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biteme

Crossing La Manche In July To Watch The Grand Depart

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Hello Everyone. .

 

I'm being a little cheeky now, with swapping the 'Van for a Motorhome and still posting on here - not a lot of people seem to have made it onto Motorhome Chat just yet. .

 

We are taking Benny off for his inaugural European Trip to see the Grand Depart by Mont Saint Michel, Granville and Omaha Beach and we can't wait.

 

We have booked a site for the lead up to the start and the whole she-bang is going to fly right past the gates on day 1 - it's after that we are a little unsure of. .

 

Is there any unknown etiquette to go by when you are stopping at the side or the road? Can you sleep there or cook there. .? (although we'll probably be living on Fresh bread and not so fresh cheese the entire time).

 

Has anyone done it before and has any hints and tips or anything to share?

 

I have the camperstops book that has Aires and suchlike which I hope will help a little.

 

Any help from you lovely lot is always appreciated :)

 

Thanks

Mandy

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We were at Etretat, last year for stage 3. We have a caravan so was pitched up on a campsite, but walked down to the stage. The local council and police were not happy about MH on the side of the road, but many farmers were happy for them to use fields or gateways that were not being used! A very enjoyable experience!

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Hi Mandy, you are in for a treat especially as this is your first time at "le Tour".

 

We always picnic beside the road when the race comes anywhere near us and so long as the weather is kind it's a lovely day.

 

Tips. Travel the part of the route that is near where you want to be to select a good vantage point. Pick two or three, they get taken. Personally we don't even consider the steep hills, you can't get near the road from about 8am.

On the day of the race make an early start especially if you intend to take your motorhome. The Gendarmes will close the road at least two hours before the " caravan" is due and when the Gendarme says " non" he means it, no exceptions.

The aforementioned " caravan" is the highlight. This is the procession of advertising and promotional vehicles that precedes the race by about two hours. It is said that most people attend for the caravan rather than the race.

Listen for the helicopters, that is the sure fire way to know that the race is approaching, then whoosh it's gone. Don't think you will be able to pick out individual riders, you will do well to spot the team colours however Team Sky do tend to ride as a block and usually near the front of the peloton.

 

You will find motorhomes all over the place and as far as we know there really aren't any rules so long as you respect peoples property and don't do damage or leave litter. Common sense really.

 

An alternative option if you want to see the team buses, some of the riders etc. is to go to the start. It will be mayhem but if you get there early, at least an hour before the caravan is due to depart you can get a good vantage point. Look for a large empty space in amongst all the activity and this is more than likely where the team buses and cars will pitch up. If you are not sure, ask a friendly Gendarme, many of them speak English and they are really quite friendly.

 

If you want more info just ask. You will have a whale of a time amongst the lovely French people.

 

Roger

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We like seeing it from a small town and village and get involved with all the excitement and goings on in the village. Take a table and chairs.

Nearer the time you can get the TdF magazine giving very giid details of the route, timing of the caravan and timing of the cyclists based on slow/med/fast.

Great experience - memorable. Keep away from the finish as they will be 10 deep.

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Never done it with a motor home, but been on many.

 

Loads of MH's do, many following the whole route.

Most drive to the following stage immediately after that days stage, so park up the night before.

They don't look to be bothered by the Gendarme so long as they are well clear of the road, not blocking anything, and nowhere near the finish.

 

If watching in the middle of a stage, I would go with Wisp's advice and watch in a small town of village.

 

Time trial and Team TT stages are great because the whole thing lasts a lot longer.

 

The big mountains are epic from an atmosphere perspective.

 

Last year I did the grand depart in Utrecht, watched a Kraftwerk concert in the evening, then dropped onto stage 2 three times. The last drop in the pooring rain in Zeeland. Half an hour later relaxing on the Rotterdam-Hull ferry only five miles away. Epic

 

Year before of course, in god's own country. .. Yorkshire

 

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I am not going this year, dead envious.

 

Enjoy

Edited by kilham5

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Some of the favourite mountain stages they camp out 2 or 3 days before hand.

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