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Help with Cycling trip in Provence?

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Need advice or suggestions for a cycling trip to Southern France. We (small group of 4) plan to fly into Marseille in early July, and take a train to Avignon. We'll use it as a base for 9 days to cycle and watch a stage of the Tour de France. After that we plan on heading for Lyon for the last 5 days to cycle and sight see. We would fly home out of Lyon. Any suggestions on routes or accommodations, ie...should we stay inside or outside the cities...realize Lyon is a big place! We will be bringing our road bikes and luggage, so don't want to be too far from the train stations, etc? Is Avignon a good base? We would like to do the Mt. Ventoux climb. Anything that others may have done, we'd love to hear about.

Thanks very much!

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