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Spectating at a TDF mountain stage

Stark.Stark. Posts: 108
edited July 2008 in The bottom bracket
I'm thinking of going to watch a mountain stage of the Tour this year. Any advice? And don't say I'd be better off viewing it all on TV.

Posts

  • OffTheBackAdamOffTheBackAdam Posts: 1,869
    I've not been personally, but a couple of my ex-clubmates went.
    If you're driving, then you'll need to get your vehicle onto the mountain the day before, at least, probably more if it's a stage like L'Alpe d'Huez.
    They were cycling, so could get up more easily, but the roads get shut many, many hours before the stage starts. I believe that L'Equipe gives details, local papers certainly will of road closures.
    You'll need supplies, not just beer (But beware of the morning after, French drink-drive limits are lower than hours).
    Do bears **** in the woods? Yep, so watch out for what you're squatting next to!;)
    It gets cold overnight in the mountains, so you'll need a good, warm sleeping bag and it may not be a lovely, sunny day for the stage either!
    You'll need to find your viewing spot early, the further up the mountain, the earlier you'll need to be there!
    Getting off the mountain will take longer than getting on!You'll have x,000 cars/campervans/bikes trying to get down a farm track. Better to wait another night, if you can.
    Not everyone around will be honest, don't leave expensive kit lying about.
    Enjoy the party!

    Remember that you are an Englishman and thus have won first prize in the lottery of life.
    Remember that you are an Englishman and thus have won first prize in the lottery of life.
  • Stark.Stark. Posts: 108
    Thanks for that OffTheBackAdam. Looks like get there early and leave late sounds like the best move. I take your point about the dangers of taking a stroll in the woods and the unpredictable weather. Will get the tent out this weekend and see what state it's in.
  • OffTheBackAdamOffTheBackAdam Posts: 1,869
    The dangers of the stroll in the woods, is what you put your foot in!
    (10,000 spectators + barbecues) x 2days = 20,000lb of censored

    Remember that you are an Englishman and thus have won first prize in the lottery of life.
    Remember that you are an Englishman and thus have won first prize in the lottery of life.
  • EchappeeEchappee Posts: 79
    On some climbs, the road is shut the day before and even in places where you think you'll be able to make a chaos-free getaway the French Gendamerie are always one step ahead of you. Get used to asking if the road is closed and, if so, what time they'll re-open it and marvel at their gallic shrug's. That said, get yourself a good spot and theres no better place to watch cycling except maybe the Tour Of Flanders & Paris-Roubaix.
  • Stark.Stark. Posts: 108
    Both the Tour of Flanders and Roubaix are on my list too - although I suspect with the Tour of Flanders I might end up simply overdosing on beer, hot dogs and frites. Still, you have to suffer for your sport don't you?
  • funakifunaki Posts: 29
    want tp watch a mountain stage, good on yer. But get there early, very early and find a spot in ther shade. I f you are driving there best to arrive 72 hrs in advance.
  • Schnee80Schnee80 Posts: 21
    I was in France last year for the Alpe stage.

    Two of us watched on TV from a caf in Bourg, two went onto the Alpe.

    We had a meal, a couple of beers and saw the last 2 hours of the stage in its entirety - I even walked to the bottom of the Alpe to see the bunch go past.

    The 'other two' went onto the Alpe whilst we had gone for a ride and a coffee, walked up to their chosen hairpin whilst we showered and then stood for 2 hours waiting whilst we ate relaxed and enjoyed ice cold Stella.

    Remember, it;s not like watching the FA Cup Final, where you see as much live as you do on TV; and get the atmosphere.

    Not contest in my opinion.
    IT'S NOT THE FEAR THAT KILLS YOU; IT'S THE HOPE.
  • SpiralproSpiralpro Posts: 34
    True schnee very true, but this type of a spectating. If you can call several days messing followed by hours of waiting and looking/fighting for a spot just to see a small amount of action, spectating. Does need to be experienced. I'll be in London for the start. Other than that, TV for me. Stark all the horror stories are for the more famous mountain stages, try one of the "lesser" mountain stages. It might work out better.
  • iainmentiainment Posts: 992
    Stark. wrote:
    I'm thinking of going to watch a mountain stage of the Tour this year. Any advice? And don't say I'd be better off viewing it all on TV.

    Did you go?
    Old hippies don't die, they just lie low until the laughter stops and their time comes round again.
    Joseph Gallivan
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