Guadarrama & Gredos Mountains, Ávila, Madrid Finale
8 days, Fully Guided & Supported
Luxury / historic Paradors & 4-star hotels
This was last week overview of Last Year. New 2020 itinerary coming in December 2019.
This Vuelta tour packs it all in!
We follow the all important last week, right to the grand finale on the streets of Madrid with a very special package full of highlights. With some sizzling mountain stages on the last week, an exciting finale is expected.
On the last Sunday, we have the chance to cycle the race circuit on the streets of Madrid only hours before the finish, and then enjoy an upgraded VIP corporate style package only meters from the finish line of the women's and men's race, with buffet lunch, open bar and podium views for the finale. This is the ultimate in an awesome cycling adventure and makes us different from other operators.
Our itinerary rides the race route on the summit finishes of the Guadarrama mountains to the showdown on the penultimate mountain stage in the beautiful Sierras de Gredos. Expect drama as the winner of La Vuelta 2019 will have to fight hard on these crucial last mountain stages.
Begin by staying in an incredible 16th century castle and then riding the race route to the stage finish as a VIP. Soar through the Mountains of Guadarrama, and then watch the drama of La Vuelta unfold live.
Spend time in the UNESCO heritage town of Ávila, and her historic Parador hotel, inside the medieval city walls. Enjoy a VIP stage Depart meeting the stars of cycling up close and personal. An amazing day awaits as we get ready for the penultimate stage, with 5 category passes for the leaders (and us!) to fight it out. No doubts, this route, race and road biking is diverse and exciting.
Plus your amazing chance to ride the Madrid final stage circuit on race day on closed roads as the crowds gather – you'll feel like a pro!
It goes without saying “expect hills”, but our fully guided supported tour allows anyone with good fitness to enjoy this special trip. We also offer route options to ensure avid cyclists are challenged, but also take care of those with less experience and non-cyclists. Our accredited support vans can drive the race route allowing for back up. Everyone will love the thrill of climbing some famous ascents of Europe on race day itself, plus with VIP stage finish access, behind the scenes race viewing and great hotels, this Grand Tour is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
This was last week itinerary of Last Year. New 2020 itinerary coming in December 2019.
Our itinerary includes all the best parts of the final week, with great cycling and scenery of the area, from spectacular summit vistas, historical towns and cycling past breath taking landscapes.
Being fully guided and supported (with our support vans accredited to drive along the race route), you can cycle with the group or at your own pace, or even take a rest in the van! We try to ensure there are enough options for all, including the most avid. Non cyclists also welcome - we have a private van for you to sight-see in and head to other race areas rather than sitting behind our cyclists all day (if preferred!).
Also included a chance to ride the Madrid circuit and our exclusive upgraded Neptuno VIP viewing spot.
Checkout our view from last year's Neptuno zone where Viviani wins the stage sprint from Sagan!
Day 1. Tuesday 10 September - Meet in Madrid - Transfer out (Sigüenza)
40 km / 25 miles
Meet in our centrally located Madrid hotel at 14:00 (option to leave bike boxes for those who bring their own bikes for return at end). After an informal welcome drink, we have a short transfer out to historic Sigüenza. Arrive at the luxury Parador castle hotel, our base for tonight, near to tomorrow's Vuelta route.
It is a tranquil start to a crazy Vuelta last week and so we will enjoy the quiet outdoors here with the close by Barranco del Río Dulce Nature Reserve and Pinar de Sigüenza (pine forest of Sigüenza). We set the bikes up and have a short warm up ride in through this area.
We know you are all here for the cycling and the race, we are too, but we just could not pass up the chance to enjoy this tremendous hotel, the castle of Siguenza! A medieval castle built into the original Moorish fortress, which was constructed on top of a Roman settlement. A very good tapas taster of Spanish history to start this trip with.
Welcome Dinner in the medieval dining room – Dress code: no armour please!
