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Cheer on Wiggo with our quick guide to getting to Paris this weekend

Planes, trains, bikes and automobiles to the Tour finish on the Champs Elysees

Fancy watching Brad Wiggins and Team Sky make their triumphant procession round the Champs Elysees when Wiggins becomes the first Brit to win the Tour de France on Sunday? It's not too late to hot-foot it to Paris by plane, train or automobile, or even, if you're feeling very keen and quick and live in the South-East, by bike.

Even a regular Tour de France stage is an amazing occasion, taking over the start and finish towns and with literally hundreds of thousands of people lining the route, partying and picnicking as they wait for the riders to flash past. The finale in Paris is unique because the circuits of the Champs Elysees make for a fantastic spectacle as the huge crowd cheers on the survivors of the world's greatest bike race.

For us Brits, the only way it could be better this year is if Cavendish wins the final sprint. He might not have quite the punch this year, but given he's taken the last three Champs Elysees sprints, and whole might of Team Sky will be focused on delivering him a fourth final-stage win, we wouldn't bet against him.

Convinced you should be in Paris on Sunday? What are your options? For starters you should aim to be arriving in Paris on Saturday evening so you can get up early and get a spot on the barriers to watch the race. The riders are due to arrive at between 15:44 and 15:54 but fans will have been there for hours by then. Take food, water, a hat and sun block – unlike the UK, France has sunshine (another good reason to go!)


If you're going to ride you probably want to get going, oh, about now. There are two 'official' routes for a London to Paris dash though of course there's nothing to stop you making up your own or mixing it up and taking the train some of the way.

Using the Dover-Calais ferry the route is a challenging 240 miles (385km). Alternatively, the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry brings the riding distance down to 156 miles (250km)


Not as hardcore, but rather more practical and we found plenty of tickets still available. At the time of writing Easyjet still had one spot left on its 19:00 flight from Luton to Charles de Gaulle for £125, and British Airways had seats on its 19:15 flight from Heathrow to Orly. We like Skyscanner for finding last minute cheap flights.

Driving & ferry

Get up early Saturday and head for Dover. Catch the 10:15 DFDS Seaways crossing to Calais and you'll have time for a nice lunch on the other side before completing the  trip to Paris. Cost is £184 for 2 adults and car return.

Alernatively, there's the evening sailing with LD Lines from Newhaven to Dieppe for £152.50. It sails at 23:00  and arrives at 04:00 with just 100 miles to drive to Paris.

Check out Ferry to France for prices.

The Chunnel

There are Channel Tunnel crossings still available for Saturday too, from £100 to £157. You could even get on very early Sunday morning, make it to Paris in time, then zoom back Sunday evening.


The luxury option, but an absolute doddle, getting the train from St Pancras to Paris and back will probably set you back about £300 at this late date, but you do get to watch the French countryside whizz by at 186 mph!


Bear in mind that parking in Paris can be a nightmare (or a great spectator sport if you enjoy watching people tap bumpers to squeeze into implausible spaces). If you're going to take your car, then plan ahead with parking and check out Eurotunnel's park and ride tips.


Even the Tour de france doesn't manage to fill Paris's 150,000+ hotel beds, so there are still places to sleep available. We used expedia to find rooms from £105 at the three-star Doisy Etoile to £176 at the four-star Hidden Hotel Rating on the Rue de l'Arc de Triomphe.

No doubt readers will have loads of tips for travel and cheap accommodation in Paris, so let's have them!

Where to watch

The focus of the day is the Champs Elysees and there's no getting away from it: it's a great place to watch. The ideal spot is near one of the big screens so that you can follow the action as well as simply watch it flash past.

A fair chunk of the Champs is given over to corporate hospitality and VIP areas so you'll need to look for a spot with easy public access. For the last few years that has been down towards the Place de La Concorde. The best bet might be to start at the middle and work away from the VIP stands to find a spot.

You'll need to get there fairly early to get a spot near the front; there are often other entertainments and races before the main event arrives.

The Champs Elysees isn't the only spot worth checking out though. The Rue de Rivoli and the Quai des Tuleries also offer good vantage points and are on the finishing circuit. The peloton enters that final circuit via the Quai des Tuleries and the final kilometre Flamme Rouge is on the Rue de Rivoli.

Paris doesn't like to lose its cool too much over a big event, especially one that comes there every year. Away from the Champs Elysees the crowds won't really start to throng the barriers until surprisingly close to the start of the action. Be aware that if you lose your place, though, it's gone. Some argue there isn't much point in getting to the Champs Elysees too early because it can be hard to defend your turf amid the general craziness.

We'd suggest that whatever spot you choose, you take a fairly relaxed approach, soak up the atmosphere, enjoy being a part of British cycling history (hopefully) and bask in the smug feeling of being able to tell your friends 'I was there'.

Another way to enjoy the day is to catch the race somewhere on its approach to the city centre, but not on the final circuit, then repair to a bar or cafe (making sure they have the TV on) and enjoy it all from there.

Wherever you choose, one thing is guaranteed: you'll have a great time!

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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