Post Exam Road Trip Part 1: Tour de France 2017

Road trip report from supported rider Marcus Holmes

As a reward for revising hard for my GCSE’s I was promised a road trip to the Alps to play on my MTB, by luck we were also able to extend the trip and watch some of the Tour de France on the way down.m1

A trip across the Channel and a short drive took us to Arras, a city about an hour away from the channel tunnel. We stayed overnight and then headed further south to Troyes, an old city with small streets and cobbled roads. We watched the tour finish and the next day start in Troyes. The finish was a sprint stage and we watched from two kilometres out as it was too hot to keep a good position by the finish line. We were on a tight 90degree turn so they had to slow up and we got a great view of the riders and the ‘caravan of tat’ beforehand, once the race went through we quickly followed and we rode the course until one kilometre to go, we were not allowed to ride the whole way as the 1km gantry was already being taken down! Marcel Kittel won the stage and Chris Froome stayed in Yellow.

The weather was unbelievably hot with no breeze so sleeping was almost impossible with no air conditioning, I ended up with a wet towel down my back to cool down!

I had a training session to do the next day, so as it was really hot we set out before breakfast, riding back along yesterday’s tour route. On our return it was too hot to scrum in the town so we found a quieter spot on a wide boulevard about 2km out where we had plenty of space to relax and wait. As a result we saw the riders for quite a time and had a great view of both the riders and all the team cars etc as they went past slowly in their ‘neutralised’ zone.

If you fancy watching the tour another year then I’d recommend watching the press conference when they announce the route and immediately book accommodation to suit through ‘booking.com’, this is what we did and we got a great location for normal prices, our hotel in Troyes was on the start line and 150m from the finish line, the atmosphere in Troyes whilst we were there was great.M3

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