TDF: Nantes Time Trial Viewing

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Tom I, Jun 16, 2003.

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  1. Tom I

    Tom I Guest

    We will be in France & will have time to watch the Nantes Time Trial. I had a few questions for
    those of you who have been there.

    1. We don't necessarily want to watch the finish; however, we do want to get towards the end of the
    course. Also, with a wife and a couple younger kids in tow who don't get excited by watching
    bikes go by one-at-a-time for six hours, it makes sense to me to be in an accessible town. I am
    thinking settling somewhere in Nantes, or one of the towns down the road. Is the finishing town
    crazy? (I'll have to go back and look at the WCP tapes.)

    2. How early before the caravan do you usually need to settle in somewhere? I am thinking in the
    country there may be a half kilometer walk from the route to where we can park. Or can you go
    through the route early and just pull the car off the side of the road?

    3. Is there any race radio that is broadcast in part in english? I have a french interpreter along,
    but I don't think he would handle an "excited", running commentary of sports reporters.

    Thank you very much!

    Tom I. Saint Paul, MN
     
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  2. > We will be in France & will have time to watch the Nantes Time Trial. I
    had
    > a few questions for those of you who have been there.
    >
    > 1. We don't necessarily want to watch the finish; however, we do want to get towards the end of
    > the course. Also, with a wife and a couple younger kids in tow who don't get excited by
    > watching bikes go by one-at-a-time
    for
    > six hours, it makes sense to me to be in an accessible town. I am
    thinking
    > settling somewhere in Nantes, or one of the towns down the road. Is the finishing town crazy?
    > (I'll have to go back and look at the WCP tapes.)

    Anything near the final 2km is to be avoided, unless you really enjoy a massive crunch of people. A
    massive crunch of people that insists on further crunching at every opportunity! I tried to view the
    finish of a road stage at last year's TDF, and had to wrap myself around a light pole and still saw
    nothing more than a few helmets poking out above the heads of the crowd.

    I would suggest checking out the map carefully and find a tight corner somewhere along the middle of
    the course. You're not going to have any idea about who finished when, but it will still be quite
    exciting as you note the gaps between riders and wait for the next mini-motorcade to fly through.
    With a couple of younger kids, make sure you bring stuff for them to do, and lots of cold stuff to
    drink. In France it can be *very* hot in July.

    Last year, it turns out I missed a great opportunity at the final time trial to see Lance near the
    start. We had positioned ourselves at the finishing town (Macon) and were concerned about getting
    back to the train station in time for the train to Paris, so we missed Lance (and the other GC
    contenders) going by towards the end. Gee, talk about dumb... the course took a road no more than
    200 meters from the TGV station!!!

    >
    > 2. How early before the caravan do you usually need to settle in
    somewhere?
    > I am thinking in the country there may be a half kilometer walk from the route to where we can
    > park. Or can you go through the route early and
    just
    > pull the car off the side of the road?

    The Caravan comes through about two hours prior to the first rider. It's definitely a big deal for
    the kids, so it's not something to be missed. If you settle in towards the middle of the course (or
    any other less-dense area), I doubt you'll have to walk very far. BUT... if you choose a spot with
    very few people, the Caravan is going to cruise through at very high speed and not toss out any
    goodies for your kids.

    >
    > 3. Is there any race radio that is broadcast in part in english? I have a french interpreter
    > along, but I don't think he would handle an "excited", running commentary of sports reporters.

    For a time trial, an "interpreter" will do just fine. There will only be a few official time checks
    on the course and a lot of background banter. You'll also find you're quite popular if you have
    either a radio or, better yet, battery-operated TV. French TV signals seem to reach very nicely into
    the countryside, even into the more mountainous regions, in a way we don't seem to in the US.

