Tips and Inspiration for your European holiday

By sheer coincidence, whilst I was staying at Olonzac in the Languedoc region of France in 2013, a stage of the Tour de France was being run just an hour away.  After watching the spectacle of the Tour de France on TV for many years, it was quickly decided that we would head off to the stage to witness this famous event first hand.

 
A day at the Tour de France


The stage we watched was stage 7 of the 2013 Tour de France and we based ourselves on the edge of the town of Faugeres. We arrived just before midday - just in time to watch the 'caravan'.  This is a procession of vehicles decorated in race sponsors' livery and has become one of the main attractions of the race.

tdf-collage

 

The colourful vehicles in the caravan were accompanied by music, giving a real party atmosphere to the parade.  Many of the vehicles had people throwing sponsors' products to the spectators.  The caravan procession lasted for about 45 minutes.

 

tdf-goodies

 

After the caravan procession has finished, we gathered up our freebies for a closer look.

 

 

And then we had to wait patiently for the riders to approach.  It was a hot day so we were lucky fo find the only shady spot for about two kilometres (according to other spectators who had walked further up the road looking for more trees!).

 

 

After about another 45 minutes, the first of the breakaway riders arrived to much fanfare.

 

 

Then the peloton approached ......

 

 

rode past .....

 

 

and cycled away.

 

 

The riders were soon followed by the support vehicles laden with spare bikes.

 

 

And then it was over and all we were left with was the view - which wasn't half bad - and a fantastic sporting memory!

 

Stage map of Tour de France 2013

 

Is the Tour de France or another famous sporting event on your travel wish list?  Tell me about it in the comments below.

 

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Comments   

# Carolyn 2014-01-17 20:23
Quoting Malaysian Meanders:
Even though I've heard so much about the Tour de France, this is the first I've read about the caravan and the freebies. That's so unexpected!

The caravan was a lot of fun and certainly kept the spectators entertained while we all waited for the arrival of the cyclists.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
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# Malaysian Meanders 2014-01-17 18:41
Even though I've heard so much about the Tour de France, this is the first I've read about the caravan and the freebies. That's so unexpected!
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# Carolyn 2014-01-17 10:25
Quoting budget jan:
It does look like a beautiful area. I have often wondered what it would be like to watch the Tour de France. Thanks for the insider info.

It sure is a beautiful area, Jan. Glad you enjoyed the 'insider' info.
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# Carolyn 2014-01-17 10:25
Haha Marcia. It definitely didn't make me feel like taking up THAT kind of cycling!! Leisurely rides - yes. Fast rides up hills - no!!

Thanks for commenting.
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# Carolyn 2014-01-17 10:24
Yes, Noel. If you blink, you do just about miss it! But it was a lot of fun :) Thanks for stopping by.
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# Carolyn 2014-01-17 10:23
Hi Jenny,
Yes, watching the Tour de France was a lot of fun and it was great to see it first hand. It really was sheer coincidence that we were in the right area at the right time. Maybe I should add the Giro d'Italia to my wish list now, too!
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# budget jan 2014-01-17 10:22
It does look like a beautiful area. I have often wondered what it would be like to watch the Tour de France. Thanks for the insider info.
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# Carolyn 2014-01-17 10:21
Thanks Muza_chan :)
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# Marcia 2014-01-17 09:36
Oh, how cool. Perfect timing.
Did it make you feel like you wanted to take up cycling?
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# noel 2014-01-17 05:34
wow, if you blink you would miss it...that was a nice quick tour of the event :)
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# [email protected] 2014-01-16 23:36
We were in Taormina a couple of years ago when a stage of the Giro d'Italia went past the town. We didn't have the caravan that you saw with the Tour de France but it was fun to watch never the same. After watching the Tour for many years I'd love to see one of the days rides. Lucky you being nearby making it an easy days excursion.
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# Muza_chan 2014-01-16 20:10
Beautiful photos :)
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