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Anyone visiting the tour next year?

Jul 12, 2009
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I have only ever seen the tour once finishing in Paris, and the prologue in London. Would love to see it in the Alps, anyone got plans to go, and who has already visited?
 
Darrylc said:
I have only ever seen the tour once finishing in Paris, and the prologue in London. Would love to see it in the Alps, anyone got plans to go, and who has already visited?

Great post! I going to stage 14. Have booked my tickets and the hotel already. Should be an awesome stage. Can't wait to see Shleck, Lance and Contador riding up a mountain.
 
thehog said:
Great post! I going to stage 14. Have booked my tickets and the hotel already. Should be an awesome stage. Can't wait to see Shleck, Lance and Contador riding up a mountain.

Is the route out already? One of my good friends are thinking about going and maybe riding a stage (I've got a lot of training to do!).
 
Jul 12, 2009
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Publicus said:
Is the route out already? One of my good friends are thinking about going and maybe riding a stage (I've got a lot of training to do!).

That would be amazing, not sure how i would do as have been riding single speed for too long. single speed and mountains do not mix.:)
 
Jul 4, 2009
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I went this year. I rode (almost) every stage, and (almost) all the transitions as well. I kept a blog as I went, so you can check it out at http://www.tourletour.com. It was awesome, and I had a great time. Having said that, I knew less about what was actually happening in the race this year than I have in any of the last 20 years. But it was worth it to see the podium getters battling on Ventoux. I think if you want to experience the riding, what I did is great, if you want a nice comfortable view of the race, stay home in your armchair, and if you want a compromise a campervan with good TV reception didn't look like a bad way to be doing things (especially if someone else is driving it around for you while you do lots of riding...)!
 
Jul 22, 2009
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TourLeTour said:
I went this year. I rode (almost) every stage, and (almost) all the transitions as well. I kept a blog as I went, so you can check it out at http://www.tourletour.com. It was awesome, and I had a great time. Having said that, I knew less about what was actually happening in the race this year than I have in any of the last 20 years. But it was worth it to see the podium getters battling on Ventoux. I think if you want to experience the riding, what I did is great, if you want a nice comfortable view of the race, stay home in your armchair, and if you want a compromise a campervan with good TV reception didn't look like a bad way to be doing things (especially if someone else is driving it around for you while you do lots of riding...)!

Impressive! I wish I'd seen your blog at the start of the tour, it's a great read and makes me want to go see it in person all the more...except for the riding the entire way part. ;)

I've often thought that the camper van method would be a fun adventure, but my husband is a bit freaked at the prospect.
 
A

Anonymous

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paris four times, and london, probably rotterdam next year

(restricted cos the wife is a teacher so schools dont break up in time for the mountains.. ) :(
 
Apr 10, 2009
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I went in 2004 for 15 days with bikestyle tours. It was fantastic, a lot of riding and climbing in both the Pyrenees and Alps. Tentatively planning on heading back next year. I will probably do a shorter trip with bikestyle and then a couple of weeks on my own.
 
I've got some ideas on next years Tour, but it all depends on the route and also my work situation as of next year before fully deciding. May get a camper van and do the full Tour, or may just cherry pick two or three stages, and hit them all including Paris.
 
Jul 12, 2009
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Big_Blue_Dave said:
I've got some ideas on next years Tour, but it all depends on the route and also my work situation as of next year before fully deciding. May get a camper van and do the full Tour, or may just cherry pick two or three stages, and hit them all including Paris.

Does anyone know of decent company's that do the tour, but do not charge £122,000,000,000. Every company that seems to offer the tour holidays are stupidly expensive.:rolleyes:
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Darrylc said:
Does anyone know of decent company's that do the tour, but do not charge £122,000,000,000. Every company that seems to offer the tour holidays are stupidly expensive.:rolleyes:

Actually yes, this is the other way to do it that I thought looked good. The way I did it I needed to be on a bike with panniers (which meant my mountain bike, because of my budget) and with all of my camping gear etc. the whole lot weighed in at 45kg. I weigh 63kg, so sometimes I worried about the bike taking over. But I spent a fair bit of time riding with people who were with various tour companies. I was highly jealous watching them climbing Col de Romme etc on light weight race bikes, but could see that this wasn't a perfect solution either.

There was not a single company where I spoke to more than one person without hearing at least something negative about it. FFor some of them it was pretty minor, and may have been just the one person who wasn't delighted, but I did think that they had all spent a lot of money, you would think they would be happier. I think a very important factor would be to find a company where you would be riding with people of similar abilities and desires. That way you don't need to be spending hours waiting by the side of the road or pushing harder than you want. It sounds like it shouldn't be a problem, but road closures and heavy traffic mean that getting a car around to pick up the tired riders or give food and wet weather clothing and so forth to the ones who are still going is pretty slow.

