L'Alpe d'huez

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by Fitbay, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Fitbay

    Fitbay New Member

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    I am planning on seeing the above stage at this years Tour. Has anyone got any advice on getting a good spot i.e. do you need to camp overnight on the mountain side can you drive and park easily etc etc.

    Any thoughts or advice would be most welcome.

    Rgds
    Fitbay
     
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  2. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    FB - The following thread is a great place to start to get some tips on how to visit d'Huez..... any more questions just let us know...... :)

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t242650-ever-been-to-france-to-watch-the-tour-live-advice-needed.html
     
  3. oscar744

    oscar744 New Member

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    There is a small but very nice campground about 12 km from the base of the climb in small place called Venosc. Not sure if you can book tent sites but you should try or arrive a few days early.(they have a website that I cant locate, so throw venosc camping into google) There is another campground at the base of the climb but I would imagine it will be bulging at the seams days out from the stage. If you are going to camp I would set up camp a couple of days out. There is a big super market in Bourg d"Oisens on the main road right near the base
     
  4. Bjorn P.Dal

    Bjorn P.Dal New Member

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    Check the grenoble cycling pages => http://www.grenoblecycling.com/ The 2006 TDF preview has advice on where to view the various stages. Also the forum there is quite nice, guy running the site is very knowledge and helpfull.
     
  5. teetopkram

    teetopkram New Member

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    I can't comment on L'Alpe d'huez, but in last year's tour my wife, kid, and I hiked up Ax-3-Domaines to watch the finishing climb of Stage 14 just outside the village of Ax-des-Thermes. We stood just past the 4 km to go banner with a bunch of crazy basques (who were very friendly).

    We did not plan well, and were so freaking fortuitous that we even got to see the race. We drove in the day of the race, stopping along the way in a few towns to take in some sightseeing (DUMB). We arrived on the outskirts of town about 3-4 hours before the race, but by that time the French police had literally closed down all roads into town several kilometers out. Seems the town was "full." Panicking, they directed us to park in a nearby parking lot, where many people just walked into town. the parking lot happened to be at a train station, so we joined the throng of people there "hoping" a train would come...20 minutes later it did (coming from Foix), and we crammed like cattle into an already packed train (BLIND LUCK). no one was collecting fares, so we just got on for free (BLIND LUCK). got into town, hiked up the hill in the blistering heat, and waited for hours with only one bottle of water and no food (DUMB). the race went by quickly (about 30 minutes from Totsching's solo to the confidis rider bringing up the rear). We hiked backed down, dodging the racers who were riding back down the mountain, sunburnt and exhausted, quickly downed 4 liters of water between us, hopped back on the train, and were out of there within a couple of hours. So, we made several mistakes yet were very lucky...and L'alpe will be much more crazy I would suspect.

    If I had to do it all over again, I would be to get there the night before if at all possible and do whatever it takes to find a place to sleep (think tent, park bench). Or, plan on getting there VERY early in the morning when crowds are less. There'll already be people there, but it won't be so packed that you can't find a decent viewing opportunity. In our case the town was flooded with people in the afternoon. It is vital to bring along sunscreen, lots of water (in a cooler preferably), food, and lots of pockets for the goodies the caravan throws out before the riders arrive. Plan on taking the whole day and consider it one long picnic/party.

    If you get a free mussette bag, don't go swinging it as the riders go by in the off-chance you hook someone's handlebars. And don't mind the police TOO seriously...they'll scream for everyone to get back...I obeyed...everyone else didn't, and I lost a few good viewing opportunities. And don't under-estimate these guys' speed if you're one to lean over into their path for a view...they fly up the mountains.

    hope you have a good time. I'll definitely make it back one day.

    Mark
     
  6. bobke

    bobke New Member

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    anymore questions just let "us" know...
    who would THAT be, you and your multiple personalties???????

    Advice: get there very early. A day at least.
    Depends if you are using car or not.
    It shouldnt be as crazy as 2004, but the Alpe has become Pamplona/Woodstock.
    If its on a weekend, use extra extra time. I think the organizers are trying not to schedule certain mountains on weekends as it encourages soo many spectators, which is cool of course, but the Alpe was NOT cool for the riders last time.

    If you are on a bike you should be able to ride up it that day, but do so early to get a spot. Many thousand of campers get there several days if not a week early. In their RVs etc. Camping on the Alpe requires a lot of advance placement to get and save your spot.

    If I were going I'd park and camp a ways away and then ride up it.
    Also because of the crush of humanity the gendarmes can close the roads at any time, including the night before so dont count on driving to Bourg d'Oisans.

    Now having said all that it is the coolest place in the world to watch a bike race. I would favor going at least halfway up but some folks like to stay lower and watch the attacks. e.g. The Devil almost always has a good spot and knows where the attacks go.

    Being close to the top you see a lot of great stuff too though. ANywhere 5 km and up is great. the top 2 km are absolutely jammed with people behind barricades and it can be tough if fun viewing, and of course you are near the pubs and stores in the village.

    Good luck, any questions feel free to let "us" know.
     
  7. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    You're still hurting over that comment about your wife..... you'll get over it..... :p May take her sometime thou..... :)
     
  8. bobke

    bobke New Member

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    Mark Twain once said only two people may properly use the "royal we" first person plural when referring to themselves, first person singular:

    1. The Queen of England

    2. a person with tapeworms



    so,,, which is it then WBT
     
  9. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    The knife cuts deep.....
     
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