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

    "Tom I" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > We will be in France & will have time to watch the Nantes Time Trial. I
    had
    > a few questions for those of you who have been there.
    >
    > 1. We don't necessarily want to watch the finish; however, we do want to get towards the end of
    > the course. Also, with a wife and a couple younger kids in tow who don't get excited by
    > watching bikes go by one-at-a-time
    for
    > six hours, it makes sense to me to be in an accessible town. I am
    thinking
    > settling somewhere in Nantes, or one of the towns down the road. Is the finishing town crazy?
    > (I'll have to go back and look at the WCP tapes.)
    >
    > 2. How early before the caravan do you usually need to settle in
    somewhere?
    > I am thinking in the country there may be a half kilometer walk from the route to where we can
    > park. Or can you go through the route early and
    just
    > pull the car off the side of the road?
    >
    > 3. Is there any race radio that is broadcast in part in english? I have a french interpreter
    > along, but I don't think he would handle an "excited", running commentary of sports reporters.
    >
    > Thank you very much!
    >
    > Tom I. Saint Paul, MN
     
  3. On Tue, 17 Jun 2003 06:49:12 GMT, "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> We will be in France & will have time to watch the Nantes Time Trial. I
    >had
    >> a few questions for those of you who have been there.
    >>
    >> 1. We don't necessarily want to watch the finish; however, we do want to get towards the end of
    >> the course. Also, with a wife and a couple younger kids in tow who don't get excited by
    >> watching bikes go by one-at-a-time
    >for
    >> six hours, it makes sense to me to be in an accessible town. I am
    >thinking
    >> settling somewhere in Nantes, or one of the towns down the road. Is the finishing town crazy?
    >> (I'll have to go back and look at the WCP tapes.)
    >
    >Anything near the final 2km is to be avoided, unless you really enjoy a massive crunch of people. A
    >massive crunch of people that insists on further crunching at every opportunity! I tried to view
    >the finish of a road stage at last year's TDF, and had to wrap myself around a light pole and still
    >saw nothing more than a few helmets poking out above the heads of the crowd.
    >
    >I would suggest checking out the map carefully and find a tight corner somewhere along the middle
    >of the course. You're not going to have any idea about who finished when, but it will still be
    >quite exciting as you note the gaps between riders and wait for the next mini-motorcade to fly
    >through. With a couple of younger kids, make sure you bring stuff for them to do, and lots of cold
    >stuff to drink. In France it can be *very* hot in July.
    >
    >Last year, it turns out I missed a great opportunity at the final time trial to see Lance near the
    >start. We had positioned ourselves at the finishing town (Macon) and were concerned about getting
    >back to the train station in time for the train to Paris, so we missed Lance (and the other GC
    >contenders) going by towards the end. Gee, talk about dumb... the course took a road no more than
    >200 meters from the TGV station!!!
    >
    >>
    >> 2. How early before the caravan do you usually need to settle in
    >somewhere?
    >> I am thinking in the country there may be a half kilometer walk from the route to where we can
    >> park. Or can you go through the route early and
    >just
    >> pull the car off the side of the road?
    >
    >The Caravan comes through about two hours prior to the first rider. It's definitely a big deal for
    >the kids, so it's not something to be missed. If you settle in towards the middle of the course (or
    >any other less-dense area), I doubt you'll have to walk very far. BUT... if you choose a spot with
    >very few people, the Caravan is going to cruise through at very high speed and not toss out any
    >goodies for your kids.
    >
    >>
    >> 3. Is there any race radio that is broadcast in part in english? I have a french interpreter
    >> along, but I don't think he would handle an "excited", running commentary of sports reporters.
    >
    >For a time trial, an "interpreter" will do just fine. There will only be a few official time checks
    >on the course and a lot of background banter. You'll also find you're quite popular if you have
    >either a radio or, better yet, battery-operated TV. French TV signals seem to reach very nicely
    >into the countryside, even into the more mountainous regions, in a way we don't seem to in the US.
    >
    >--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
    >
    Mike - you have posted an interesting, helpful, infomative reply to an r.b.r. newbie - you don't get
    it, do you?

