2004 tour & Plateau de Beille - Finish

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Bobo, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. Bobo

    Bobo Guest

    Help please - fully booked flights and hotels car hire sorted all done......I am taking my 2 boys to
    see the finish of this stage, got the michelin map out and can see where the road goes up to the
    finish and where the ski station is. However can anyone tell me what is the best place to park up
    and ride up to get a good view, what time the road closes and what the timing is likely to be when
    the peleton hits the climb etc....etc...etc...all info gratefully received! Rob
     
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  2. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    bobo <[email protected]> wrote:
    : Help please - fully booked flights and hotels car hire sorted all done......I am taking my 2 boys
    : to see the finish of this stage, got the michelin map out and can see where the road goes up to
    : the finish and where the ski station is. However can anyone tell me what is the best place to park
    : up and ride up to get a good view, what time the road closes and what the timing is

    The road is closed to cars hours before the race comes through. You'd need to drive up very early in
    the morning. And then you'd have a many hour traffic jam to get back.

    The road is closed to cyclists 2 hours before (sometimes a little less but allow two hours). Park up
    somewhere a decent distance away and one a reasonably big road. Better yet, book somewhere nearby
    and cycle all the way.

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
    - Paulina Borsook
     
  3. Amh

    Amh Guest

    [email protected] (bobo) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Help please - fully booked flights and hotels car hire sorted all done......I am taking my 2 boys
    > to see the finish of this stage, got the michelin map out and can see where the road goes up to
    > the finish and where the ski station is. However can anyone tell me what is the best place to park
    > up and ride up to get a good view, what time the road closes and what the timing is likely to be
    > when the peleton hits the climb etc....etc...etc...all info gratefully received! Rob

    Can't help you with specifics but I can tell you that the roadway closes around 4 hours before the
    race comes through. BUT for a mountain top finish you'll have to fight off the other spectators to
    find parking. I saw plenty of cars parked on the side of the road in l'Alpe d'Huez last year.
    Getting there before all the spots are taken will be more of a challenge than getting there before
    the road closes. Check the local papers and the tour web site for schedules. The morning of the
    finish get up early and get to the finish area as soon as possible. Plan your entire day around
    getting there, scoping a good spot and staying there (ie. bring breakfast, lunch, reading materials,
    entertainment...).

    If you mean by "ride up" by bicycle you can ride on the road just about any time before the
    publicity caravan comes through (around 2 hours before).

    Enjoy, Andy
     
  4. > Help please - fully booked flights and hotels car hire sorted all done......I am taking my 2 boys
    > to see the finish of this stage, got the michelin map out and can see where the road goes up to
    > the finish and where the ski station is. However can anyone tell me what is the best place to park
    > up and ride up to get a good view, what time the road closes and what the timing is likely to be
    > when the peleton hits the climb etc....etc...etc...all info gratefully received! Rob

    You may want to reconsider viewing a stage finish; it's doubtful you'll get a chance to see much
    beyond, maybe, a few helmets racing past, heavily obscured by a crowd maybe 10-15 deep all along the
    last kilometer or so.

    A better choice would be to plant yourself along one of the earlier summits, either the Col de
    Latrape or the Col d'Agnes. You'll have a much better chance of actually viewing the action, and
    if you choose the penultimate climb (the Col d' Agnes), things will probably have split up pretty
    well by then.

    If you've never viewed a Grand Tour stage before, you might check out this piece on our website-

    www.ChainReaction.com\tdfwatching.htm. Lots of information in that article, based on the previous
    four TDFs I've attended (definitely an addiction, as I'm going back again this year!).

    You might let us know the age of your boys and their cycling capabilities and you'll get more
    helpful responses.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  5. Bobo

    Bobo Guest

    Thanks very helpful - yes by ride up I meant cycle up 2/3 rds of the way and stop sit and wait and
    watch - when people say you can cycle up pretty much anytime 2 hours before the peleton turn up -
    looking at length of race that day they should be finishing about 4/5pm so if we park up at noon 10
    kilometres or so away from the start of the climb I guess we should be ok.................does that
    sound about right!
     
  6. Bobo

    Bobo Guest

  7. Mike,

    Where are you staying? In Ax-L-T or further afield? I go down to the Pyrenees every year (staying in
    Puivert) and have seen 2x finishes at PdeB. Leave plenty of time if you're riding in over the Col de
    Pailleres (on last years route) as this climb is a bit of a stinker.

    In Ax they completely shut the road up to the ski station 2 hours before the peloton hits town,
    which makes even walking up the climb tricky.

