For Australian Cyclists travelling and touring OS
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I am planning to do a trip this year to Italy to see the Giro de Italia and have rounded my decision down to 2 companies - Phil Anderson and Bikestyle Tours.
Both companies seem pretty reputable and competent but my decision now comes down to people who have done either one of these tours and what they thought of it etc etc. I am 32 years old so would be preferable to me if there were similar aged people on the tour.
Any feedback or comments on either one of these operators would be greatly appreciated.
I went on one of Phil's tours last year to the Tour de France and would have to say I was pleasantly surprised, the hotels were fantastic, we saw all parts of the tour and best of all we had Phil with us the whole time. The best thing would have to be eating dinner back at the chateau with Phil watching the replay of the stage and hearing the amazing stories of Phil descending like a madman back in his day.
My Dad went of one of Bikestyle's tours to Giro last year and also thought it was great but he has met Phil since and is now booked for the Tour in 2012 with Phil.
I am not sure if this helps but it touring with a cycling legend makes the experience that much better.
I have experience of both companies so can hopefully offer some advice. I did a Bikestyle trip to the Giro with Bikestyle and did a Phil Anderson trip a few years back also. I think this is Phil's first trip to the Giro, but he's trips are now run by a larger travel company so not sure if it's the same setup. I enjoyed both trips very much so I guess you can't go wrong with either. I think the Bikestyle trip was probably better value and better organised - they really have their act together in that respect. The staff we had on our Giro trip with Bikestyle were great with ex pro Fred Morini along who knew all the local riders so we had a good experience. So I guess it comes down to which suits your budget, how important it is for you to meet Phil and which itinerary may suit you better. I had a look on the web and they are similar, but Phil's starts in Venice which is nice if you want to visit Venice, but Milan where Bikestyle starts is a lot lot easier to get to from Australia with a bike! I hired a bike from Bikestyle at the Giro in 2009 and it was a great bike - I certainly wouldn't bother to take a bike with me. I hope that helps you. Enjoy your trip!
I've since spoken to a few people that have done the Bikestyle tours and have said good things about them.
Dave Mackenzie is running a tour to Italy this year so would be good to get on a tour with him but if no spots left then I'll go with Phil Anderson - that would be awesome to tour with an ex king as you mentioned!
Thanks for the advice - I think I'll go with Bikestyle Tours - I have no real need to meet Phil - if it was Lance Armstrong or Fabian Cancelleara then defintely YES but Im more concerned that the company has experience and I just wanna ride in Italy and see the race. Ill be taking my Colnago CX-1 with me because I couldn't imagine a smoother ride but they do offer bikes for rent as you said - I think this year its a Cannodale Synapse carbon fibre.
Thanks for the reply.
I've been on 3 tours with Bikestyle tours, you won't be disappointed. You'll love the Giro, plus Stresa is a great place to start. I got there a few days before the tour and went for a few rides before the rest arrived. It was a great place to ride and get over the jetlag.
I've also taken my own bike and also hired a bike. I still had a great time on both. My advise is just take compact cracks.
Enjoy the tour, I hope Eric is one of your guides. He is a top bloke.
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