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Advice for watching the Tour in person...

brookterbrookter Posts: 51
edited July 2008 in Pro race
Hi

We'll be on holiday in the Pyrenees when the Tour comes through and I'd like to watch a couple of stages - probably the finish at Foix and/or the start at Lavelanet.

Any advice to get the most out of the day - e.g. how long beforehand do we need to get there to get a good view etc? Anything I need to think of?

Would you go to the Start/finish or find a suitable spot out on the course?

Many thanks

David

Posts

  • richaricha Posts: 1,634
    Atmosphere & spectacle at the start and finish is quite different. Try to do both.

    Re: the finish at Foix. I would try to get near the finish, I would also suggest trying to get opposite a large screen so that you can watch the build up. I would expect you to need to be at your chosen point at 9am-ish if you wish to be on the barriers. later if you don't mind being further back (so take your lunch and a book!!).

    Re: the start at Lavelanet. Caravanne commences at 11:40. Race proper at 13:20. Aim to be there from 11:00. This will give you plenty of time to wander round the start village and to see the riders signing on, etc. Especially as being "on the barriers" to watch the rollout is not so key.
    Rich
  • brookterbrookter Posts: 51
    Thanks Rich - might see if I can persuade la patronne to see a bit of the Tourmalet stage as well. Trouble is, she doesn't like heights, so might be a bit tricky...

    David
  • humblehumble Posts: 17
    remember if you are driving - finish more important than start on this - but they may block off parts of the city - and parking will be at a premium - you want to get to the finish before they wall things off - this could be 3 hours before the scheduled arrival - you should verify this if possible for the events you are shooting for.

    one cool thing to do at the finish - get there in time to stake out the bus area - you can see plenty of riders in this zone and if it's open - you are not separated by barriers - head over there after the arrivals begin.

    if the finish is too crowed or loud or there's no tv - walk the route backwards to find a good spot.

    at the start - stake out where the riders enter through the barriers - often the signing area gets filled up - if you find a good spot along their path to the signing area - they tend to trickle in - and you can way and say high to your favs if the setup is correct.

    that's the way it was at the giro anyway - i've not done the tour.

    have fun!
  • humblehumble Posts: 17
    remember also - a lot of the prime viewing area may be closed to the general public so the viewing area is standing only - if you like standing in bars for hours drinking and talking - then you will be fine with this - because they space fills early from my experience.

    remember your rain gear so you don't loose the day to the weather.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    If you have bikes - then its great to ride up a climb or two and watch them come past. At least it is if its sunny...
  • DoobzDoobz Posts: 2,800
    I am so envious of all the people going to watch the tour. Hopefully next year I will be able to go and see it in person. I reckon if I went I would be tempted to camp out in the Alps for a few days and take our bikes and try and get some of the climbs in before and after each stage,
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  • brookterbrookter Posts: 51
    Thanks for the advice, everyone. Went to Foix last year and IIRC the parking was emmerdant then (out of tourist season) so it's probably going to be a bit problematic...

    We won't be taking the bikes unfortunately, though I may try to hire one locally - although we're staying near Carcassonne and She Who Won't Climb Up Hills also won't cycle 60 miles to Foix...

    I think we'll go the week before and scout out the land...

    Merci à tous...

    David
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