Question Have you ever been to a pro cycling event? Share your stories with us!

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I went to see Tdf stages in Alsace in the early 2000s two times, when I was living close to France. Unfortunately I don't have any particular memories about it. The riders passed by so quickly, I kind of decided the waiting wasn't worth it... :blush: Last year I was like should I go, should I not, when the Deutschlandtour started and passed by rather close to where I live. In the end I went to the start and because everything was so relaxed and there were such few people I got to see a lot of great riders really close, but of course no action :). I don't have any friends interested in pro cycling, so I'm thinking it's probably way more fun if you go with people who are enthusiastic about it. That's my plan for the next time.
 
Jan 18, 2020
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Have been to a few Tour of Britain stages and other British races but my first big one was last years mens world road race in Harrogate. It would be a lie to say the weather had no negative impact but I still enjoyed the day, circuit races are obviously far better to attend and I got to see the riders pass 9 times from several points on the circuit.

If you want to actually watch the race it's far better to watch on TV. I was stood by the 1k banner on the final lap and assumed Trentin had won, had no idea Pederson won until I got home!

That said, there was a great atmosphere with fans travelling from all over. The Dutch and Danes had a good presence, the shuttle bus I took from the car park to the town centre was shared with the Michael Valgren fan club who were all a good laugh.

As for tips, if you're watching a standard linear route then be prepared for the riders to zoom past and everything to be over in seconds. The best place to stand is at the top of a hill with a good long view of the riders approaching. And if you're going to a big race like Worlds be prepared to have your view blocked by nutters getting way too close to the riders.
 
My worse experience was going to Honister Pass in the TOB 1013, rode from Keswick to Honister over Newlands but the weather got worse and worse, ended up soaked and freezing taking some shelter in a big barn, went back out to watch the cyclists, Dan Martin and Nairo Quintana where ahead of the Peloton up the climb, one of the Yates brothers Adam I think crashed on the descent and I think Sam Bennet won in Kendal that day, luckily by the time I descended Honister Pass the rain had stopped.
 
I don't have any friends interested in pro cycling, so I'm thinking it's probably way more fun if you go with people who are enthusiastic about it.
The key is to make friends interested and enthusiastic. Let them have a taste of how beautiful, heroic and even romantic cycling is. This brilliant sport cannot have enough fans.
 
I don't have any friends interested in pro cycling, so I'm thinking it's probably way more fun if you go with people who are enthusiastic about it. That's my plan for the next time.
Personally I just have a tendency to end up sort of... talking with random people at the race. Guess when everyone is sort of standing around waiting for a bike race, it's a pretty good sign everyone is at least somewhat interested.
 
:( Maybe I'm... not pretty enough? Or I don't spread good vibes.
Or in our case go to the one race where locals have no idea what is going on. The largest portion of fans at the Richmond Worlds were either at the finish line or in the park where the cobbled climb was. We picked a place where we were able to see the peloton twice per lap. That way we got lots more pictures. Pictures from the other side of the street were more close ups and the ones on our side of the street were more field pictures. Met several students who where attending VCU (the university that the circuit went through) and tried to explain pro cycling to them.

 
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May 23, 2015
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milk race in the 80's
leeds classic
various city centre races
kellogs pro tour
ras tailteann since i moved to ireland in 1997
irish national champs when i can get to them
tour de l'ain in 2010
olympic road race and TT in london 2012
giro in belfast and tour in yorkshire 2014
worlds in yorkshire 2019
 
I've been to around 4 TDU's, always a fun event and exciting to see the sign-on + riders at the start.

Other than that I've watched three TDF stages, 2 in 2013, the Nice TTT and the stage to Aix 3 Domaines. Both were exciting, Greenedge won and then I was at the point where Froome attacked. Last year I saw the Brussels TTT and wish that I could have deposited my luggage easier at the station there, but in all it was exciting! I've also seen Omloop, at the Muur last year and Strade Bianchi (I could see it at multiple points then saw the finish in Siena where it was packed). In all it's nice to be around fellow cycling fans, and i'm very lucky to have seen so many races in Europe considering Australia is so far away. I'd love to see an RVV or the Giro as my next cycling experience.
 
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Well I love cycling and travelling so often I combined the two. Thus my list is extensive. I have included each event, where I watched it from and who won that day if I remember.

First ever semi important race was the RAS in Ireland either 1990/91. Still a kid at the time. Been to the RAS multiple time since.

Then once old enough..........and in chronological order
1998 PruTour Stage start in Birmingham
1998 Tour de France Prologue in Dublin, Chris Boardman
2001 US Pro Championsips, Lemon Hill, Philadelphia, Mark Walters
2002 & 04 San Francisco GP, Taylor St, Charles Dionne won both times
2004 Irish National Championships plus multiple other times
2005 Tour Down Under, First and Final Stage, Adelaide, Robbie McEwen x 2
2006 Tour of Britain, Stage finishes Birmingham & London, Frederik Willems/Tom Boonen
2007 Tour de France 2 Stages, Stage Finish, Ghent, Gert Steegmans &
Final Stage, Champs Eleysses, Daniel Bennati
2007 GP Wallonie, Bridge in Namur Citadel, Bert DeWaele
2007 Circuit Franco-Belge, Final stage Tournai, Gert Steegmans
2008 Ronde de Vlaanderen, Kluisberg and Kwaermont, Stijn Devolder
2008 Ghent-Wevelgem, Kemmelberg, Oscar Freire
2008 Paris-Roubaix, Camphin en Pevele Sector right on the corner, Tom Boonen
2008 Fleche Wallone, various points on Mur de Huy, Kim Kirchen
2008 GP Denain, Finish straight Denain, Edvald Boasson Hagen
2008 Giro d'Italia, 3 Stages, Alpe de Pampeago: Emanuele Sella, Marmolada: Emanuele Sella, Kronplatz TT:Franco Pellizotti
2008 Tour of Switzerland, Klausenpass TT, Roman Kreuziger
2008 Tour de France, 2 Stages, Bagneres de Bigorre, Col D'Aspin, Riccord Ricco,
Hautacam, Leonardo Piepoli
2008 & 09 Tour of Ireland, Connor Pass, St.Patricks Hill both years, Russ Downing, Frantisek Rabon & Lars Peter Nordhaug
2009 Vuelta A Espana, 2 Stages Sierra Nevada: David Moncoutie, La Pandera: Damiano Cunego
2012 Het Vook/Nieuwsblad, Kapelmuur, Sep Vanmarcke
2015 World Road Race Championships, Richmond, USA, Sagan & Armistead
2018 Giro d'Emilia, Bologna, Sal Luca, Alessandro De Marchi


