize those words, you must be a francophone, a biking enthusiast, or both!

2012 will mark the 99th edition of the Tour de France. The avid cyclists among us can get an intimate perspective on the race through Butterfield & Robinson's 2012 Tour de France trip which they just announced following the release of the official route. Here's how it goes:
The week starts high in the Vosges mountains for the uphill finish of Stage 7 at Planche des Belles Filles, a newcomer as a finish for the Tour. We follow the peloton the next day with a ride through the nearby Jura mountains in Switzerland, and will be there again along the fences to witness the stage finish in Porrentruy. After two days of mountain stages we should have an indication of who the real contenders are.

From there we power through to Besançon for the highlights of an individual time trial, before heading south to the imposing peaks of the Alps. Here, with Lake Annecy at our backs, we'll ride the cols of the Parc Naturel Massif des Bauges before pedalling the famous hills and villages of the Chartreuse Massif.

Our final day of riding we will tackle the legendary climb to La Toussuire (1705m), arriving in plenty of time to join the screaming, flag-waving fans awaiting the arrival of the leaders. Our last dinner together will be a celebration of what we have ridden together mixed with some healthy of discussion of the racing yet to come.
This tour is ranked Challenging and promises to be a rewarding experience for the die-hard athletes who are up for it. Want to try a more leisurely pace? B&R has lots of trips ranked Easy and Medium, perfect for active families. What a way to see France!

*Le peloton:  pack formed to counter wind resistance. 
L'étape: stage or leg; a day-long segment of the race. 
Le vélo: bicycle. See also.
Le maillot jaune: yellow jersey, worn by the winner of the most recent stage.

Butterfield & Robinson is part of the FROSCH/Signature portfolio. They offer escorted biking, walking and hiking as well as customized adventurous itineraries.  Contact your FROSCH travel agent for information about more trips and how to book! Don't miss our Butterfield & Robinson Insider Interview

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