Day 2. Wednesday 11 September - Aranda de Duero > Guadalajara (Navacerrada village)
100+ km / 63+ miles
After a buffet breakfast, we are in the perfect place to start as we head to the nearby race route. Get your first taste of riding the race route ahead of the peloton through a quiet, rural area. We get some good miles in (the pros have their longest day at almost 200 km), on a quick flat route, before riding across the finish line with our special VIP passes. Then we head to the VIP hospitality area at the finish line to see some fast paced action as the bunch sail into Guadalajara. Enjoy a VIP access finish and get those winning photos!
*To explain, the VIP Hospitality Area – This is an exclusive part of our La Vuelta tour packages, where each of our cyclists have access have a personalized accreditation, given on a lanyard at the start of our tour. Here, enjoy just meters from the Meta Finish line, the riders finish the race, see the stats, and preview the entire race before hand via large plasma TVs in the area. Also included is an open bar and finger tapas for a real Spanish experience.
After the race excitement, we then transfer on to the foothills of Navacerrada in order to get set up for tomorrow's full day in the mountains!
Day 3. Thursday 12 September – Guadarrama Mountain Stage (Ávila)
105+ km / 65 miles +
Well situated for a good ride today, we pedal from the hotel door to the Guadarrama mountains. This is an area of green forests and small villages. However, epic climbs are aplenty today in an area where many a Vueltas have been decided, the last time in 2015 when Fabio Aru and Tom Dumoulin battled it out, with Aru winning the Vuelta that day. A very hard stage is featured for the Pros with 4 Cat 1 climbs (the Puerto Navacerrada, Puerto de la Morcuera (twice!) and beautiful Puerto de Cotos.)
We have all day to ride some of these mythical mountains, all with avg. 6% gradients, before watching the leaders chase each other on the downhill finish in Becerril where we will have access to another VIP finish.
We take a transfer out to the ancient and world heritage town of Ávila with its girdle of robust walls protecting the town and our incredible Parador hotel escape. Again, you will love this history lesson. The Piedra Albas Palace with its pretty gardens, will make a welcome stay for the next 2 nights, deep inside the city walls.
Day 4. Friday 13 September – Ávila Stage Depart, Loop Ride (Ávila)
115 km / 70 miles
A more relaxed day is planned today as we enjoy a visit to the VIP stage Depart here in Ávila.
A great chance to see and often speak to your favourite bike star as they get ready to race! Wander the area seeing the team buses, the depart village and the immense logistical set up of a Grand Tour.
*To Explain – The Vuelta Depart Village is an added perk of our VIP hospitality package. Each day the teams must sign on to start the day in a presentation, but prior this, the riders are warming up, giving interviews, signing autographs and prepping their bikes. As well, it also includes a presentation area for local businesses and sponsors who have stands where we can get nibbles, drinks and enjoy the friendly atmosphere. A great opportunity for photos of all the stars of cycling.
After we see the Pros off to work with the colourful mass depart from the start line, we will ride out on today's race route, this time behind the peloton. Making it into a wonderful circular ride around this scenic area, we end up back at our Parador retreat. Once again the route is back to the flats and made for the sprinters, with the Vuelta throwing a sneaky little unfriendly Friday 13th finish with a 1 km cobblestone climb into Toledo. Ouch. We hope to catch a beer and a good seat as we see the event televised after our ride in a comfy bar. A no transfer day as time on the bike is certainly better than time in the van!
Enjoy a group dinner in the acclaimed Parador restaurant of our hotel. Time to relax as we think about tomorrow's big stage.
Day 5. Saturday 14 September – The Showdown! Plataforma de Gredos (Madrid)
95+ km / 60+ miles
La Vuelta have done it again and left a day of fireworks for the end. Not 1 or 2 mountain passes, but 5! This penultimate stage takes in hilly terrain in the superb Gredos Mountains, that might really break up the Vuelta podium chances for those left in contention. We will do our best on the big boys such as the Puerto de Peña Negra, a 1st Cat climb of impressive dimensions over 15km, and then hit the final summit of the cat 3 Alto de Gredos. Here we will enjoy our VIP finish watching the race leader win the red jersey and La Vuelta 2019.
