Tour de France

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Hi im thinking of visiting the tour this year when it comes to St Paul Trois Chateaux on the 19th but as ive never been before i wondered in any veterans of the event have been before and could offer some tips or advice. Where to view does it get very busy etc etc. Is there any other entertainment as the riders go past in a flash! Thanks

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andyh-596594 1309872571


My advice:

1. get there early - the roads are often shut 4-5 hours before the Tour arrives and the best vieing points are very popular.

2. fight to keep your good position because there will be later arrivers who will think it quite OK to stand in front of you blocking your view.

3. Next will come a series of trucks selling official Tour goodie bags - AKA tat - but a souvenir nevertheless.

4. When the sponsers arrive with their cars and gimmick vehicles (aka the caravan) all out war will be declared to retrieve the good(ie)s being thrown out to the crowds. Be prepared to push and shove and use arms elbows and feet to secure your winnings. I have even seen items pulled out from below someone's foot before they could bend down and pick things up.

5. The race itself will be preceded by a couple of Gendarme bikes with blue lights and the number one camera bike. Don't blink now. On a flat section the whole parade will be passed you in about 15 seconds, save perhaps a few stragglers. On this basis alone I would choose a vantage point at the top of a climb where at least the field will be a bit spread out.

6. Now that it is finished, make your way back to your car with your "tour gifts" of team caps, bottles of cold water, rubber toys, team jersey (boy did you have to fight for that one), biscuits and enjoy the mobile traffic jam to get home.

Sorry if it sounds cynical but that is how it is. Would I visit a local stage again - you bet I would. Fantastic days entertainment even if the race bit is so short.

Take plenty of water to drink. folding chairs to sit on while you wait, a picnick and anything else you can think of to keep you entertained until the caravan arrives.

Most of all - enjoy.

PS I never managed to get a team jersey - but I do know someone who did!

Bruce-596831 1309968139

Everything Andy says is great advice. You have to be there to experience the brilliant atmosphere!!!!!!

andyh-596594 1310030103

One thing I forgot to say - if it is forecast to be sunny, it is worth taking a sun umbrella or failing that lots and lots of sun cream. Finding a shady spot can be difficult, and what is shady at 09:00 may be in full sun by the time the race comes by at 15:00

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