Tour de France 2009

Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 06:18 PM
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Tour de France 2009

My husband and I are planning to try and see the Tour on the 10th, 11th, and/or 12th of July (stages 7, 8, and/or 9). We've never seen the Tour up close and personal and would love any tips on navigating the logistics - general or specific. We have a hotel booked already in Tarbes but have lots of flexibility and are willing to stay somewhere else if it makes sense. Any help is very appreciated!

Thanks so much!

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Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 11:21 PM
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If you are staying Tarbes, you're far to far away to see anything but Stage 9.

We've been down during the mountain stages and I would not go near them for anything. The crowds are IMMENSE, and once you get up there and the three minutes of excitement is over (OK, I'm exaggerating) it can take hours for the traffic to clear enough for you to get home. I THINK I'd find myself a good vantage point near the end of the stage and watch it from there.

Just out of nosiness, which hotel are you staying in?
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Old May 12th, 2009, 11:02 AM
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I am interested in this as my wife and our two adult children plan to flyfrom Canada to France to follow stages 15 to 20.We expect to fly to Paris(arrive on the 16th), take a train to Dijon and rent a car to drive(on the 17th)to Verbier(where we hope to have booked accomodations) and see the end of the race from there (or at the outskirts of the city). Does this seem feasilble?On the 20th, 21st and 24th we plan to drive toBourg-Saint-Maurice, Le Grand-Bornand and Mont Ventoux,respectively, to see stges 16,17 and 20.What we do not know is the driving conditions and times in these seemingly short distances. Can we expect a lot of traffic and can we drive in the early mornings without too much congestion?Also, when we drive from Bourg-Saint-Maurice (on the 21st) to Le Grand-Bornand we will probably (?)have to do this in the evening after the race but how long would we have to wait before the roads are clear and what time would this get us into Le Grand -Bornand?Hope someone can help with this.Thanks.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 11:09 AM
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You'll see more of the riders going uphill then downhill for obvious reasons. Taking Sheila's advice, bring a picnic along and perhaps plan to hike around the area after the Tour's passage if you watch them up in the mountains. I remember sitting on a steep field to see them coming off the Col d'Aubisque, but I do not know this year's route.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 12:13 PM
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If you have a vehicle, the roads close about an hour or 90 minutes before the arrival of the 'advertising caravan' that throws the trinkets to the crowd. So you have to try to plan where you want to be, get your food and drinks, and make sure your bladder will be empty if you are a women (guys have fewer problems with dealing with that situation).

If you are just watching them ride through a town, no problem but often less interesting. Whoooosh and they're gone.

It's always best to find a place where they are going uphill. You get a better look and they suffer more.
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