After this finish, we transfer into Madrid to prepare for tomorrow's festivities and will be staying at a lovely boutique hotel, a former 19th century palace, right across from the famous El Retiro park and the close by Prado museum. More importantly, the hotel is around the corner from the finish line of La Vuelta! A fantastic place to stay for the next 2 nights. Enjoy a night out in the capital of Spain.
Day 6. Sunday 15 September – Madrid Circuit, Neptuno VIP, Podium Finale
Madrid circuit 30 km / 18 miles
Truly an exciting end to an epic and emotional event. Well, here we are at the end, and still one more exciting ride to do. How about a ride on the closed streets of Madrid and the race route before all the Pros! You will not forget this bike ride very quickly. The sidewalks filling with expectation and happy spectators as you make your way around Madrid in a very unique way! We will ride under La Vuelta supervision.
After this unique experience, get changed back at our nearby hotel and then head to the upgraded Neptuno VIP hospitality zone. Usually an extra charge of 350 Euros, we have included it in this year's package! Next to the finish line the views are amazing as we watch the UCI Women's pro race, the Madrid Challenge, lap past us before seeing the winner.
Enjoy a fine buffet lunch, all day open bar and a Vuelta gift in this area, before awaiting for the arrival of the men's peloton hurtle by in a blaze of color, 10 times on the circuit. Again all included on this last day as we believe that the end to the 2019 Vuelta would not be the same experience if you didn't get to share in this great closing event up close. Our front line seats in Madrid will not fail to impress. Vying for those last palmares, the sprinters are always on game for the prestigious final stage win. See the riders take those last moments to congratulate each other and thankfully cross the line after 3 immensely hard weeks of riding. Truly Pura Emocion!
See the Race from our Neptuno VIP viewpoint below!
It is a full day of race excitement in a most attractive setting, the heart of Madrid.
Enjoy the night time podium celebrations and the excitement of witnessing the winner standing proudly in La Roja, the red jersey.
Stroll back to our hotel with memories of a fantastic last day in Madrid.
Day 7. Monday 16 September – Onward Travels
Packing up the Bikes to Go!
After our final breakfast together, it is time for goodbyes and adios as we plan our onward travels!
We offer an airport Transfer to Madrid Bajaras leaving at 9:30am. We recommend booking flights that leave after 13:00.
Thank you for joining us on this special Vuelta Bike Trip!
Road Cycling Tour - Guided - 7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS
Bikes - Road - TREK Carbon Road Bikes
Route: Madrid, Siguenza, Navacerrada, Sierra de Guadarrama, Ávila, Gredos Mountains, The Circuit Madrid and Finale
Group Size: 4 - 16
Moderate / Challenging - The tour is suitable for experienced cyclists of all ages who have a good level of fitness and enjoy road biking. It goes without saying - expect climbs. There are enough category climbs and mountains for the rider who wants to challenge themselves, whilst our support van enables other riders to enjoy the trip without worrying as you can take a rest or opt out of the bigger climbs. On the longer climbs everyone can ride at their own pace. As there are many climbs we would class it as "challenging", but it becomes "moderate" if the cyclist is willing to jump in the van when required. We are happy to invite non-riders to enjoy La Vuelta spectacle as we have an assigned guide and driver.
Specially chosen luxury Parador hotels, Rustic Inn and 4 star Boutique hotel in Madrid
All bedrooms are en-suite
All 7 breakfasts and 4 dinners (including wine, beer, soft drinks). *Neptuno Race Buffet and Open Bar included
On race days, we will be providing complimentary organic MULEBAR protein bars and energy gels for those who wish to ride without stopping!
Ride the race circuit in Madrid & relax in the upgraded Neptuno area to see the race
VIP access to stage finishes / depart villages. This includes a private race viewing area at the finish with complimentary drinks and tapas. We will also have access to the podium for your own photos, access to back stage areas. We work with La Vuelta organisers to make your experience unique.
