Planning going to check out the tour for a stage or 2 with the missus this year, but not sure what to expect! Whilst 'her indoors' is not a biker as such, she is actually quite interested in the tour, under the right conditions!
The plan is to go to grenoble for stage 13 where the tour passes through about an hour from the finish, and then it starts in grenoble the next day.
So, what will grenoble put on for the 2 days? Will it just be a bunch of guys passing through on bikes and therefore only of interest to a biker (ie me). Or will there be a tour village type area with big screen and bar type affair where you can mosey round and soak up the ambience (ie that she will enjoy).
I really don't know what to expect, so any info would be appreciated.
Its an awesome experience. Given the chance your better off seeing it over the water. The wife is in no way interested in cycling but after watching just 1 stage during the 2012 tour she was hooked, plan was to see just 2 stages but we ended up seeing 4 (wife demanded). Belfort stage had loads going on so I'd imagine other stages had the same.
Just go and soak up the atmosphere its awesome. Doing it in a motorhome is even better ;)
I saw the finish of a mountain stage in the alps in 2007 with my wife - neither of us were particular cycling fans at the time. It was just an absolutely brilliant day - waiting for the race to arrive, great party atmosphere, the caravane going through and everyone chasing freebies, good banter, then the race shooting through in seconds. We went down to the finish at the end and mingled with the riders.
Just an unmissable experience. I think your wife will love it.
Our club is going over for stage four on the 8th July. For us it will literally be ride down, nice lunch then watch the caravan and race blast past and ride back to Calais with probably a thousand other cyclists
Yes, the chamrousse climb was what I had thought. However, left it a bit late and the only hotel I can get is at the foot of the climb, so about 18km away. So I guess our only option is to walk up as far as we can be bothered and watch it from there? Unfortunately we won't have bikes by then!
Any tips or suggestions?
And then sounds like being in grenoble for the start the next day is a good plan?
Get a spot as close to the finish as you can - that way, you'll have big screens to see what's going on with the riders and there'll be a bunch of over-priced souvenir stands.
You wouldn't believe the carnival that rolls through ahead of the riders - team buses, sponsors wagons of all shapes and sizes, girls on rollerskates chucking out freebies, etc, etc, etc. If you're near the finish, you might see some famous people that aren't riding - we saw Chris Boardman giving interviews. There were also a bunch of kids races down the finishing straight.
Only downside for us were the seriously pissed up Norwegians singing lewd songs about Boasson Hagen at the top of their voices.
In france, it's always an event. Even the odd time where we've just seen it on a flat stage, somewhere in the middle of no-where in a little village - the whole village stops for the day, tables and chairs out by the roadside, lots of vin rouge, bread and cheese. The times ive seen it in Paris have been great, the atmosphere is fantastic, and when it comes out to the more proviincial cities, they go mad with it - it's their shop window to the rest of France, I'm sure Grenoble will make a very big thing of it.
> The plan is to go to grenoble for stage 13 where the tour passes through about an hour from the finish, and then it starts in grenoble the next day.
As Enty said, try to get on the climb to Chamrousse - anywhere flat and they'll pass through in a blur. Its so close to Grenoble that it shouldn't be a problem getting out there.
> And....is grenoble a nice city??
Parts are nice - the old town in the centre and around the Bastille but its not all great, and has large swathes of social housing/banlieues around the outskirts. But its a good base for the the rest of the Alps, having the Vercors, Chartreuse and Belledonne all on its doorstep.
I've managed to get availability in a hotel in Chamrouse for the night that the tour finishes there.
my question is.....how long before the race goes up the hill will i need to be there with my car to get through and parked?? do i stand a chance of getting up there the same morning.....or would i need to be the day before, or even longer??
There should be information on the letour.fr website closer to the time. It gives the timing that the roads close, then when the publicity caravan comes through (don't forget to catch free tat thrown by girls riding giant dried sausages etc) and then when the expected time for the riders is - I've just checked and the road closures aren't on there yet.
For a stage finish in Chamrousse I would get up there that morning, see if you can leave your car at the hotel and head off hiking for the morning or something, then head back and get set up to watch the race.
Luckily Chamrouse has roads in/out from two different directions so it shouldn't be such a bottleneck as some ski station finishes are.