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I am not a cyclist, but a spectator of cycling. I want to watch the stage of the TDF which goes from Modane to Alpe d'Huez via Col du Galibier. I want to drive onto the Col early in the morning and watch the riders as they climb the hill. Is it possible to park on the hill? How early in the day should I go? When do they close the roads? When will they publish a timetable of events on the route? Sorry about the silly questions, but this is the only day I an be anywhere near the TDF and I thought a hill would give the best viewing, we have to drive north later in the day.
Any help from someone who's done it before would be appreciated as the French forums have not been helpful,
The big cols are usually closed very early in the morning,usually by 9 - 10am.I only know the south side of Galibier well.There isn't a lot of parking there at all from the turn off at the Col du Lautaret.The north side is even harder to access and even thou the Auto Route will not be affected (they will probably close the exit off a couple of hours before) you will not get far unless you are very early and it is a LONG way up Galibier.Published road closures in the TDF often are not very accurate as they will shut the roads down as soon as the limited parking is full.
Also any parking that is available will be taken a few days before by the mobile homes.
Alpe D'Huez will probably close before 10 am as well....but there is a lot of parking at the top and you can pitch your tent anywhere the night before and there are plenty of facilities.
Too bad it is not the Madeleine! Been there twice without any problem accessing the top on the day, via side road!
Early response from my French forum: the access may well be shut very early on the morning of the stage. Not a definite call but to be considered.
The best would be to ride up to a good spot to watch the race. The road will be closed to motor vehicles at 5 am the morning of the race, and possibly even the night before if there are too many cars and vans on the Galibier. Riding up though is possible until 3 hours before the riders.
Yes, in 2005 the Galibier was closed by 11pm the night before, I met some Aussies who had snuck through on a goat track because they didn't have petrol enough to turn around and go back. Chances are slim it will be open early on the morning. Perhaps your best chance is to drive to toward the summit of the Lauteret, find a park within 1 or 2 km (usually ok) then ride up. Pack a bag with warm clothing, it gets flipping cold up there.
Hmm...my last post disappeared for some reason.
OP doesn't ride, so wont be riding over Telegraph to get a position on Galibier.
If he is heading north later in the day the Lauteret is not much good either...plus it is 8 kms from Lauteret to the summit of Galibier unless you want to see them whip past on the descent at 100kmph.
I would either park up at the town just off the motorway at the bottom of the start of the Telegraph...you won't have any trouble getting a park there and the first few km's of the Telegraph are very steep.Wander up a km or so and find a good spot on a corner...they wont have been on the road long so you will get a good veiw of them cruising past slowly.
Then it is an easy jump back on the Autoroute North.
Or head over and see them on ALpe D'Huez...but will be later in the day,well not that much later as the summit of Galibier to the start of Alpe D'Huez is less than an hour.YOur problem will be leaving Bourg D'Oisan as the roads are smaller and no direct motorways.
Have fun all the same.
Similar position as the opener in that I'm a fan of cycling but not much of a bike rider. Problem is I'm backpacking Europe and won't be renting a car. I will most likely end up going to the ITT around Grenoble and was wondering if there were any options to view the stage beforehand on the alpe d'huez. I was reading on wikitravel that it was possible to drive a car to Oz en Oisans on raceday and then get the cable car up to Alpe D'Huez so I'm assuming that the roads to Oz en Oisans will be accessible if the info is correct? How difficult would it be to get a spot on one of the buses, how bad would the traffic be and what would the wait be like for the cable car? Thanks for the help If it isn't possible are there any other suggestions in regards to viewing the race on Alpe D'Huez? I'm pretty sure I've missed the boat in regards to booking a campsite up there.
St-Michel de Maurienne is 115km from Grenoble...most of that on motorways (the toll will be Euro 12.70)...it won't be to hard to get there traffic wise.You will have to park in St-Michel de Maurienne...may be little hard but possible...the road to St Martin D'Arc will be closed early morning or even the night before.It is only about 1km from St-Michel de Maurienne to D'Arc although uphill.You being 4 senior Australain's will not be able to walk to the Col de Telegragph.It is at least 10-12kms in the middle of summer and it is steep.
The best you will be able to do is walk to St Martin D'Arc and carry on as long as you can...go early,find a good spot.The lower slopes of the big climbs do get very buzy as well...if you want lots of goodies from the caravan then stand on the INSIDE of a tight corner...other wise find a good spot a km or two out of town.There won't be a lot of action at that stage and apart from a small break they will be all together riding at tempo.
Take plenty of water etc as there is nothing on these hills...no toilets can be an issue which I found out on the Col de Croix Fer in 2006 with a terrible stomach!.
From Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne to Annecy is 134km (Toll of 14.10)...and once you are on the Autoroute traffic will be fine...the closer you park to the on ramp (pointing in right direction etc) the quicker you will be out of there.
The other alternative is driving to Bourg D'Oisans and making a day of it on the lower slopes of Alpe D'Huez... User 07 mentioned a cable car.The cable car only goes from Huez village,not Bourg D'Oisans.Huez village is a LONG way up the climb.You can drive to Huez village on a small side road but you won't get all the way...but will be able to park within 4 or 5 kms of Huez village around Villard Reculas...at least that 4 or 5 km walk is pretty flat (and stunning) instead of a huge slog uphill.Yes getting away afterwards will take a while.
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