Upgraded VIP final stage access with catering and open bar in Madrid right at the finish line
Stay in some of the hotels as the pro teams
Ride the race route until the finish line (we have access that the public will not have)
Enjoy an evening drink and Q&A session with an ex-pro
Our vans are accredited to drive the race route - jump in for a rest if required
Ride with experienced guides, including the sub champion of Andalucia and a Vuelta a Espana Masters rider. We have been running Vuelta tours for 12 years consecutively and have over 14 years experience in Spain as a Spanish company
Complimentary full zip Cycling Country La Vuelta cycling jersey (choose your size when booking!) - bib shorts extra 75 Euros
Complimentary Cycling Country gifts, bags, cycling caps, Vuelta t-shirts, luggage tags and water bottles etc
Tour guide book of your route and official Vuelta 2019 race book (great souvenir)
Route notes, maps, profiles
Daily snacks and refreshments (MULEBAR protein bars & energy gels, granola bars, fruit etc and drinks)
3 to 5 leaders with full van support to pick up souvenirs, provide refreshments, act as guides, offer tips and insights throughout the day, provide directional signs where required, transfer luggage and provide on-road assistance. 1 or 2 guides cycle with the group. Ratio of 4 clients to 1 guide.
You can bring your own road bike (we have facilities to collect and store bike boxes for the duration of the trip) or we can arrange good quality road bike hire:
- TREK Emonda SL6 / S6 full carbon frame, Shimano Ultegra, compact - 265 Euros extra
- TREK Domane S5 / Madone 3.1 full carbon frame, Shimano 105, compact - 215 Euros extra
- Wheelset upgrades to Ultegra or Dura Ace wheels offered, given availability - please ask. If you do bring your own bike, we recommend a triple or compact chainset.
Many flight carriers access Madrid international airport. Madrid also has excellent rail and coach links throughout Spain.
Revitalize, Refresh and Reboot in order to be ready to Ride the next day, that is the mantra of all cyclists (especially the Pros!). That is why our hotels will guarantee your sleep time will be well spent in comfort. Places which allow you to ease into inaction, and calm that beating heart in the evenings. The hotels on this tour are historic and luxury paradors, a 4 star boutique Madrid hotel and a rural hotel in the mountains - great accommodation.
The Parador of Ávila, a former palace, is a wonderful place to step out of the exciting event pace of La Vuelta. Backed onto the most ancient city walls of Ávila, it certainly will guarantee a good night's sleep in this world heritage town.
Enjoy Madrid at the elegant and boutique Alfonso XII Petit Palace hotel. A fresh interior outfitted with modern touches but keeping the traditional features of this one time palace. Near to the finish of La Vuelta, discover the El Retiro park and Prado Art Museum, just steps away!
"Geoff, Dean & Javier, Thanks for some glorious rides and a wonderful adventure. Again, a real pleasure to ride with you.
"When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road without thought for anything but the rid you are taking - Arthur Conan Doyle - "Still a good idea to keep an eye out for route signs though!! 😃"
D. & R. Coutts, Calgary, Canada. - La Vuelta 2019 - Last Week to Madrid VIP Tour 2019
"Cycling Country far surpassed the high expectations we had for the tour. We had such a wonderful time 😃😃 A million thanks to you and Geoff and Dean and Javier. 😘
J. & L. Hickman, MN, U.S.A. - La Vuelta 2019 - Last Week to Madrid VIP Tour 2019 - Non Cyclists
"We had booked to visit Madrid to watch the final stage of the Vuelta Espana, we come every year as Madrid is a magical city. This year was my partners 50th birthday so for a surprise I decided to book with Cycling Country for the Neptuno VIP experience. There were a choice of experiences to choose from but I decided as it was a birthday treat we would go all out and chose the most comprehensive experience. Maggi was extremely helpful and gave me honest information on what we could expect. The Neptuno experience was amazing. We were situated to the side of the finish line with an unobstructed view of the cyclists as they passed.
Food and drinks were included in the day and were of very high quality and in abundance. Waiters would continually walk round with canape's or take drink's order.
I explained to Maggi this was a surprise birthday present and she arranged for us to get a behind the scenes tour of the riders area, podium and interview area's. This was so much fun and for cycling enthusiasts to have your photos taken on the podium and finish line made the day so much more special.
We really couldn't have hoped for a better day. Just as the riders crossed the finish line, we got a tap on our shoulder from Dean who works with Cycling Country to tell us to come with them as we might be able to get into the podium area again to watch the finishing ceremony. Very few people were able to get in so we crossed our fingers and followed. They managed to get us in and we couldn't contain our excitement, cyclist 's coming in to be interviewed, have their press photograph's taken and prepare for the ceremony. We were unbelievably close to the riders and to really make my day Alberto Contador and Juan Antonio Flecha were directly in front of us doing there Eurosport commentary.
We cannot begin to thank Cycling Country, Maggi, Geoff and Dean was making this day so amazing. They went over and above what we were expecting from the day. Thank you so much.
It's my big birthday in a couple of years and my partner is going to have to work hard to beating this.
If you’re considering either a cycling tour or a VIP experience, look no further than Cycling Country, an honest and welcoming company that really do look after their guests.
M. & D. Lovatt, UK - La Vuelta 2018 - Neptuno Madrid VIP 2018
"I want to thank you for the fantastic experience you gave Alex and I. It will be something we will always remember. You and Geoff were excellent hosts and the riding and vip experience was outstanding!
Thanks for all you did to make it so great
Thanks again for everything
M. & A. Webb, Calgary, Alberta - La Vuelta 2018 - The South
"Just a short note to thank you all for making it such an enjoyable week, notwithstanding all the problems that you had to deal with.
You could not have chosen better hotels or arranged better group meals.
We would have come back just for the pleasure of seeing you all again, so the hotels and the riding were a bonus!
The meal on the rooftop terrace in Malaga was particularly stunning as was the vista from the Parador in Ronda.
It is always interesting to meet different people and some of them were a little different.
We are back safe and sound, the cat is happy and the last washing is going out to dry."
J. & P. Sharman, UK, - La Vuelta 2018 - The South
"With Cycling Country we made our first cycling trip to Europe. Geoff, Dean, Javi and the rest of the crew made our rides and say really happy. Balbino took care of my mom and showed her Spain while me and my brothers went riding, then we met at the finish line of La Vuelta stages. It was a terrific Trip and we will for sure do it again!!!"
D. Botero, Medalin, Columbia - La Vuelta 2017
“The weather and the event were awesome. We had a very memorable experience. Thank you!”
P. Oppenheim, Sydney, Australia - La Vuelta 2017 - Neptuno VIP Experience
"Awesome Vuelta a España tour, amazing VIP access, up close & personal with the riders!
We recently did a Vuelta a Espana tour with Cycling Country, and had an amazing time. The tour was well-organized and thought out, with rider enjoyment in mind, both from the perspective of riding and spectating. The Spanish-based company clearly has a very close relationship with the race organizers, which is to the benefit of Cycling Country's clients. The VIP access to starts and finishes, as well as the podium, were unbelievable. Because the race is smaller, it is also much more intimate, enabling access to the riders. The behind-the-scenes access and perspective was very interesting, as was the talk from a retired rider. This was our third time doing a trip with Cycling Country, and the reason we chose them for our Vuelta shadow tour. Previously we have done self-guided tours or fixed-stay trips, and have been very impressed and pleased with the company and the service it provides. Geoff and Maggi are wonderful people and it shows in their dealings with clients. We would definitely recommend Cycling Country for any of its tours, but especially the Vuelta a Espana tour!"
A. Sauve & Tim, Cobourg, Canada - La Vuelta 2017 - The North
"The Vuelta tour was probably the best bike tour I have ever done. Ok the days were long, but your team gave us the best access I have ever had to a Grand Tour. The routes you designed to ride the best climbs and see the stage finishes were exceptional. Chapeau!"
John, Ontario, Canada - La Vuelta 2016
"Hi Maggie and Guys,
Since I got back in Oz I have telling everybody what an amazing time I had at the tour. I certainly appreciate the effort you guys put in to make things run smoothly for us."
D. Reed, Victoria, Australia - La Vuelta 2016 - Finale to Madrid
"Let me write a few lines of thank you. I just can't believe what a trip you gave us all! It was truly a cycling tour that I will never forget. Well done to all of the Cycling Country crew and thank you again for the good times. The Vuelta was the ride of my life."
