Forum home Road cycling forum Pro race

Watching the TdF for the first time-any advice?

marge602marge602 Posts: 22
edited June 2013 in Pro race
Hi folks

The wife and i are off to France for the first week in July. We'll be staying not too far from Abbeville, which hosts the start of stage 4. Our plan is to watch the signing on then the start, get in the car and watch it from one or two points along the way and head for Rouen for the finish. We also plan to watch the finish of the previous stage in Boulogne, and possibly watch it from the roadside from 50-60km out. I've been doing plenty of research about time schedules, stage profiles etc, but i'm wondering if anyone on Bikeradar has done this before and could therefore offer some advice. I'm sure it won't go as smoothly as i think it will!

Regards

Marge

Posts

  • alan_aalan_a Posts: 1,377
    Many people on here have been to the tour and there is already lots of advice on this forum if you simply search for it. The Tour is great fun but it is chaotic. Do your research, come up with a plan of where / when to watch but also have Plan B, Plan C and and Plan "go along with the flow".

    The main point to be aware of is that the start and finish will be stupidly busy. Parking nearby with easy access to a traffic free route that runs parallel to the parcours is almost impossible unless you have local knowledge.

    Enjoy.
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    When you get in the car with the hope of catching the stage along the way, be aware that the police might block off roads which lead to the route, not just before those roads actually cross the route but as from their junction off a major road running parallel the route. This could be kms away.

    Also, you might not get into Rouen. The police often block off all roads leading to anywhere near the finish and direct cars into a provisional parking lot in a field. In that case, there will be a shuttle bus to the finish but in order to make sure you actually get anywhere near the finish in time, you’re best to be already on the bus well over an hour before the projected finish time.
  • marge602marge602 Posts: 22
    Thanks for the info. If we had bikes on a boot rack, could we just abandon the car and ride to the race route? Wouldn't want to walk several km, but riding would be no problem.

    Regards

    Marge
  • dougzzdougzz Posts: 1,833
    marge602 wrote:
    Thanks for the info. If we had bikes on a boot rack, could we just abandon the car and ride to the race route? Wouldn't want to walk several km, but riding would be no problem.
    Regards
    Marge
    Yes, they're much more tolerant of you cycling to the route, and that's definitely the best way to get close and get away afterwards. The police do a lot of road closing/opening almost on the fly, but bikes are usually exempt from hassle, except on the route close to race time.
  • philw80philw80 Posts: 436
    It's mine and my wife's first time too this year....looking at sailing to Calais and then riding down to Bolougne for the finish of Stage 3, then back with the kids in tow later for the final ITT and the last stage to Paris. One question though - on the timings on the stage profiles on http://www.letour.fr/us/index.html what do the 44.0, 42.0 and 40.0 mean?
  • dougzzdougzz Posts: 1,833
    If they ride at an average speed of x those will be the times.
  • philw80philw80 Posts: 436
    Aaaaahhhh.....that makes sense!
  • LucanLucan Posts: 338
    Are there any English language commentaries that I could pick up at the roadside at the Tour? I'll have an i-pad with me but I am a complete technophobe. Would it be possible to watch the stage live whilst at the roadside?
    Summer: Kuota Kebel
    Winter: GT Series3
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 54,807 Lives Here
    Lucan wrote:
    Are there any English language commentaries that I could pick up at the roadside at the Tour? I'll have an i-pad with me but I am a complete technophobe. Would it be possible to watch the stage live whilst at the roadside?

    Your best bet for that would be to pitch up near a big caravan which has a big satellite - usually an old couple who are sitting out on fold out chairs and tables with Eurosport on.

    Failing that, find other fans who can translate the radio for you!
  • LucanLucan Posts: 338
    Thanks Rick. That's what we did last time but it seems frightfully bad form to impose oneself on Johnny Foreigner in that way. Still, needs must.
    Summer: Kuota Kebel
    Winter: GT Series3
  • greasedscotsmangreasedscotsman Posts: 7,224
    5613907884_c073e7c16e.jpg
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 54,807 Lives Here

    Ha.

    A hill full of Rick Chaseys.
  • alan_aalan_a Posts: 1,377

    Is it sad that I immediately recognised that they were in Parc Guell Barcelona from the tiles on the benches?

    The old guy (probably the school teacher) looks like he's having and orgasm.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 54,807 Lives Here
    Alan A wrote:

    Is it sad that I immediately recognised that they were in Parc Guell Barcelona from the tiles on the benches?

    The old guy (probably the school teacher) looks like he's having and orgasm.

    Not at all. I was there in October.

    I can only begin to think about how jealous I am that a nation can get that excited about a one day bike race.
  • Ok - the wife & I will be in Paris for the finale...

    where along the loop is the best / easiest spot to see the race itself?
  • RoadPainterRoadPainter Posts: 375
    Ok - the wife & I will be in Paris for the finale...

    where along the loop is the best / easiest spot to see the race itself?
    viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=12927647
  • IanLDIanLD Posts: 423
    Have always found arriving early is the critical part. Parking is generally OK if you are prepared to walk a bit. I generally look at where the French park and follow the crowd.

    Get talking to others in the crowd and you'll have a great time. Always helps too as the French appreciate someone making an effort to speak French.

    Well worth being there for the caravanne publicitaire and take part in the general scramble for whatever they throw out. Water spray isn't too bad and if it is hot then it's very welcome.

    Only time I've taken my bike rather than walking was up Col de la Joux Plane. Much quicker and great to have the crowd cheering you as you ride up.
Sign In or Register to comment.