Attending WT races as a spectator

Apr 2, 2014
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experiences?

which races are the best to attend from a roadside viewing perspective?

any advice?

(obviously not the type to get drunk, dress up in a animal suit and run alongside riders yelling in their ears - dont need that sort of advice :rolleyes: )
 
Jun 24, 2013
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I know it's not WT (and it never should be), but the Scheldeprijs passes near my home. It's fun to see some guys but except for Paolini who always rides in the back of the peloton it's hard to recognize riders.

I think hilly races are better for spectating, you have more time to see more action on ascents. The atmosphere in races like RvV will probably be crazy on some of the hills and sometimes there are large screens (or cafes) so you can follow the race nearby so i think that would be a good race to see.
 
Apr 2, 2014
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so experiences on getting to the big hills or mountains... logistics-wise for spectators I'm curious about
 
Lupi33 said:
so experiences on getting to the big hills or mountains... logistics-wise for spectators I'm curious about
It depends on the size of the race, smaller races you can probably get to where you wish to go in plenty of time, however for the much bigger races they tend to close the roads to traffic hours in advance so you need to get up the top early and preferably cycle up there.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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A Tre Cime di Lavaredo MTF is alway a great place to be, in 2007 it was a great experience, last time the weather was a little bit of a problem.
Getting up on a bike or hiking up on a small trail is normally the best option, even if the Zoncolan in 2010 was a little bit too hard for my taste:)
The Plan the Corones MTT in 2010 was also great, seeing every single rider on his own and it was possible to go up and down with the ski stations ropeway.
In 2011 durning the first part of the Zoncolan stage they softpedaled through my village and you could recognize many of the GC riders, or at least Contador, Rujano and Nibali.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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The Tour des flandres is great, saturday, you watch the cyclos pass by (or do the cyclo yourself) sunday you watch the race. With the redesigned course, you see them pass by more than once, a lot of big screens, party crazy atmosphere

I'll be there :D
 
Oct 9, 2014
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Pricey_sky said:
It depends on the size of the race, smaller races you can probably get to where you wish to go in plenty of time, however for the much bigger races they tend to close the roads to traffic hours in advance so you need to get up the top early and preferably cycle up there.
Cycling up is easily the best method.
 
RvV as Scott Socal will tell you is a great one.

As for TdF, head to the Champs Elysses(sp?) early doors with your budget folding chair. Get a good pozzy by the rails and settl in for the day and party. Excellent atmosphere, race comes past several times. Afterwards, the riders do their 'laps of honour', which is entertaining as they let off steam and will even stop for you (sometimes).
Add to that the women's race before the main event comes through and you have the makings of a good day out.
 
May 19, 2014
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I have been taking part in the Team Time Trials for fun/company teams before the ITT in the Eneco Tour twice now. A great way to experience the race as during the warmup you'll be on the same track as the profs. Thinking my team was on my wheel during warmup and looking back only seeing Maxime Monfort adds to the thrill.
After the race you have plenty of time to visit team trucks/watch riders one by one on the circuit.

I have also tried the Eneco Tours a few years back on the flat. Not a good idea. They passed by pretty quickly.... and that was it.

I also visited the Giro Prologue in Amsterdam. Most definitely worth it. You've got time to enjoy the riders but also plenty of time to check out their gear and the promo stands.

Except for the Amstel and the World Championship (I wasn't in the country :( ) there are no hills so no experience on hilly terrain.
Thinking about visiting Paris-Roubaix this year though. Anyone with experience there?
 
May 11, 2009
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I like to watch time trials - especially if it includes a hill - I take the prior days results so I know which rider is likely coming next. Plenty of time to take each riders photo.
 