    Regards! Stephen
     
  4. Bob Schwartz

    Bob Schwartz Guest

    My kid was 6 when we saw the Tour. I think you will find it easier than you expect to involve
    your kids.

    I'd find a small town along the route to park in, one with a playground along the main drag. This
    shouldn't be too hard. That gives the kids a place to run around if they feel the need, and there
    will be other kids there. The value of having other kids around depends on a lot of things but I was
    very much surprised at how easily my kid overcame language barriers. She can count in Dutch as a
    result of out trip to the Tour and a game of Crazy 8s with a Dutch girl she met.

    The other thing that does is provide easy access to food provided you pay attention to when things
    are open, always an issue in France. But my wife picked up on French bakeries very quick on that
    trip and yours will too. You can settle in someplace and if things get slow you can turn to your
    wife and say "Hon, why don't you make a run for..." and you won't even have to finish the sentence.
    She'll know what you mean and she'll already be moving. Americans eat like pigs. The French don't.

    The caravan is not to be missed. Kids groove on the caravan. Pick up as many key rings as you can
    because they throw out billions and they are cool to give to your friends when you get back.
    Although most of the swag they throw out is junk.

    If you buy a newspaper you have the start order. This is important for keeping the rest of your
    family involved because you can pick out favorite riders, LANCE, Postal guys, LUDO, etc and know
    they are coming.

    Bob Schwartz [email protected]
     
  5. > Mike - you have posted an interesting, helpful, infomative reply to an r.b.r. newbie - you don't
    > get it, do you?

    What was I thinking??? No doubt I'm in everyone's killfile now!

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  6. tebo13

    tebo13 New Member

    Joined:
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    Tom,

    This is a wonderfully helpful message. My wife and I are making our first trip to the tour this year, and are pretty naive about the reality of race day. So I like your suggestion of a tight corner for viewing. I've searched for a map showing the route, but without success. Anyone out there have a link?

    Best regards,
    John Nicholls
    [email protected]


    :)
     
  7. tebo13 <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > This is a wonderfully helpful message. My wife and I are making our first trip to the tour this
    > year, and are pretty naive about the reality of race day. So I like your suggestion of a tight
    > corner for viewing. I've searched for a map showing the route, but without success. Anyone out
    > there have a link?

    The stage will go through the following towns and villages:

    km 12 Arthon-on-Retz km 15 Chemere km 27 Port-Saint-Pere km 29 Saint-Leger-les-Vignes km 33 Bouaye
    km 40 Bouguenais km 44 Reze km 47 Nantes (border) km 49 Nantes (finish)

    (I left out the french accents in the names, but you should find them anyway on a map of the
    Nantes region.)
     
  8. Mister Max

    Mister Max Guest

    [email protected] (Martin Recker) posted:

    > tebo13 <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    >>
    >> This is a wonderfully helpful message. My wife and I are making our first trip to the tour this
    >> year, and are pretty naive about the reality of race day. So I like your suggestion of a tight
    >> corner for viewing. I've searched for a map showing the route, but without success. Anyone out
    >> there have a link?
    >
    > The stage will go through the following towns and villages:
    >
    > km 12 Arthon-on-Retz km 15 Chemere km 27 Port-Saint-Pere km 29 Saint-Leger-les-Vignes km 33 Bouaye
    > km 40 Bouguenais km 44 Reze km 47 Nantes (border) km 49 Nantes (finish)
    >
    > (I left out the french accents in the names, but you should find them anyway on a map of the
    > Nantes region.)

    The route is spelled out in great detail on the LeTour web site. The route | the stages | scroll
    down to Pornic-Nantes. You will need a Michelin or IGN map to understand it.
    - Max

    --
    MisterMax Slideshows of Angkor Wat, Bali, Crete, Maui, Malaysia, Morocco, Sicily (new), St Tropez,
    Thailand, Tour de France: http://buten.net/max/ (Yes,RemoveDoubles is part of my email address. The
    double letters in my last name are not.)
     
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