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Who's followed a European pro bike tour ala Tour of Italy?

Who's followed a European pro bike tour ala Tour of Italy?

May 31st, 2007, 02:44 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 197
Who's followed a European pro bike tour ala Tour of Italy?

It's been only a month, but we're already starting dreaming of our next trip. Up next: following a pro bike tour in spring 2008. We're up in the air about which race to follow, but am wondering if any Fodorites have followed a tour and have any thoughts, recommendations, etc. on the experience. I know we'd probably need a car, as many of the stages take place in small towns. THis is very preliminary. I'm just looking for cycling fans who've done this & their thoughts.
NThea is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 02:36 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 197
ttt for Fodorite cycling maniacs.
NThea is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 71
You may want to consider taking your own biking tour instead! If you follow a tour, expect traffic jams, long waits, accomodations?, bathrooms?, and then only seeing the riders for a few moments. I'd suggest you make your own tour! If you and your husband (and kids) are of different abilities, go to The Netherlands where the entire flat country is covered with bike paths. If you are set on seeing a tour, maybe take in one stage of a race somewhere along the way. This year the prologue stage of the Tour de France is in London. Have fun!
ehku is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 09:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Our children did the Tour de France a couple of years ago--followed the Tour and did bicycling along with it.
In the US you might want to consider the Tour of Georgia.
These kids just came back from bicycling in Napa with the friends they made on the Tour trip.
Gretchen is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,228
I decided for a first tour of the Tour de France it would be best to go with a group of cyclists on an organized tour. We took our own bikes and all transportation to various locations on the routes and our hotels were covered.

We rode parts of the route every day before the gendarmes pushed us to the side of the road and we sat and waited for the schwag parade and the pros to come through then climbed back on our bikes and rode to the meeting point for the day.

The more expensive the tour, the better located you will be and the better your daily transportation will be.

We went on a cheap tour and were in Accor type business hotels that weren't all that close to the route which required time on a bus daily.

For cyclists hands down, Trek has the best tours but they are also some of the most expensive. Instead of a bus you will ride in a van with about 8 people and they sometimes have a massuesse along for after the rides.

There are other expensive tours that are more about the hotels and offer shorter rides each day.

Its good to vary where you watch the tour from each day- some days see a start town as the riders sign in, some days watch the end of the race (very cool to be near the end for time trials). Watching from about the second to last climb of the day in the mountains was a blast. Not nearly as many fans so a much better and more relaxed view.

Lance stood up out of the saddle and made his move right in front of me to take the overall lead in the TdF on one unforgettable mountain stage.

If you aren't cycling yourself then logistics aren't nearly as tough but yes, I'd say a car is required if you really want to follow a full tour.

Google various subjects to hook up to the cycling message boards to get advice from people who live and die for cycling.
amwosu is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 07:27 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 197
Thanks for the great info! Sorry for delay in responding. Yeah, we are set on watching some great European tours. I'll definitely check out the cycling message boards on other related sites. Good tip on the Trek tours. Ciao!
NThea is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 08:11 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 60
I went to France to view a few stages of the tour in 2004. It was a great experience, we viewed stage 17 (Mountain Stage), we left early (the earlier the better) and drove to a spot on one of the mountains and camped out until the riders went by at around 3:00 PM, we packed some lunch had some wine and mingled with all of the different people of all nationalities. It was a great experience for me. We also went to the start of one of the stages, we just hung out at barrier and watched all of the cyclist line up for the start, again, we went early and secured a spot, we could literally touch the cyclists we were so close.

I highly reccomend it.
sleitner is offline  
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