Aug 4, 2011
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I have been quite a few times to the tour de france. Mountains are without doubt the best place to be. Crowds and atmosphere is great. I went to the Dauphine and that was good. The roads closed just a couple of hours before the peloton arrived "casual tour de france" Flat stuff just go's past so quickly.
The tour last year I watched in London, I found a nice slow bend to watch the action. and got see my fav riders, Andy Schleck get the biggest cheer he just had THAT CRASH a few miles earlier. Starts and finish are a good place to see up close your fav riders and check out up close the bikes etc etc.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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Apeman said:
I have been taking part in the Team Time Trials for fun/company teams before the ITT in the Eneco Tour twice now. A great way to experience the race as during the warmup you'll be on the same track as the profs. Thinking my team was on my wheel during warmup and looking back only seeing Maxime Monfort adds to the thrill.
After the race you have plenty of time to visit team trucks/watch riders one by one on the circuit.
RvV is the same, cyclos on saturday, so if you participate, a lot of teams going past and their speed is really impressive
 
Aug 26, 2014
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I was in GB - helps I know both Yorks and Cambridge very very well.

Cambridge was good because I found the narrowest part of the route, on cobbles, just after a big 90 degree bend and it was neutralised. As a result, they were pretty much idling by, some about 1 inch from me since I was standing right on the kerb. I spotted everyone I wanted to. Helped that someone from the Italian fraternity had a massive Italian flag - so was easy to spot an Italian riders, as they all pretty much waved hello as they stared at the university.

Funniest thing were the stony faced gendarmes compared to the waving and jolly british police motorcyclists. Became a point of honour to get the French coppers to be friendly, so when one of them finally raised a hand, huge cheers all round. Great atmosphere.

Would welcome any intelligence about the Giro, as not watched in Italy before. Probably head for a mountain, but if someone has experience of where on the route might be best, then please pass it on! Will be north not south.
 
May 20, 2010
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I attended few races as a spectator and the same amount as a journalist with a press pass.

From my experience I would suggest to go for the prologue or TT that starts and finish at the same place. In this case you've got all the team buses, mechanics and cyclist in one place for a whole day. Definitely the best and the longest experience for the fans.

Watching along the road is cool but is gone in a blink of an eye ;)

If you want go for road stage better chose start: riders are more relaxed, the schedule is not tight as noun's crotch etc. At the finish you may encounter many obstacles to watch the race (like never ending VIP tribunes at TdF), schedule for TV is more compact and riders are tired and don't have time to chat, sign and be friendly.

At the TdF finish you may end up as those poor folks waiting for their heroes at the finish of TdF stage in Mulhouse. Complete disappointment for many, many people.

 
I took a 'little trip' in the spring of 2012 to see the Spring Classics (there is a thread somewhere that I wrote) and over the course of a month, went and saw RVV, P-R, Amstel, Fleche-Wallone, LBL, and a couple of stages of the Tour de Romandie.

RVV and P-R were done with a company who organise day tours, it cost money sure, but we saw the start of RVV, including access to the Team areas beforehand, then we travelled over to the Oude Kwaremount. For P-R we travelled down to the Arenburg Forest, then back to the Velodrome in Roubaix. The rest were done on my own, a position at the foot of the Cauberg for Amstel, visited Charleroi for the start of F-W, and then 150m before the top of the Mur, LBL at the Mery pub, and the Lausanne ITT and one of the road stages for TdR.

To me RVV was probably the best experience, huge crowds and good weather, and you could go and watch the big Screens, have a drink and some food between passes. The Mery pub was a good place to spend a Sunday afternoon too - A few TV's, plenty of food and drink and a train station across the road for access to and from..

If you just want to watch the race, stay at home and watch it on TV or a Live Stream, as you will see more, but experiencing some things 'in the flesh' just once is an experience you should try.
 
Apr 2, 2014
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hmm, I guess it gets back to if you value being a fan or seeing some action

eg being a fan, getting close to riders at start and finish

eg seeing some action, being on a mountain and seeing the riders go into the red zone as they go by one by one

I think I prefer the idea of seeing some action and soaking up the atmosphere on the critical part of a stage, but then I assume its all per chance whether you see anything interesting happen
 

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