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Watching Td'F on Alpe d'Huez(6 posts)

Watching Td'F on Alpe d'HuezEdSned
May 22, 2003 1:38 AM
a quick question for anyone who's been to France before to watch the above stage:
If the stage is expected to finish around 4-5pm (fair assumption after 211km?) and we're looking at getting to Galibier or Alpe d'Huez around 10am to watch it, how close can you get by car then? If the answer's not very close, then we'll borrow/buy a bike rack for the hire car & cycle the last bit, but its a lot more hassle.

Also, any recommendations on the best place to watch Stage 8?

re: Watching Td'F on Alpe d'Huezmohair_chair
May 22, 2003 6:14 AM
The best place to watch stage 8 is on L'Alpe d'Huez. Why would you want to be anywhere else?

You probably won't be able to drive up the mountain at 10 am, and even if you could, the only place you could park would be the top, if that. Plus, it will take hours to get off the mountain if you drive up (although there is a back way up L'Alpe d'Huez).

Drive as close as you can to Bourg d'Oisans, the town at the base of the mountain. Park on the side of the road. Get out your bike. Ride up the mountain until you find a good spot. That's all there is to it. A lot of people will be doing the same thing.
re: Watching Td'F on Alpe d'HuezEdSned
May 22, 2003 6:43 AM
Thanks. I kind of guessed that driving up Alpe d'Huez would be a non-starter, but it really would be a lot easier for us without bikes (we'll have bikes with us in France, but they'll be in Chamonix, and as mentioned, no bike rack)

Hence, excuse my ignorance, but how far do you have to go up Alpe d'Huez to get a good spot? ie, would it be possible to park at Bourg d'Oisans and walk up? Is parking in Bourg d'Oisans relatively easy at that time?
who knows?mohair_chair
May 22, 2003 6:55 AM
Last time they raced here, Lance shredded the field within the first 1 or 2 kilometers, so that would have been the place to be, and yes, you can walk there from town.

Who knows where the action will take place this year. It always seems to be exciting at or just off the bottom as the leaders wind it up to shed the pretenders, so that's probably not a bad place to be. Run back into town and watch the finish in a pub!

There are a couple of "known" sections on the hill for spectators of various nationalities. I can't remember them all, but I think the Dutch like to hang out in the town of Huez, which is about halfway up. They paint the road orange and basically go nuts, which could be fun to be part of. Cart a case of Dutch beer up the hill and they might grant you citizenship!

Otherwise, go up until you find a good spot where there is room for you. Sit back and enjoy the race.
Thanks vm. looking forward to it.... nmEdSned
May 22, 2003 8:02 AM
re: Watching Td'F on Alpe d'Huezking of Norway
May 22, 2003 12:02 PM
I went to the Tour in 2001 and watched the action on Alp D'Huez. We biked from Grenoble to the base town/village Bourg D'Ossins? which is the main start/drop off point. This trip was about 35km. You can get to Bourg without too much hassle by car around 10-10:30. Around that time though the action/traffic starts to pick up. If your not cycling, the best thing is to ditch/park your car there. Our bus parked in a large grocery store parking lot, but be aware, you will inevitably be blocked in. The town is small but they have a few good little restaurants and taverns where you can sit outside, eat and drink and watch to tour live as it makes its way to you. The route is closed to vehicle traffic all day but you can ride and walk up. We rode from Bourg D'Ossans starting around 10:30-11:00 am and the route at this time was filled with people but not crowded. People picnicking, walking upand riding about. Very festive. Since the route has 21? switchbacks there are plenty of places to see and meet up with people if you know the switchback # and they are numbered. I think we climbed up to 7 or 8 after biking to the top and coming down for lunch. As you go higher it seems to get more festive. There was a very memorable spot about 1/2 way up which resembled a dutch orange rave/festival etc. with robust cheers and a helping hand for spectator/rider coming up the hill with a rabobank jersey. If you can walk that long you won't be dissapointed, but remember there's no place to buy beer along the way so you have to bring everything with you or get to the top which is about 13km?

Getting down is a whole other problem. We had bikes thankfully, which is the best option if available. The traffic down was horrendous and I believe we beat our coach/bus back to Grenoble by about 1 1/2 hours. There seemed to be only one way out and it was jammed. If so, you might want to consider eating out after the race in Bourg D'Ossans but I don't know about the crowds after as we were making out way back. Hope this helps.