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Where to go to watch a mountain stage in the TdF. Midpoint climb? Or finish?

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Where to go to watch a mountain stage in the TdF. Midpoint climb? Or finish?

Old 07-03-12, 12:50 PM
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speedwobbles
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Where to go to watch a mountain stage in the TdF. Midpoint climb? Or finish?

I booked next Thursday off work to go watch Stage 11. It's a mountain stage and I'm trying to figure out where I should go to watch it. I was originally thinking of biking up Col de la Croix de Fer, but since it's not that much past the half-way point I was thinking that the riders will just come by in one pack and that it wouldn't be that exciting. The ride from my house to the Col de la Croix de Fer is about 140km round trip, and the ride to the finish line (I'd have to take the long way around because I'm assuming I can't ride on the course) would be about 120-130km one way.

Any suggestions? Just HTFU and go to the finish? Hop into the pelaton for a bit?
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Old 07-03-12, 01:35 PM
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asgelle
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Originally Posted by speedwobbles
(I'd have to take the long way around because I'm assuming I can't ride on the course)
As long as you're ahead of the race caravan, you should have no problem riding race route. To be safe, you should plan to stay at least an hour ahead of the race.
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Old 07-03-12, 01:48 PM
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The best place to watch a race from is in front of a TV because otherwise, you have to wait hours to see only a few seconds of the total action.

But it will probably be fun practically no matter where you are.
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Old 07-03-12, 02:03 PM
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IF you do it right, you can see the race ride by a few times in one day, by moving around and know the backroads. But I guess France may a bit different from Flanders...
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Old 07-03-12, 02:08 PM
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mid mountain. i bet the finish line is nuts. at least further down you can do some drinking and hang out roadside with all the other weirdos....
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Old 07-03-12, 02:19 PM
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Find a switchback on a very steep section. That way you get to see everything for longer.
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Old 07-03-12, 08:00 PM
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Get up to the finish of a mountain stage. Then you can actually see the suffering and have a bit of time to watch them go by. The crowd makes it fun, and if you go early enough, you can ride to the top.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle
As long as you're ahead of the race caravan, you should have no problem riding race route. To be safe, you should plan to stay at least an hour ahead of the race.

Thanks for the tip, I had been told by someone (at a LBS) that the roads would be closed but then I double checked with a guy at a different shop and he said the roads are open for sure... Especially if you're on a bike.


Originally Posted by banerjek
The best place to watch a race from is in front of a TV because otherwise, you have to wait hours to see only a few seconds of the total action.


But it will probably be fun practically no matter where you are.
I'm sure that's true...but I don't think I'll get many more chances to see these guys in person so I might as well take it.


Originally Posted by Vlaam4ever
IF you do it right, you can see the race ride by a few times in one day, by moving around and know the backroads. But I guess France may a bit different from Flanders...
Yeah, the mountains get in the way.


Originally Posted by KendallF
Get up to the finish of a mountain stage. Then you can actually see the suffering and have a bit of time to watch them go by. The crowd makes it fun, and if you go early enough, you can ride to the top.

I think this will be the plan. Crash at a friends place and ride the stage in the morning, then chill out somewhere along the last climb and wait with my camera. Hopefully I can just glide home after...
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Old 07-05-12, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by speedwobbles
Thanks for the tip, I had been told by someone (at a LBS) that the roads would be closed but then I double checked with a guy at a different shop and he said the roads are open for sure... Especially if you're on a bike.



I'm sure that's true...but I don't think I'll get many more chances to see these guys in person so I might as well take it.



Yeah, the mountains get in the way.





I think this will be the plan. Crash at a friends place and ride the stage in the morning, then chill out somewhere along the last climb and wait with my camera. Hopefully I can just glide home after...
Yep, and if you do happen to have the actual bikers catch onto you, try and keep up. And after, if you can post some video, that would be awesome to see.
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Old 07-05-12, 04:25 AM
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HEHE I am having the exact same problem, not yet sure if i want to go up to croix de fer or go all the way over to la toussuire. I am kind of leaning towards croix de fer because i can descend after they pass and catch the finishing climb on TV possibly.
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Old 07-05-12, 04:43 AM
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It's been a while, but depending on the situation the road can close (to cars) as much as five hours to a day ahead of time. An hour or so for people on bikes. Finish areas are extremely croweded and you cannot get very close unless you have a pass. I suggest on or two k below the finish line, or more if there are no barricades of you want to be in the "people tunnel". But for real fun get there the night before and find some Dutch fans and camp out.
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