Grand Tours Project reflections: our 2023 cycling season, a successful story!

Uri Martins

Chris Monette

Dec / 15 / 2023

What an amazing 2023 cycle season! It has been intense, exciting and full of smiles and adventures. 2023 has been the longest and busiest season for Grand Tours Project so far and what an amazing chapter!

Our European season started in early March with the Strade Bianche tour and just finished a few days ago with a special recon ride in the Canaria Islands for Gravel Bike's next upcoming tour! So from March till December, we managed to run a little more than 50 tours and we are proud to say we have achieved an amazing guest satisfaction rate and overall growth while supporting women cycling and looking after our sustainable goals. We managed to have more sustainable suppliers such as our water bottles made from 100% sugar cane and our special Santini jersey made from recycled plastic bottles. Similarly, we increased our participation of female cyclists to 35% of overall tour attendance and ran tours with an only-women team on several tours throughout the year, focusing on supporting and promoting women's cycling.

Starting the year with the beautiful Strade Bianche riding the roads around Tuscany, watching the Strade Bianche race inside the VIP area and then riding Gran Fondo the day after was a blast! Just by the time the Strade Bianche tour was about to finish, part of a team was already on its way to discover an absolutely unique and new cycling destination… AlUla, Saudi Arabia, which is a tranquil desert sanctuary we decided to explore. We managed to discover an uncharted new world and decided to create a new luxury cycling experience in the desert of AlUla.

De Ronde & the Classics of the North was a huge success, as it marked the first tour for Grand Tours Project heading to that part of the world for such incredible races. We managed to cover a large section of the cobblestones riding the Paris-Roubaix parcourse and spent about 30 minutes in the velodrome racing for the final lap! Then we took a shower in the legendary champion´s baths and prepared for the next challenge, the Flanders Sportive! Followed by a superb day menu activity including cheering on the riders with a Belgian beer in hand while Pogačar attacked on the Oude Kwaremont climb right in front of our VIP Zone... unforgettable! A group that joined us was celebrating a 50th birthday, what a cycling party!

Another successful edition of the Taste of Sicily Tour was held at the end of April for a group of friends, which helped them to prepare the basis for the next challenges they all set for the year, such as participating in the Maratona dles Dolomites later in the year.

May arrived and with it, the colourful Giro d'Italia. We managed to run tours every week with a special operation in week 3 where we had several groups doing the #RideEveryKilometre as a very popular tour and our #Experience tours with many groups of friends, families and individuals. This Giro Week 3 Tour has been awarded multiple times on previous occasions and has achieved great success every year. After the 2023 Giro edition, Grand Tours Project has become the Official Premium Tour Operator of the Giro d'Italia for 2024.

While our Giro tours were being delivered, we went on another special and beautiful tour, a 3-week self-guided and personalized tour, riding from Catalonia, Andorra, and the Pyrenees to the Basque Country. A family trusted us and we created a spectacular adventure for them.

When June came, it allowed the big passes to clear up. This time we welcomed back an incredible group of friends determined to discover Switzerland, starting in our hometown, Villars sur Ollon, and staying at the completely renovated Villars Palace Hotel. Then crossing Switzerland towards the Mythical Stelvio over the iconic Swiss passes. Such an incredible trip. Another private tour made us head to Burgundy, France and between a luxurious hotel chateau, vineyards, hills, wine and super Michelin star restaurants, our guests had a lovely family fully supported cycling holiday.

The challenge of the year came with the Maratona dles Dolomites Getaway and this year we had another great multinational group who rode, enjoyed and supported together for a week while discovering the beautiful Dolomites just before racing the Maratona dles Dolomites.

Yellow July arrived and our big operation began as we headed to Bilbao for the Grand Depart of the France Grand Tour and began one of the most exciting editions of all time. Our operation lasted 25 days. At the same time, we were welcoming a large group of friends crossing the Alps from Evian to Nice on an incredible 8-day exploration following the Route des Grandes Alpes.

August was full of “Iconic Explorer Tours” and bespoke tours. At some point, in the same week, we were running simultaneous 6 tours, with 10 vehicles on the road, nearly 100 guests and 22 GTP team members, all together sharing the passion of cycling. The Norway Explorer, Switzerland Explorer, The Custom Epic Cols Escape in the French Alps, Lake Leman Explorer, Our Bespoke Swiss Epic and a Family custom tour starting in Switzerland and finishing in beautiful Italy with the Stelvio and Dolomites.

September was another “full on” month, with a special Hokkaido Explorer Tour, our first luxury tour in Japan welcoming lovely guests from Singapore and Malaysia to explore the majestic island with its volcanoes, lakes, oceanfront cliffs and traditional Japanese culture and food. This was a unique experience led by our expert Japanese team. The adventures continued with a personalized tour for a group of adventurous friends that merged the best of the Pyrenees and Mallorca into a single tour. Finally, towards the end of the month, we welcomed multiple personalities and important business leaders from sports and media to a bespoke corporate tour held at our beautiful Villars Sur Ollon. They had everything from climbing the mountain on an E-MTB and having lunch in front of Mount Blanc. Riding at the UCI Velodrome in Aigle, competing against each other and then, another day taking a special road bike ride around our favourite 4-cols loop while stopping at a chalet for fondu, specializing in producing homemade cheese while savouring Swiss culture.

The list goes on and on, but summarizing our season with these tours is a clear example of our passion for cycling that we all have at GTP. We appreciate all your trust, support and comments. We receive numerous positive reviews and testimonials from our guests. Our team is proud to say that we now offer tours in 20 countries, 3 continents and over 80 different locations. We hope to welcome you soon on one of our tours and share the roads with you!