ever been to the Tour?

Dec 19, 2013
23
0
0
Has anyone any experience with attending the Tour De France as part of a vacation plan for France? Specifically, if you do not speak French and actually want to watch the races in a pub/bar somewhere (in English, obviously). My wife and I would like to go, but apart from experiencing the excitement with the other fans on the road side (we've been to one stage in Calgary, Alberta last year which was fun), we don't want to miss any of the actual racing on tv. Maybe we are destined to be arm-chair travelers for the Tour?
 
Jun 19, 2013
142
0
0
wannabecyclist said:
Has anyone any experience with attending the Tour De France as part of a vacation plan for France? Specifically, if you do not speak French and actually want to watch the races in a pub/bar somewhere (in English, obviously). My wife and I would like to go, but apart from experiencing the excitement with the other fans on the road side (we've been to one stage in Calgary, Alberta last year which was fun), we don't want to miss any of the actual racing on tv. Maybe we are destined to be arm-chair travelers for the Tour?
Went to Alpe`d'huez a couple of years back it was epic. if you dont want to drag the family into the middle of nowhere there is always Paris on the final day. Check out the route before hand, get there early and grab a place in the shade
 
Apr 12, 2009
2,364
0
0
I spent a lot of holidays in France during the Tour, sometimes watching it live, often on television. You won't have any problem finding a pub that shows the race: they all do.

No idea if you can watch it in English (maybe Irish pubs?), but I don't really see why you should. The names of the riders sound (should sound) the same in every country, and you still have eyes to see the action right?
 
Apr 12, 2009
2,364
0
0
Echoes said:
which tour?
Aha, that's a very good question. The main problem is that Le Tour/the Tour is not a common way of calling Le Tour de France. And then he doesn't even specify what he means in his first sentence.
 
Jan 12, 2012
290
0
9,030
wannabecyclist said:
Has anyone any experience with attending the Tour De France as part of a vacation plan for France? Specifically, if you do not speak French and actually want to watch the races in a pub/bar somewhere (in English, obviously). My wife and I would like to go, but apart from experiencing the excitement with the other fans on the road side (we've been to one stage in Calgary, Alberta last year which was fun), we don't want to miss any of the actual racing on tv. Maybe we are destined to be arm-chair travelers for the Tour?
Going to see the TdF isn't really about seeing the racing; if you want to follow the race itself then TV is the best thing. But get to the race if you can - the atmosphere and the event is fantastic.

Go to a start town, the local tourism website will usually have info on what's going on where. Get up close to some of the big stars and have a chat with them. Or just find a quiet spot on the road somewhere and see the caravan go by, watch the quiet road quickly fill up with people apparently from nowhere, then the buzz as you spot the helicopters closing in, and finally the race whizzes past.
 
Apr 4, 2010
2,420
0
0
Buffalo Soldier said:
Aha, that's a very good question. The main problem is that Le Tour/the Tour is not a common way of calling Le Tour de France. And then he doesn't even specify what he means in his first sentence.
Actually I think that for most people on CN forums "the Tour" = Tour de France, and "le Tour" definitely refers to that big race in France during july..
 
May 2, 2010
1,692
0
0
Was in Paris doing the touristy thing last year so decided to go to the final day of the tour.
 
Apr 12, 2009
2,364
0
0
Echoes is not what I call a newcomer. As you can see, I wrote a long answer to the question, and made fun of Echoes' stupid comment (but maybe that was a joke too)
 
May 23, 2010
516
0
0
Susan Westemeyer said:
Yes. And how about everyone being nice to a newcomer?
Lol. You mean the guy who joined the same year you did? Oh boy.

Everyone be nice to Susan she's a newcomer.
 
Sep 29, 2012
325
0
0
I was present at the departure of Stage 16 in 2011 and Stage 13 in 2012, because I lived in the city of Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux. For the latter stage, I even helped to set up the Caravane: waking up at 5 a.m. to roll newspapers that would be given to the public during the stage.

There was also a TV show hosted by France Télévisions called "Village départ", which talks about everything that makes the charm of the city and the area. Attended both times, and I was clearly visible on TV the second time (got a strategic placement: behind the presenter!) :)

To fully experience the Tour, I advise you to be either at a stage departure or a stage finish (an MTF has obviously a more fun atmosphere). So you can see everything from the race, not only the Caravane and the riders, but also some interesting "behind the scenes".

