This was our group's third trip with Jean-Philippe and Yumi and as repeat clients we are always delighted how their attention to detail never slips. They absolutely understand what their customers want, both in terms of the difficulty of the itinerary as well as the support that is needed. Ours is a mixed ability set of riders and careful planning is vital, so the success of our trip is a practical demonstration of the bespoke service they deliver: a service that is, to my knowledge, unique in cycling tours.
After the Pyrenees and Corsica (both stunning and memorable) this year we had a custom made 7 days focussing on the Italian Alps. The itinerary was refined in the months leading up to the trip to generate challenging climbs with an emphasis on the natural beauty of the region. Yes, of course we did a number of Tour and Giro ascents but far more memorable were the less celebrated climbs: the tranquillity and sheer magnificence of the setting making for a truly spiritual experience and the physical demands were equally awesome. To survey the view from the top of the Colle del Nivolet and its vast panorama of mountains and lakes, serene and devoid of any human intrusion was a thing of wonder and truly life affirming.
And to get these experiences we rely on Jean-Philippe's unrivalled knowledge of the mountains, his eye for a climb that other tour companies don't know (or don't care) about and, above all, his and Yumi's passion for what they do. They were there for us, as they always are, at every stage of the climb with words of encouragement, water and food and, at the summit, tables laid out with an array of snacks and drinks. They organised restaurants at lunchtime and charming hotels for the evenings: evenings that often stretched long into the night with great food eaten and wine flowing, unwise preparation for the day ahead but all part of the whole experience.
I cannot recommend Jean-Philippe and Yumi's custom-made tours highly enough. That we are three time returnees is compelling enough evidence, but the fact that we are already starting to plan next year's itinerary is absolute proof.
~Stephen Hawke, UK
Stephen participated in 5 VéloTopo Bike Tours: 3 Pyrenees, 1 Alps, 1 Corsica.
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