Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

Le Tour 2013

Rouge PenguinRouge Penguin Posts: 347
edited August 2012 in Tour & expedition
Ive searched around a bit, cant really see anything that helped.

Thinking of getting a small group together to head over during next years Tour, and riding one of the climbs.

Obviously loads of people do it, as you see so many people lining the roads. Can you just cycle up half way in the morning, watch the Peleton go past and the Latern Rouge and then follow them up to the finish?

Anyone else done it? Any tips?


  • dylanfernleydylanfernley Posts: 409
    a gang of us done this a few times , flew to nice, then rode to an alpine stage finish, used to stop each afternoon to watch live pics in a bar, then move on and camp for night--- so you get a cycle touring holdiay, with tdf thrown in-- if you are near a finish its a while before all have past, support vehicles etc, the area gets very crowded, but if you half way on a stage then yes you can ride after they've past, depends what you want, stage finishes have a buzz about them, specially if they have a start there the next day.
    We were in bourg doisans in 2003, it was burning hot, so rode up a few hours before they got there, got off the mountain before they shut the road, or you can be stuck in hot place for hours, went into town and watched it on tv in a bar with nice cold leffe, sure it depends where you are going but most things are possible.
  • DavidCrDavidCr Posts: 44
    It is possible to do this. You need to make sure you are on the climb early, the gendarmes will be getting you off your bike well ahead of the caravan arriving. The road is open again after the last rider goes through but be aware if you are climbing you will face a lot of traffic coming in the opposite direction. I prefer to get people onto the climb with enough time to get to the summit, they then have the choice of watching from the top or rolling back down to a good viewing point.
  • I just discovered that next year is the 100th Tour, all the more reason to do it. Once they announce the full route, i'll get the planning hat on. Sounds like it shouldnt be to stressful

    We'll probably go for a long weekend, couple of climbs, watch a finish and get out early and watch it go past down the road the next day.

    Thanks for your tips gents, shame BR hasnt organised a trip before (they might have, not seen it though).
  • essjaydeeessjaydee Posts: 917
    Damn you Rouge Penguin for planting this seed :wink:

    My head is now wirring with thoughts of a similar trip :|
  • dylanfernleydylanfernley Posts: 409
    early jan flights can be booked 6 months ahead, demand will be high, Nice or geneva, for alpine stages,there is always the long drive in a van, but flying is cheaper if you book early, easyjet now charge for bikes, some carriers dont, but which ever way got to go !!!!
  • nunowoolmeznunowoolmez Posts: 864
    I am definately going! Planning a 10 -12 day cycling holiday in the Alps next year so I will combine the tour into this. I am assuming they will be in the Alps at some point! Some interesting links below... ... _2013.html
  • mikey2341mikey2341 Posts: 170
    We're going to do pretty much the whole tour in a campervan. I saw 5 stages this year (3 alps, a TT and the champs elysees) and loved it. Her who must be obeyed also really enjoyed it, so got the green light to do pretty much the full tour next year (excluding the start in Corsica). Aim is to buy a van, convert it into a camper and follow tour. Some days aim to get up the cols, others just along the route and ride up the cols in the morning of that day. It was an amazing atmosphere this year, next year will be even bigger with the 100th tour - all the big climbs will surely be involved. Could be epic!
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    DavidCr wrote:
    The road is open again after the last rider goes through
    You should wait for the broom wagon. Otherwise how do you know who the last rider is?
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Anyone else done it? Any tips?
    Pretty much what everyone else has said - it's open road up until about an hour before the caravan is due - during this time you can ride "the course". We had no issues with the gendarmes - they seemed happy to see us - and on our way back they let us through before the rest of the cars ... :)

    If you're mid stage then immediately after the riders have gone through it gets very busy with all the traffic departing - but it seems to clear up reasonably quickly ...
  • mikey2341mikey2341 Posts: 170
    They close the roads to cars very early - often well before the "official road closed from time" They are fairly happy to let you ride up before the caravan, but afterwards they are not always so accommodating!
  • mrc1mrc1 Posts: 852
    Our riders reported a bit of a mixed experience this year (we had guys on the Aspin, Peyresourde, Peyragudes and Tourmalet) as it largely depends on the individual marshalling the section of road. Generally you will be able to ride up the climb until a couple of hours before the caravan is due, although if you leave it that late you are unlikely to get a great spot unless you are on a quieter part of the route (for example early on in the stage). There is however always a danger that you will catch a jobsworth who will make you dismount and push your bike, although its easy enough to hop back on once out of his/her eyeline.... The road will be closed to cars from very early on the morning of the stage so I wouldn't even bother trying to drive up.

    This all being said, one of our groups managed to do quite well by seeing the stage start at Luchon then riding up and over the Peyresourde to catch the finish at Peyragudes.

    Best advice would be to head up early on and take a picnic with you. The atmosphere is fantastic and the major climbs will have some form of bar/cafe/beer tent within a short walk so you can keep well provisioned.

    If you are planning to head out to the Pyrenees then check us out as we offer extremely well priced TDF packages!

    Le Domestique Tours - Bespoke cycling experiences with unrivalled supported riding, knowledge and expertise.

    Ciocc Extro - FCN 1
Sign In or Register to comment.