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Going to see a stage of the Tour de France can be quite an adventure. We met with the team's fans on the roads to ask them to share their tips for a successful day.

1 - Planning your day

Visit the official Tour de France website for 3 key facts:

  • the stage profile to determine the portion of the stage you want to enjoy
  • the map to see how to get there
  • the hourly itinerary to calculate your day according to the passage of the Caravan and the race

Tip: on D-Day, the Tour de France Race Center allows you to follow the progress of the race (and the Caravan!) live. 👌

2 - Choose your ambience

A bike ride and a picnic with friends, a great day out with the family or the gentle madness of the Four Cycling Club... the choice is yours!

3 - Getting ready

Be prepared for the weather: take along clothing suited to the weather conditions, which can be extreme and changeable, especially in the mountains. Also bring something to protect yourself from the sun: sun cream, hats, parasol... you'll be spending nearly 7 or 8 hours on the roadside. 🥵

Take enough food and drink to last the day, as options may be limited along the route.

Some are more far-sighted than others, like Thomas and Mathieu: "We definitely came with the pool. We had a good opportunity yesterday, so we said 'go' and bought it. Maybe the guy who sold it to us will recognize us on TV. 😅 All we need now is the barbeuc, which will be here in an hour."

4 - Choose a good location

Strictly speaking, there's no such thing as a "good location" - only the one that's right for you!

On a climb to watch them go by longer, on a plain for easy access, close to the finish to enjoy the crowds and the atmosphere, at the beginning of the stage to spend a quiet day, a place with network covergage for those who want to follow the stage on their smartphone... it's up to you to define your criteria and find the ideal location on the day's route.

For Mathieu and Thomas, it's the local choice: "It was easy for us, we live right next door, so we didn't think too much about it. We're lucky to have this at home. For Jarod and Paul, it's an embarrassment of riches: "We're following the Tour for several days, so we try to find places that are a bit nice and we try to vary: finish, start, middle of the stage...".

5 - Respect the race

"When you come, the first thing you have to do is adopt the Tour de France codes, i.e. respect the instructions so that everything goes smoothly for everyone," says Mathieu.

Stay behind the safety barriers, do not encroach on the roadway, and follow the organizers' instructions. The safety of spectators and riders is paramount. It's also a matter of sporting fairness: all too often, riders are hampered by vehicles blocked by crowds.

6 - A return plan

After the end of the stage, the roads can be very congested, especially on the descents of the mountain passes. At summit finishes, the road sometimes remains closed long after the race to allow the evacuation of organization vehicles, the Caravan and teams.

And if you've chosen the "ambiance and intensive hydration" option, perhaps it's best to stay the night... 🙃

7 - And why not enjoy the opportunity to travel?

This is the case for Jarod and Paul: "We're following the Tour de France for a week. We do it every night in a tent. We meet lots of people. We meet local people, because we always ask before we pitch our tent. We also meet people from elsewhere: yesterday, for example, we hitchhiked some Colombian supporters and ended up spending the day with them."

The last word

Now that you know everything, we hope to see you out on the roads soon, wearing your team jersey and flag of course!

The final word from Thomas & Mathieu: "Cycling is a free spectacle, it doesn't cost a penny, it's incredible. These days, there aren't many sports like it. So that's why we give it our all, why we put on a show. That's also the magic of the Tour de France, it's people who are proud of their region, who show it off and who are actually part of the event."