Steve, Sydney, Australia - La Vuelta 2015
"That was an amazing trip to the Vuelta! So much behind-the-scenes access and some fab riding too. Thanks for everything!"
L.Rice, London, UK - La Vuelta 2015
"The Vuelta Tour 1 (Andalucia 2014) was memorable! The VIP access was exceptional, beyond my expectations. Cycling Country beautifully handled different levels of cycling abilities in the group in the smoothest way, the coordination among them was very professional and efficient, providing to the group an ongoing feeling of safety, support and fun. I will highly recommend them to all my friends and they honestly deserve to run such a successful business. Muchas Gracias for the extraordinary experience!"
L.Sullivan, Colorado, USA - La Vuelta 2014
"Rob and I would like to take the opportunity to send you a big thank you for everything you organized for the tour. We had an amazing time. The ride routes where spectacular and the VIP access was fantastic. Dean and Javi were both lovely, very helpful and encouraging. We had the best time and keep reminiscing about the week wishing we were still in Andalusia. It definitely exceeded all our expectations and hopefully will see you at next years tour. Thank you again"
K.& R.Garland, Australia - La Vuelta 2014
"Thanks Geoff and Dean for a truly wonderful week in northern Spain, climbing up all the famous climbs of the Vuelta's final week, then watching the pros do them in style, from the VIP vantage point of your preferred operator, special access status. The tour was expertly run and organised by you, accommodating all abilities with your usual skill and good humour. This is my third tour with Cycling Country and I hope there'll be more to come. Excellent local food and comfortable accommodation - add great company, knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides who are expert road cyclists themselves, and what more could a roadie want! Thanks once again"
D.Jones, Oxford, UK - La Vuelta 2013
Testimonials from previous cyclists are always available and we enjoy receiving the feedback after tours. It helps us improve our services and offer you an even better experience. Please feel free to contact us if you would like a reference to talk to. Others have also posted reviews on the independent travel website .
DATES & RATES
Select Date to Ask for Information and Availability!
LA VUELTA A ESPAÑA 2020
Last Week To Madrid - THE SHOWDOWN!
Single Supplement €TBC
29 AUGUST - 05 SEPTEMBER 2020 - Guaranteed 2 Go!
(Discounts for groups of 4+!)
Price includes all local taxes. Please note we transact in Euros.
- VIP Access to stage finishes, viewing areas and Depart Villages
- See the finale in Madrid, including the women's race, and the podium celebrations as an upgraded Neptuno VIP
- Ride the Race circuit in Madrid on race day!
- Climb the Cat peaks on race day to the finish line
- Ride some classic and scenic routes in the Guadarrama Mountains
- Pedal through the Gredos Mountains and try out a Summit Finish
- Take an evening drink with an ex-pro and learn about riding a Grand Tour
- Enjoy Parador Castle, Palace and Vuelta Team retreats off the bike
- We work with La Vuelta organisers as an official operator
- Enjoy the diverse cuisine, wine, culture & fascinating history
THE CC ADVANTAGE
We are a small Spanish company, so your enjoyment of this tour is paramount to us! Yes, there are bigger companies, but they may not be as invested in this Spanish tour as much as we are!
Cycling Country always looks for ways to make this Tour of Spain experience even better and work hard to do so.
We are Fully supported and led by 5 Local experienced guides, including Vuelta a Espana masters rider and mix of male / female guides
The itinerary has been planned to avoid long van transfers and enjoy more time riding/viewing La Vuelta
"Thanks Geoff and Dean for a truly wonderful week in northern Spain, climbing up all the famous climbs of the Vuelta's final week, then watching the pros do them in style, from the VIP vantage point of your preferred operator, special access status. The tour was expertly run and organised by you, accommodating all abilities with your usual skill and good humour. This is my third tour with Cycling Country and I hope there'll be more to come. Excellent local food and comfortable accommodation - add great company, knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides who are expert road cyclists themselves, and what more could a roadie want! Thanks once again"David J.
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