But I would still look at this as a good option.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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I'm planning on going to Rotterdam next year. Might consider going by car which give some carte blanche with regards to seeing other stages.
 
Jul 12, 2009
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TourLeTour said:
Actually yes, this is the other way to do it that I thought looked good. The way I did it I needed to be on a bike with panniers (which meant my mountain bike, because of my budget) and with all of my camping gear etc. the whole lot weighed in at 45kg. I weigh 63kg, so sometimes I worried about the bike taking over. But I spent a fair bit of time riding with people who were with various tour companies. I was highly jealous watching them climbing Col de Romme etc on light weight race bikes, but could see that this wasn't a perfect solution either.

There was not a single company where I spoke to more than one person without hearing at least something negative about it. FFor some of them it was pretty minor, and may have been just the one person who wasn't delighted, but I did think that they had all spent a lot of money, you would think they would be happier. I think a very important factor would be to find a company where you would be riding with people of similar abilities and desires. That way you don't need to be spending hours waiting by the side of the road or pushing harder than you want. It sounds like it shouldn't be a problem, but road closures and heavy traffic mean that getting a car around to pick up the tired riders or give food and wet weather clothing and so forth to the ones who are still going is pretty slow.

But I would still look at this as a good option.

I think that i will wait for the route to be announced, then look at hotels etc and do it myself.
 
Darrylc said:
I have only ever seen the tour once finishing in Paris, and the prologue in London. Would love to see it in the Alps, anyone got plans to go, and who has already visited?

No plans to go next year, but was just there this year. I'll share some opinions with you (sorry if it's self-indulgent, I just don't have a large crowd in my real life I can gush to about these details).

The Alps are a great idea, mountain stages are fantastic. I went as part of a bike trip in 2007 and saw Plateau-de-Beille and Aubisque, which were both fantastic. The Pyrenees seemed harder to me than the Alps, I guess they're steeper and shorter? Either way. It's so amazing to be part of 300 thousand or whatever people on a mountain where you ride up in the morning, walk around the finish line, eat and drink all day, figure out how to see updates on the first part of the stage on some TV or radio somewhere, act like a stupid kid over the crap they throw from the publicity caravan, and then settle into your spot (we tried to go as close to the end as possible without being in the barriers, and at a spot where we could see down the mountain, which was about 2-3km away from the finish)... the hour of anticipation as you see the helicopters come through the valley and then up the mountain is unbelievable. And then the million motorcycles go past and the first rider hits, and it's madness. It's just like 'oh my god, so and so's in the lead! But look, this guy's chasing 30 seconds back!' etc.... and then the favorites go past, and you scream yourself silly cheering for whatever Bouyges Telecom guy is going up the mountain by himself 13 minutes back because you don't care who they are, it's the Tour and these guys are killing themselves to get to the finish.

Everyone here who's been there probably has had the same feeling, right?

This year we tried a variety of stages. We were at Verbier, 2.5km from the end (my friend Mark was dressed up like a squeeze bottle of mustard, in case any of you may have caught it on TV). That was fantastic, we thought it had been a boring tour up until then and might continue to be. We tooled around on the rest day and ran into riders and indulged in the silly promotions the towns put on who are hosting (always cheap beer and barbequed hot dogs to be had!). We went to the sign in at the start of the stage in Martigny, which was interesting (it seems haphazard, the riders roll in whenever they want, but it's interesting to see the crowd reactions). We were on the Colombiere about 800m from the top, which was absolutely fantastic... I had only been on mountaintop finishes before, but being on the last mountain before the descent to the finish, you can really get close to the riders right until the top as there are no barricades. Plus, once it dies down you can hear relatively quickly what happens after the finish. Finally, we saw the time trial in Annecy, which was fun for the tech geek side of me (admittedly not as huge as the race geek side of me), but also because you watch riders pass for hours, and you always know who's coming next. We just sat on a patio 5 feet from the road in a little town 5km from the finish with a stopwatch and some beer for 6 hours.

Riding the stages is another thing... riding the mountain up to the finish is fun, but I personally wouldn't want to do the whole stage. But I guess I've only been there while bike touring, and honestly, I wasn't super keen on riding a whole stage the day after I'd come over the Grand St. Bernard from Italy fully loaded. So I dunno, go at your own pace. But the mountains are really thrilling. The only downside is that you don't get to see the race develop like you do on TV, but it's a small price to pay, in my opinion.

Hope you have fun!
 

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