Cyclo Cross
2007-08 Superprestige Aspere-Gavere, Sven Nys
Hoogstraten, Niels Albert
2007-08 World Cup Lievin France, Lars Boom
2014 Koppenberg Cross, Wout Van Aert
2017 World Cyclo Cross Championships, Luxembourg, Van Aert, Cant

Track
2015 World Trach Championships, London

Phew, memory stretched and I may have forgotten some. Maybe I will write another post on memories or if anyone has any questions.

Edit: I did forget some
 
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My first pro race watching in person was also my most memorable...Coors Classic 1985. Hinault came to the US with La Vie Claire to support LeMond.

We caught the all or part of the 5 stages from Sacramento to Reno. At the stage ending in Truckee, Hinault and Phinney (the Elder) were in a break and Hinault won the stage when Phinney mistook a banner for the finish line.

At the start of the Lake Tahoe-Reno stage we found Hinault, all alone, but I was too star struck, and lacking in French language skills, to approach him. After the race I realized, too late, that I should've had my mother, who spoke French before she learned English, talk to him.

I've got some photos, have to see if I can find them.
 
I saw the old GP des Ameriques in Montreal back in 1991 and 1992. I knew almost nothing about cycling in those days beyond Fignon vs. Lemond and Steve Bauer as the Great Canadian Hope, but it was great fun to run back and forth across Mount Royal to catch views of the riders twice per lap towards the end of the race.
 
Have been to a few Tour of Britain stages and other British races but my first big one was last years mens world road race in Harrogate. It would be a lie to say the weather had no negative impact but I still enjoyed the day, circuit races are obviously far better to attend and I got to see the riders pass 9 times from several points on the circuit.

If you want to actually watch the race it's far better to watch on TV. I was stood by the 1k banner on the final lap and assumed Trentin had won, had no idea Pederson won until I got home!

That said, there was a great atmosphere with fans travelling from all over. The Dutch and Danes had a good presence, the shuttle bus I took from the car park to the town centre was shared with the Michael Valgren fan club who were all a good laugh.

As for tips, if you're watching a standard linear route then be prepared for the riders to zoom past and everything to be over in seconds. The best place to stand is at the top of a hill with a good long view of the riders approaching. And if you're going to a big race like Worlds be prepared to have your view blocked by nutters getting way too close to the riders.
The absolute best way to see a race (if possible) is a big TT that starts and finishes in the same town - or very close by - especially if you're with people who aren't normally too interested in pro racing.

There's always something going on, you'll see just about all the riders and everyone not interested in GC or the stage win is generally relaxed and happy to interact with the crowd. If you have people interested in gadgets and technology with you they will be surprised how much goes on.

My wife's uncle lives in Norway and met us at the TT in Bourg Saint Andeol a few years ago and had a great time. Being able to see so much so easily made it really interesting for him.
 
being born and raised in the Dolomites going to watch the Giro stages that start/finish nearby is something that comes pretty natural, when you're a cycling fan.
The Giro del Trentino stage that started in Niederdorf 3 years ago was pretty nice, almost no people at the start, an guys like Pinot, Thomas, Bernal, Scarponi (RIP), Pozzovivo , Buchmann and Dani Martinez were just standing a few meters away from you before the start of the stage. I also saw Francesco Moser and managed to talk to Warbasse (forgot his bottle after talking with me a bit too long before the start) and Pozzovivo (nicest guy in the world).
The same year the Piancavallo stage started in my Hometown, walking around the area with all the team busses and talking/taking pictures with active and former riders was an awesome expericence. Landa, Ivan Basso and Anacona were all really nice to me.
Disclmer: My face is a little chubby on some of those pictures, but with this one not being the Contador thread it shouldn't lead to any speculations about my form.;)

Me and Anacona


Me and Landa (same eyebrows as me):


Me and Basso:
 
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being born and raised in the Dolomites going to watch the Giro stages that start/finish nearby is something that comes pretty natural, when you're a cycling fan.
The Giro del Trentino stage that started in Niederdorf 3 years ago was pretty nice, almost no people at the start, an guys like Pinot, Thomas, Bernal, Scarponi (RIP), Pozzovivo , Buchmann and Dani Martinez were just standing a few meters away from you before the start of the stage. I also saw Francesco Moser and managed to talk to Warbasse (forgot his bottle after talking with me a bit too long before the start) and Pozzovivo (nicest guy in the world).
The same year the Piancavallo stage started in my Hometown, walking around the area with all the team busses and talking/taking pictures with active and former riders was an awesome expericence. Landa, Ivan Basso and Anacona were all really nice to me.
Disclmer: My face is a little chubby on some of those pictures, but with this one not being the Contador thread it shouldn't lead to any speculations about my form.;)

Me and Anacona


Me and Landa (same eyebrows as me):


Me and Basso:
Oh your eyebrows, indeed!
 

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