I am a bit of a bike newbie but my missus and I are planning a summer holiday to the south of France and want top take in some of the TDF stages around Pau,

Can anyone offer any advice on what it is like following the tour for a few stages and finding spots to watch on the mountain stages?

We are planning to to hire a car when we arrive in Biarritz and will be bringing a tent and bits with us with the idea that we can rough it on the side of the road if needs be.

I am assuming it will be mental busy and everything will be booked. Would really appreciate some pointers from someone who has been before.



timegan2002@hot... [13 posts] 5 years ago

I did the etape in 2010, stayed in lourdes (loads of hotels there but a weird place) and watched the two following stages. I think u will be surprised at how you can just walk up the mountain in the couple of hours before, but for the true experience get your car up the mountain and camp, on west side of tourmallet it was full with 4days to go, but that was last climb of last mountain stage so a prime spot( the day after contador had his Spanish steak!). So if you can't get camped near the top of a mountain just walk or cycle up a few hours before. It is a great experience, I plan to return in 2013.

Darth Weasel [9 posts] 5 years ago

I have a house near Luchon, a great base for tour watching, two stages nearby this year:

Pau to Luchon - Col du Tourmalet, Aubisque, Aspin and the Peyresourde.

Luchon to Peyragudes - Col de Menté, Col des Ares, Port de Balès and then back up to the finish at the ski resort at Peyragudes.

Those are two great stages, individually those are hard climbs, do 3 or 4 together and your have a very tough day.

As timegan says, either get to your spot up to a week early and camp, or cycle up on the day (my choice). I drive to a convenient point and cycle from there.

spiltmilk [3 posts] 5 years ago

Cheers for the pointers chaps. Appreciate the advice. Good to know you can just walk up easily enough if needs be. Better crack on with the holiday planning. Thanks again.