The 2021 Tour de France has now drawn to a close and what an incredible three weeks of racing it was. Once again, it was all eyes on the dominating, young and exciting prospect of Tadej Pogačar, combined with the man in green that stunned the cycling world with one of the greatest comebacks in professional cycling - Mark Cavendish. It sure was good to see Cav back on top step.
Image by A.S.O: Charly Lopez
For Mummu Cycling, being present at this year’s race meant the world. It’s difficult to put into words just how thrilled we were to be there, back lining the sidelines of our favourite bike race. Following a difficult period for all, and what felt like an eternity of time away from the races in Europe – to return felt incredible and was a huge step forward to heading back to some normalcy.
LOIRE > ALPS
Throughout the three weeks, we were able to successfully deliver two trips; the first, our ‘Loire > Alps’ experience that had our guests witnessing the earlier stages of the race that neared the stunning vineyard dotted Loire Valley, before soldiering on to the infamous Alps.
We were joined by nine go-getter, smiling personalities who everyday made our jobs a breeze, simply delighted to be travelling, taking in the best of the 2021 Tour de France, live. Of the five days on tour, we spent a lot of it lapping up the action from hospitality, riding the race routes, wining, dining and enjoying the beautiful French countryside.
As one of few Official Tour Operators of the race, each year we have exclusive opportunities to ride the course on closed roads, hop up on the winner’s podium and watch the race from the best locations from hospitality. It doesn’t get much better and this trip certainly reminded us how lucky we are to have the ability to get this close into the race’s inner sanctum.
The trip started out in the Loire with a cruisy warm-up ride and a fitting winery lunch at the Chateau de Moison to toast to the week to come and to enjoy a taste of the world famous Loire. The following day, we dived straight into the race action with a ride on course through to the finish in Châteauroux where we crossed the line buzzing, then jumped up onto the winner’s podium to strike a pose. The afternoon was spent relaxing in Izoard finish line hospitality where it was all good vibes and humming atmosphere as we enjoyed beverages, French canapes and big screen entertainment awaiting the predicted sprint finish to come. How incredible to then see the legendary Mark Cavendish storm home to claim his 32nd TDF victory and witness the sheer speed of his killer sprint LIVE to the line. That’s a moment, we won’t be forgetting anytime soon…
Day three was all smiles once more as our guests hit the road to ride along the Stage 7 route, tackling some challenging terrain and a few tough climbs as they went. After a solid morning out in the saddle and a taste of what was to come for the pros, it was time to park up at the Relais Etape; the Tour de France’s most raved about hospitality experience that has you indulging in a long lunch, paired with local wines and exceptional atmosphere all day long as the race is played on TV’s, before heading out to the sidelines to see it pass. It’s guaranteed fun times and it’s safe to say our guests left feeling very content.
The next day, it was time for some col conquering as we set out to ride part of the Stage 8 route along undulating terrain. Included in the mix was the challenging Col du Colombiere. It may have burned a little, however our guests pushed on and summited grinning from ear to ear having just crushed an iconic Alps climb.
It was all downhill from there to the fast finish in Le Grand-Bornand where we set up for the afternoon back at Izoard hospitality and got to witness the first big move of the Tour by Tadej Pogacar. As we all know, from there he just kept going and gaining!
Before rounding out the tour, we hit the Stage 9 Departure Village to enjoy some pre-race atmosphere, watch the riders sign on and indulge in some local delicacies as they did. The perfect way to close out a fantastic five days at the Tour de France.
PYRENEES > PARIS
Following a short break, we stepped back into the Tour with a bang to deliver our second TDF 2021 experience - straight for the Pyrenees and the race’s final week. We were lucky to be joined by another fantastic group of people, up for the challenge and some good fun along the way.
We started the trip in the picturesque Toulouse before hitting the race the following morning for the Ride Depart experience that allowed our guests to ride off the Stage 17 start line behind the race caravan and ahead of the peloton, along completely closed roads. This experience is up there as one of our favourites as it allows our guests to truly feel like they’re within the race. Accordingly, we did this on Bastille day so had ample cheers and allez’s thrown our way for the entire ride.
Throughout the tour, other highlights included watching the final mountain stage from the iconic Tourmalet – the most prominently climbed ascent in Tour de France history. Before kicking back in hospitality to watch the stage over appetisers and French wine, our guests first had to ride from our hotel in Lourdes, then up the daring slopes of the climb – a healthy 19km long. Again, superbly applauded most of the way up by fellow excited fans lining the climb and motivated by many other enthusiasts climbing their way up to watch the stage. Rest assured, that glass of vino went down very well post efforts, where it was all about relaxing and enjoying Tour de France hospitality at the Izoard, on the Tourmalet. Atmosphere was certainly on point!
From there, we were off to watch a stage finish from hospitality in Libourne, just outside of Bordeaux - where we weren’t just thinking wine, but Cav and whether or not he’d seal the deal on breaking the most claimed stage victories in Tour de France history.
First up, a gorgeous scenic ride through the vines and on to the finish where we were once again able to maximise our TDF Tour Operator privileges, passing the Flamme Rouge and riding the final km to cross the line arms sky-high. Podium time and victory snaps commenced, before retreating to the winner’s interview area to scope out what goes down after a stage of the Tour de France at the podium.
We were then glued to the big screens at Izoard hospitality on the finish line, excitedly anticipating the action to come where a sprint wasn’t to be as the breakaway powered on, maintaining a significant lead on the peloton through to the finish. Our excitement levels still right up there, however as attacks flew and Matej Mohoric once again proved his strengths putting in a timely attack to take his second stage victory of the race solo.
The fun and games kept coming as the following day it was TT time where we’d spend the day in Relais Etape hospitality, situated right amongst the vineyards in the stunning Chateau Mazeyres. Think three course meal, and a decadent wine tasting of the wine-famous area’s reputable wines, all while watching the riders zip by us one by one at shockingly quick speeds! Laughs were had, memories made, and it was champagne toasts all-round come the end of the day where we saw the phenomenal Wout van Aert fly home for the big W.
To round out a truly special trip following the race’s final week, we set off to Paris to watch the always-spectacular final stage from VIP seating along the Champs-Elysees. The perfect way to end an incredible return to the Tour.
A BIG thank you to every one of our wonderful guests who joined us at the 2021 Tour de France, making our return to the race possible and ensuring we had a blast delivering every single day. Then of course to our hardworking staff on the ground and behind the scenes. It was great to have some of the team back together again, and we strongly hope to see more of the Mummu crew back on European soil in 22.
If you’re interested in joining us next season at the Tour de France, you can now place a risk-free booking deposit that will ensure your spot on the tour of your first preference is secured, you receive all trip itineraries before public launch, in addition to early-bird discounts. The 2022 route is expected to be released by the A.S.O (race organisation) in October, and our tour line-up will go LIVE soon after.