    A good place to see the non-climbing fraternity suffering would be on the Portet d'Aspet up past the
    the Fabio Casartelli memorial, but it is fairly early in the day. If you're mad, like me, you might
    consider parking in St. Girons and riding back to the Portet d'Aspet watching the peloton pass then
    following it back along the same road (not turningt off at Audressein towards the Col de la Core)
    and driving like a bat out of hell from St. Girons via Massat and back towards the Col d'Agnes to
    catch it again on the way to that summit or descending. The main drag from Tarascon to Ax has a
    couple of rises but parking would be tricky.

    With time to regroup after the descent from the Col d'Agnes, I'd imagine a closer finish than last
    year, so you might prefer to camp up at PdB and see the finish, as at least then you can catch a
    bite to eat in Ax (and soak your feet in the spa) on the way back.

    If you want any more info on the area (Ariege), good rides etc, drop me a line.

    Trevor.

    "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:7LV%b.3894$%[email protected]...
    > > Help please - fully booked flights and hotels car hire sorted all done......I am taking my 2
    > > boys to see the finish of this stage, got the michelin map out and can see where the road goes
    > > up to the finish and where the ski station is. However can anyone tell me what is the best
    > > place to park up and ride up to get a good view, what time the road closes and what the timing
    > > is likely to be when the peleton hits the climb etc....etc...etc...all info gratefully
    > > received! Rob
    >
    > You may want to reconsider viewing a stage finish; it's doubtful you'll
    get
    > a chance to see much beyond, maybe, a few helmets racing past, heavily obscured by a crowd maybe
    > 10-15 deep all along the last kilometer or so.
    >
    > A better choice would be to plant yourself along one of the earlier
    summits,
    > either the Col de Latrape or the Col d'Agnes. You'll have a much better chance of actually viewing
    > the action, and if you choose the penultimate climb (the Col d' Agnes), things will probably have
    > split up pretty well
    by
    > then.
    >
    > If you've never viewed a Grand Tour stage before, you might check out this piece on our website-
    >
    > www.ChainReaction.com\tdfwatching.htm. Lots of information in that
    article,
    > based on the previous four TDFs I've attended (definitely an addiction, as I'm going back again
    > this year!).
    >
    > You might let us know the age of your boys and their cycling capabilities and you'll get more
    > helpful responses.
    >
    > --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  8. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Mike Jacoubowsky <[email protected]> wrote:

    : You may want to reconsider viewing a stage finish; it's doubtful you'll get a chance to see much
    : beyond, maybe, a few helmets racing past, heavily obscured by a crowd maybe 10-15 deep all along
    : the last kilometer or so.

    Got to disagree here. I saw the stage that finished at Liz Arden in 2001 and it was fab. You can't
    beat the atmosphere. If you want to follow the race, stay at home and watch TV.

    Though I agree in a way - I settled in about 4k from the top. Busy enough for big crowds, good
    atmosphere and a beer tent, but not so busy that you could see anything.

    For the OP - if you are strong enough, I'd suggest that parking nearer 30k away might be quicker,
    though since I don't know that area I can't comment more precisly.

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
    - Paulina Borsook
     
  9. On 29 Feb 2004 16:29:07 GMT, Arthur Clune wrote:
    > I saw the stage that finished at Liz Arden in 2001 and it was fab.

    What colour lipstick did the winner wear?
     
  10. Ariege

    Ariege Guest

    [email protected] (bobo) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Help please - fully booked flights and hotels car hire sorted all done......I am taking my 2 boys
    > to see the finish of this stage, got the michelin map out and can see where the road goes up to
    > the finish and where the ski station is. However can anyone tell me what is the best place to park
    > up and ride up to get a good view, what time the road closes and what the timing is likely to be
    > when the peleton hits the climb etc....etc...etc...all info gratefully received! Rob

    You can see a map of the TdF route through the department of Ari├Ęge (from col de Portet d'Aspet to
    Plateau de Beille at http://www.ariege.com/tourdefrance . It has links to accommodations along the
    route but they will be all booked up by now. However, the map will show you which roads to take to
    rush from St Girons to col d'Agnes, as Trevor indicated. However, the road from Massat to the etang
    de Lers (foot of col d'Agnes) will probably be closed by that time. Other possibility is to camp out
    at the etang de Lers (a mountain lake) the night before, ride up to the col in the afternoon, then
    go back to the lake and watch the finish on TV at the restaurant snack-bar there. It will be less of
    a zoo than the PdB.
     
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