Also being at the finish line permits you to watch the full race on TV thanks to a big screen near the line. However you'd need to deal with the crowd, the weather, and the barriers (you could be quickly "crushed").
 
Mar 25, 2013
5,389
0
0
Never been to it in France but when it came to Ireland back in '98 I was at the finish in Cork when Jan Svorada won.

The finish line was only about 30-45 mins walk from my house.
 
Dec 19, 2013
23
0
0
Buffalo Soldier said:
I spent a lot of holidays in France during the Tour, sometimes watching it live, often on television. You won't have any problem finding a pub that shows the race: they all do.

No idea if you can watch it in English (maybe Irish pubs?), but I don't really see why you should. The names of the riders sound (should sound) the same in every country, and you still have eyes to see the action right?
The reason for the English commentary is that we are relatively new to watching the sport and we usually find it more interesting with some commentary explaining stuff to us.
 
wannabecyclist said:
The reason for the English commentary is that we are relatively new to watching the sport and we usually find it more interesting with some commentary explaining stuff to us.
Maybe in the big cities (Paris, Nice, Lyon, etc) you might find an English one, but otherwise it's also a great way to really connect with the locals if you go to a French language one. It's one of the best ways to step out of the tourist vs vendor relationship you normally have in foreign countries.
 
Mar 10, 2009
1,296
0
0
I joined a Breaking Away bicycle tour of the Tour in 1988. Group of 62, 3 Canadians, 2 south Africans and the rest from across the USA. Only 1 loud obnoxious person in the group. We followed the race from the Pyrenees to Paris.
We rode parts of the course every day, did a couple of wine tours and visited the galleries and sights in Paris. It was a very fun trip of 14 days and I was ready to sleep for a week after.
I am sure there are cheaper ways but the organization took most of the what do we do out of the weeks. Had a great time.
 
Dec 19, 2013
23
0
0
Master50 said:
I joined a Breaking Away bicycle tour of the Tour in 1988. Group of 62, 3 Canadians, 2 south Africans and the rest from across the USA. Only 1 loud obnoxious person in the group. We followed the race from the Pyrenees to Paris.
We rode parts of the course every day, did a couple of wine tours and visited the galleries and sights in Paris. It was a very fun trip of 14 days and I was ready to sleep for a week after.
I am sure there are cheaper ways but the organization took most of the what do we do out of the weeks. Had a great time.
Now that sounds interesting. We were wondering about "tours" of Le Tour (or The Tour or whatever you want to call it ... the BIG race in France). I would imagine it would be expensive, but it sounds like a trip of a life time.
 
Aug 3, 2009
1,562
0
0
An expensive solution to watch in english would include an ipad, a vpn for the ipad and a eurosprt player subscription, vpn to uk, watch kirby if you are able to bear him

Oh and of course either wifi or a french 3G card
 
Mar 12, 2014
227
0
0
wannabecyclist said:
The reason for the English commentary is that we are relatively new to watching the sport and we usually find it more interesting with some commentary explaining stuff to us.
It doesn't sound easy to combine watching the Tour live, while having English commentary. I've been to the Tour several times and in about every town the race passes, some speakers are 'installed' to enable everyone present to know what's going on in the race. This, however, will be in French and not of any use to you. Another option that might be available is to bring a radio to the race. I haven't got a clue if this is possible in English, but I know for sure that the Dutch have live TdF radio broadcasts that can be listened to almost everywhere in France.

Another option would be to visit a time trial (either ITT or TTT). You won't miss any information about progress of the race that way, since TTs are pretty straightforward anyway, without team tactics playing a role. If you want to know the order of racing, buy a local newspaper that shows the full standings in GC (or team classification) before the race. (Sorry, I keep forgetting that we're currently living in the Age of the Smartphone.) You won't usually know exactly who will win the TT, when you're actually visiting it, but if you're in the last third of the race and use a watch (or stand close to a chrono), you can usually get a pretty clear idea of who's riding well and who isn't. For example, one of the stages I visited was the '97 ITT around Saint-Étienne, only few km before the finish. Ullrich was about to overtake Virenque at that point and it was clear he was crushing the field there.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY